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Female leaders - anyone working on this?

Are there any groups working to change the rules about having female leaders for any event with a girl in it? This really seems like yet another rule that was created without much thought to the specifics of the cub program.

I understand the reasoning once you’re at the age where scouting is a drop-off program, but at the Lion-Tiger level it is defined to require a parent at every meeting. In our pack, it has always been understood that parent attendance is expected for cubs of all levels unless prior arrangements have been made.
It seems so incredibly insulting to tell a father-daughter den that they have to cancel their meeting if their female chaperone has a conflict. If I were a dad, that would be enough to keep me from registering.
In our area, Girl Scouts is strong and outdoor-minded. We’ve had Webelos and older join because they want that Eagle, but the younger cubs have all joined because dads want to do things with their daughters and not be the only guy in the room. The only way we’ve been able to facilitate that is for the girl dens to meet with the same-age boy dens where we might have female leaders. We’ve actually had to group our 3rd-5th grade girls with the boys’ AOL den. This is a bad solution for something that shouldn’t be a problem.
With two of our female leaders leaving the pack this month when their boys age out, we will likely need to disband our girl program and go back to having sisters sit in the corner of their brothers’ den meeting and draw.

I would suggest you send an email to the program leads at: family.scouting @ scouting . org

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Thanks! I’ll give that a try.

Yeah, this is flat out one of the worst current policies and I hope it is adjusted soon.

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Good luck but you should reach out to the folks who edit and update the Guide to Safe Scouting the ones who write youth protection policy.

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Do you know how to reach them?
As we know all too well in the BSA, it’s not like people who are going to abuse kids are going to restrict themselves to the opposite gender. If our Youth Protection policies are strong enough to protect boys regardless of the gender of their leaders, they should be strong enough to protect girls without needing to add extra hoops to jump through.

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There’s very little rules I intend to outright ignore and this is one of them.

It’s sexist and tone deaf and I have no moral ground to be able to enforce it.

Perhaps I am confused. It’s your intention to not follow the youth protection rules specified in the Guide to Safe Scouting?


Just clarifying…(and I have a boy, so it’s not for me - but for my pack in general). If there is a girl (Tiger or Lion) whose Parent Leader is her father, there has to be a separate female leader in order for her to attend? Similarly, if a girl of an older rank attends with her father, there must also be a female leader attending in order for her to be there?

I understand (although perhaps do not agree) that if there is a girl den of more than one Scout whose parents are not the leaders that the requirement is that there be a female leader present but if the child is always accompanied by their parent, regardless of gender, I thought this was sufficient.

I’m curious to understand this better.


If there is one female Scout present, there must be one registered, female adult leader over the age of 21 present as well. There is no exception for a parent (male or female) being present with their female child.


Adult Supervision
Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.

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The only way to solve this is probably how my pack approaches it. If a girl wants to join (and they are more than welcome), their mom must register as a leader (or committee) and attend all events their daughter attends. By doing this, it takes out the chance that other female leaders can’t make it and I must send the girls home. I’m at the situation now where, planning day camp attendance, most of my female leaders are not able to commit to attending…so it looks like the girls in my pack will probably not go to summer camp this summer.

Is your Council requiring that female leaders from your Pack attend to satisfy this requirement?

I know when my sons went to Cub Scout day camp, not all Packs provided two leaders. I would imagine that the camp staff will have at least one registered female leader, so you’re probably covered from that perspective.

I would not nix camp for the girls unless every other avenue has been checked out first.

In the venue of a summer camp, there are enough registered leaders (from packs and staff) to make the two-deep at every station/venue. However, the past two years, there may have been 1 female staff member present, but since the scouts move around so much…that wouldn’t satisfy having a female leader “present” with the female scouts. The only way I can be sure is to make sure the Scout provides her own female leader.

With the rise in cost of everything Scouting, attracting leaders on top of parents paying for their kids registration, uniforms, handbooks, local council surcharges, activities/events, unit dues and then to have to pay to be registered also can discourage some parents from volunteering, especially in families with multiple kids in the program. Many parents are more than willing to help but paying national and local fees on top of giving their time can be difficult to overcome. It would be good if just having a female adult present would meet the requirement. Generally, in cub scouts there are multiple adults, well over the 2 deep requirement. I understand having a female available but the registration requirement seems excessive if there are two other registered leaders present.

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I would recommend re-reading the requirement. The GTSS says " A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth." In the rest of that section of the guide “activity” is clearly meant to be the whole event. I don’t think there’s an expectation that every station at summer camp is required to meet the coverage expectations – probably most of the stations will be staffed by older teen Scouts, for example.


Check with your Council.

In my Council, Summer camp is defined as the activity. Depending upon the age of the Scouts, a parent may be required to attend with each Scout. When my son was a Cub Scout only Webelos could attend without a parent.

At our camps, we can send one female adult to cover all of the female Scotus present. We do not have to make sure a female adult follows a female Scout to every station throughout the camp.


To be clear, you are announcing, in a public forum, your intention to “outright ignore” BSA Youth Protection rules?


It does appear that way and I’ve been waiting for them to reply to my inquiry.

Someone doesn’t understand the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America, the Guide to Safe Scouting, the Scouter Code of Conduct and don’t forget they placed their initials on their Adult Application, above their signature that they would follow said rules.

There’s an obligation here for someone to take action.


Ryan - can I ask what is drawing girls to your pack?
In our area the Girl Scouts have a very strong program with as much camping focus as a cub scout pack is likely to have, and costs roughly half as much to join. Girls whose moms are interested in being involved in a scouting program tend to follow the default path of joining Girl Scouts. It’s the girls whose dads are excited about Scouting who have wanted to join us. The moms shouldn’t have to be dragged in if they don’t want to be there. In the cases where parents are divorced, it’s even more complicated.

Between families that aren’t willing to add additional mask hours to their child’s day and ones that don’t feel safe in a group even with the masks, our pack is a lot smaller this year than last, so while we were able to make do by using moms from other dens meeting at the same time to fill this requirement, we aren’t able to rely on that anymore. There might be one mom in the younger boys’ den who would be willing to register and commit to attending most meetings, and I figure I can stay on as a last minute backup female, but it just seems so insulting to tell men that they’re not fit to lead unless a woman is there watching. Is this really a healthy message to be sending our kids? That even in an organization DEDICATED TO GROWING MEN OF GOOD CHARACTER males are less trustworthy than women?

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