My computer sits on a built-in desk here at Second Chance Ranch, in a room paneled in warm knotty pine. On the wall above my right shoulder are my high-school and college diplomas, suitably framed, along with a perma-plaqued certificate I prize even more than those sheepskins.
It recognizes that I once achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, receiving the award on March 19th, 1972. It bears a gold seal and the signatures of Chief Scout Executive Allen Barber, BSA President Norton Clapp and Honorary BSA President Richard Nixon.
Boy Scouts remains one of the best experiences of my youth. Its value is inestimable, even today — challenge and adventure, being mentored and learning to lead, stepping onto the bridge from boyhood to wherever my abilities and interests later would take me.
Yesterday’s mail brought us the “official magazine” of the town and township in which we (still) live. On the cover of this issue is a photo of a newly minted Eagle Scout. The uniform shirt reads “Boy Scouts of America,” as does the fresh rank badge sewn to the left pocket.
This Boy Scout, however, is a girl, the first in our town to earn Eagle.
If you’re surprised by that, you haven’t been paying attention. Women began serving (formally) as Scoutmasters in the late 1980s. Three years ago, social-justice warriors succeeded in harassing the Boy Scouts of America into admitting girls to its programs.
And that’s how we got here.
The biological female gracing the cover of our local magazine worked for her Eagle Scout award, I know that. I acknowledge the time and effort she invested.
Reportedly the girl’s father is a Scout leader, and it looks like her sisters are Scouts as well. I hope they all appreciate the endeavor and prosper, honing skills that I had the privilege to learn a half-century ago.
All that said, as a matter of principle I believe that girls have no place in Boy Scouts.
What made Scouting uniquely valuable to boys is that it was exclusively male. Every society needs boys who aspire to manhood, and by the time they arrive they should know damned well what it means to be a man. Boy Scouts, when I came up, paved that road with lessons that simply couldn’t have been learned with chicks around.
Now, like much of our culture, Scouting has been diluted and feminized. Boys, their maturing into men stunted by social engineers, suffer. As a result… well, just look at what passes for “men” these days.
Also, coincidentally or not, the once-elite Eagle Scout medal has started to resemble a participation trophy. In 1972, membership in Boy Scouts was nearly five million, roughly 29,000 of whom (including me) made Eagle. The most recent numbers I’ve found are for 2019 — fewer than two million Scouts, well over 61,000 Eagles.
Do the math — 50 years ago, just 0.6% of us had the Eagle pinned to our chest. The rate 47 years later was 3.2%, a more-than-fivefold increase. I’m sure it’s gone up more since, even as membership has declined by almost two-thirds.
That’s not a typo, by the way. In the wake of admitting girls the BSA has bled more than 1.2 million members, a precipitous drop of 62% in just three years and down 85% from when I was a Boy Scout.
Go ahead and call me sexist, misogynist, patriarchal — whatever. You can’t hurt my feelings and you can’t change my mind. America needs men who are actual men, and we won’t get them if the culture insists on crippling our boys.
As for the Boy Scouts of America, it should eliminate the “chief diversity officer” position and replace it with a “chief masculinity officer.” (Think I’m kidding? Come at me, bro.) Get rid of the woke (and compulsory) “Citizenship In Society” merit badge that presumes to indoctrinate boys in “diversity, equity and inclusion.”
But first things first — start by booting girls out of Boy Scouts.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.