The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that they would allow girls into their organization to appeal to busy single-parent and millennial families on October 11.
The announcement, at first, seems like a kind gesture from an organization that has made many progressive decisions over the last few years, including allowing gay and transgender boys to participate in the BSA. However, after reviewing the Boy Scouts declining enrollment numbers, the decision seems to be more financially motivated. By allowing girls to enroll in the organization, the BSA stands to increase their market revenue.
The Girl Scouts pride themselves on being a girl-centered organization. The advantage to the Girl Scouts’ all-girl strategy is that girls can develop their confidence while engaging in troop activities without worrying about outside harassment. Unsurprisingly, the Girl Scouts organization responded to the Boy Scouts announcement by tweeting that they remain the best place for girls to develop their leadership skills. Former girl scouts also responded by discussing their personal stories about how the Girl Scouts encouraged them to explore their interests in a safe environment.
Most people know Girl Scouts for their famous cookie sales, however, the organization has a commendable record for girl scouts becoming leaders and innovators in their careers and communities. Not only do the Girl Scouts provide similar badges and awards as the Boy Scouts but they also offer the same opportunities in wilderness training, camping and encouragement for girls to pursue STEM fields, which are mostly dominated by men.
In a statement by the Girl Scouts’ CEO Sylvia Acevedo, girls would become “supporting players” in the Boy Scouts, second to boys in a curriculum that has been boy-centric for over a hundred years. As such, the environment in Boy Scouts would not emphasize the importance of girls empowering girls. Acevedo went on to say that the Boy Scouts should focus on the 90% of American boys not currently enrolled the BSA, instead of trying to pad their registration numbers with girls.