The Czar received a fair amount of email and social media comments about the recent decision about the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow in girls, most of it negative. The Czar’s own opinions are available on this site, as are GorT’s. So the Czar wanted to give you an update from inside the ranks, so to speak.
Most leaders are pretty hopping mad about the way the decision was carried out. Overall, most troop leaders are not opposed to the idea per se, but feel the following might have been a more intelligent strategy:
- Announce to the leaders, internally, that polls are showing a large request for girls to enter the ranks of the BSA and Cub Scouts.
- Indicate that BSA is willing to entertain the idea, but will not vote on this for one year.
- Work with Girl Scouts of America to offer assistance in re-vamping their program to prevent the need for BSA to bring in girls. If they refuse to modify their program, quietly but firmly indicate that the BSA will then be forced to admit girls at the expense of the GSA program. Basically make them an offer they can’t refuse.
- During that year-long period, review comments from local troop leaders as well as solicit ideas from the public, for and against. Local councils should host meetings as well to determine whether opinions vary geographically.
- Vote on this as a national organization.
- After this is approved, announce a one-year delay on bringing girls into Cub Scouts until existing manuals, training materials, and organizational structures can be changed over.
- Bring packs up one year at a time, until girls are old enough to enter into Boy Scouts (age 11), by which time BSA will have changed over those materials as well.
The only step that happened was number 5. Since then, the BSA has confirmed that boys and girls will not be mixed, stipulating that the concerns of many parents and scouts about mixed packs and troops are valid and justified. However, as GorT will tell you, the BSA is one lawsuit away from a transgender scout demanding crossover.
Overall, scout leaders are pretty pissed, and are telling their local councils that they anticipate the rollout will happen the way gay scouts (and leaders) and 5-year-old cub scouts was handled: a national announcement, and then local troops and packs are left to figure out the details, resulting in total chaos. The Czar is encouraged that the national organization is well aware that mixing boys and girls (especially teens) could be a recipe for disaster, but sympathizes with local leaders that they need a little more information than what they’ve received so far.
Our local scout master in Muscovy learned of the decision off Facebook, two hours before that night’s scout meeting. He’s not opposed to girls entering the BSA in general, but feels this announcement was an unwelcome surprise. He’s already received two inquiries from parents looking to have their girls enter cub scouts, but politely informed the parents to contact the national organization for next steps, as he has absolutely no direction on what to do. And, it turns out, because he can’t mix girls and boys in the same pack or troop, he can’t help them anyway.
This continues to remain interesting, and the Czar is delighted so many people are watching nationally.