Culture

Boy Scouts to welcome girls into the tent?

The Boy Scouts have announced that they are going to admit girls. What changes will this lead to?

The Boy Scouts will allow girls to join. The mainstream media outlets are thrilled. At NBC, we read:

The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday that girls will soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the organization’s highest honor.

“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.

Positive and lifelong experiences…like huddling together inside a sleeping bag on the top of a cold mountain after a long day of hiking?

A TRIAL ENGAGEMENT?

Well, maybe not quite yet. There will be a period of separation between the sexes, first:

Starting next year, young girls can join Cub Scout units, known as dens. Local scouting organizations can choose to have dens for girls and dens for boys. “Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls,” the organization said in a statement.

A separate program for older girls will be available in 2019, the Boy Scouts said, enabling them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

They do not say this is just a trial separation. But who would be surprised if, in another few years, the young men and the young women are camping on the same trips?

Here’s some information on teenage sexuality:

But in the United States, 46 percent of all high school age students, and 62 percent of high school seniors, have had sexual intercourse; almost nine million teens have already had sex. It is critically important for adults to address adolescent sexuality realistically and to recognize that many factors, including socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, family structure, educational aspirations, and life experiences, affect young people’s behavior.

Did you catch that? Forty-six percent of all high school age students have had sex before. That means there are another 54% who haven’t. Maybe that’s why some parents will applaud this decision by the Boy Scouts. In the article we read the following:

BSA said it commissioned two nationwide surveys that showed parents not involved in scouting had high interest in getting their daughters signed up for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

There are lots of parents who are more than eager to get their teenage daughters into the Boy Scouts. It’s probably because they believe statements like this one from Advocates For Youth, an organization that “partners with youth leaders, adult allies, and youth-serving organizations to advocate for policies and champion programs that recognize young people’s rights to honest sexual health information”:

Adolescent sexual development is important for the process of identity formation and the establishment of romantic and social relationships among peers.

There are consequences, of course. This is just the next in a growing chain of bad decisions by the BSA. We read the following:

However, recent years have seen a significant decline in Scouting membership and revenue. In 2014 the Boy Scouts began allowing openly gay boys into Scout troops. The next year, membership fell by about 6 percent, the largest single-year decline in membership in the organization’s history. Between 2013 and 2016 (the last year for which numbers are publicly available), membership has fallen by about 10 percent.

Evangelical Christians and Mormons already began leaving by 2015. Instead of growing membership by reversing failed policies, the organization is doubling down. It will pay for its “evolution.”

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