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Aidan Brami, Online Copy Editor

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It’s going to be harder for the boys to be boys in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) beginning February 2019 when the BSA will change their name to “Scouts BSA” as they allow girls to join packs.

The Boy Scouts should remain Boy Scouts and continue as a single gender group.

While the Boy Scouts are trying to be inclusive, it is really only a response to a cry from

the media to be more politically correct (PC). In the past, the Boy Scouts have had controversies including harassment from scout leaders and an ill-defined policy on LGBT scout members. Until 2014, avowed LGBT members were prohibited from being in the Boy scouts, according to a 2013 New York Times article.

“I think there were a few kids that identified as LGBT, but we had a don’t ask don’t tell system,” senior Eagle Scout Henry Jones said.

Beyond these controversies, having bonding experiences with people of the same gender improve childhood development. Female primates are much better at forming social bonds than males, according to a Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The PNAS study also highlighted that these relationships are similar to those of humans. Males also have increased physiological stress when in groups of males and females compared to groups of just males. Boys need time to socialize exclusively with other males, so that they can form friendships that are beneficial for them biologically.

The Girl Scouts of the USA have been big critics of the change.

“The Boy Scouts’ house is on fire. Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA’s senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls,” Girl Scouts of the USA told ABC News Oct. 12, 2017.

However, the Girl Scouts are part of the problem. The Boy Scouts’ highest rank, an Eagle Scout has built its reputation and name recognition nationally. The Girl Scouts’ highest rank, Gold Award, does not hold the same weight. While the Eagle Scout award is instantly recognized, the Girl Scouts do not do a good job marketing their Gold Award.  

“The girl scouts have a gold award which is supposed to hold the same value as Eagle Scout but it doesn’t. Eagle Scout is a lot more prestigious and nobody knows about Girl Scouts’ top award,” Girl Scout Anna Adhikari said.  “There needs to be something equivalent, and it affects things like college apps because they all know Eagle Scout but not everyone knows the Girl Scout’s top award.”

While Girl Scouts are known for selling cookies, Boy Scouts are known for their adventure trips, team building exercises and physical activities. One solution that has been created is the Adventure Scouts, a coed scout troop that focuses on outdoor activities. Girls deserve the right to take place in more traditional boy scout activities, but changing the Boy scouts to do so isn’t the answer.

Instead of getting hung up on the PC side of this issue, the Girl Scouts need to implement their own system of outdoor and physical activity into their program, and not force the BSA to  take on the burden.

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