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  • robertfarago1

Scouting America for Boy Scouts – And Girls

An enormous flock of Eagle Scouts are angry about the artist formerly known as The Boy Scouts of America's second, most recent name change. These enervated Eagles achieved Scouting's highest accolade after years of dedication, leadership and community service. When they were boys.

They see Scouting's latest name change – to Scouting America – as the final nail in all-male Scouting's coffin. They're not wrong. But there's no going back.

How did we get here?

The Boy Scouts of America started admitting girls in 2018. The official reason: "family convenience."

The argument: admitting girls makes it easier for families to engage in scouting activities together, rather than having to divide their time and resources between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

In fact, the elimination of boys-only Scouting came down to two main, interrelated reasons...

Sexual Abuse Scandal

The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated 114 years ago, founded "to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values."

Scouting's enormous success was no small part due to welcoming immigrants, children of immigrants and, increasingly, boys of every race and religion.

In many ways, The Boy Scouts of America represented the American ideal of inclusivity. But there was a cancer within the organization: pedophilia. In the early 2000's, victims began suing the Scouts.

In 2012, Wayne Brock became the new Chief Executive Scout.

Responding to the temper of the times, hoping to blunt some of the criticism aimed at Scouting, the former YMCA administrator and longtime Scout employee shepherded-in the admission of gay and transgender Scouts, and openly gay Scout leaders.

That same year, on October 19, the full extent of the abuse scandal was finally known...

The Boy Scouts of America were forced by court order to release over 20,000 pages of documentation on 1200 alleged child sex abuse cases within the organization from between 1965 and 1985. - wikipedia

In 2017, as the sex abuse scandal boiled over, Robert C. Mosby took charge as Chief Executive Scout.

Mr. Mosby was the former Vice President of Human Resources at Kinder Morgan, overseeing the energy infrastructure giant's sworn allegiance to diversity, equity and inclusion. Mr. Mosby oversaw the admission of transgender Scouts.

In 2019, The Boy Scouts of America became Scouts BSA and opened the organization to female Scouts.

The move to admit girls was seen by Mr. Mosby – and many inside and outside the Scouting organization – as a way to restore Scouting's deeply damaged reputation.

The change was well-received by the Usual Media Suspects, feminists and others. But it did nothing to stop the abuse scandal's progress through the courts. By 2020, the writing was on the wall.

The Boy Scouts of America settled with victims, establishing a $2.46b trust for men who were abused as children by troop leaders.The re-christened, reorganized BSA Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection.

In 2021, Roger A. Krone took the helm. Mr. Krone was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Leidos, a company providing IT services to defense, intelligence and homeland security. Committed to DEI.

Krone ushered in the name change to Scouting America – a more umbrella-like moniker for co-ed Scouting's future. A future that doesn't look all that bright.

Lowered Membership

Between 2019 and 2021, as the pedophilia scandal hit the mainstream media, The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) lost half of its members.

In 2021, court records revealed that membership had fallen catastrophically, from 1.97m in 2019 to about 762k.

As of May 2024, Scouting America recovered to serve just over one million young people, including some 176k girls and female teens (some 6k girls are now Eagle Scouts).

That's around 18 percent of the current total. Responsible for the membership recovery? And growing? That's the idea, anyway.

What's Been Lost

Co-ed Scouting aligns with our current climate of political correctness uber alles. But there are millions of former male Scouts who see co-ed Scouting as betrayal of the values they learned through Scouting.

Values, they insist, best forged within an all-male environment. They consider female Scouts an unwelcome and unnecessary distraction for boys in the midst of becoming men.

Crucially, they also consider co-ed Scouting an the abandonment of the simple fact that males have a different role in society than females. A role best if not exclusively learned in the company of other males, led by a male.

They reject the counter-argument that all-male Scouting perpetuates patriarchy (should they believe such a thing still exists). Scouting teaches respect for people of all races, religions and sexual identities. Period.

What About Girl Scouts?

There's a flip side to a co-ed Scouting America: luring females away from Girl Scouts, an all-female organization wholeheartedly supported for its positive effect on both girls and society.

From 2003 to 2019, Girl Scout membership dropped from 2.8m to 1.7m. From 2019 to present, membership fell by another 30 percent, from about 1.4 million to just over 1m. This without any sex abuse scandal or change to the Girl Scout's membership requirements.

It's not known how many of the 176k new female members of Scouting America would have joined Girl Scouts if the once-all-boys Boy Scouts of America had remained closed to them, but there's no question Scouting America is cannibalizing its all-female now-rival.

Both Scouting organizations face the same membership challenges – that have nothing to do with diversity, equity and inclusion. Specifically, a stunning lack of parental involvement in their children's lives, aided and abetted by the rise of all-consuming technology.

All of which makes the former Boy Scouts of America's decision to allow female Scouts that much more questionable. But again, there's no going back.

Perhaps what's been lost with co-ed Scouting America is not so great as what's been gained. The question is: what exactly is that?


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