Boy Scouts Change Their Name

Nico Harken

For the past century two organizations, the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA, have fostered young children to grow into great people.  The Boy Scouts of America just changed their name to just Scouts, and are now accepting girls into the program. Mike Surbaugh, who is chief Scout executive, said “ We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re both here for young men and young women.” The girls feel that Girl Scouts is not as great of a program because they say it lacks some of the activities Boy Scouts has. There are two sides to the argument and it was an unexpected change for a lot of people.

Many conservatives find it alarming to join the two sexes together, but Surbaugh was prepared and stated that the units of the older girls and boys would be separated. Although the Boy Scouts are now allowing girls, the Girl Scouts are still going on and do not see this as a threat to their organization. Chief executive of the Girl Scouts, Silvia Acevedo, said, “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills”. This “new” change of names has caused quite a debate amongst people on both sides of the aisle. On the more liberal side they see at as a victory for girls.

One girl shared her thoughts on the matter. A Beverly Hills teenager, Julia Horowitz was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Horowitz was a Girl Scout when she was 6 and 7 years old.  Here is what she had to say on the matter. “I like going outside and doing things in nature and learning how to defend myself rather than sitting inside and drawing,” Horowitz points out the lack of activities and trips she longed for as girl scout, and some would agree with her on the want for those activities and trips. Ben Shapiro is a conservative commentator who is the editor in chief at The Daily Wire and host of The Ben Shapiro Show. He also supports Horowitz’s claims, but he is very upset with the Political Left’s push for something he believes is irrelevant. Shapiro says, “It is, from the left, a fascistic matter. Okay? The attempt to break down cultural distinctions by the left in order to level, in order to level all human beings into these sexless widgets is really counterproductive and really, really stupid.”( Although Shapiro’s words are harsh, others agree with his general concept that the Left is being way too sensitive and is causing more problems for people rather than helping. Shapiro also states his concern about making the Boy Scouts coed, “Boys should be allowed to have groups with other boys. Girls should be allowed to have groups with other girls. And it is stupid to suggest that this is some form of nefarious discrimination.”

There is plenty of tension regarding the change and related issues, but the Boy Scouts are trying to address these concerns. Scout chief Surbaugh says the primary goal of the change was to provide better opportunities for girls and support all the scouts. Although this would happen in a perfect world Surbaugh stated his concern about unequal opportunities. He said, “ having separate units for boys and girl should address concerns that girls joining the BSA might not get as many leadership opportunities.” (Washingtonpost) Despite the fact that  the point of the name change and acceptance of girls was to eliminate the separation of the sexes, and allow them more opportunities, it is unclear that is going to happen.

In my own opinion the Boy Scouts should not have changed their name and allowed the admittance of girls. The leadership of the Girl Scouts should be motivated to provide more activities and options for the girls. If girls are unhappy about the Girl Scouts lack of programs, they should bring it up with their organization instead of trying to hijack another institution. The Boy Scouts do not need the drama of accepting girls after 108 years of being only for boys. I have no problem with gender equality, but this has only caused controversy and I do not believe it has helped many people in the process.

As far as the girls getting more opportunities…. Yes, I support that, but I don’t think they need a separate organization such as BSA to cater to their every whim just because they don’t know how to communicate thier own troop to get the same opportunities. If the girls pushing to get into the Boy Scouts would have joined the Girl Scouts instead, they might have learned one of the life skills which is stated on GSA’s official website, “As a Girl Scout, she’ll team up with other girls to identify a problem she wants to do something about, come up with a creative solution that will make a difference, and create a team plan to make that solution a reality.” (GSA)  So as one can see, the organization is trying to help young girls be more assertive and productive in life. If they are learning skills for solving a problem and they see not having as many opportunities as the Boy Scouts as a problem, then they should speak out about that issue.

For example. if someone has a company that sells clothes exclusively with Ralph Lauren but they also want to sell Tommy Hilfiger and Louis Vuitton then they wouldn’t  make 2 more stores because that would be a waste of time and money. Instead they would add sections to the store which is more cost effective and creates more growth rather than debt. It’s the same idea with Girl Scouts… they don’t have to cause a ton of inconvenience to the Boy Scouts by trying to accept these girls.  Rather have a town-hall meeting for Girl Scouts to address concerns and keep persevering to get goals accomplished. If GSA website promises opportunity to be able to solve problems with unique and effective solutions then that shouldn’t be taken for granted but rather use that tool to improve the organization. I believe that skill is going to make a much bigger difference than some girl just trying to ride the Boy Scouts coattails because she doesn’t like what the Girl Scouts have to Offer.

In my own opinion  the name change was not only bad for the boys but bad for the girls as well because this didn’t accomplish the goal of making things less sexist, it only heightened it because it was such a rash and uninformed decision that caused controversy as opposed to just having Girl Scouts improve their organization.