Living in a nation that is keen on preserving its history, it is sometimes pertinent to change up certain traditions. However, in the case of the new gender-inclusive policy of the Boy Scouts, there is room for improvement in an otherwise revolutionary protocol. For those unaware of the issue, on Oct. 11, the Boy Scouts of America announced that starting next year, females would be allowed to enroll in Cub Scouts, and in 2019, females will be allowed to join the ranks of the Eagle Scouts. This is a follow-up from January’s policy change that allows transgender males membership into the Boy Scouts of America.
While we agree with the allowance of females within the ranks of the Boy Scouts, there is a sort of redundancy that exists in bringing in females to the Boy Scouts. Many will point to the fact that there already exists a Girl Scouts of the USA, but in fact, there is no comparable honor bestowed upon Girl Scouts as there are within the Boys Scouts, since many see the Eagle Scouts as a higher honor and more prestigious award than the Girl Scouts’ “Gold Award.”
When people think of Girl Scouts, their first thought is usually focused on thin mints or samoas; however, Girl Scouts provides a deeper and more well-rounded experience than just selling cookies. The Girl Scouts strive to empower girls at a young age to be go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders. Not only does the organization focus on similar aspects to Boy Scouts, such as camping skills and earning badges, but it aims to teach girls about mental health in order to raise awareness about disorders and encourage scouts to look out for one another.
It’s sad to see how a Girl Scout award is not granted the same recognition as an Eagle Scout’s award and how honors cannot be equal for both young men and women. However, females looking to squash this stereotype and be looked upon more favorably by academic institutions can now earn this award. While the superfluousness of accepting females into Boy Scouts is apparent, if it allows females to be presented with the same opportunities, we’ll have to agree with their inclusion.
Perhaps the benefits that Eagle Scouts are able to acquire could have been added to the benefits Girl Scouts are able to achieve. Or, perhaps the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA could have combined into one larger organization, providing equal benefits for both females and males participating in doing so.
While we can all agree that the idea of supplementing young females with the same opportunities as young males by giving them the ability to join the ranks of Eagle Scouts is beneficial in theory, it seems to be redundant in practice.