The Boy Scouts of America are going through big changes. Membership has declined, and girls will be allowed to join and participate. While the organization’s name is not changing, the program’s name will change to Scouts BSA this coming February. Which asks the question, “Is scouting still relevant?”
Change Brings Mixed Emotions
Many people think that the program name change and the admission of girls mark the end of Scouting as we know it. I admit to mixed emotions myself. On the one hand, girls are certainly capable of learning and will benefit from, the necessary skills to advance in rank. Girls can also handle a canoe just fine. But on the other hand, I think there is value in an organization where boys can interact with other boys while being mentored by adults.
I have been giving this a lot of thought as Scouting is a big part of our business. When I was working full-time in the business world, I managed large groups of people. I always tried to hire the best candidate, but I also hoped that I could maintain a 50/50 ratio of men and women in these workgroups. I found that was the most effective environment. So, does the same theory hold for Scouting? I hope so and only time will tell.
The Answer is Yes
Here is what I do know. Scouting is still relevant in today’s world. In Scouting, skills can be learned that simply aren’t available anywhere else. Leadership, in combination with true life skills that are learned hands-on, are skills that our world needs more of. Some things just can’t be learned from Google and Wikipedia.
There is a blog called Bryan on Scouting that occasionally features Eagle Scout projects. I look at these projects and think about the good being done for society. To lose these projects would be sad indeed.
So why not add girls to the mix? For those of you who say Scouting is over, I say hold your judgment for now. Let’s see what happens.
Paddle On. Be Free.