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All-girl Boy Scout troops are currently forming across America. For example, Troop 19 in Chester County, Pennsylvania, contains 17 girls.
Moreover, Troop 19 Scoutmaster Melisa Pendill is a woman, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. However, Troop 19’s members will engage in traditional Scout activities like camping, first aid, and woodcraft.
Notably, all-girl Boy Scout troops are forming in other areas as well. For instance, there are two all-girl Boy Scout Troops in Wayne County, Ohio, The Daily Record states.
Troop 64 at Zion Lutheran Church will teach girls how to whittle and camp. In addition, Troop 64 will join male Boy Scouts from another troop on some outings.
All-Girl Boy Scout Troops Are Now Becoming More Popular
Over 4,300 girls are joining the ranks of Scouts BSA. To elaborate, Scouts BSA is the new brand name for the 109-year-old Boy Scouts of America.
Scouts BSA began accepting female members on February 2, 2019. In fact, 200 girls took the Scout pledge in Washington, D.C. on that day, The Washington Times notes.
Significantly, the female Scouts are eligible for all the honors of Scouting, including the Eagle Scout rank. Furthermore, female members of Scouts BSA can qualify for every merit badge.
Girl Scouts Sue To Stop All-Girl Boy Scout Troops
Nevertheless, the Girl Scouts are presently suing Scouts BSA to keep girls out of Boy Scouting.
Girl Scouts of the United States alleges that the Boy Scouts are violating their trademarks by accepting girls. Additionally, the Girl Scouts assert that Scouts BSA is smearing their programs and lying to attract female members.
In a federal lawsuit, the Girl Scouts even claim that Scouts BSA is misrepresenting its own program as Girl Scouting. “BSA is even using quotations from GSUSA’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low, about the value of GIRL SCOUTS programs to promote BSA’s newly launched services,” the Girl Scouts’ lawsuit states.
The federal lawsuit is Girl Scouts of the United States vs. Boy Scouts of America. It is on file in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
The Girl Scouts Claim That The Boy Scouts Are Smearing Them
Astonishingly, the Girl Scouts further allege that Scouts BSA is running a covert campaign of misrepresentation to recruit female members. In short, the Girl Scouts are accusing the Boy Scouts of stealing their members.
In particular, the Girl Scouts accuse Scouts BSA of spreading false stories about the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts merging with one another. The Girl Scouts also claim that Scouts BSA is spreading rumors that the Girl Scouts are going out of business.
The Girl Scouts even charge that Scouts BSA uses Girl Scout logos and the term “Girl Scouting” for recruiting. To illustrate, a Scouts BSA sponsorship form contains the phrase “New Scouts BSA Girl Scouting Programs.”
Boy Scouts Offer A Girl Scout Volunteer Opportunity
Furthermore, BSA advertisements offer volunteers a “Girl Scout Volunteer Opportunity.” Likewise, the Scouts BSA website contains a “Boys/Girls Scouts of America Volunteer form.”
To explain, the Girl Scouts’ lawyers claim that Federal law prevents anybody else from using the term “Girl Scouts” without permission. The Girl Scouts apparently never gave Scouts BSA permission to use the term “Girl Scouts.”
Moreover, the Girl Scouts allege that Scouts BSA leaders are claiming that only their organization offers “real Scouting.” Particularly, the BSA asserts that the Girl Scouts do not teach girls about camping, first aid, and woodcraft.
Taking The Boy Out Of Boy Scouts
At the present time, both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are Congressionally chartered organizations. Consequently, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are official Scouting organizations.
Newspaperman W.D. Boyce originally launched The Boy Scouts of America in 1910. Nonetheless, Boyce did not invent Scouting. Instead, a war hero and General named Robert Baden-Powell created the first Boy Scouts in Britain in 1908.
The Boy Scouts quickly became an American institution and boasted four million members at its height in the 1960s. Today, however, the BSA has just 2.3 million members, which is down from 2.6 million Scouts in 2013.
On the whole, critics charge that all-girl Boy Scout troops and the organization’s name change are desperate attempts to attract new members. Notably, the BSA is facing several competing groups offering conservative and faith-based alternatives.
Alternatives To Scouting
For example, Trail Life USA calls itself a “Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts.” Specifically, Trail Life excludes gays and focuses on outdoor activities. Trail Life claims to have over 25,000 members in over 8,000 troops across all 50 states.
Other popular Scouting alternatives include Contenders of the Faith, AWANA, Faith-Based Boys, and the Pioneer Club. In addition, there are several Scouting-type groups run by different denominations such as the Royal Ambassadors for Southern Baptists.
At this point, though, the formation of all-girl Boy Scout troops is yet another episode in the BSA’s struggle to retain any sort of identity in American culture.
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