So recently the Boy Scouts of America has voted to include girls in Boy Scouts. (hmmm will they change their name to “Scouting USA” or “Scouts” or ? ) No matter what I have a girl who would LOVE to be in Boy Scouts with her 2 brothers. WHY? you ask- because she wants to learn all the amazing skills that Boy Scouts has to offer. She’s happy that finally the BSA has decided to include the entire family into their organization.
Meghan has always tagged along with her brothers to Scout activities. In Cub Scouts she was really like any other Cub Scout except she could not get recognized. When her brothers joined Boy Scouts she even asked if she could join too. Of course the answer was no and she didn’t think that was very fair at all. Shortly after joining her brother told her that Troop 209 Palatine started a co-ed Venturing crew and Meghan laid her sites on joining that in December of 2018 when she turns 14. (Venturing crews are co-ed and are for ages 14 +)
Meghan first became interested in joining Boy Scouts when her older brother, Quinn, went off to Camp Napowan. When he returned she said “WHY does he get to go to a fun summer camp? Why does he get to camp in a tent? Why can he learn first aid and all these amazing skills and I can’t?” There were no easy answers. I hoped that eventually someday Boy Scouts would also be co-ed just like most of the World Scouting organizations around the globe. Girls and Boys have been involved in World Scouting as early as 1910 when Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes Baden-Powell introduced the Girl Guides.
The BSA wanting to include girls is a welcome decision in our house. Meghan in just the short time it’s been announced already has her Eagle project idea and is beginning the process of organizing her ideas and putting together a presentation. She realizes her earliest hopes of becoming a Boy Scout will be January 2019 (or whenever the month in 2019 that they decide to open it up to girls). She will have to swiftly rank up from Scout, to Tenderfoot, 2nd and 1st class in order to have enough time to get to Life and then of course Eagle. I’m not sure the program will remain the same or not- there is a chart which you can find here to learn more. What is apparent in the chart is that there will be a separate “Girl Unit” and perhaps a separate program for girls but it’s unclear at this time.
What I do know is it’s a welcome change. Meghan is 12 yrs old and patiently waiting to join the Co-Ed Troop 209 Venturing Crew. She hopes that her year in Venturing prior to 2019 (when BSA welcomes girls into Boy Scouts) will give her time to learn many of the needed skills for Boy Scouts. So the Gillies family welcomes the change. What will it mean for Troop 209? I do not know? Who will lead the girls? I do not know? Will the Troop be allowed to be co-ed? I do not know but no matter what- in my opinion it’s a good thing for girls of all ages.