Boy Scouts Consider Recruiting Girls — and the Girl Scouts are livid

Flickr/Creative Commons/Howard County Library

The Boy Scouts of America announced today they are considering recruiting girls as their membership numbers have been steadily dwindling — and the Girl Scouts are not pleased.

According to a report from Buzzfeed News, the president of Girl Scouts of the USA called the Boy Scouts’ “covert campaign” to recruit girls “reckless” and “unsettling” in a scathing and strongly worded letter.

They also condemned the idea that “running a program specifically tailored to boys can simply be translated to girls.”

“It is inherently dishonest to claim to be a single gender organization while simultaneously endeavoring upon a coed model,” Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, GSUSA’s national president said in the letter to BSA’s national president, Randall Stephenson, and the entire BSA board.

“We are confused as to why, rather than working to appeal to the 90 percent of boys who are not involved in BSA programs, you would choose to target girls,” the letter said. 

A spokesperson for the Girl Scouts also told Buzzfeed that the move is a “potentially dangerous and bad idea,” and cited research that supports “single gender programming” — which says that when it comes to scouting, girls learn best in an all-girls environment.

Hannan concluded her letter by requesting BSA to “stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in Boy Scouts” and “not consider expanding to recruit girls.”

For their part, the Boy Scouts claim that they are simply attempting to make scouting more accessible by allowing the whole family to participate in a single group.

Effie Delimarkos, a BSA spokesperson, told BuzzFeed that no decisions have been made yet about whether or not they will actually open their ranks to girls.

“Based on numerous requests from families, the Boy Scouts has been exploring the benefits of bringing Scouting to every member of the family – boys and girls,” Delimarkos said in a statement. “No decisions have been made.”

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