Thursday, February 24, 2005

Why Isn't Girl Scouting More Popular?

In Cache Valley, it seems like just about every boy is involved in Boy Scouting. Churches sponsor most troops and encourage their boys to attend. But there are barely any Girl Scouts here. I've been speculating as to why that is. Most people I know are concerned that their girls have wholesome activities, and some don't like the church-sponsored activities for various reasons. Some people who don't understand Utah culture think the girls are being isolated, oppressed, and trained to spend their lives barefoot and pregnant. But in truth, girls here are cultivated like rare orchids and their parents pay as much attention to their development and growth as they do to the preservation of their virtue. So why aren't there more parents putting their girls in Girl Scouts, even as they put their boys in Boy Scouts?

While I don't think there's ever one reason for phenomena like this, here are some possible reasons I've come up with:
  • People don't know about the existence of Girl Scout programs here
  • The small number of Girl Scouts makes finding a troop inconvenient
  • People aren't aware of what the Girl Scout program can do for girls
  • People won't let their children participate in activities not sponsored by their church (unlike Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts' national organization will not allow church sponsorship)
  • People associate Girl Scouts with pro-abortion "women's issues" organizations like NOW and Planned Parenthood (full disclosure: there are ties between PP and the national GS organization, but abortion-related propaganda is not part of the girls' program)
  • Girl Scouts will permit homosexual leaders and Boy Scouts won't (in my experience, this isn't a problem in practice; most leaders are heterosexual, and parents who don't want a homosexual leader will simply choose a different troop)
  • People believe that girls don't need any sort of program to help them develop, but boys do
What are your opinions? Do you have any reasons to add to the list? If you live in Cache Valley, which reason do you think is the most important factor? If you have girls, and chose not to put them in Girl Scouts, please share your reasons.