Can Boys Join the Girl Scouts? The Colorado Chapter Says Bring 'Em On.

Family Matters on 10.26.11
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Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images News

Lots of kids look up to their older siblings, and many want to do everything they can to emulate them. When I was a kid, my older brother was obsessed with baseball and was a member of a team year-round. Of course, that led me to want to play baseball. I also wanted to listen to the same music, watch the same TV shows, and generally just follow him around, much to his utter annoyance.

9News out of Denver is reporting one such story. Bobby Montoya wants to follow his older sister into the Girl Scouts. The 7-year-old has long identified himself as girl, playing with dolls, dressing in girls' clothes, and wearing his hair long. And while his mother still refers to him as "he," she encourages him to follow his gut and sees no problem with his female tendencies.

That's why her first reaction to hearing that her son couldn't join the Girl Scouts was, "Well, what's the big deal?" According to the scout leader, because he was born as a male, he would not be permitted to join the all-female troop. But the Girl Scouts of Colorado insist that the troop leader was misinformed. It released a statement indicating that it is, in fact, an inclusive organization, and that if a child identifies as a female, he would be welcome in their fold.

It's unclear, though, if that's the case nationwide. A scan of the Girl Scouts of America Web site showed no mention of boys being allowed to join, but there was an entire section devoted to diversity. The CEO, Kathy Cloninger, is shown in several short clips touting the importance of diversity as it relates to race, religion, education, and disabilities, but there's no mention of sex.

As for the Boy Scouts, it lists that women may be appointed as troop leaders and girls age 14 and up may join the Venturing program. But again, there's no mention of girls being allowed to join any of the programs for children under the age of 14, such as the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, or Tiger Cubs.

While Bobby likes all things girl, for others, it may just be a simple case of location. I would imagine in some parts of the country, there are small towns (or maybe even big ones) that don't have both Boy Scout and a Girl Scout troops. Since both groups teach the same basic principles, I would find it highly unfair that one little girl had to sit out simply because no Girl Scout chapter had been established. Maybe that's all about to change thanks to one small child in Denver.

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