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On My Honor? Decision effectively ends scouting



David Rauzi

As the movie gangsters might say, “You are dead to me.”

This month, the Boys Scouts of America announced girls will soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn Boy Scouting’s highest honor of Eagle rank.

Cowering to gender politics seems to be the driving force behind the century-plus-old organization to knuckle under and pander, rather than holding fast to ethics and standards it purported to hold dear and inviolate.

So, what’s the big deal? The BSA tells you this:

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts.

But it’s more than taking the cliché “No Girls Allowed” sign off the treehouse and showing the ladies our secret handshake.

There is value in having organizations specific to just boys and just girls. Experiences in these kinds of organizations allow us to interact with our respective sex, learning how to function in such an environment; and with older peers and adult leaders, they receive mentoring in what it means to be a man or a woman.

A sexist view? Not according to the Girl Scouts of America. In the wake of this decision, the organization holds firm to the values of having an “all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment…, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive…. The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families.”

Good for the goose, but not good enough for the gander. Hmm, fancy that. No sexism or double-standard in play here.

Effectively, with this latest move, Boy Scouting is no more. Change your name to whatever your legal counsel suggests. Weather the storm and hope your hundreds of millions in revenue stream will be secure.

But for the many parents, boys and BSA alumni out there: You are dead to us.

(Disclosure: Author of this editorial belonged to scouting from Cub Scouts through Boys Scouts, achieving the rank of Star.)


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