Local Girl Scouts reaction to announcement that girls could join Boy Scouts

Girl Scouts of Historic Savannah has something to say to the Boy Scouts: we don’t think girls need you.

Boy Scouts of America announced this week it will allow girls to become Cub Scouts in 2018 and Boy Scouts by 2019, indicating it’s answering a call from busy families who want their sons and daughters to be able to enjoy the same activities at the same places.

But sue Else from Girl Scouts Historic Savannah says their research proves girls often thrive best in “girls only” environments. “They want that type of (safe) space and really love that that its part of the Girl Scouts,” she said.

Else says the modern day Girl Scouts offer plenty of physical and classroom activities to help girls develop into the leaders of tomorrow. She also talked about the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low who lived in Savannah. The first girl Scout Headquarters of America is still on Drayton Street. “Gordon Low was remarkable in that she wanted an organization where girls could grow and welcomed all girls, even those of color,” she said. “It was started in 1912 and there was a lot of racial inequality during that time and I know that she received some heat for that but she was steadfast, Girl Scouts was for everyone .”

Else believes in terms of the Boy Scouts opening its ranks to girls, that “membership drive is probably a big force behind that,”

She acknowledges that the Girl Scouts have their own membership challenges but says now “we will have to compete with the Boy Scouts like we do with other youth organizations.”

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