Boy Scouts becomes gender-inclusive

    Former scouts share insights on change

    As a former Girl Scout, I believe that girls and boys should have equal opportunities. When I heard that Boy Scouts of America is now allowing girls to join troops, I was mildly surprised. I had always thought that girls could only be a Girl Scout, and boys could only be a Boy Scout. I never thought I could be a girl who participates in Boy Scouts, but if it were offered to me, I would have totally joined the Boy Scouts.

    I joined Girl Scouts because that is where all my friends were. I learned that Girl Scouts would help to solidify those bonds. I grew closer to my friends as we learned and grew as people. We learned how to volunteer, we learned to sew, to brave the summer heat without air conditioner and to make transactions and count back money. These are all things we would have learned eventually without the help of Girl Scouts. The important thing was that we had fun while learning these new skills. Girls in America still have the opportunity to learn and explore in the same way we did, but, in my opinion, Girl Scouts is a program that is seemingly going out of style.

    The reality is that many Girl Scouts drop out of the program before they even enter high school. My entire troop quit in middle school. When comparing Girl Scouts to Boy Scouts, you can see that Boy Scouts are more successful when developing higher level scouts and high school age participants. American families that urged Boy Scouts of America to begin accepting girls into their program may have just wanted to enroll their daughters in a stronger, more successful program.