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Should Your Daughter Join the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts? 

Should Your Daughter Join the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts? 

https://offspring.lifehacker.com/should-your-daughter-join-the-girl-scouts-or-boy-scouts-1819409054

Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/Getty

The Boy Scouts will soon welcome girls. It’s a divisive move—some see it as a long-fought victory for all the girls who’ve campaigned to get in over the years and were denied, while others see it as a rejection of tradition, a Hail Mary attempt to bolster a declining membership, or some grand ploy by “the left.” Regardless, girls who want to join a scouting organization now have a choice.

So which should they choose? Despite common stereotypes of the two groups, it’s not simply a matter of tying knots versus selling cookies. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts share a lot of similar values and activities, yet they differ in some fundamental ways. If you’re considering both for your daughter, here’s what you need to know about the two organizations to help make your decision:

The Values

Here’s the Boy Scout Law:

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

This is the Girl Scout Law:

I will do my best to be Honest and Fair, Friendly and Helpful, Considerate and Caring, Courageous and Strong, and Responsible for what I say and do, And to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

FiveThirtyEight ran a survey to see which values system was more in line with the values of Americans. The sample size was small, but the results showed that the average percent of respondents rating a Girl Scout value as somewhat or very important was 90 percent, and for Boy Scout values, it was 83 percent. Boy Scouts’ values of “obedient,” “thrifty” and “reverent” received the lowest scores.

Political Leanings

While Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts share similar origin stories (both have roots with British general Lord Baden-Powell), the two organizations veer dramatically in their political leanings. The Girl Scouts have added social justice to their mission; returned $100,000 from a donor who was against admitting transgender troops; featured prominent LGBT rights activists as role models; and started telling members they could replace “God” with whatever they believed in while reciting the Girl Scout Promise. Alternately, the Boy Scouts of America did not lift its ban on openly gay scouts until 2013, openly gay scout leaders until 2015, and transgender boys until earlier this year. BSA still bans atheists.

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The Atlantic piece “Boy Scouts Are From Mars, Girl Scouts Are From Venus” summed up the worldviews of the organizations like this:

“Boys, if they want to learn how to tie slipknots and make fire, will do so in an atmosphere steeped in straight male Christianity. Girls, if they want to sell cookies and go camping, will soak up messages about empowerment, diversity, and social activism.

Activities

Both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts have programs for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. For Girl Scouts, a member’s ranking is determined by her age and merit badges, while Boy Scouts must meet with a scout master to review their progress, and appear before a board of review before advancing to the next level.

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Every troop in America is different, and activities for both groups are largely influenced by troop leaders, but both emphasize outdoor skills, community service activities, excursions and camping.

For Girl Scouts, the areas of focus are:

  • Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). There are projects in computer programming, engineering and outdoor citizen science.
  • Outdoors
  • Life skills. Girl Scouts learn skills such as how to cope with bullying, how to launch a letter-writing campaign, and how to make smart buying decisions.
  • Entrepreneurship. They learn business skills by selling cookies.

Boy Scouts participate in “skill challenges” such as walking with a compass, bandaging with neckerchief, pitching a tent, tying knots and lashing. Popular activities include the pinewood derby (Cub Scouts make derby cars and race them in a competition), Jamboree-on-the-Air (an amateur radio event that creates contact among Scouts from around the nation) and camporees (camps where troops participate in competitive events with other groups).

Fundraisers

The Girl Scouts have their famed cookies, while Boy Scout troops have no national fundraising item. Many Boy Scout councils sell popcorn, but some choose to hawk poinsettas, carwashes, flags or chocolate bars.

Autonomy for Scout Leaders

Some parents say that Boy Scout leaders are given much more direction than Girl Scout leaders. One mom, who was a Girl Scout leader, wrote this in a message board:

That is actually a two-sided coin—autonomy is good b/c I get to control how funds are spent and tailor it exactly to my girls’ badges, activities, interests, and plans. It can be bad, however, b/c my troop never had the benefit of being part of a larger group (pack) and I was on my own to “invent the wheel” or set up a badge plan. I was on my own to learn about camping and take the troop out (as a complete novice—having only taken the training and never really started a fire without supervision of the trainer).

Co-Ed Versus an All-Girl Environment

Despite the news that girls will be allowed into Boy Scouts in 2018, some Girl Scout leaders have spoken out to say that the decision won’t affect their organization.

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“What Girl Scouts offers can’t be replicated,” Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey’s CEO Betty Garger told NJ.com. “Research shows that girls want and thrive in all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environments where their specific needs are addressed, and we will continue to deliver this.”

And if they don’t, they now have the choice to join the boys.

Tech

via Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com

October 12, 2017 at 09:01PM

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