In February of 2019, the Boy Scouts (now officially known as Scouts BSA) changed their name and began accepting membership applications from girls. A lot of people opposed that change, with some parents pulling their sons from the program. It was particularly unpopular with the Girl Scouts, who were already having enough trouble recruiting new members without this sudden appearance of competition from a larger and better-funded operation. The hurt feelings haven’t really abated since then, and now the Girl Scouts are taking Scouts BSA to court in an attempt to sue them for “infringing” on their recruiting efforts and using false or misleading marketing tactics in targeting girls for membership. (Associated Press)
The Girl Scouts are in a “highly damaging” recruitment war with the Boy Scouts after the latter opened its core services to girls, leading to marketplace confusion and some girls unwittingly joining the Boy Scouts, lawyers for the century-old Girl Scouts organization claim in court papers.
The competition, more conjecture than reality two years ago, has intensified as the Boy Scouts of America organization — which insists recruits pledge to be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind” — has unfairly recruited girls lately, according to claims in legal briefs filed on behalf of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
The lawyers filed papers in Manhattan federal court Thursday to repel an effort by the Boy Scouts to toss out before trial a trademark infringement lawsuit the Girl Scouts filed in 2018.
As I’ve said from the beginning of this debate, I thought blending girls into the Boy Scouts was just a bad idea all the way around. I do recognize that there were shortcomings in the Girl Scouts programs when compared to the Boy Scouts, largely due to budgetary constraints. But many of those deficits could have been addressed without massive increases in spending, such as introducing new leadership education programs and adding something equivalent to the Eagle Scout path that the boys have. Also, supporting girls in a program just for them where they can be exposed to women in leadership roles always seemed like a very positive thing.