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Opinion

Readers React: Can boys still be boys with female leaders and members in Scouting?

Tatum Weir, Ian Weir
Ian Weir, left, smiles with his sister Tatum during a Cub Scout meeting in Madbury, N.H.
(Charles Krupa / AP)

To the editor: As the mother of an Eagle Scout and as a Merit Badge Councilor in our local troop for many years, I have concerns about the Boy Scouts’ decision to include girls in Scouting.

As an adolescent, my now-grown son was a gross, loud, sometimes smelly little boy whose favorite things to do included burping loudly and rough housing with friends. I credit his adult leaders with helping him become the fine man that he is today. Scouting was where he found the brothers he didn’t have and the leaders who would become lifelong friends.

Having girls and women leaders in the troops would make Scouting fundamentally different. I believe the Boy Scouts of America is doing this because its membership numbers have dropped and it now must seek new ways to grow.

I don’t believe that I would have encouraged my son to join Boy Scouts today. While our troop leaders taught our boys to respect all people, they were allowed to be boys and have fun. The future will be harder for the Scouts, so I wish them luck.

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Christina R. Flores, Los Angeles

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To the editor: More than once the Los Angeles Times’ article made the point about how a name change by the Boy Scouts of America will allow girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

A Girl Scout can currently earn the Gold Award, a level reached by only about 5% of that organization’s members. Earning the Gold Award, however, does not get the same level of attention and respect from our male-centric society as becoming an Eagle Scout does.

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Many people — including, apparently, reporters at The Times — do not know about the Gold Award.

Harold T. Fujita, Glendora

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To the editor: Really? What’s going to happen to those delicious Girl Scout cookies? Will the boys be selling them alongside the girls? I hope so.

Why does everything have to change with the times? Just add in some cross gender programs in each group, and be done with it.

Sherry Davis, Playa Vista

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