The Boy Scouts can no longer be called Boy Scouts because they now accept girls as well. Girls were allowed to join the Cub Scouts as of October, 2017. Unlike the Boy Scouts, the Cub Scouts did not have to change their name. The inconvenient presence of the word “Boy” posed a different problem this time around.

Should anyone care?

Aside from current members of the Boy Scouts… I mean, Scouts BSA, some may conclude that this simply is not something to spend time on. It is not like the Boy Scouts were divinely called to an all-male scouting club. Granted, boys need to do boy things with other boys. Hiking, fishing, building fires, cutting firewood, pitching tents, tying knots, etc… are good and wholesome things for everyone to do, and when boys get together with other boys and their dads, they make memories and have experiences which last a lifetime. They talk about things important to boys and men and they learn from older boys who model their lives after virtuous men. The thing is, boys don’t need an organization to get these experiences. Boys can always go camping with their own dad and they can bring friends. Alternatively, dads can get together, and they can go as a larger group with several fathers and their sons. Anyone can do it.

Except for boys who don’t get to spend much time with their dad. Unfortunately, about 20 million American youth are living with only one parent and about 17 million of those children are living with their mother.[1]The numbers are even more depressing if you look at African American homes. Kids from single-parent homes can still visit their father about every-other weekend though. This is assuming the father has pursued visitation rights, or is around at all. We know this isn’t always the case. It hasn’t always been like this though. When the Boy Scouts of America was founded, divorce was much less frequent and single-parent homes were very rare. Prior to 1970, the vast majority of American children lived in the same home as their biological parents. But it isn’t like that anymore.

Isn’t it strange that at a time when boys seem to need male mentors more than ever, our nation’s pre-eminent secular organization for mentoring boys has chosen to welcome girls as well? It is as if the leadership has intentionally schemed to make matters worse. But that is a small price to pay in the name of equality, isn’t it? I am skeptical.

We should care about this decision by the Boy Scouts of America. We should care because it is an enormous abandonment of young boys by one of the few secular organizations who could have mentored them. The abandonment actually started in February, 2017, as the Boy Scouts decided to allow transgender members as well as other very troubling developments in the organization. Unless things change soon, America can basically write the Scouts off as a viable youth program for boys. Local organizations can continue to try and operate without adopting these changes, but they will not survive long without the national organization to shield them from the pressures of the culture.

As Catholics, we should also care, because our Catholic boys will need mentoring within our homes and parishes more and more as the culture continues to crumble around us. Returning to an all-male altar boy program will help significantly. It will help young boys experience the beauty of the Mass, the virtue of being in service to their parish and the camaraderie of being part of an all-male group. We need men to experience service to the Church and to their family, both their biological family and to their parish family.

This may also provide an excellent opportunity for Catholic parishes to change from Boy Scouts to Catholic and Christian alternatives just as many Catholics have turned to American Heritage Girls and The Little Flowers Girls’ Club in lieu of the Girls Scouts of the USA. The Troops of St. George and Fraternus are two such alternatives for Catholic refugees from the Boy Scouts. In saying this, I’m not suggesting that people pull their kids out of the Boy Scouts because they are changing the name or allowing girls to join. In reality, I don’t think I’d be writing this if that were the only troubling development in the Boy Scouts over the last decade. The Boy Scouts of America has become more and more feminized and secularized over the years. That is fine for people who have little or no interest in faith and family, but as Catholics, we must maintain faith and family instead of allegiance to an organization which has changed under our feet.

The decline of the Boy Scout organization is blatantly evident. Because of this, I think it would be prudent to move to Catholic alternatives to the Boy Scouts in order to begin building a strong Christian scouting organization for boys today and tomorrow.

Where am I going to send my sons? I don’t have any. My wife and I are parents of five daughters though, and I want them to meet and marry capable young men who know how to live a life of authentic male virtue, chivalry and faith. The primary educator of young men are their parents. Therefore, the family must be the first school of faith and virtue. After the family, solid youth organizations are essential. It is time to make the switch.

What you need to know is that the Boy Scouts of America have been a deteriorating organization for several years. It is relevant because young American men need male mentoring and training in virtue more than ever because of the decline of the American family. What can you do about it? Get a Catholic scouting or mentoring group set up in your parish and talk to your parish leadership and your bishop about getting altar boys back to work, as well as more men serving as lectors, deacons, acolytes and Eucharistic ministers.

[1]https://www.statista.com/statistics/252847/number-of-children-living-with-a-single-mother-or-single-father/

  • unhanon

    Why do you have the opinion that only men can be proper role models for young boys? Scout Law says that all scouts must be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent. Which of these principles are women/girls unable to aspire to? Should we allow young men to learn “masculinity” only in a vacuum so that they are then unprepared to act on masculine values/impulses in mixed-gender situations? Of course not, to do so allows them to confuse chivalry (holding a door open) with sexism (you can’t possibly do that without my help).

  • tony

    The scouts need to be given space in their parishes, and no one else has the scout camps & vast acres of hiking and camping lands. Troop leaders need support of their parish

  • David Schwier

    What a great place for the Knight of Columbus to have a massive impact….

  • Joseph Hudson

    I am concerned that the BSA has lost it’s moral compass, while having Coed programs is not an evil thing, boys act different when girls are around. They are more worried about what the girls think of them. This is to be a all boy program to allow boys to grow into men, learnskilks, and see from the adult men mentors what manhood is to be the other concern is while judging someone for their sexuality is wrong, not saying this behavior is wrong is just like telling a child that stealing us wrong. We are not to embrace the behavior and say this is ok. Next I think they will eliminate God, we can’t exclude atheists from getting in on fun, that would be discriminating, we are becoming to much of a politically correct society, while we should be worrying about biblically correct. I am not here to judge the BAD, just stating my personal thoughts on how the moral decay of this world has infiltrated the BSA. If anyone would like information on a Christian non denominal national alternative with awards, ranks, adventure I encourage you to look at TRAIL LIFE USA, the United States Catholic Bishops have now starting to promote as an alternative all boy character building, Christ centered adventure group for boys. We need to raise Godly men who will stop the moral decay if this great nation.

  • RuffieBear

    In Canada, they’ve allowed girls in Scouting since the mid-90’s, maybe earlier, when I was still involved. Of course, it wasn’t long after that Scouts Canada began falling apart. Now, as far as I know, most Scout groups have shut down – after all, most social kids groups do the same thing scouts do, minus the camping. I found scouts very beneficial, but since the changes over the years, it has lost it’s purpose and appeal.

    • unhanon

      Perhaps Scouts Canada is falling apart, I don’t know. In contrast Scouting in Italy has been co-ed since the ‘70’s, has been supported by the Church during the entire time, and is still quite strong.
      There are many factors impacting Scouting in the US, and I imagine Canada as well, since the “heyday” of Scouting in the ‘50’s. These include a rise in organized sports, larger numbers of organized after school activities, reduced time/ability for parents to volunteer/take kids to activities in evenings, and of course the challenge of just getting the kids away from the screens. However these have been going on for years (as has the decline in Scouting in the US), whereas the change in allowing girls has only just happened.

    • Phil Alcoceli

      True femininity is a great gift of God to humanity and all Creation. Over-Feminization (O.F.) is Satan’s demonic mocking version of it as he pretends to be the ultimate woman, and it is a poisonous, extreme fraud to destroy both men and women. It turns women into fake men and men into fake women. False begets false which begets death and hate.

      Satan has thrust (O.F.) unto the Boy Scouts and every worthy group on earth. (O.F.), under the disguise of greater recognition and higher rank for women, has brought Protestant denominations to compromise, division and fracturing. The same demonic cause is now pushed unto the Catholic Church under the disguise of women deacons. Men are never superior, we are just doing our job assigned by God. Truth begets Truth which begets real life and real peace.

  • Phil Alcoceli

    God put his heavenly beauty in women that they may cultivate it in radical femininity, purity and holiness of life. God assigned us men as guardians of that beauty that we may grow in holiness by living in “male virtue, chivalry and faith”, which as the article states, is what the author wants his daughters to find and marry, and also is the very core of what used to be the Boy Scouts of America. God was incarnated in a man, not a woman, that all of humanity may be protected, saved and remain true to their authentic identity and heavenly destiny.

    Satan, the former most beautiful angel, wants to be the ultimate woman (that’s why he rabidly promotes invented/surgical/imaginary genders) and therefore needs to destroy male virtue in order to accomplish his insane horror. We were born for such a time as this. Let’s give the Devil the fight of the ages and not believe the lie that the Boy Scouts are still somewhat, somehow, what they used to be. We’ve been lied to over and over again. Our biggest sin is gullibility. Let’s change that, let’s roll!!!

  • Greg

    I am a Chartering Organization Representative for the Scouting units at our Catholic Church. We have over 100 boys in the program. We also have10 girls in our older Venturing program. I have been a registered scouter for over 20 years. As a result, I have more information on what the BSA is doing in regard to its membership. It is not abandoning the boys by going co-ed. The plan, as presented by BSA HQ, is to maintain the single-gender nature of the program which has been successful for over 100 years. Girls who join the BSA will be in separate Dens at the Cub Scout Level and in separate all-girl troops at the older level. The BSA will continue the Venturing program which actually is a mostly co-ed program for youth 14-20.

    The BSA has an extensive infrastructure of camps and High Adventure Bases throughout the United States. There is an excellent training program to teach adults how to take boys on high adventure trips. The BSA is also self insured and that insurance covers the Chartering Organization also. The other organizations you mentioned do not have that infrastructure and, in fact, on closer examination have programs tailored primarily to younger boys in grade school and not much to offer for the teens.

    Duty to God and faithfulness to our Catholic/Christian teachings has been a concern of many parents of girls who are not happy with the focus of the Girl Scout program. The parents like the fact that we have maintained Duty to God and a Scout is Reverent as part of the program.

    Admittedly, there is a danger if the units devolve into actual coed operations. Much like we Catholics have seen with girls as altar servers: when the girls move in the boys do not see it as special. It is just another place they have to compete with the girls. They lose interest and leave.

    I have attached a link to the BSA Scoutwire related to the subject of the name change.

    Greg
    Concord, CA

    https://scoutingwire.org/the-boy-scouts-of-america-organization-name-is-not-changing-and-other-facts-to-set-the-record-straight/?utm_source=scoutingwire&utm_campaign=swvolunteer592018&utm_medium=email&utm_content=

    • tony

      Agreed…

    • Anthony Riley

      Greg

      I was a boy scout as a child. I used to volunteer as a leader for BSA. I also was a part-time employee for 6 uears and a full time employee (management) of BSA for 2 years, and managed to support my family from the pennies they paid. I was working for them back when the large downhill shift was first noticeable by allowing openly homosexual boy to join. I was there for the surveys of volunteers and staff to get their opinions. I say the results that overwhelmingly said to NOT change the membership policy. Then BSA turns around and ignored all the time and money spent on those surveys and changed the policy anyway.

      In short it doesn’t matter what the local leaders and organizations want. BSA will do as they please. That one decision was the start of the snowball effect that has taken over BSA. I don’t want to see what other changes happen in the future to degrade and destroy this once great organization.

      • NoQuarter67

        I’m pretty sure that I will be pulling my son from this organization. Whatever it is, it’s not the Boy Scouts. The national leadership has been lying for years. It has taken up the sodomite agenda . You can’t serve two Masters and Christ is not the master that this organization looks to. This is an organization bent on social progressivism. They make no bones about it. If it weren’t the same of many of our Bishops, the USCCB would pull support just as the LDS did .What you have written here is almost verbatim to what other scout volunteers have written elsewhere regarding this emasculation of Boy Scouts. It’s quite obvious that talking points have been circulated, pure propaganda. I give BSA 10 years at best before it’s either of a vast majority, female, or gone completely. Nothing is left for many boys, a sad day for young men of faith.

      • tony

        If you pull your boy out, he will be denied an opportunity for growth and experience that he can not attain in a classroom. Our bishop said we should love our neighbor and serve the youth when they need us the most as men. They learn thru having fun. As long as leadership has morality. If men leave, then females may “step in” . Its better the dads stay in for the better of the troop.

    • Gretencord

      The Troops of St. George offers chartered troops and its members an Accident Insurance policy (US only). Each chartered troop is its own legal entity and is encouraged to obtain its own liability insurance. Parish-based troops may be covered by their existing policy.

      Each troop has two youth sections, Senior and Junior Cadets.The Senior Cadets consist of the older boys from 11 years to 18 years old (Grades 6-12) and are subdivided into patrols of mixed ages. The Senior Cadets are “boy led” with their own positions: Sergeant, Corporal, and Patrol Leaders. They have their own ranking system and achievement courses. There is much to offer the older members.

      The Troops of St. George is for fathers/guardians and sons, is Catholic in nature, and reveres the outdoors. That’s it, plain and simple.

  • Jon Jones

    A point of clarification: there is no such thing as a “Eucharistic Minister”, there are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The ordinary minister of holy communion is a priest (deacon/priest/bishop). We need to reclaim the vocabulary and culture to bring back a sense of reverence for the Eucharist that is severely lacking in many churches where the laity feel that they are owed this participation.