The Girl Scouts, best known for cookie-slinging, teach girls all kinds of valuable lessons. Girls build leadership skills, learn sales techniques, and create a sisterhood with their fellow Scouts. And sure, they go on the occasional camping trip, but it's not exactly the rough-and-tumble experience of the Boy Scouts. So what about the girls who would rather learn the difference between a square knot and a clove hitch than sell a thousand boxes of Do-Si-Dos?
A group of such girls are making that point by trying to join the Boy Scouts. The girls, who call themselves the "Unicorns," are a group of ten to 13 year olds in Santa Rosa, California, who decided they'd rather be Boy Scouts than Girl Scouts after participating in a co-ed Boy Scouts-affiliated skills-building course called Learning for Life.
One of the Unicorns, ten-year-old Ella, told the New York Times, "When we get into the real world, we're going to have to work with other people who are, like, not just girls." When the Unicorns beat dozens of Boy Scout groups to place second in a "camporee" scouting competition, Ella used the success to prove that girls "can do the same things that boys can. There's not really 'girl things' or 'boy things.'"
Members of the Unicorns applied to formally join the Boy Scouts, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen for them. The national Boy Scouts organization sent an email to reporters saying, "We understand that the values and the lessons of scouting are attractive to the whole family. However, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are year-round programs for boys and young men."
Some parents of current Boy Scouts maintain that girls should be banned, citing concerns about tent sleeping arrangements, an interruption of male bonding time, and the possibility of girls taking all of the leadership positions.
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