The ideas represented within this article are opinions in nature and are solely that of the author. They may not wholly reflect the stance of The Forest Scout newspaper as a publication.
Just over two years ago I became an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. I spent hundreds of nights in the woods sleeping in tents, forts made from branches lashed together, and even igloos in sub-zero degree weather. I took on numerous leadership positions over the six year period that I was active within my troop. These positions, along with the hundreds of other requirements needed to become an Eagle Scout, not only turned me into a man, but also taught me the values of hard work and persistence. It takes serious character to complete the challenges set for Boy Scouts.
After my time in the program, there have been many changes that have been made. Many of these changes are ones that I respect and support in many ways, but the latest–that women will be allowed to join, participate, and become Eagle Scouts beginning in 2018–is not a decision that I (and many other alumni) can support.
The argument that Girl Scouts are not challenged in the way that Boy Scouts are is fair and true, though it should not grant their participation in something designed for specifically for young men. The challenges between the two are not any better or worse–they are just different.
If you look any deeper than that you’ll find this decision to be a movement to keep up with the changes in American values, a way for leftists and feminists to defund a program that’s been successful in its purpose for over one hundred years, a way for the Boy Scouts to reverse the declination of active members that’s been going on since 2012.
The Boy Scouts of America offers four co-ed programs. One is known as Venture Scouts, which allows both men and women to continue their scouting careers once they turn thirteen. Venture Scouts are not any more similar to Boy Scouts than they are to Girl Scouts. Again, it’s just different. They’re different in concept and philosophy. The program that they offer makes the Boys Scouts of America’s decision to allow women to become active members questionable simply because they offer the one thing that young women are looking for: the challenges found in “outdoor adventures.”
All Eagle Scouts share a relatable experience rooted in and defined by their time in scouting. This brotherhood makes conversations with another Eagle Scout you just met last for hours. The experiences that future Eagle Scouts have may not be the same, and for that reason, will make these conversations go from lasting for hours to minutes.
Boy Scouts is for the boys.