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YPT update (3/11/21) WRT mixed gender Scouts BSA

I came across this update while on r/BSA (reddit’s BSA forum).

*Q. Can a leader bring their Scouts BSA son or daughter to an opposite gender troop activity?
*A. No. Scouts BSA program integrity requires single gender units and single gender buddy pairs.

My Troop (with proper female YPT and PLC vote) has allowed Scouts BSA registered female siblings to attend our non-camp activities (service, hikes, MBs). This appears not to be kosher.

That raises an interesting issue. Historically, many scouts have had youth they know through other organizations (e.g. OA, marching band, sports, etc) assist in their Eagle projects. Some of those youth have been female. I’d be curious how this interacts with the new direction from the BSA that you cited.

Logically, to me at least, this should not impact volunteers who are assisting in an Eagle project, as there has never been a “gender-based” rule (as far as I know of) as to who may and who may not participate in the Eagle project. It seems odd (to me) to exclude a female youth from participating because she is in scouting, but to otherwise permit her to participate if she were not in scouting. This is a real-world issue, since we had a female scout (who knew the Eagle candidate through marching band) assist on an Eagle project in 2019. We met the female leader requirement, so we were OK there. I imagine this will become more common as more female youth become scouts and are looking both to assist and to recruit assistance for their Eagle projects. This seems like the sort of inadequately thought through, overbroad response that is going to hamstring units, or at least create the appearance of a restriction. Hopefully the BSA clarifies what they actually meant. The response almost seems like a non sequitur to the question, unless there was more to the original question than is being reproduced in the FAQs.

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@CharleyHamilton I do not see an Eagle project as a troop activity, so my view is that this would not affect the situation you describe.

Edit: As pointed out below, this is not in agreement with the G2A. I learned something today.

Since an Eagle Scout service project is a unit activity, unit adult leadership has the same responsibility to assure safety in conducting a project as with any other unit activity.
Second paragraph.

See my other comment. Also, male youth Venturers could assist a Scouts BSA Boy on his project but the girl Venturers from the same crew could not. Vice versa for a girl working on her project.

Call me silly but this was not thought through.


But wait, there’s more. Say I’m an assistant Scoutmaster in a Girl Troop and a boy troop, both chartered by the same organization. Since those troops are allowed to have joint opening and closing ceremonies, my daughter could not attend?

I know, splitting hairs but per the previous guidance this was okay. Now, it’s not?

I think with a linked Troop, where the activity is planned by and for both Troops, it is okay. Or, any inter-Troop planned activity. I think this was directed at tagalong Scouts.

But, then again, I don’t know. I’ve asked my DE/UC for clarification.

Still, the Guide to Advancement tells the
Eagle Scout Project is a unit activity.

Yeah, as @Christopher.Schuster pointed out, G2A makes it clear that an Eagle Project is a unit activity.

Arguably, with linked troops, it’s two activities occurring in the same space at the same time, so could theoretically not impinge on this FAQ response. Of course, this also gets back to the discussion elsewhere on this board regarding whether or not the BSA requires all multi-unit activities and events to be district/council activities/events.

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Cub Scout Packs are quasi-co-ed and packs routinely perform service projects.

So do the co-ed programs of Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships.

All true, but the FAQ response specifies Scouts BSA units (and youth). I’m guessing that wasn’t entirely accidental.

You are like correct however, at 10% of the staffing just a year ago do you believe full attention is given to every task they take on?

Sure, but remember, unlike the other BSA programs, Scouts BSA is explicitly not co-ed at the unit level. I don’t think it was an oversight in this update.

I do think that deciding not to allow co-ed Troops was an error, and expect that to change over the next few years, though…

Pretty soon, it’s going to be easier for a Life scout to recruit help for his project from a GS/USA troop.

But, I think you all are reading his too narrowly. The FAQ is addressing tag-alongs. It really is not talking about joint activities.

The Q/A below says to me that joint Troop (boy Troop & girl Troop) activities are allowed, but that a Leader may not bring their son/daugther to an opposite sex Troop activity without their child’s unit participating. As has been stated above, tag-a-longs. I interpret this to be a concern about relying upon the hosting unit providing the proper adult leadership requirements. If I bring my daughter to my son’s Troop campout, there may not be a female registered adult present.

Q. Can Scouts BSA girl and boy troops share a campsite?

A. Yes, if the campsite’s layout and amenities meet all the requirements of Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse, including privacy and separate accommodations. Each unit must also meet supervision requirements.

Also, the BSA purposely kept the Troops separate so that the youth could grow and learn with their own gender. Girls and Boys both mature at different rates and in different ways. They interact with each other differently. I am a Cubmaster of a Family Pack and have seen girls in their AOL year start to be less interested because they think that in the Troop they will have to integrate with the boys. We of course educate them that they will be in a Troop with just girls and will plan their own activities. I am not a fan of linked Troops as I believe there have been instances where the much smaller girl Troop was having to acquiesce to whatever the boys decide to do because the girls have less of a vote/voice. The opposite might happen if the boy Troop was smaller. I was also the Scoutmaster of a very small girls Troop for nearly 2 years and they still need to be able to chart their own path and be proud of their own unit. I am sure that some have made it work with linked Troops, but as the girl Troops grow I would expect they will disengage from the boy Troop to be autonomous.

For what it’s worth, that is my opinion on this subject.


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