We asked Girl Scout Aaliyah Bradix a simple question and got a very direct answer. Would the 10-year-old from Grand Prairie prefer to join the Boy Scouts instead?
“No,” she said. And her mom Jada Reed-Bradix readily agreed.
“It’s bringing out who she really is,” Reed-Bradix said of the benefits her daughter has received from her six years of in Girl Scouts. “To say they can join [Boy Scouts], for me personally I’m not going to do that. My daughter is going to stay in Girl Scouts. I think it’s what’s best for her.”
The Boy Scouts of America says its historic decision, to let girls walk the same path from Cub Scout to Eagle Scout, was made to help busy families find programs for multiple children, both boys and girls.
Samuel Thompson, CEO of the Boy Scouts of America Circle Ten Council, which serves serve more than 57,000 youth members in 24 counties in North Texas and Southern Oklahoma, said in a written statement:
“This decision is the result of years of requests from families: The BSA thoughtfully evaluated how to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible and adapt to the changing needs of today’s families — all while remaining true to our mission and core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.”
High school senior Brynna Boyd from Grand Prairie says it’s a decision that wouldn’t work for her. The 17-year-old started in Girl Scouts when she was just five.
“I think the value of it just being girls is that you have strong female role models that you can look up to,” Boyd said. “I think Girl Scouts has definitely made me realize that I have any opportunity I want. That my opportunities are kind of limitless.”
That’s what Jada Reed-Bradix believes the benefit is for her daughter too, by keeping what she believes are “quality” scouting organizations defined and separate.
“I just don’t believe a man can build a girl the way I can build a girl and I wouldn’t be able to treat a Boy Scout the way a Boy Scout leader would be able to do so,” Reed-Bradix said. “For me and my family, we’re going to stay with Girl Scouts and we will not be joining the Boy Scouts. Great organization, but we’ll stick with what we have.”
As for 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah, she pointed to one of the badges on her Girl Scout vest, the one with Rosie the Riveter on it flexing her muscle. It’s the “We Can Do It” badge.
“It’s how you believe in yourself,” she said. “Some girls they think boys are better than them. That shows that girls are just as good as boys.”
Now, with the Boy Scouts’ decision, parents can decide if that message is best learned in separate scouting organizations – or with boys and girls side by side together.