Farewell To The Boy Scouts

I’m leading off the day with this topic. My Dad, who would have turned 98 yesterday had he survived that long, would have wanted me to, I think.

The Boy Scouts, he made clear, taught him much of what he learned about being a man, an American, and an honorable citizen. The organization gave a young, physically unimpressive, lonely kid whose father had abandoned him and whose mother was moving between jobs and apartments during the Depression a place to meet the life-long friends who supported each other for more than 70 years, and most of all, to learn basic ethical values. Dad was certain that he might have ended up in jail without the Scouts: he was suspicious of authority, headstrong, and kept his own counsel. He definitely would not have had a family, as he was bitter about his own father’s betrayal. Thanks in great part to scouting, Jack A. Marshall, Sr. was a war hero, a Harvard grad, a lawyer, but most important of all to himself and to me, a loving, supportive, dedicated father.

So, in a way, I owe my life to the Boy Scouts as well. I joined the organization for a while, but outside of having the Boy Scout Law [“A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”] engraved on my brain for life, it wasn’t my thing. My son never wanted to get involved at all. Yet through my father, scouting was massively influential on the course of my life, and the development of my character.

As you may have heard by now, the Boy Scouts of America is striking “boys” from the name of its flagship program for 11-to 17-year-olds, and beginning in February 2019, will accept girls into its troops. This was the dropping of the other shoe following last year’s announcement that girls could join the younger Cub Scout units. Now young women will be eligible to reach the Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement of the organization.

Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, told the AP, “[W]e’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.” Translation: “We’re trying to survive.” The ethical problem such a strategy involves is that when an organization abandons its mission just to stay in business, it has lost its integrity, and should probably just dissolve.  The mission of the Boy Scouts since it was founded in 1910 has been to prepare boys “to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” Preparing boys to be men and girls to be women are both worthy missions, but they are not the same mission, much as radical feminists and cultural revolutionaries would have us believe. Where does a young boy like my father go now to find a male peer group and the guidance of responsible male role models? Your guess is as good as mine, but the answer isn’t the Scouts.

The man-hating spin on this development, of course, is that it’s a victory for feminism, and another blow to the patriarchy. It’s not a victory for anyone. The decision wasn’t made for ethical reasons or political reasons, but in desperation. Member ship has been in free-fall for years. The Boy Scouts had made a multiple decades worth of tone-deaf and stubborn management decisions, such as treating gays as lepers, and finding themselves branded as ultra-conservative and anachronistic. (Yes, ethical values make you conservative now.) Scouts wore uniforms while the culture turned against the military and police; camping was no longer cool; and urban kids were turning to street gangs instead of Scout troops. (I wonder if the gangs will go co-ed?) The Sixties probably put the writing on the wall. The values of Scouting are worth fighting for, but the people running the Boy Scouts lacked the courage, creativity and leadership skills to fight a good fight. That’s how organizations, institution and nations die.

Ironically, the gender integration of the Boy Scouts will probably kill the Girl Scouts too. That is also bad for the culture, and girls, and feminism.

Now that the Boy Scouts are no longer, we will start hearing about how the culture discourages manhood, is marginalizing boys, and why we need an organization like what the Boy Scouts of America used to be. We do, too.

But we will never have such an organization again.

 

92 Comments

Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Literature

92 responses to “Farewell To The Boy Scouts

  1. Troops remain single-gender, as I understand it, so it should still be eminently possible to find a male peer group for young men. All that it requires is an adult willing to step up and lead.

  2. Richard Hynes Jr

    Jack, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that the Scout Law?
    ‘the Boy Scout Oath [“A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”] ‘

    I am an old Eagle Scout when it used to mean something.

  3. Steve

    It was inevitable and although I don’t agree with the decision it does benefit my daughter as it gives her a good program to join. Communists and radical feminists have taken over the girl scouts and turn it into another SJW indoctrination program, this is why many want their girls to join the former BSA.

  4. ”Ironically, the gender integration of the Boy Scouts will probably kill the Girl Scouts too.”

    Probably? The best laid plans…

    ”To Everyone Mad at Women & Liberals For ‘Making’ the Boy Scouts Change Their Name: We Don’t Want This. We Never Wanted This.”

    https://www.themarysue.com/boy-scouts-name-change-keep-it/

  5. wfearnow

    In our troop in 1960s Miami, Florida, when you were ready to take a test to complete getting a merit badge, you’d ride your bike a mile or two down into the 1920’s era neighborhood around the Orange Bowl, now Marlin’s Stadium or whatever corporate name it has, and talk to Mr. King. Mister King was seemingly old as the hills and wore wire rimmed glasses. He evidently knew everything about everything Scouting. He wasn’t particularly warm but he wasn’t unkind either. I think he was a widower and lived alone. The amazing thing was, he was a WWI vet. It was kind of like meeting Robert Baden-Powell his own self, in the flesh.

    • Rob Palmer

      Forget Baden-Powell, I want to meet this guy:

    • Rob Palmer

      (Oops, I suck at computers.)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Russell_Burnham

      I was a scout all through my childhood and never heard of Burnham. Sad, his life was amazing. Scouting was originally all about emulating this one man.

      I recall with scouting we were taught morals, ethics, and skills but without role models or positive examples. We mostly screwed around and goofed off. Had a lot of fun but I wouldn’t say it was super important to my life. Scouting has long since abandoned the ideals and attitudes of it’s founders, that’s why it’s dying.

      Bring back the Burnham Scouts.

      • Other Bill

        Thanks for the link, Bob. These guys were incredible.

        My scouting experience was a decidedly mixed bag. I only made it to Life. My older, first born brother was an Eagle. Of course. I think it was beneficial to be in organizations as a kid. We spend our lives in them to various extents so we might as well get used to doing so sooner rather than later.

  6. adimagejim

    My son earned his Eagle in his mid-teens. I only made it to Webelo, but served as a Merit Badge counselor for years.

    It was place for boys to be boys without the profanity and hormone driven showing off for girls. Each boy had his strengths and weaknesses and the Merit Badge system gave opportunities for accomplishment whether excelling or conquering challenges.

    My youngest was a Girl Scout and spent many years going between Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls activities and camps. She loved it.

    Erasing the very real line between the sexes and the development each separate organization offered to their respective members is a disservice to our society and our youth.

    Another very sad day for America.

    • valkygrrl

      It was place for boys to be boys without the profanity and hormone driven showing off for girls.

      Can’t fool me, I read Lord of the Flies.

      • adimagejim

        Oh good, fictional novels before reality.

      • ”Can’t fool me, I read Lord of the Flies.”

        Hmmm, with the…um…evolution of “recast” roles to promote inclusivity and diversity (female/different race for traditionally gender/race specific characters), why hasn’t there been a push for a ”Lady of the Flies” remake?

        From odysseyonline.com: “Call it a byproduct of gender expectations or simple genetics, but women are not predispositioned (or seemingly are not) to automatically descend into savagery.”

        You don’t say?

        Does this support gender being a social construct? Is there a Google Memo we might reference?

        Anywho “An All-Female Lord of the Flies Remake Is On the Way, and Already Lots of People Aren’t Into It

        http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/08/31/an_all_female_lord_of_the_flies_remake_is_in_the_works.html

        Not into it? I can’t imagine why…

        • valkygrrl

          That has nothing to do with my comment. If you insist on behaving like an asshole because you have a bee in your bonnet about something, start your own thread or keep your replies to me related to my words.

          Lord of the Flies, while fictional, presents some accepted assumptions, namely that the absence of women doesn’t cause boys to behave*. But I’m betting you’ve known that from a young age. I’m betting that you, yourself spent time with other boys and got into arguments, and fights, and participated in stupid posturing and boasting.

          *I’ll let you in on a secret, girls will also misbehave when there are no boys around.

          • There are some good novels and scary movies about THAT, too.

            • valkygrrl

              And of Mixed-sex groups. Logan’s Run (the book) gave me nightmares. And yet, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which I read in the same week, didn’t, go figure.

              • I thought “Mean Girls” was pretty scary after my wife said it wasn’t as outrageous as I thought….

                • Sue Dunim

                  Hands up all those who attended a British Boarding school in the 60s?

                  Anyone else?

                  I read Lord of the Flies at school then. I found it totally plausible. Inevitable, even. Accurate. Speaking as someone who identified then, as I do now, as a person in the mold of Piggie.

                  I can’t speak for other environments and times, but for that time, and that environment, it was spot on.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Pffft, girls will misbehave when boys are around, if they are the right boys.

            • valkygrrl

              Of course, but you will recall that I was objecting to the premise that boys in a single sex environment would behave better because they wouldn’t be competing for girls’ attention.

              Here’s my alternate premise. Never turn your back on a group of 15 or more children any sex or mix of sexes. You’ll regret it.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                Or any age or mix of ages. It’s not by accident that we have to teach children how to behave, but not how to misbehave. They’ve got the latter covered.

          • Lemme get this straight; you make a tongue-in-cheek/wise@$$ comment about Lord of the Flies, upon which I elaborate similarly, and I’m the bad (insert appropriate inoffensive/sensitive/inclusive gender-neutral noun)?

            You need a serious check-up from the neck-up.

            And spare me the arrogantly condescending advice on how/to whom, and what to post; it comes off as stupid posturing.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Hahahahaha! “Check-up from the neck up.” I’ve heard “check yourself before you wreck yourself” but that’s new.

            • Chris

              You need a serious check-up from the neck-up.

              Careful. Zoltar would call this a “diagnosis” and ask to see your medical degree.

              • Chris wrote, “Careful. Zoltar would call this a “diagnosis” and ask to see your medical degree.”

                More idiotic misrepresentations of simple concepts from our local California Association of Trolling Teachers(CATT). Weeeeoooowwww!

                No Chris, that’s not a diagnosis you idiot, that referring someone to a professional to get a diagnosis. The implication is that a diagnosis might me needed but Paul either doesn’t feel qualified or he’s not in a position to conduct the clinical evaluation to give a diagnosis.

                I know that all went way over your head Chris so maybe you could get your fiancé to explain it to you.

          • adimagejim

            I did not say they behaved (totally subjective). I implied they behaved differently. They do.

        • Rob Palmer

          It would probably look something like this:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Skylar_Neese

  7. Unintended consequence: what will become of the “Girl Scout Cookie” franchise?

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      Great question! I just ate the last of my 2018 buys yesterday.

      But I am most curious about what will be the new name of this “growth-experiences-for-youth” organization. (GEFY?)

      Certainly not “American Scouts.” Too nationalistic and militaristic.

      “Girls and Boys of the U.S.?” Too much wrong with that, too.

      “Community Association for Children’s Advancement?”
      (CACA? Now, THAT just might work!)

      • Jeff

        How about “Gender Non-Specific Organization of Young Outdoor Enthusiasts Who Also Sometimes Engage In Indoor Activities”?

        The only thing problematic in there is “young”, as we’ll no doubt soon see someone complain that the Scouts are ageist for not admitting 45-year-olds into Webelo troops.

      • I’m honestly relieved my Dear Niece has aged out, I have a horrible sweet tooth AND I’m an easy mark.

        Sitting duck for the earnestly energetic *presentation* from a fresh-faced kiddo (who now looks me in the eye at 6′ 1”/185.42 cm) that paid FAR too close attention to her loving Uncle’s sales techniques, which were shared to assist her marketing efforts…to others.

      • Luke G

        They’ve announced it:

        The overall organization will still be known as “Boy Scouts of America.”

        Falling under that umbrella, the unit types of Cub Scout dens/packs, Venture Crews, Sea Scout Ships, Explorer Posts, and STEM Scouts will all retain the same names (Cubs have gone coed with single-gender units, the other units were all coed already).

        Boy Scout Troops/BSA were a specific unit type that existed under the umbrella organization also called the BSA. That branch’s name is now going to be called “Scouts BSA.”

        So Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, Explorer Scouts, Sea Scouts, and STEM Scouts will all exist within the overarching Boy Scouts of America.

        • But that’s just the corporate name. Check the website. Nothing is left that decalres that the organization is for boys. It’s “young people.” 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) kept the initials, but their meaning is long, long gone.

          • Luke G

            I was just responding to eeyore’s question about what the name was going to be, not necessarily about how it would affect the policies/character of the group.

            Honestly I was hoping they’d keep it Boy Scouts. My fraternity went co-ed in the 70’s and retained the name “fraternity,” and all members of any gender identification are called “brothers.” There’s a few who want to storm in and pitch a fit about how exclusionary that is, but most of our female members love it (plus it’s fun to be able to say “my sister is my brother.”)

    • Important note: Keebler is making knock off Girl Scout cookies. ‘Coconut Dreams’ is the Samoa; I understand they are doing others as well.

      (The Coconut Dreams are good, especially frozen)

  8. I too was only a part of the Boy Scouts for a short time, it just wasn’t a good fit for me when I was younger. It’s actually too bad that it wasn’t a good fit for me because it could have been something consistent in my inconsistent life growing up.

    It’s really sad to say that this change in the Boy Scouts was inevitable in the shifting “norms” in our society. I think there is a huge need for organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in a society where parenting skills have diminished to nothing but feeding and housing offspring and the everything else is left to society to teach.

    The way things are now male gender specific organizations will be demonized while the female gender specific organizations will likely continue. The same can be said for organizations that are specifically for whites, but it’s just fine to have Asian, Black, Hispanic, etc organizations.

    • “a society where parenting skills have diminished to nothing but feeding and housing offspring and the everything else is left to society to teach.”

      Bingo!

      The other day two 15 year-olds (9th grade?) were caught ~ 03:30 a.m. burglarizing a local Middle School.

      http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime/teens-arrested-inside-orchard-ridge-elementary-school-face-burglary-charges/article_1fadfcda-8854-5b60-a39e-88b9bf66f747.html

      WTF; school night? Parents???

      • Paul wrote, “The other day two 15 year-olds (9th grade?) were caught ~ 03:30 a.m. burglarizing a local Middle School.”

        Yup, I saw that on the evening news. 😦

      • Michael R.

        Please strike the “feeding’ from feeding and housing. The schools have to feed them breakfast and lunch, even on breaks and in the summer. During our teacher’s strike, the school buses ran twice a day to bring school breakfast and lunches to the kids. The schools constantly ask the churches to donate socks and underwear for the children because the parents won’t provide them.

        • Micahel,
          That’s a smaller subset of our society and can’t be taken as the normal trend.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          That’s why in the cities here the parents HATE snow days, because they’ve come to rely on the school system to feed their kids.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ wrote, “That’s why in the cities here the parents HATE snow days, because they’ve come to rely on the school system to feed their kids.”

            Wrong.

            Parents hate snow days because they can’t use the schools as babysitters while they do their thing, whatever that things is, work, play, etc.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              That too, but, in NYC, Newark, etc., frequently I hear complaints that the school meals are the only nutritious meals the kids get…usually from single moms with jewelry, tattoos and the latest cell phones playing rap ringtones.

            • The “State” has been slowly removing parental responsibility and shifting it elsewhere for quite some time.

              Perhaps there’s been an undeclared “War on Parenting” with similar results to the ones waged on “Poverty,” “Drugs,” and “Terror?”

              • Jeff

                If there’s a War on Parenting, it’s been far more successful than the wars on Drugs, Poverty, and Terror. The latter three have been impacted in almost no way by our “wars” on them, but we definitely have parenting on the run!

  9. I’m…. torn.

    I recognize the importance of having gender exclusive spaces, it’s always hit me as the height of hypocrisy that progressives can understand the need for safe spaces (even if we disagree on their scope) for basically any mixture of gender, race, orientation, or physical and mental ability (so long as you aren’t male, white, straight, or healthy). They focus so intently on what they’re being excluded from that they don’t recognize the exclusion they create, and that exclusion is only bad so long as they aren’t the ones creating it.

    They also lack a fundamental understanding and respect of culture. They pretend to care about culture when they have their appropriation talks, but they don’t actually care about the culture, they just use it an excuse to break out their favorite pastime (being outraged). How do I know this? Because they routinely spout variations of “Y culture has to change to be more accepting of X”. Appropriation doesn’t exist, culture evolves, it grows, it’s a shared experience. But if it did exist, I can’t imagine a more entitled version of appropriation than assuming not only that you can partake in someone else’s culture, but that it must mold itself to your wants and desires. There’s a difference between sharing in a culture and trying to control one, and it’s a distinction progressives always seem to be on the wrong side of.

    That said… The Scouts will remain a male place. Oh, I’m sure there will be a token girl or two in every other troupe, especially at the beginning, when their excited feminist parents push them towards it, but the fact of the matter is that reality gives as few shit about the feelings of whingeing feminists as Ben Shapiro. The differences between boys and girls, particularly at that age, are not sequestered to secondary sex characteristics below the neck. Girls, particularly at that age, do not particularly care about wilderness skills, camping or spending a lot of supervised time with boys.

    “Jeff! How dare you!”

    Well, voice in my head that I often find useful, that’s not just my opinion, it’s not just my anecdotal experience, it’s objectively true. Canadian Scouts have been co-ed longer than I’ve been alive. Since 1978. As I was growing up, my family was very involved in the scouting program. Do you want to know how many girls there were in the 30 person group (give or take) over the course of the ten or so years I was in? Two, and only one at most at any time. One was the daughter of the Scoutmaster (K), and the other was my sister . Now, I can’t say for certain that K was as miserable and whiny as my sister every time her parents forced her to put on the uniform, but she did seem as disengaged and lethargic at the meetings. More, at every national event, The gender disparity was, and remains, obvious and stark.

    “But Jeff, that could be the oppressive gender prejudice of their parents.”

    Sure, voice in my head that never tells me to burn things. I don’t think that’s true, especially since the only parental pressure I saw exerted on two girls was to force them to attend, but I accept it’s possibly a factor. At the end of the day though, it’s irrelevant. Regardless of why girls don’t sign up for the scouts, whether it’s lack of opportunity, discrimination, parental pressure, or self-selection, the fact is that they don’t.

    • Pennagain

      How I wish you were right, HT. But you left out the powers of the Feminists and Their Followers. They will harass the boy-Scouts into weaving lanyards and all the rest of the GIRL-scout stuff in no time at all. The more I think about it, the more ecstatic I become (can one be “more” ecstatic? oh hell, why not) over having grown up with boys doing boy things and girls doing girl things. How idiotic to think that you can mix and match genders the way you do ties with suits (if you have more than one of each). Is it suddenly unimportant for children of one sex to identify with others of the same sex? and a dozen other arguments for not depriving them of growing up with the privacy of their physically, mentally and emotionally shared characteristics?

      I know it is a joke about old farts like me to think the world is moving too fast and changing in a lot of wrong directions — but it has never moved so fast before, nor ran off in so many directions without giving any of these ideas time to gel or practices any time to be practiced before they become the new law-of-the-day. In the meantime, none of the “old” problems have been solved, and many have grown worse as the population of the planet increases.

      It’s been said before, and I hope will be again, that new ain’t necessarily bettah. People, individually or in humongous groups like to dream of it but, in the end, do not really want to be In Charge of Everything. It’s a pie that’s going to make us sick to death if we eat more than our fair slice of it.

      Now I’m going to wheel my chair back into the corner … and play take-over-the-planet video games for a couple of hours.

      • Luke G

        Having worked at a Boy Scout camp for 8 years (and volunteered for another decade), I can tell you that Boy Scouts already love weaving lanyards. It’s even part of a Merit Badge.

        That said, I share some of your trepidation. I worry that this will be seen as an opening to make the boys be quieter, gentler, less rowdy, to better accommodate the girls. That being said, the women I’ve had the pleasure to work with at camp have generally been the kind of girls who are drawn to the existing BSA program, and fit right in with “the guys” without any particular special treatment except not being quite as inclined to pee on trees, rocks, and pretty much everything else.

  10. Inquiring Mind

    When the Boy Scouts fought for their values, they took financial hits, but they were precisely the group that helped you dad (and myself) become productive, solid citizens. Whether you agreed with them or not, they stood for what they believed was right.

    The progressives bullied them for it. The Boy Scouts were driven from leases they had for decades. Corporations pulled donations to curry favor with the bullies. Finally, the Boy Scouts capitulated. When the Boy Scouts gave in to progressive demands on LGBT inclusion, they pretty much sent the message that it was okay to give in to bullies. At least that is what this Eagle Scout saw it as.

    And you wonder why the membership started dropping precipitously? They tried to curry favor with a Left that hated them, and the conservatives who had defended the Boy Scouts properly saw the capitulation as a lack of character.

    Groups like Trail Life USA will step into the void, but we will not have a universally-supported group like the Boy Scouts was for a long time.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      “And you wonder why the membership started dropping precipitously? They tried to curry favor with a Left that hated them, and the conservatives who had defended the Boy Scouts properly saw the capitulation as a lack of character.”

      Bingo. Neither the betrayed nor the beneficiary of a betrayal will trust a betrayer.

  11. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I was a Scout and ultimately an Eagle in the 1980s, and you are right as to why membership wasn’t what it once was even then, The image we have of Scouting is still that passed down by Norman Rockwell, of the clean-cut, conservative, selfless, polite, patriotic young men whose uniforms never get dirty or wrinkled, who begin every day with the flag salute and say grace before every meal, and whose good cheer reaches everywhere (check out the painting “A Good Sign All Over the World”). From the outside it looks pretty good. From the inside, eh, not as good, the troops were made up of decidedly ordinary kids who form cliques, get into conflicts, play mean pranks, and sometimes fight. The leadership was sometimes something other than the fatherly Andy Griffith type also. The man who ran the troop I belonged to, God rest his soul, hated black people (“I’m ok with niggers, everyone should own a few”) and was a firm believer in leaving kids to work out bullying issues among themselves, often leading to hazing and low-level terrorism.

    I thought of leaving a few times, but I stuck it out, both on the grounds that I didn’t want to be seen as a quitter (my parents were strong believers that once you started something you had to see it through) and on the grounds that both my parents and I believed the Eagle rank to be a necessary benchmark for a college resume that did not include any strong athletic achievements. Maybe I should have, I am more an individual contributor than a team player (to this day I am suspicious of that term as a subtle way to tell someone to sit down and be quiet), leave alone a leader, but, no sense in going back over that.

    I don’t think the ’60s counterculture sounded the death knell for Scouting, let’s not forget that there have been two fairly big revivals of respect for the uniformed services since then, under Reagan and during the war on terror. However, the movement of middle class people to the suburbs and the emergence of gangs as the venue for those left in the cities to belong and find peers is a big part of it. The expansion of sports at the high school level to the point where belonging to a sport leaves little time for anything else is also a factor. If you are practicing football until dark every afternoon and playing all day every Saturday that really doesn’t leave time for meetings and service projects. Unfortunately, sports are more likely to land you a full ride to the college of your choice than civics.

    Scouting really blew it with the cultural issue. They won a Supreme Court case that said they got to decide who could belong and who couldn’t, and they thought that was the end of it. It was a classic case of winning the battle and losing the war. As the culture continued to change, on the one hand many corporations, anxious to appear “woke” and worried about boycotts, didn’t want to be involved with an organization that didn’t welcome absolutely everyone. On the other hand, more than half the troops in this country are sponsored either in whole or in part by either Catholic, LDS, or other churches which don’t want to be involved with organizations that are too socially liberal. This was a choice no organization should have to make, between sponsorship or membership. In the end they did what I can only describe as classic appeasement – surrender on the installment plan. First they would allow gay scouts, then gay leaders, then transsexuals, and now finally girls. Unfortunately, they sacrificed their distinctive identity by doing so.

    Interestingly, the Girl Scouts have gone with the cultural flow much more, never making much of a fuss about the sexuality of members or leaders, allowing the use of some word other than “God” in their promise and other ceremonial recitations, and so on. Where they did hit a bit of a bump was with welcoming transsexuals, since a lot of folks were iffier about having a biological male around a lot of young females than they were about gays. However, as has often been the case through gender history, the females have often wanted not just the equivalent of what the males had, but the very same thing. Eagle Scout is something everyone recognizes, but the Girl Scout Equivalent, the somewhat lamely titled Gold Award, as often as not elicits a “huh?” Just like the females want to be Harvard students, surgeons, firefighters, fighter pilots, and so on, they want to be Eagle Scouts too. Interestingly, no one’s ever pressed for the Seven Sisters to go co-ed. Some of it is probably sincere desire for equality of opportunity, but I think a fair amount of it is also the attitude of what’s hers is hers, and what’s his is hers too.

    The culture is definitely changing, and not necessarily for the better, however, as we discussed in other threads, no one will be allowed to say that openly, due to the stifling and fascistic culture the left wants to press down on everyone else. Or will they? A cork can only suppress so much pressure before it becomes too great and it pops out like a bullet from a gun, splattering wine all over the place.

    • valkygrrl

      The culture’s been changing pretty much non-stop ever since there’s been culture. You need not like it, but then again you probably don’t share the exact attitudes your parents share, who don’t line up with your grandparents who don’t line up with… going back to a hunter-gatherer band walking out of Africa because their parents just don’t understand ANYTHING.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        …and not all change has been for the better. We could talk about the latter-day Roman Empire or Spain after the age of the conquistadores, when they slipped past their peak without collapsing, BUT, that’s a much longer separate discussion.

      • Other Bill

        Ah yes, as my annoying lefty son always screams at me: “Change is inevitable! Live with it!” Which is a likely dubious but certainly irrelevant assertion. The important question is whether a particular change is beneficial or detrimental.

        • valkygrrl

          I strongly suggest you live with it. The alternative is worse.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Because the collapse that followed some of these changes was such a great thing. Anyone want to look back at the pillage of Rome?

            • Reign of Terror, Russian Revolution, Cultural Revolution…

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                Irish Civil War, Portuguese Revolution, oh, and those great innovators the Committee on Unity and Progress, aka the Young Turks.

            • valkygrrl

              Because the collapse that followed some of these changes was such a great thing.

              Living has only one alternative, I tend to see it as worse.

              Anyone want to look back at the pillage of Rome?

              The Visigoths had a good time, the Anglo Saxxon kingdoms in England got a chance to form, and your own Roman Catholic church obtained more power than it ever could have wished for with an Emperor looking over the Pope’s shoulder.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                I don’t understand that first statement – change can be resisted, and in some cases, like the struggle against communism, rolled back.

                Mmhmm – the Goths destroyed who knows how much art, etc and slew who knows how many, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes really didn’t do much except make life miserable for the Britons, and the Pope was already there because the Imperial Court had moved to Ravenna before the collapse.

                • Other Bill

                  Thank you Steve and Paul for carrying my water on this. It’s not easy arguing against completely fatuous positions.

    • Pennagain

      no one’s ever pressed for the Seven Sisters to go co-ed

      Two have been gone to the dickens for quite some time now: Vassar went co-ed all the way back in 1969; Radcliffe effectively joined Harvard in ’77.

      • Smith is co-ed. Wellesley has some kind of deal with Dartmouth. Aren’t all of them co-ed?

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          Nope, five of seven are still single-sex female: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley. Look up Seven Sisters on Wikipedia. Vassar did go co-ed and Radcliffe merged with Harvard, but that’s it. Smith just started being OK with transwomen in 2015.

          • I know for a fact that Wellesley has men on campus, though they get their degree from Dartmouth. Same with Barnard and Brown. Radcliffe merged because it got sick of maintaining the same subterfuge you’re accepting. I was at Harvard pre-merger. Cliffies went to all my classes. They just had a separate campus, literally next door.

  12. Mark Putnam

    As a replacement for Boy Scouts, many folks that I know have turned to TrailLifeUSA.

  13. Cleophus

    There is no slippery slope! There is no slippery slope!!!

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      …aaaaaaaaaahhhhh…thump-bump-bumpity-bump-bump………CRASH!

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        Thank you, Steve-O, you made me laugh! Always “well said!”

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          Thanks – my mom gave my brother and me stuffed puppets way back when, and not only did we play with them when we were kids, but we made up imaginative games with my niece when she was 3-7. Sometimes we would vocalize sound effects for things happening to the characters, and that was the “effect” for a character falling down either a slope or a flight of stairs.

  14. Alex

    Background: I dated a scout for years back in Mexico and learned more about the organization than any outsider needs or probably wants to know.

    Scouts in a good part of the world combine both the male and female organizations under a single banner, but are internally structured as two separate but parallel organizations. The boy and girl groups have their own leaders at all levels and mostly have a counterpart in the other org (with limits due to membership numbers and facilities).

    The groups, outings and events in general are mostly segregated, but the organizations tend to support each other. For example, my friend played in a flag football tournament for the girls every year, and the boy troops provided the referees and organizers for the event. There were on or two big events open for both sides every year, and locally you could have integrated events. Mostly both sides kept to themselves, until late adolescence. The leadership kept an eye on all of that, with the goal of discouraging coed week long camps of horny teenagers, with limited success.

    Philosophically, the scouts were organized under Baden-Powell’s principles and writings. But as soon as you moved away from the high level organization, each side had their own set of guiding documents. The boys following the originals with a few updates, and the girls having their own set. Ranks, awards, and badges were different, but in many cases paralleled each other. You couldn’t earn merits from the other side, or attain ranks, but there was likely a similar one on your side if you really wanted it. The girl side of things was not traditionally feminine, as the members tended to be more on the adventurous side, but they were also not trying to become rah-rah stronger than men types.

    All of this to say: I think it is possible to have a single organization serve both missions successfully. A merger of Boy and Girl Scouts in the US given a good plan might do so. Just opening the Boy Scouts to girls is not likely to get that result; most likely it will drive off the boys and bleed the Girl Scouts to death.

  15. Willem Reese

    Where is a William Randolph Hearst when you need him?

    Seriously, this news saddened me quite a bit. As one with over half a century of involvement with the BSA, an Eagle Scout, myself, father, brother, and uncle to others, and keeper of (i)my(/i) father’s Silver Beaver award, I had hoped to survive to to see my six-month-old (first) grandson follow suit in a less mangled and adulterated program. Beyond that, in recent years, we’ve Increasingly had boys join, initially brought in by a single parent mother, specifically because of the “boy” (male) aspect of the program. The most common thing confided to the leaders is that these mothers want their sons to have the positive adult male role-models otherwise often missing in their lives, and that they feel a need for their sons to benefit from an environment with (male) peers better than those who might be randomly encountered on the street corner or basketball court.

    My spirits were buoyed a bit today when I received this information, with some clarification, in an email:

    “(i)The Boy Scouts of America’s name is remaining the same and the Atlanta Area Council is ready and excited for new members.

    This year, girls are welcome to join Cub Scout Packs in Metro-Atlanta. Dens will be single gender and the program will remain the same as it is now.

    Beginning February 2019, the Boy Scout program name will change to “Scouts BSA” and will begin serving girls, as well as boys, ages 11-17. (b)Girl Troops and Boy Troops will operate separately and the iconic Scouting program will remain the same.(/b)(/i)”.

    I think I would be more concerned now if I were involved with the Girl Scouts of America.

  16. The Brain Trust, known as “The View” to mere mortals, weighed in with a “Lord Of The Flies” reference.

    (bolds/caps mine throughout)
    “According to The View’s Joy Behar, civilized’ girls should still be separated from ‘Lord of the Flies’ boys when it comes to scouting. The liberal co-host on Friday dissented from the idea that girls should be apart of the Boy Scouts, saying: “I would say my opinion of this, and it’s not popular one, I don’t think. I think that girls do not benefit through having boys in their midst at these young ages.”

    ”Asked to explain her opinion, Behar added: ‘Boys, I don’t know. They can turn into Lord of the Flies at any given moment. BUT GIRLS ARE SO CIVILIZED. You know?’ Token conservative Meghan McCain agreed with her liberal co-host: ‘I need the table to brace themselves. I 100 percent agree with Joy on this. I think [the Scouts] should be still separate.’

    Imagine what the response would be to Behar’s comments if you swapped out ‘boys’ for ‘girls.

  17. Rich in CT

    Some of my thoughts, as a semi-active adult volunteer…..

    Firstly, all the confusion expressed here is just as frustrating to volunteers. The national organization really is not communicating well. I feel slighted that a major change like this was not communicated to me by mail (or even email, but I rarely look at scout related messages).

    Here is the kicker though which keeps getting lost in media report butchering details, Boy Scouting will remain essentially unchanged, based on the current plans. Troops will be single gender, ages 11-17. Troops are the only program that offers the Eagle Scout award.

    Boy Scouting is the volunteers. The organization does not exist without volunteers, and the vast majority of volunteers stand by the belief that developing strong men is socially valuable. There is currently a 3:1 scout to volunteer ratio, mostly alumni and parents. These volunteers are not going anywhere soon.

    Boy Scouting is essentially a franchise system. The regional Councils sell the program to chartering/sponsoring organizations, and the sponsors are responsible for providing leaders and local resources. The Council provides camping program and facilities, as well as professional staff to help organize the volunteers.

    There are other forms of scouting, and to most in the traditional Boy Scouting/Troop program, they might as well be on Mars. They work on the same model, although some pilot programs are supported directly by the Councils. They do not have the volunteer/alumni base to be truly self-sufficient, and end up diverting resources and staff attention away from the traditional scouting program.

    The proposal here is to create parallel Scout Troops for women. I am skeptical, based on my extremely limited experience with other “alternative” scouting programs (Ventures, Varsity, Explorer, STEM, etc). I feel like the national organization is spreading itself and its regional partners too thin. I am also concerned the national organization is not a reliable partner, and may open the flood gates to full integration should this not pan out. Individual troops and sponsoring organizations will always have the option to remain male-only.

    I believe very strongly in the male-focused mission of traditional Boy Scouts (ask 14-year old me, I may have given a different answer….). Up until relatively recently, I believe there was even strong traditional feminist support for the BSA, comrades-in-arms promoting temperance and respect. I very much wish and hope that traditional scouting would continue to be an option for my hypothetical son.

    It also occurs to me that I may also be able to be a scoutmaster for a hypothetical daughter – something the Girl-Scouts do not encourage. Flakiness of the national staff aside, I trust the values of Boy Scouting thoroughly. Assuming the male and female programs do not unreasonably burden each other, I would be proud to have two Eagle Scouts, son and daughter.

    • Well, that settles it: I don’t understand what the boy Scouts are or are trying to do at all. What does “”[W]e’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women” mean if not “The Boy Scouts are no longer for boys only and about teaching boys to be ethical men?” Are they teaching girls to be ethical men? To be ethical women? Just letting girls go along for the ride? “The national organization really is not communicating well’ belongs in The Understatement Hall of Fame.

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