BSA opens Cub Scouting to girls, the few details known

October 12, 2017

This will provoke a lot of unnecessary contretemps.

Before we discuss, can we hear out the BSA? Here’s the press release announcing Boy Scouts of America will open Cub Scouting to girls, with plans to open opportunities for older girls in 2018.

BSA’s Venture program for youth 14-21 celebrates 20 years of coed Scouting in 2018.

The press release:

The BSA Expands Programs to Welcome Girls from Cub Scouts to Highest Rank of Eagle Scout

October 11, 2017

Research reinforces interest expressed by families and girls nationwide as organization looks to offer programs that meet the needs of today’s families

A Scouting family outdoors.Irving, Texas – October 11, 2017 – Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before [1], making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family. Recent surveys [2] of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts.  Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.

“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization.  It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack.  Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page.

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

[1] PEW Research Center survey conducted Sept. 15 – Oct. 13, 2015 among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18.

[2] BSA surveys included two external surveys and four internal surveys conducted from April to September 2017. Surveys were conducted online.

What do you think? Comments are open.

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“A day that will live in glory” — Frankfurter to Warren, on Brown v. Board

May 17, 2014

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Now we know what she looked like: Catherine Pollard, first woman Scoutmaster

January 9, 2013

Some weeks ago I was looking for a good photograph of the late Catherine Pollard, the woman who became the first well-known de facto woman Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America.  Ms. Pollard filled in in 1973 through 1975, when no one else could step into the job.  This was back in the pre-intelligent Anthropocene, however; BSA’s National Council refused to accept her paperwork to be Scoutmaster, officially.  Officially, BSA didn’t allow women to serve in that role.

Times changed.  In 1988 BSA got smart and changed the rules so women could serve as Scoutmasters.  Some alert person remembered Pollard’s fight to get recognition a decade earlier.  Pollard was asked to sign up officially as the first woman Scoutmaster in 1988, and she did.

Now, I don’t recall why I needed it then, but there is an entire period of history prior to 1980, and for about 20 to 25 years before that, that is missing from internet archives.  We need to do a better job of finding non-digital and non-digitized sources of photos, graphics, and other information from post-World War II times, and get them posted on the web, for the sake of history.

A kind reader named Brian sent us this photo.  Thank you, Brian.

First BSA woman Scoutmaster, Catherine Pollard of Milford, Connecticut

Catherine Pollard, first woman Scoutmaster in BSA history; in uniform with Troop 13 of Milford, Connecticut, in 1973 and 1975, unofficially. In 1988, when BSA changed rules, they asked Ms. Pollard to be the first registered Scoutmaster. Scoutmaster Pollard died in 2006.

To the memory of Catherine Pollard, whose bugle called dozens of youth to a lifetime of service, though there were those who thought she shouldn’t be tooting the horn at all.

(Y’all got other photos out there you should be sharing?  Send ’em in.)


The real story: Shirley Sherrod’s speech, in full — an inspiration

July 25, 2010

Shirley Sherrod’s story inspires.  Take the time and watch the entire speech.

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Change is already comin’

January 14, 2009

::cue up Sam Cooke in the background, “A Change Is Gonna Come”::

Remember Lilly Ledbetter’s story?

A chastened 111th Congress might give President Obama a chance to make things right, very soon; the House of Representatives already approved the bill:

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 – Vote Passed (247-171, 15 Not Voting)

I apologize — I do not have a citation for this next chunk of material (I’m looking):

First Victory for Women and Working Families in the 111th Congress!
“It’s a one-two punch for women, that could knock out many pay inequities,” said NOW President Kim Gandy as the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills today that would advance fair pay for women. In a vote of 247-171 the House passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (HR 11) to address the setback delivered by the U.S. Supreme Court last year for women victims of pay discrimination, and in a 256-163 vote they passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 12).Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and George Miller (D-Calif.), these bills were on the schedule for the opening days of the 111th Congress and serve as an encouraging sign for things to come. Women voted overwhelmingly to elect President-elect Barack Obama, who said during his presidential campaign that he would make pay equity a priority in his administration. Women voters also helped to elect a Congress that is more women-friendly than it has been in over a decade. We have worked for and have been waiting for this day in the House.

The Ledbetter legislation, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the Supreme Court decision that requires workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within the first six months of receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate as long as they weren’t caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.

The companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which did not even make it to the Senate floor last year, closes loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences.

“NOW has been working since our founding over 40 years ago to end wage discrimination against women. We celebrate this day and look forward to the Senate’s upcoming vote on both bills,” said Gandy. The bills will go as a package to the Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised that “pay equity” legislation is at the top of his to-do list.

http://www.now.org/press/01-09/01-09.html

Background on Lilly’s case:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-1074.ZS.html

Your votes for a new Congress and a new party in the White House appear to have had some effect “business as usual.”

See an Obama campaign video on Ledbetter, below.

(See more, here.)

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kathryn and Judith.


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