Sunday, February 25, 2024

Girls can be boys but boys can’t be girls: We’re talking Scouts here

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast have access to adventure programs, stem programs, and much more. (WYDaily Photo/courtesy of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast)
Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast have access to adventure programs, stem programs, and much more. (WYDaily Photo/courtesy of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast)

The Boy Scouts of America are now accepting girls to join the scouting club even though there is a scouting club specifically for girls: the Girl Scouts of America.

“We see it as more competition in the marketplace,” said Marcy Germanotta, communications and marketing director for the Girls Scouts of the Colonial Coast.

Germanotta said the organization has not lost any members since the Boy Scouts started accepting girls, and is currently in litigation against the Boy Scouts regarding the trademarked name, Girl Scouts. And their mission statement hasn’t changed.

“Our mission is to serve girls, and girls only, and to foster their amazing leadership potential,” Germanotta said.

Clinton Hammett, Scout Council for the Boy Scouts of America Colonial Virginia Council said the group serves 5 percent of the community’s youth and the organization received a very favorable response nationwide to include girls in the scouting club.

“The concept of allowing girls in scouting isn’t anything new,” Hammett said.

Hammett said BSA created Campfire Girls, a co-ed group in the 1920s and in 1960s to 1970s Venturing Program, which explores hobbies, and was open to girls 14 years and older.

Last August, the organization created a new program for girls ages 5 to 10 years old called Cub Scouting and around 89 to 100 girls signed up on the Peninsula, Hammett said.

And this month, BSA launched a new program called Scouts BSA which is geared toward girls ages 11 to 17 years old. So far, 18 girls have joined, Hammett said.

While girls are allowed to join Boy Scouts, the dens and troops are still separated by gender and the new Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA programs are not co-ed.

Hammett said the purpose of integrating girls into the Boy Scouts was to make it more convenient for families — so a sister could participate with her brother allowing the entire family to be involved.

“I think this is a very exciting time for our country for all,” Hammett said.

The Girl Scouts of America Colonial Coast chapter declined to comment on the pending litigation and referred WYDaily to the nationwide organization’s leadership for comment.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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