Simon Purdy says in some ways the Boy Scouts opening up more programs to girls represents progress. But Purdy who evaluates data on programs for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan says the Girl Scouts has a lot to offer which is tailored to girls.
Purdy, Continuous Improvement and Strategic Manager for Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan joined WMUK’s Gordon Evans to discuss how the organization is responding to the Boy Scouts decision to allow girls to join Cub Scouts, earn merit badges and obtain the rank of Eagle Scout.
While Purdy says there are some girls who want to join the Boy Scouts, he says research shows that a single gender environment gives girls the ability to make decisions and develop skills they may not otherwise. Purdy who is also a Sociology instructor at Western Michigan University says more research is needed, but he says the benefits of single gender learning seem to be more important to girls.
Asked about the future, Purdy says the Girl Scouts does not expect to see many girls leaving the organization for the Boy Scouts. But he says it’s important to let girls and their families know about the programs available. Purdy says there are a wide array of programs, including outdoor survival, fire building and climbing walls. Purdy says the Girl Scouts is “so much more” than selling cookies.