scout drama

Do the Boy Scouts Have a ‘Covert Campaign’ to Recruit Girls?

BSA uniform. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

In what sounds remarkably like the plot of a mid-2000’s Disney Channel original movie, the Girl Scouts of America have accused the Boy Scouts of America of carrying out a “covert campaign to recruit girls into programs run by the Boy Scouts.”

In a letter sent to BSA’s national president Randall Stephenson on Monday, GSUSA’s national president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accused the Boy Scouts of “undercutting” the Girl Scouts, and of “surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents.”

Hannan also alleged that BSA leaders had made “disparaging and untrue remarks about Girl Scout programming” at recent meetings. She concluded by urging BSA to expand it’s recruitment of boys instead of bringing girls into the organization.

Rather than seeking to fundamentally transform BSA into a co-ed program, we believe strongly that Boy Scouts should instead take steps to ensure that they are expanding the scope of their programming to all boys, including those who BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys.

Although it is unclear precisely what covert actions BSA’s has undertaken in its campaign, a GSUSA spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, “Through various means we have learnt that BSA is very seriously considering opening their programs to girls and we have made repeated efforts to engage with them and talk about the implications,” calling it “a potentially dangerous and bad idea.”

A spokesperson for BSA told BuzzFeed that no decisions had been made regarding girls programming, but that they had received “strong interest” from families, which is definitely something a Disney villain with a butt cut would say.

Do the Boy Scouts Have a ‘Covert Campaign’ to Recruit Girls?