By Halie Wingo
In February 2018, the decision was made to allow girls to participate in Boy Scouts.
Now, females are involved more at camps with separate girls troops.
Ransburg Scout Reservation in Bloomington Indiana allowed girl campers before in Venture Crews or in international scouting groups. Ransburg Scout Reservation has many counselors that work with campers over the summer to improve their skills and have fun with others.
Camp Counselor and junior Nathan Strain says that girls are now allowed to join boy scouts in separate troops. Ransburg has had female staff members for awhile; they just stay in separate rooms.
“Girls are being brought into scouts in many ways. To my knowledge it’s mainly going to be based off the troop’s choice. Due to a lot of the youth protection training, there has to be a certain amount of girls interested in order for them to become a part of a troop,” Strain said.
As far as these changes go, Strain has seen people for and against both sides of the addition of girls into Boy Scouts.
Strain said that there were more opportunities for girls to be a part of something different and explained that reactions have been mixed.
“As with any large changes there have been negative and positive results. Girls have been involved in scouting since the foundation of Venture Crews and Explorer posts in the 60’s. This opening allowed for girls ages 14 to 20 that had an interest in doing a lot of the stuff Boy Scouts do, to be able to go out and do it,” Strain said.
Adam Wolff from Troop 564 said he has some doubts about including girls into their activities and feels like he might be judged.
“At first I was [alright with] it, but then I really thought about about it; ‘now girls will be around to judge me’ is the thought I had, so now we might have to do things to avoid being judged,” he said. “I feel like we will need to suppress ourselves to avoid judgement.”
Mary Owens, the director of Marketing and Public Relations for BSA, said that girls were brought into the program in February 2018.
“Boy Scouts of America began welcoming girls ages 5 to fifth grade into new all-girl Dens in February 2018, and over 900 girls joined last year. This age program is known as Cubs Scouts. Scouts BSA, which used to be called Boy Scouts, launched February 1, 2019, enabling all eligible youth ages 11-17, to earn the Eagle Scout rank,” Owens said.
Owens explained that not many things will be changing, but mothers and sisters that wanted to participate before, can now be a part of more activities.
“Sisters and moms have always been a part of BSA programs, so this decision does not really affect boys, except girls are now able to earn the prestigious BSA Eagle Rank,” Owens said.
Earning the Eagle Scout Rank is a great honor that can help students get scholarships.
BSA accepting girls into their programs and becoming more inclusive is helpful to girls wanting to learn more about survival skills and be included in more than what Girl Scouts has to offer.
Becoming a part of BSA can be monumental to young girls who are wanting to break through the barriers that previously limited their participation.