Letter to the editors: Freshman’s response to ‘Taking the boy out of Boy Scouts’

Zach Setzkorn, Guest Contributor

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To whom it may concern,

 

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America for going on 10 years, I am quite knowledgeable of the ins and outs of the program and the details. Recently in The Mission, an article titled “Taking the ‘boy’ out of Boy Scouts” was published. This is an opinionated article about the decision, and I have no problem with someone owning an opinion, but the severe lack of education on the matter constitutes that this should not have been published. There are many errors in the author’s presentation of how the program works. The lack of knowledge, research, and education before writing and publishing this article was absolutely appalling to me, as it showed journalists practicing not doing research- which should not be the case at all.

 

The first sentence in the article claims, that the organization, Boy Scouts of America, has allowed girls to join for the first time in over a 100 years. This is false, as both their programs Venturing and Sea Scouts have allowed young women and men of 14-21 for over 20 years. The major change was changing the program, Boy Scouts, to Scouts BSA which functions the exact same but allowing single gender troops of boys or girls. The article goes on to say that Scouts BSA is a co-ed program, which it is not. Scouts BSA is a program with both female and male troops, that remain separate. Thus making the opinion that some girls have gone too far by making girl-only troops is entirely silly and rude, as that is how the program is designed. The article later says that the Boy Scouts (when referring to Scouts BSA) is gender integrated, which the article builds on later. The Boy Scouts of America have never claimed that Scouts BSA would be a gender integrated program, as they have other programs available for that. Furthermore, the article says that a better solution than including girls would be to fix the Girl Scouts, however, that is not an option for the Boy Scouts of America as they are two entirely different organizations, that are run and operated by entirely different staff. If the staff of BSA does not agree with the staff of GSUSA (Girls Scouts of the USA), then there is nothing they can do about it as they have no control over their program. Later it says that if the GSUSA program was to be fixed then there would be equal opportunity, which again is not true- as the Eagle Scout award allows benefits unequaled by the GSUSA’s Gold award equivalent. (https://bit.ly/2towLfz)

 

Reading this article, it is quite clear the author had not researched the issue at all, and had just formulated an opinion and shared it, without proper research which is not a procedure we want journalism students to practice. While the article’s intention of deciding whether the move to allow Girl Troops in Scouts BSA is a great idea for an article, the astounding problems with the knowledge make the attempt flat-out rude to current Scouts. There are many resources available for about this change that can be accessed to gain a better understanding.

 

Thank you,

Zach Setzkorn

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