CHANGES FOR THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

O'Bryen Edwards, Staff Writer

In mid October, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it will be accepting girls into their troops. Historically, it has been a conservative all-boys organization and has been slow to allow LGBTQ+ people to join (it started allowing gay youth in 2013, gay troop leaders in 2015, and transgender members in January). While its decision has been received positively by many people, some have not been as supportive, including their all-girl rival, the Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scouts claim that the co-ed decision was not made because it specifically wanted to include girls, but because it just wants to boost its numbers, since its membership has dropped by 33% since 2000.

In response to their claim, the Boy Scouts said that they are not including girls to boost their ranks, but in response to parents who would rather have their children be in the same scouting group instead of having to drive them to two separate organizations.

Out of a poll of 100 MN students, 64% supported the change, 8% did not, and 28% had no opinion.

Students who are for co-ed scouts were quite enthusiastic about this decision. For some, this was a window of opportunity to do activities they enjoy, and for others, it was simply another step forward for society.

“I think it’s a good idea because it’s more inclusive. I was in Girl Scouts growing up, and it didn’t feel like I had as many activities as the Boy Scouts did or activities that I personally wanted to do,” said Sophomore Rebecca Callen.

However, some of MN’s  students aren’t as enthusiastic about the Boy Scouts letting in girls, quoting tradition or a thinly-veiled attempt to gain more members.

“If they want to  tokenize girls or make it a part of their “inclusivity”, like if they want to say that they’re going to be inclusive by letting girls in, great on them, but they’re committed more to quantity, not quality, and I definitely don’t think they’re interested in diversity and/or intersectional solidarity,” said Senior Anu Vazkaela.