In recent weeks, the Boy Scouts of America announced the organization would admit girls to take part in its programs. And now, Charisma News reports that condoms will be made available for its 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and alcohol permitted in some areas.
Charisma News reported:
The guidelines require that host organizations, who in this case include the former Boy Scouts of America (now Scouts BSA), “… ensure that condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and IST [staff] at a number of locations on the site. Heads of Contingent must be informed in advance and made aware of their responsibility in communicating this policy to their Participants, Unit Leaders, Contingent Staff, and IST in an appropriate way.” (See Guideline 7.3 on page 10 of the document.)
Stunningly, the World Jamboree Guideline 7.3 also has “exceptions,” allowances and instructions for the consumption of alcohol in “confined areas” at the 12-day camping event. (It appears the Jamboree guidelines were drafted after the 2015 World Jamboree in Japan in preparation for the 2019 event and were just recently released in an email.)
The theme for next summer’s Jamboree is “Unlock a New World” and will celebrate “cultural exchange, mutual understanding, peace, and friendship,” Charisma News reported.
The Scouts have defended their recent decision to admit girls, citing inclusivity.
“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,” the Associated Press (AP) reported.
AP has reported that the Boy Scouts have been for boys and young men only for more than 100 years.
But in early May, a new name was announced to reflect the decision to admit girls: Scouts BSA. The change will become effective in February 2019.
“Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said many possibilities were considered during lengthy and ‘incredibly fun’ deliberations before the new name was chosen,” AP reported.
“We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” Surbaugh said. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”
“The parent organization will remain the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts — its program for 7- to 10-year-olds — will keep its title, as well,” AP reported. “But the Boy Scouts — the program for 11- to 17-year-olds — will now be Scouts BSA.”
The Girls Scouts issued a statement about the Boy Scouts’ decision to admit girls by touting what makes its organization uniquely suited for girls.
“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said in the statement. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills, explore STEM and the outdoors, participate in community projects, and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults.”
“We’re also dedicated to building that critical STEM workforce pipeline that businesses and communities across the country are looking for,” Acevedo said. “Girls are our country’s great untapped resource and are the key to our nation’s competitive advantage in the new digital economy we’re living in.”
“They’ll be the drivers and the designers of our industries of the future, filling and creating jobs that don’t even exist yet,” Acevedo said. “And at Girl Scouts, we’re preparing them for these opportunities.”
The 24th World Scout Jamboree will be held July 22 to August 2, 2019.
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