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Girl Scouts: Boy Scouts Recruiting Girls Is a 'Bad Idea'

Image: Girl Scouts: Boy Scouts Recruiting Girls Is a 'Bad Idea'

The Girl Scouts aren't happy about the Boy Scouts considering recruiting girls. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2017 01:57 PM

The Girl Scouts are accusing the Boy Scouts of recruiting girls to boost their numbers at the Girl Scouts' expense.

The rift between the two scouting organizations was exposted Tuesday when Girl Scouts of America President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan's letter to Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson was obtained by BuzzFeed.

In the letter, Hannan charged the Boy Scouts are running a "covert campaign" to recruit girls, BuzzFeed reported.

"We were disappointed in the lack of transparency as we learned that you are surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls' offering to millennial parents," Hannan wrote in the letter, which was confirmed by The Washington Post. "Furthermore, it is inherently dishonest to claim to be a single gender organization while simultaneously endeavoring upon a co-ed model."

"It's a potentially dangerous and bad idea," a spokesperson told BuzzFeed about the Boy Scouts recruiting girls, citing research that shows girls learn better when surrounded by other girls.

She said the real motivation for the push is that Boy Scouts enrollment has tumbled by one-third since 2000 to just more than 2 million in 2016.

The Boy Scouts told the Post, though, that it is testing different models that would serve "the whole family."

"The Boy Scouts of America believes in the benefit of single-gender programs," the Boy Scouts' Director of National Communications Effie Delimarkos said in a statement, according to the Post. "But in evaluating the possibility of serving the whole family, we've been having conversations with our members and volunteers to see how to make Scouting accessible for families."

Delimarkos told BuzzFeed no decision on whether to include girls has been made.

The Boy Scouts have felt pressure on several fronts lately, including opening up its membership to gays and transgender youth. The organization ended its ban on openly gay youth in 2013 and its ban on openly gay adult leaders in 2015.

In January, the Boy Scouts announced it would start accepting members based on the gender listed on their application, opening the door for transgender boys to be members.

The Girl Scouts, keeping up with the trend to open traditionally male opportunities to girls, are offering 23 new badges focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as the outdoors.

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The Girl Scouts are accusing the Boy Scouts of recruiting girls to boost their numbers at the Girl Scouts' expense.
girl scouts, boy scouts, recruiting, girls
Wednesday, 23 Aug 2017 01:57 PM
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