May 7, 2018
Girls Scouts Promote Their Brand as “First Choice”
The Girl Scouts of the USA has a big problem on their hands. Sure, everyone still loves their cookies, and many, many girls still appreciate the program… But these are still troubling times for the GSA.
The troubles began the day the Boy Scouts of America, surprising almost everyone, declared they would soon be allowing girls to join their ranks. Almost immediately, thousands of girls signed up to be Cub Scouts in Packs and Dens across the country. Each one of those girls, the GSA surmised, was a prospective Girl Scout lost to a group that was, as of this time last year, not any kind of competition.
Now, the other hiking boot has dropped. The BSA has announced it will be officially changing the name of the “Boy Scouts” to Scouts BSA, to be more inclusive. There is no turning back for them… and no turning back the clock for the GSA, which says it was blindsided by the announcement. How desperate is the GSA in the wake of the BSA’s announcement?
Well, if tone is any indication, it’s obvious just exactly how the Girl Scouts feel about the BSA’s decision to admit girls. In a statement released to ABC News, the GSA said, “The Boy Scouts’ house is on fire… Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA’s senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.”
Ouch…And that was just the beginning. The GSA continued the PR barrage, guns blazing on social media as well. The organization posted the following on their blog, declaring Girls Scouts the clear choice for girls:
“Girl Scouts is the best girl leadership organization in the world, created with and for girls… We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive.”
And that was not all. The GSA post extolled the specific benefits of single-gender environments on the growth and leadership development of the girls in their organization.
“The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families. Girl Scouts offers a one-of-a-kind experience for girls with a program tailored specifically to their unique developmental needs…”
So, while the BSA has hung its neckerchief on an integrated gender environment, the Girl Scouts have dug in, claiming to hold the line for the benefits of a single-sex program. The lines are drawn. All that’s left now is for the public to consume the messaging and pick a side.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR