Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, the head of the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), has accused the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) of creating a surreptitious campaign to test the waters to see whether they could attract girls to join them, because their recruitment numbers are falling.
The letter from GSUSA president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accuses BSA leadership of “surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls offering to millennial parents” and making “disparaging and untrue remarks” about Girl Scout activities, BuzzFeed reported.
“We have made repeated efforts to engage with them and talk about the implications,” a GSUSA spokeswoman told the news site, quoting research that says an all-girls scouting environment is most effective for girls. “It’s a potentially dangerous and bad idea.”
She compared the move to a “corporate hostile takeover.”
Hannan’s letter called the the Irving-based BSA “reckless” and shortsighted in “thinking that running a program specifically tailored to boys can simply be translated to girls.”
“Rather than seeking to fundamentally transform BSA into a co-ed program,” she wrote, “we believe strongly that Boy Scouts should instead take steps to ensure that they are expanding the scope of their programming to all boys, including those who BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African-American and Latino boys.”
I have no opinion no whether an all-girls scouting environment is better for girls than a co-ed one. But I do have a definite opinion that the GSUSA is a far superior institution to the BSA, which is a reactionary institution that had to be dragged screaming into the 21st century in terms of progressive values. If scouts do go co-ed, I’d much rather it be done under the auspices of the GSUSA and for the BSA to just disappear.