When I was little, I distinctly remember the impact the Boys and Girls Scouts had on me when they came to speak in my elementary class. I am not sure what grade it was, perhaps kindergarten or first grade. A woman came and gathered us around in class, and spoke about what the Girl Scouts had to offer. I just remember how she was only talking about selling cookies and how great of an opportunity that was. I was not interested in just selling cookies.
Then, the speaker for the Boy Scouts came. The man spoke with such enthusiasm about all the adventurous things that go on within Boy Scouts. He talked up the camping you would do, the mining for gems, and bike riding. These are all things that sounded like so much fun for me. I was a bit of a tomboy, but regardless, I did not want to only sell cookies.
When both speakers had spoken about one another’s organizations, I knew I wanted to be a Boy Scout. I went up to my teacher and told her this. She kind of laughed, like how adults laugh at silly things kids say. Then she said that I could not, and Boy Scouts were for boys. I could join Girl Scouts if I wanted to. With what she said, I was very upset.
I remember talking with my friends about how mad I was that I could not do all the fun things the boys got to do. It was not the fact I could not hang out with the boys, I just wanted to go camping, hiking, and all of the outdoorsy stuff they would get to do. I thought just selling cookies was dumb. How could that be the highlight of Girl Scouts?
To this day, I will never forget how I felt to feel so excluded from something I really wanted to do. All of my guy friends growing up would always talk about the camping adventures they would have, and I wanted to be a part of it so bad.
For a while now, it surprised me that there was still a separation between Boys and Girls when it came to the Scouts. Things are becoming more openly accepting of women these days and it seemed like it was about time. But, it did make sense why it was not. Boys and Girls Scouts have been around for such a long time, it becomes a little harder to change things when they have so much history and surrounded by tradition.
Also, we are dealing with adults here who are obviously more opinionated than little kids can be. I had spoken out how I felt about being secluded from an organization, but most children would probably just go along with it.
But, on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, it was all over the news that the Boy Scouts will now accept girls. People felt that the rank of an Eagle Scout, within Boy Scouts, got a lot more recognition than anything in Girl Scouts ever would. The scouting board of directions all unanimously decided to make it a gender-neutral organization. They want the same experience for both girls and boys, this is now the American way.
It is a huge change, and there definitely is a lot of backlashes to change such a historic organization. But, if you ask me, it is about time.