Scouts BSA change benefits society

Dylan Thomas, Staff Photographer

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After much deliberation and controversy, the Boy Scouts of America has decided to drop the gender attachment to the Boy Scouts program name and to just be Scouts BSA. By doing so, the national organization has made it possible for girls to join and receive merit badges for their achievements in the program.

Unfortunately, change usually comes with blowback from the public, and Scouts BSA is not immune. With accusations that the change is being implemented only to increase membership numbers and revenue, Scouts BSA is having to defend its upcoming identity. However, the program changing its name and involving girls benefits more than just itself and its revenue; it benefits society as a whole and makes it seem more progressive.

Girls Scouts of America, as well as other critics, have argued that this new change is only a publicity stunt to increase membership and revenue. While there’s no proof that this is the case, it’s not necessarily a bad stretch to make. Most organizations make decisions based on the profit they make and the values they can offer to society. If an organization, such as the Boy Scouts of America, is losing members and sees a progressive and commendable opportunity for society, why not take it? Why not make it so that all genders can learn the important skills that the program has to offer?

Another question at hand is whether or not this new implementation is truly unique and whether Scouts BSA is 100 percent invested in creating uniquely effective programming for girls. Girls Scouts of America claims that they’ve been working to dispel gender stereotypes and creating a space for girls to learn and grow exclusively. However, not all girls are the same and some may not fit the mold that the Girl Scouts of America has to offer the nation, and that’s okay. That’s where Scouts BSA can step in to offer the ability to learn skills that Girl Scouts doesn’t offer just yet.

Aside from all of the opinions and animosity surrounding the change, people need to realize that this isn’t about the money and it isn’t a big change. Of the five programs that Boy Scouts of America offers, three — Venturing, Sea Scouting and Exploring — are already co-educational. Incorporating gender-neutral terms and conditions for Scouting does nothing but expand the organization for the better.

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral decisions by instilling values in them throughout their lifetime. Allowing girls to join Scouts BSA is not only good for the organization and the new members, but it’s good for society as well because girls can get a different and positive experience joining Scouts BSA instead of Girl Scouts. Dropping gender-exclusive association from the organization creates a base of gender equity in terms of ability, and further empowers the girls of tomorrow.

 

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Scouts BSA change benefits society