By Katherine Burgess
The Wichita Eagle
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Some see the move to allow girls to join the boy scouts as a way for or girls to have the same leadership opportunities as boys, others see the decision as taking away boys’ chance to just be boys.
The Wichita Eagle
David Clements is considering turning in his beloved Eagle Scout award.
Heather Conkle is planning to sign her two daughters up for Boy Scouts next year.
The Boy Scouts waded into controversy when they announced Wednesday that girls will be able to participate, from Cub Scouts to the coveted Eagle Scout rank.
Some see this is a chance for girls to have the same leadership opportunities as boys, and to have the well-known Eagle award on their resume. Others see the decision as taking away boys’ chance to just be boys, an attack on conservative values and a step in blurring the lines between male and female.
Clements, a Wichita father, said he loved his time in Boy Scouts. The organization was started for young men and “has nothing to do with women,” he said. Now, his 9-year-old son wants to join Scouts, but Clements isn’t sure if he wants his son in the program.
“I’m heartbroken. I really am. Our country has lost its character, its moral fabric,” Clements said. “Our scouting program was supposed to be one of the shining lights. It just seems like there’s an attack from every direction.”
Clements said allowing girls to obtain the Eagle Scout award devalues the program and changes its very nature.
“If they want to have their own award at the end, have their own milestone, that’s fine, but the Eagle Award is solemn, it needs to be left alone,” Clements said.
Clements is one of many who described the decision as just another step in a series of changes in the Boy Scouts.
The organization ended its ban on openly gay scouts in 2013 and ended its ban on gay troop leaders in 2015. Earlier this year, it said it would accept transgender boys.