Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Scouting leaders react to Boy Scouts decision

Eagle Scout Nigel Bailey of Troop 962 St. Andrews Methodist Church has earned all 137 merit badges Eagle Scout Nigel Bailey of Troop 962 St. Andrews Methodist Church has earned all 137 merit badges
Juana Turner | 14 October, 2017, 00:55

Rather than altering its message, Margosian said, the Girl Scouts will "double down" with a commitment to empowering girls.

The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

Increasing interest among young girls and families in the Boy Scouts is one reason why York believes the change was made.

"I think it's kind of a natural progression", said Skelly, who is part of a scouting family.

"We've always had female leaders and staff, and I think those are some of the best leaders", said Jeff Allman, the board president of Gamehaven Council, which represents about 2,700 boys in Southeast Minnesota. BSA is now working to develop a scouting program for girls to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

One viewer writing, "This is absolute insanity..." another saying, "I mean, it's interesting because I remember being jealous of what the boys did over in Boy Scouts". Jones feels the decision will allow girls to move through rankings they've never had and gain new experiences. While not eligible to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, girls have participated in mixed gender opportunities offered by the Boy Scouts such as the Exploring and Venturing programs.

But allowing girls to join the Boy Scouts marks a dramatic change in the organization, and the decision quickly drew an online backlash, as well as criticism from the Girl Scouts, who now would have to compete for members. But some, including Girl Scouts of the US, claim the Boy Scouts are aiming to draw from the existing organization for girls.

Murphy also is concerned that it's a stepping stone to the Boy Scouts becoming a fully co-ed program, which is commonplace in other countries. "We are not trying to replace them", Smith said.

Many parents like Mary Morris are happy with the decision."Times are changing and the matter of the fact is boys and girls should be able to learn the same and have the same values". There have been layoffs at many councils and at the national headquarters as the organization grappled with a large deficit.

Dan Gilbert served on the Boy Scout's Executive Council for 15 years and is now a member of the Advisory Council. "Especially when they hit Eagle Scout..."

"Scouting changed my son's life".

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that they would admit girls into the organization for the first time ever. It's a huge part of what my troop does - from caroling in the nursing home to donating food to the Williamstown food pantry as younger girls to completing more complex projects as they grew more mature.

"I have girls on every outing we go on. usually sisters of the boys in the scouts".

Those groups said the Boy Scouts' new initiative would not weaken their commitment to single-sex programming.

"My honest gut reaction is a little frustration because I feel we have the best girl programming and leadership programming already", said Mary Barneby, Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of CT.

When Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouting in 1912 - eight full years before suffrage - she wanted to create a global movement that would make the world better for girls.

"Expanding the program exposes more people, regardless of gender, to skills and characteristics that make them productive members of society", he said.

Wilcox said Girl Scouts is positioned for continued growth.

John Douglas, a computer engineer and U.S. Navy Reservist in Irondale, Ala., admitted that he doesn't know much about the Girl Scouts, but he thinks the good outweighs the bad when it comes to opening Boy Scouts to girls.

Boy Scout Troop 330 is under the leadership of Scoutmaster Rob Valloric and current Senior Patrol Leader Jarod Korn. "It's nice it's focused on girls - allowing girls to be girls without having to compete with boys", she said.

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