The Boy Scouts of America will open their ranks to girls soon, allowing them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a high honor for which generations of boys have performed all sorts of tasks and services to merit.
As much as we believe girls can do anything, we find it sad the Boy Scouts no longer believe in fostering masculine virtues that young boys need now more than ever.
"We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children," said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts.
The scouting board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change in an organization that has been primarily for boys since its founding more than 100 years ago.
Starting next year, young girls can join Cub Scout units, known as dens. Local scouting organizations can choose to have dens for girls and dens for boys. "Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls," the organization said in a statement.
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A separate program for older girls will be available in 2019, the Boy Scouts said, enabling them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
The Boy Scouts said the moves reflect the changing nature of American life, adding to the appeal of a scouting program that can serve the entire family.
BSA said it commissioned two nationwide surveys that showed parents not involved in scouting had high interest in getting their daughters signed up for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
In making this move, the Scouts are sending the message that NOTHING can ever be single sex only, and that's bad for girls and boys.
Also, the move reeks of desperation–it comes after many years of declining numbers. Membership fell by seven percent in 2014 alone.
Most interesting in the news report is that the BSA leadership says that this move reflects "the changing nature of American life."
Would the changing nature of the American life include the erosion of masculine values, which are now more likely to be denigrated than inculcated, and the decline of the two-parent family?
It is sad to see the Scouts, who once helped boys acquire the qualities of decent manliness, forsaking their mission now when honor and gentlemanliness are so needed to add civility to our society.
Now, more than ever we need the Scouts.
It should come as no surprise that the National Organization for Women has been lobbying for this change and that it has supported a young woman named Sydney Ireland in her quest to become an Eagle Scout.
The move, by the way, has drawn criticism from the Girl Scouts, who realize this will be a direct threat to their efforts at recruitment.