Will Girl Scouts Swap Teams? Local Leaders Hope Not

Oct 12, 2017

Girl Scout groups across the region are increasingly offering more rugged and outdoor activities, challenging stereotypes for the long-running organization.
Credit Don Kasak via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6Xqtg1

The Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, which covers both Vermont and New Hampshire, is responding today to questions and concerns from members and volunteers. That follows news that the Boy Scouts of America will start accepting young women, not just young men.  

In announcing the change, the Boy Scouts organization said it’s trying to make it easier for families to accommodate all their children’s activities. But Patricia Mellor, CEO of the local Girl Scout group, suggested the two organizations could have instead partnered to meet those challenges.

“It’s surprising to me in some regard that none of those discussions took place,” she said, adding that she hadn’t heard from local Boy Scout councils about the news.

She’s not concerned that the Boy Scout’s decision will lead to any enrollment problems locally, but she said her organization is working to get the word out about the value of all-female activities for young women. Plus, she said, Girl Scouts are increasingly offering a range of more rugged and outdoor activities. “People still see us as their grandmother’s Girl Scouts,” she said, but that’s not the case.

Girl Scout enrollment in Vermont and New Hampshire is up about 8 percent over the past year, Mellor said.