Monday, May 07, 2018

On changes in the Boy Scouts

Boys and girls as scouts in Thailand - Creative Commons photo from Pixabay
Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced that they will change their name to reflect the fact that girls are now allowed to be members of the 108-year old organization. Their new name will be Scouts BSA and, quite frankly, I need to get a few things off my chest.

Ever since this happened, my social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter have been blowing up with people reacting negatively about this. I've heard referred as "snowflakes taking over the world", "trying to destroy boyhood", and a slew of disparaging remarks.

In fact, if I had a dollar for every time that I have heard or read complaints about the Boy Scouts accepting girls as members and changing their name to Scouts BSA, I would be writing this blog post from my new oceanfront villa in Tahiti as a half dozen or so Victoria's Secret supermodels feed me grapes and rubbed themselves all over me.

You're welcome for the imagery, by the way.

I should start out by mentioning that I started as Cub Scout, went on to the Webelos, and eventually became the senior patrol leader at Boy Scout Troop 525, which was based right here in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood. As a scout, I did all of the usual Boy Scout things. I also went to the national jamboree and served as a Boy Scout guide on Mackinac Island. I later left the Boy Scouts during my high school years and joined the Civil Air Patrol.

I personally don't think either the name change or allowing girls into the Boy Scouts is all that big of a deal. For those who wish to disagree with me, I would simply like to remind you of a few things:
  1. Both Scouting organizations have had a drop in membership over the years;
  2. Some girls want to do more than sell cookies;
  3. Most Scouting parents have both sons and daughters. This change is a lot more convenient for them;
  4. Explorers, Sea Scouts, and Venturers/Voyagers are all a part of the Boy Scouts of America and all have been coed since their inception; and
  5. Scouting has been coed internationally for years.
As for the repeated-so-often-that-I-want-to-vomit meme that this will lead to the Boy Scouts becoming some sort of hedonistic orgy whenever they go camping, I will simply say that most other organizations for teens are also coed. This includes band camp, Civil Air Patrol, and most of your summer camps.

I was at either summer camp or a Civil Air Patrol encampment for most summers during my teen years. As a former teenage boy, I regret to inform everyone that no matter how much I wished it had been true, youth camping was absolutely nothing like what some people imagine the new scouting program will be. I'm pretty sure, therefore, that the virtue of everyone's lovely teenage daughter is as safe in the Scouts as it is in your own home.

Heck, as I think about some of the things that used to happen in someone's basement during my high school days when their parents were right upstairs, I think there will even be less debauchery at a Scouts BSA camp than in the homes of some parents.

And there you have it - my reasons for why allowing girls into the Boy Scouts and the organization's subsequent name change is no big deal at all. It might even turn out to be a positive.

For now, though, I simply sick of hearing people complain about this and me not getting the $1 that I need from each of them to make the Victoria's Secret supermodels in Tahiti thing a reality.

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