Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: BSA's Co-Ed Dilemma
BSA's Co-Ed Dilemma
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 11:26:41 -0400
Calvin Gray said, "For several years, I've heard that the BSA leadership has
been willing to go fully co-ed by merging with the Girl Scouts. But the GSUSA
doesn't want any part of this. Can someone share additional information on
It seems to me that this type of merger would cause major organizational
problems on the local level. Boy Scout Councils and Girl Scouts Councils serve
different geographic area and rely on professionals to do different things.
Trying to merge Boy Scout Councils and Girl Scout Councils all across the
country would create a logistical nightmare. If the US is going to have
additional coed options in Scouting, I think they will have to be offered
through a program of the BSA rather than through a merger of BSA and GSUSA.
In looking at coed Scouting in other countries, you can find two different types
of arrangements. In much of continental Europe, there have been mergers like
Calvin described. The national Boy Scout association and the national Girl
Scout/Girl Guide association have joined to formed a single Scout association.
In much of the English speaking part of the world, however, (United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) the Boy Scout association has opened
membership to girls, but there is still a separate, independent Girl Guide
association as well. The Boy Scout associations of these countries have simply
taken a coed arrangement like BSA has for Venturing and moved it to their
programs for younger Scouts as well. When I was a World Jamboree Scoutmaster in
1995, the English troop camping across from us contained Boy Scouts, Girl
Scouts, and Girl Guides. The Girls Scouts were members of Scout troops that
were part of the Scout Association. The Girl Guides were members of the Girl
Guide association which is similar to our Girl Scouts.
While I don't foresee coed Boy Scouting or Cub Scouting as a program of the Boy
Scouts of America coming any time soon, I think this arrangement is the only
possibility for coed Scouting in the US..
Chief Okemos Council, Michigan