In a strongly worded letter, the Girl Scouts board alleged that Boy Scouts of America was carrying out a “covert campaign” to open their programs to girls.
The Girl Scouts of the USA have accused Boy Scouts of America of carrying out a “covert campaign to recruit girls into programs run by the Boy Scouts” in hopes of appealing to millennial parents and bolstering their declining membership, according to a letter they sent the Boy Scouts board on Monday.
Steve Helber / AP
The strongly worded letter — obtained by BuzzFeed News — alleged that BSA was “surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents.”
It also accused BSA leaders of making “disparaging and untrue remarks” about Girl Scout programming at “family meetings” outlining their proposed programs for girls.
A Girl Scouts spokesperson confirmed that Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, GSUSA's national president sent the letter to BSA's national president, Randall Stephenson, and the entire BSA board.
“Through various means we have learned 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,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.
“It's a potentially dangerous and bad idea,” the spokesperson said, citing research supporting “single gender programming” which says that girls learn best in an all-girls environment when it comes to scouting.
The spokesperson or the letter did not specify what BSA's proposed programs for girls were.
A BSA spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that no decisions had been made regarding the girls programs and that no such programs had been implemented so far.
The spokesperson said that they had received “strong interest” from families about the possibilities of girls programs and that it was a topic they were looking into.
In the letter, Hannan wrote that they were “disappointed with the lack of transparency” from BSA in testing the programs for girls and said that BSA refused to engage with Girl Scouts despite “repeated efforts.”
The letter also called BSA “reckless” and shortsighted in “thinking that running a program specifically tailored to boys can simply be translated to girls.”
Hannan accused BSA of flouting the Congressional Charter and of “undercutting” the Girl Scouts organization by aiming to recruit girls.
“It is inherently dishonest to claim to be a single gender organization while simultaneously endeavoring upon a coed model,” Hannan wrote.