Tags: Girl Scouts | Boy Scouts | Controversy

Girl Scouts Rip Boy Scouts for Allowing Girls

Image: Girl Scouts Rip Boy Scouts for Allowing Girls

Thursday, 12 Oct 2017 11:36 AM

The Girl Scouts of the USA have strongly criticized the move by the Boy Scouts of America to accept girls, saying, "the Boy Scouts' house is on fire."

Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA's move was driven partly by a need to boost revenue, and they contended there is fiscal stress in part because of past settlements paid by the BSA in sex-abuse cases.

On Monday, Latino civic leader Charles Garcia, just days after being named to the Girl Scouts' national board, wrote an opinion piece for the Huffington Post calling the BSA's overture to girls "a terrible idea."

"The Boy Scouts' house is on fire," Garcia wrote. "Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls."

That language was used verbatim in a statement the Girl Scouts gave to ABC News on Thursday. 

Instead of recruiting girls, Garcia said the BSA should focus on attracting more black, Latino and Asian boys — particularly those from low-income households.

Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of tradition, the Boy Scouts have undergone major changes in the past five years, agreeing to accept openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys.

The expansion of girls' participation, announced Wednesday after unanimous approval by the organization's board of directors, is arguably the biggest change yet, potentially opening the way for hundreds of thousands of girls to join.

The Girl Scouts of the USA, which had sought unsuccessfully to dissuade the Boys Scouts from making this move, said they remained committed to their single-gender mission.

"Girl Scouts is, and will remain, the scouting program that truly benefits U.S. girls by providing a safe space for them to learn and lead," the Girl Scouts said in a statement then.

Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders. The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the same Eagle Scout rank that has been attained by astronauts, admirals, senators and other luminaries.

The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. Reasons include competition from sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy family schedules.

Unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have maintained girls-only status for all their programs. The empowerment of girls is at the core of its mission.

"We know that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led environment," said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a psychologist who provides expertise on development for the Girl Scouts' national programming.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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The Girl Scouts of the USA have strongly criticized the move by the Boy Scouts of America to accept girls, saying, "the Boy Scouts' house is on fire." Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA's move was driven partly by a need to boost revenue, and they contended there is...
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Controversy
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2017-36-12
Thursday, 12 Oct 2017 11:36 AM
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