Shamokin PA

I’m not sure I’m prepared

I’d be hard-pressed to survive in the woods if I were the sole survivor of a plane crash or just wandered and found myself lost.

I can’t start a fire with anything less than 47 cardboard boxes (a week’s worth of Amazon Prime for me), a tank of gas and an aim-and-flame (does anyone else call it that?). And likely the first berry I’d eat would deliver a lethal dose of poison into my bloodstream thus killing me, or disabling me enough to be devoured by a bear or giant species of snake that hasn’t been discovered yet. 

That said, I absolutely love the outdoors, especially with outdoorsy people who know how to do all those aforementioned things so I return to civilization alive and well.

On Wednesday it was announced the Boy Scouts of America is changing its name to Scouts BSA because they will now allow females to join. The younger group names will remain unchanged, but the 11- to 17-year old group will bear the new moniker starting February 2019.

It’s always hard to approach something like this without ticking off someone, but let’s take a look anyway.

Let me start by saying, as you likely figured out by my lead into this column — this OPINION column — I’ve never been a cub, boy, brownie, girl or any other type of Scout. The closest I’ve come is eating an entire box of their cookies.

They’ve stated, “The program for the older boys and girls will largely be divided along gender-lines, with single-sex units pursuing the same types of activities, earning the same array of merit badges and potentially having the same pathway to the coveted Eagle Scout award.”

I’m trying to be open to the reasoning, but my gut reaction is: Why?

Why can’t the Girl Scouts program be restructured to be more like the boy’s. Or why can’t they both be well-rounded enough to serve all needs?  

Why can’t the top two from the Boy and Girl Scouts be up against one another for the Eagle Scout Award?

I’m not sure I’m exactly taking a stance; I’m just trying to understand.

It’s strange because, on one hand, we have things like school sports and the Olympics where males and females compete with their gender, likely as a fairness thing. 

The same goes with marathons, I believe, and most other physical competitions.

It’s just that, as equal as some want us to be, our bodies are just different. Men and women are different. I mean, I know that is apparently irresponsible for me to say in today’s climate, but we are. We have very different makeups and I’m not talking about my latest Morphe eyeshadow palette. 

It’s certainly not to say a woman can’t do almost everything a man can. Yes, I said almost. We forget men can’t do everything women can do, either — like work a full shift with gut-wrenching cramps, or I don’t know, push a human being out of their bodies. 

I love a world where we have women-run companies and CEOs. Please, don’t twist that. 

This just seems a bit unsettling. 

And I’ve had some beef with the Boy Scouts’ previous stance on homosexuality or anyone outside their idea of the “norm.”

I’ve read their reasoning on this latest boy-girl merger. I get their thought process on some level; they are trying to be progressive and PC and give every kid equal opportunity, but is it necessary?

Did they not do that before this?

That may be the case. And it may change the organization completely.

But, outside of the “we don’t let gays in” (which they reversed in 2015, I believe, thank goodness), does it really need to be severely restructured?

I think it’s a very valuable organization as a whole. Those involved and former Scouts with whom I associate are honestly some of the coolest people I know. I have hiked and camped with former Scouts and they make tasks at which I would fail completely look easy.

I guess we’ll just see going forward. I wish the organization continued success and I appreciate how it molds our youth, but I “red-flag” sometimes when we become too PC. And that’s coming from a gal whose been called a flaming liberal a boatload of times in Sound Off over the years.

I’ll be rooting for the girls to get that Eagle Scout award. I’m always rooting for everyone to do well, but if I have to pick a team, I’ll root for the girls because this will be new to them and they can prove themselves to be bad•ss. If nothing else, I’ll look forward to trying the Boy Scout variety of cookies. Fair is fair, right? 

As for Sound Off comments, I’ll “be prepared.” (Wasakoski is an assistant editor at The News-Item.)