Boy Scouts of America

Alaina Herrera, Photography Editor

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Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. It provides the younger generation a group to help build character, trains them for the responsibilities of participation and citizenship, and develops personal fitness.


A General Timeline:

The first boy scout troop started in England 1908, and by the early 1900’s America copied the trend.

In 2013 Boy Scouts of America allowed transgender children to join.

In 2017 girls were officially invited to join Boy Scouts of America.


When the Boy Scouts made this decision to welcome girls they were breaking a century-long tradition, and many were against the decision. The organization has stated that they will be founding a program within Boy Scouts for Teenage girls. The smallest group of scouts known as the Cub Scouts, ages seven to ten, will be single gendered. Despite this, the Cub Scout packs will welcome both genders.

Before making the decision, the Boy Scouts of America considered input from current members and leaders. The reasoning the BSA stated is that they are trying to help diverse families that want to consolidate programs for their children. Once the news was released they received indirect criticism from girl scouts, positive reactions from fellow leaders, and mixed reactions from women’s groups.

“Buzzfeed News obtained a strongly worded letter in which SSUSA President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accuse the BSA of courting girls to boost falling enrollment numbers”

-CNN news

Statistics say that the BSA membership numbers indeed have been in decline. In 2016, the organization reported 2.3 million youth members, a decrease from 2.8 million in 2012. Their peak time was in 1972, with 6.5 million members.  

“The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today– and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success. 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. Girl Scouts offer a one-of-a-kind experience for girls with a program tailored specifically to their unique development needs.”

-Girl Scouts USA

“I welcome @boyscouts decision to integrate girls in their programs. On #DayOfTheGirl, we affirm #Scouting commitment to girls empowerment.”

-Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General, and CEO of World Scouting

“I think it’s a good thing in that the Boy Scouts have a long history of discrimination and they are taking action.”

-The National Organization for Women

“Strange, I thought that’s what the Girl Scouts are for???”

-Donald Trump Jr., the son of the current president, Donald Trump.

Boy Scout leaders are estimating that the expansion will be final by the 2018 scouting season. The role of women in BSA will surely be a controversial subject for a long time. Girls now must decide which program they wish to take part in, and the differences between the long-term rankings.

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