“The BSA’s history of backwards politics makes the recent changes feel like a cheap ploy to boost membership and win progressive brownie points.”
The first all-girl troops have joined the Boy Scouts of America, multiple news outlets reported this week.
In central Arkansas, the all-girl Troop 19 presented its charter Tuesday, reported local ABC affiliate KATV. Meanwhile, in central Alabama, Troop 219 in Helena and Troop 86 in Vulcan were established, according to CBS 42.
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Officials told KATV that the program remains single gender, meaning that the all-girl troops will exclude boys.
In October of 2017, the organization, now called Scouts BSA, announced it would be accepting applications by girls’ troops for the first time in its 100-year-plus history. The decision was controversial – traditionalists and conservatives accused the group of pandering to politically correct orthodoxy.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 14, 2017
Others lamented broader societal factors. Appearing on Fox News shortly after the Boy Scouts made their announcement, Wall Street Journal writer William McGurn blamed the “war on boys and masculinity” for forcing the group to allow girls.
Many progressives, such as the National Organization for Women, cheered news of the new Boy Scouts’ policy. “NOW welcomes the news that the Boy Scouts of America have once again admitted to their long history of discrimination, this time against girls, and are taking steps to correct it,” the group said in a 2017 statement.
Some on the left, however, were skeptical of the organization’s motives.
In a piece for Business Insider last May, writer and former Girl Scout Kate Taylor called the “male-centric” decision a “pseudo-progressive ploy” by Scouts BSA and urged women to support the Girl Scouts instead.
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Taylor argued that “positioning girls joining the Boy Scouts as the ultimate triumph for feminist scouting does a massive disservice to girls.”
“The BSA’s history of backwards politics makes the recent changes feel like a cheap ploy to boost membership and win progressive brownie points,” she added.
The Boy Scouts of America’s program for older youth this month changed its name to Scouts BSA to reflect the decision to include girls.
The Cub Scouts program for younger children opened up to girls last year. Thousands of girls have already joined under an early adopter program.
Other Boy Scouts programs for older youth — such as an outdoor adventure program called Venturing — were already open to girls. But those programs didn’t allow girls to attain the highest rank of Eagle Scout, which they now can.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said that the Boy Scouts only started admitting girls in 2018, when in fact that was when the organization first allowed girls’ troops to be chartered.
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