Arizona Girl Scouts leaders react to Boy Scouts integration plan

Friday, 13 October 2017, 07:59:06 PM. Two Arizona women involved with the Girl Scouts expressed mixed feelings about girls now having a choice to join Boy Scouts programs.

It better reflects the real world. But it also takes away an important opportunity for empowerment.

Two Arizona women involved with the Girl Scouts expressed mixed feelings about girls now having a choice to join Boy Scouts programs.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that young girls will be allowed into the Cub Scouts beginning next year and a similar program will be open to older girls in 2019.

'New opportunities for boys and girls'

Marian Frank, a public affairs director at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, was a Girl Scout troop leader for 13 years in the Shadow Mountain neighborhood in north Phoenix. She was also a Girl Scout growing up in northwest Indiana.

Frank said that while she loves the Girl Scouts' core mission of empowering girls, it is about time that girls be allowed to join a Boy Scout troop.

"I could see how allowing boys and girls to join a troop would change the dynamic," she said in an e-mail. "But it also could provide new opportunities for boys and girls to learn, grow and develop leadership skills in a different way."

Frank, a former editor at The Arizona Republic, explained that in single-gender organizations, male and female leadership is a different experience.

When genders are mixed, the dynamic is more applicable in the real world, she said.

'The bottom line is Girl Scouting works'

Susan de Queljoe, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine, had a different point of view.

Queljoe said Girl Scouts continues to be the best leadership experience for girls, even after 105 years of existence.

"We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment," she said in an e-mail.

She also said their programs are intended to meet the unique needs and specific interests of girls, including the way they learn best.

Oct. 11 is International Day of the Girl. The mission, as stated on the website, is to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls' lives and provide an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.

"It's ironic that today, the International Day of the Girl, the Boy Scouts would announce they will begin to welcome girls into their Cub Scout program," Queljoe said.

"And the bottom line is Girl Scouting works."

She said Girl Scout alumnae exhibit more positive life outcomes than non-alumnae when it comes to sense of self, volunteering and community work, civic engagement, education and socioeconomic status.

 

 

 

 

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Article Arizona Girl Scouts leaders react to Boy Scouts integration plan compiled by www.azcentral.com