All is not fair in the sexes when it comes to recruitment, according to the Girl Scouts. If you’re a girl, you should only join the Girl Scouts, and if you’re a boy…well, you get the gist. Unfortunately, the Boy Scouts of America didn’t get this soon enough and found out the hard way that the lines should remain clear between the two groups.
To increase their numbers of youth involvement, the board of the Boy Scouts organization decided it would be best to include girls into their program beginning 2017. To ensure the success of this idea, they dropped the word “boy” from their recruitment program and, beginning 2018, started accepting female members.
Needless to say, this change of direction led to a major riff between them and the Girl Scouts. According to BBC News, the Girls Scouts feel that “the ‘infringement’ meant that many parents mistakenly signed their daughters up for Boy Scouts, thinking it was Girl Scouts.” This has led to the Boy Scouts of America to be sued by the Girl Scouts who claim that “the change would erode their brand” and would be damaging.
According to legal documents, “there have been rampant instances of confusion and mistaken instances of association between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.” The attorney for the Boy Scouts denied this claim and stated that there was no “legally admissible instance of this offered to date in the case” and that “it was dismissive of the decisions of more than 120,000 girls and young women who joined the Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA” (the new brand name of the Boy Scouts).
So, exactly what is the message that the war between the two organizations convey to the youth they serve? According to the mission of the Girl Scouts, they hope to “build girl’s character so that they can make the world a better place.” The Boy Scouts, or rather the Scouts BSA, has a mission statement that includes “teaching young people to make ethical and moral choices.”
Both organizations seem to believe in somehow preserving the underlying moral fiber of our society. The only problem seems to be when the two crosses over into the other’s lane. That’s when the gloves come off and the real fight begins.
The only lesson that this battle between the two organizations seems to convey is that money matters. When one organization begins to take from the recruits of another organization, the money becomes affected because organizations are only as good as the number of members they serve. More participants equal more funding. We get it.
Were we insane to believe that the Boy and Girl Scouts were strong enough to find their way through this madness without the help of an attorney? How would they teach their youth participants to deal with their own conflict? Is this just another case of “do as we say, not as we do?” So many questions, yet so little time.
One can only hope that the outcome between the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts can be something that both organizations can be proud of. Especially when they are the examples our youth are looking up to for moral guidance.