This past Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America retracted a nearly century-old policy, by allowing girls to join in an attempt to make the organization more gender neutral and bring in more members.
Some are praising the organization for their efforts to be more inclusive, however, not everyone has that same feeling — especially leaders in the Girl Scouts. In a recent release from Girl Scouts of America, they express concern, saying the merger could diminish girls from gaining positions in higher rankings or make them more vulnerable to sexual assault. But others worry Girl Scouts may hop across the pond to gain opportunities they weren’t offered before.
This is not the case for troops in Central Minnesota. Tuana Quimby, Marketing Director for Girl Scouts of Central Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin said she’s not worried about their fleet from disappearing.
“I have no reason to believe women won’t continue to be involved in this organization and continue to build courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place,” she said.
One of the main arguments for letting Girls into the Boy Scouts was to give them opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise, such as earning their Eagle Scout or going on adventurous camping trips. Quimby said girls do have these opportunities, they’re just not as heavily advertised and the projects they do tackle are equally as satisfying.
“We want their projects to be something that really touches their heart, but also one that can be sustainable,” she said. “Women historically have not been one to brag about things that they’re doing, but we are here, we are alive and well. We have go-getters, innovators, risk takers and leaders that we’re building every single day. ”
While Quimby remains confident, her counterparts from the Central Minnesota Boyscouts in Sartell seem uncertain about the new changes. We tried contacting them for an interview, but they refused to comment as they were still mentally processing the new changes made on the national level.
Girls will be allowed to join Boy Scouts in 2018 but will be put into separate pods. Co-ed scout troops will be available starting in 2019.