On Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that it would fully welcome girls into its scouting programs, both the Cub Scouts and what once was known as the Boy Scouts. The scouting program for older youth will soon be referred to as the gender-neutral “Scouts BSA.” An inclusion plan, launched in part last year, will come into full effect next year.
While this change seems to echo the “toxic masculinity” mistrust of boys, it finally provides girls with a national scouting organization without disturbing ties to Planned Parenthood and its radical sexual education.
Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) has endorsed abortion and partnered with local Planned Parenthood affiliates to promote explicit sex education to young girls. “We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls,” former GSUSA CEO Kathy Cloninger explained.
The Girl Scouts works alongside International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, and other groups to push unrestricted abortion across the globe. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the umbrella organization of which all girl scouts are members, promotes a campaign for “sexual and reproductive health services” including “emergency contraception in order to avoid unintended pregnancies” and “accessible, affordable abortions.”
GSUSA’s official curriculum series for girls promotes prominent abortion activists, including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Geraldine Ferraro, Madeleine Albright, and of course, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Last year, the Girl Scouts encouraged girls to participate in the Women’s March, an event featuring “pussyhats” and directed against President Donald Trump. The march also excluded pro-life women and one pro-life woman was told “I hope you get raped!”
Engaged, respectful, and confident. #LikeaGirlScout
In light of the Girl Scouts’ troubling connections with Planned Parenthood and the organization’s explicitly political activism, it might be refreshing for girls to have another national scouting option with an even longer pedigree.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive at the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement Wednesday. His statement introduced the “Scout Me In” campaign, welcoming girls into the Cub Scouts program.
“Starting in February 2019, the name of the older youth program will be ‘Scouts BSA,’ and the name of our iconic organization will continue to be Boy Scouts of America,” Surbaugh noted.
While girls will be introduced into the BSA scouting programs traditionally reserved for boys, many things will remain the same. The Boy Scouts will not change the Scout Oath or the Scout Law, and scout troops will remain divided between boys and girls.
This separation is important, as it confirms that the BSA’s move is more about welcoming girls into the program than about fighting “toxic masculinity.” In the name of keeping males in line, some have proposed not allowing men to meet without female supervision, unless they come together solely for the purpose of apologizing for “toxic masculinity.”
Importantly, the BSA has caved to the LGBT agenda in a few key ways, allowing openly gay scouts and adult leaders to participate, and welcoming as boys biological girls who identify as transgender. These are serious strikes against the organization from a conservative standpoint, but they do not come close to the overt politicization of the Girl Scouts.
Scouts BSA will not be animated by anti-male animus, but by the decision to share scouting with girls. This move, teased last year, sparked intense anger from the Girl Scouts.
As the BSA made its inclusion announcement Wednesday, GSUSA countered with a declaration of their own. “Girl-led. Girl-tested. Girl-approved since 1912,” the Girl Scouts tweeted.
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) May 2, 2018
The tweet included a link to a webpage explaining the “Girl Scout difference,” complete with a claim that the GSUSA “unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership—from taking a night-time hike under the stars to accepting a mission on the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with her troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running her own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow.”
Notably, the GSUSA left out its political connections to Hillary Clinton, the Women’s March, and Planned Parenthood.
While scouting options besides BSA and GSUSA do exist — most notably Trail Life USA for boys and American Heritage Girls for girls — these groups do not trace back to 1910 (BSA) or 1912 (GSUSA) and are still nowhere near as large or as prevalent as the main scouting organizations. Both are openly Christian, while BSA and GSUSA do not endorse a particular faith.
Families raising little girls who do not wish to support Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March, or political causes in general now have another mainstream scouting option in the BSA. As American culture becomes more and more politicized, the BSA’s comparative restraint should become a strong selling-point for the organization.