ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK
Not everyone is on board with the Boy Scouts of America allowing girls to join the organization. An Illinois Girl Scouts leader objects.
Fiona Cummings is the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. She said she was sad to hear about the Boy Scouts of America move to allow girls.
“We believe in the benefit of single-gender programs for boys,” Cummings said. “And we believe in it for girls. The thing is in the USA there’s very few opportunities for boys and girls to be on their own and learning from and having fun with their peers.”
National Girl Scouts board member Charles Garcia wrote BSA’s move distracts from the group’s poor finances and sex abuse scandals.
Cummings said those are potential issues behind the BSA announcement.
“There are many issues that the Boy Scouts are facing,” Cummings said, “and I think that both organizations were looking at membership declines and finances and wanted to find ways to make themselves viable.”
While girls may be allowed in Boy Scouts, the beloved Girl Scout Cookies are staying put, Cummings said. That program helps girls learn entrepreneurship, hard work and financial literacy, she said.
Part of the policy change by Boy Scouts was to allow girls to take part in the Eagle Scout program.
Cummings said that could impact boys who would benefit from Boy Scouts, and there are plenty of opportunities for girls to learn a variety of skills in Girl Scouts.
“A lot of programs [in Girl Scouts] are very customizable,” Cummings said. “So girls choose from the very beginning the sorts of things they’re interested in together with their troop leaders that can focus on it.”
She also said if girls are looking for outdoor adventure, they can get it tailor-made just for them.
“[Girl Scouts of United States of America] also offers destination programs,” Cummings said. “Last year, we had a girl who went to Paraguay and Argentina, for example, and another went to Germany to see fairy tale castles, so really the world is your oyster.”
Cummings said families wanting more information can go to their website and click “join” to find the nearest troop or get instructions for starting a new troop.