At the last (elementary) school in which my wife taught, a teacher started a club called "Girls Run the Nation". There was (and probably still is) a huge banner in the lobby proclaiming Girls Run the Nation, they have special activities and events just for girls in the school and there has been a push to replicate the club in other schools as well. As 50% of the school's population (boys) walk under that banner every morning, I can't help but think what message they are taking away. Add to that the fact that the overwhelming majority of the teachers are young females that have no clue how to handle active young boys (besides pushing for a diagnosis) and I am afraid that boys have become the second class citizen of the public education system. Unfortunately, the push for "empowerment" for girls has translated into boys (in general) falling behind as less positive attention is given them. Boy scouts has been a 'safe space' for boys to go to, where they can be themselves and develop strong character based on positive male role models. Over the past twenty years, it really had become one of the last places to which a boy could escape the growing feminization of our culture.
My son earned the rank of Eagle. My daughter earned the Gold Award. I served as a Den Leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster and Committee Chair. My wife served as a Girl Scout Troop, Cluster and Community Leader. We all cherish the memories of our scouting adventures and would not change the years we poured ourselves into making the respective scouting programs the absolute best they could be. We had our family time, our daddy-daughter time, our mommy-son time, and our separate time with the boys and the girls. It was all good and important to us to have all of these experiences. Just as my wife and daughter looked forward to their girl relationships in scouting, my son and I found that boy scouting created special bonds of friendship that have endured.
Unfortunately, this policy change will bring an end to "boy scouting". The camel's nose is now under the tent and it is only a matter of time before the program is fully co-educational in every respect. Separate but equal has never been enough for the progressive elements of our society. Scouting will be just another youth activity, albeit with strange garb, high participation costs and no real mission that is indistinguishable from other youth groups. It is difficult to witness a program that you loved so much to disintegrate before your very eyes. For the BSA, I am sure it is all about the money to prop of their declining membership. For volunteers such as myself, it is a time to mourn what once was an institution that shaped who we are as individuals and a community.