On October 11, 2017 the Boy Scouts of America opened the doors to girls. This has been very controversial among the scouters. Before I get into the controversy let me explain my scouting history and my families scouting history. Before I could join the Boy Scouts I was forced to go to Girl Scout meetings, it was easier and cheaper for my mom to bring me along because it was only for an hour and lining up a baby sitter for an hour really wasn’t worth it.
At six years old I signed up as soon as I could, my mom decided to become our den mother, she ran the meetings and planned out our programs. While in Cub Scouts I started camping and learning life skills. When I moved to Boy Scouts at ten years old I joined a fantastic troop, we went camping every month, generally to Camp Tahosa in the mountains of Colorado. We went during every season, we went in fall, the spring and winter. Summer was reserved for larger scout camps in the summer the younger scouts would go to summer camp and learn merit badges and team work.
Older scouts were offered different opportunities, such as back packing in the mountains of Colorado, the High Adventure programs across the United States and leadership programs offered with in the Denver Scout program. After I turned thirteen my scout opportunities opened up to levels that I never knew existed. I turned thirteen at the Big Horn Leadership camp, I turned fourteen at the National Order of the Arrow Conference, I turned fifteen at the edge of a cliff that was four hundred feet tall, I spent my sixteenth birthday rebuilding a trail in the Grand Teton National with the order of the Arrow, I turned 17 at another National Order of the Arrow Conference and finally I turned 18 at the National Scout Jamboree. I bring this up because while I was in scouts I was granted opportunity after opportunity, I’ve traveled the country and even went to Japan.
At fourteen I received my Eagle Scout Award and worked on more merit badges to earn Eagle palms, this left me open to join the Venturing Program and participate more in the Order of the Arrow. I was able to go to Japan for two weeks and while there I learned and exchanged ideas with the Japanese scouts. I was able to become staff on event and get voted into leadership roles within in the Order of the Arrow and eventually earn from a vote of my peers the Vigil Honor. I was able to do this because I entered the boy scout program at the earliest possible age.
Now my sister who is five years older than me did the girl scouts, after she entered the Cadet program at eleven all of her camping came to a screeching halt, well in the sense of tents and wilderness, her troop would camp at the YMCA and they did arts and crafts, when my sister turned fourteen she jumped at the chance to join the Boy Scouts of America as a Venture Scout and eventually earned it highest award known as the Ranger Award which for the crew she was in very few females went for or achieved.
Venturing is a Co-ed program within the Boy Scouts that generally specializes in a field that the crew as a whole enjoys. The crew my sister and I participated in (at separate times) was dedicated to medical, we spent a good portion of our meetings working on our first responder qualifications and we ran the primary of the medical aid at larger scout programs. But while my sister was in she went to many programs offered by venturing, the first big one she went to was known as RAMS, Rifle, Archery, Muzzle loader and shotguns. A weekend of shooting and leadership.
My sister eventually became the leader of RAMS one year and helped set it up, get the instructors and made sure the firearms were there when the camp happened. When she was older she went to the Bahamas as a venture scout and spent over a week there exploring and enjoying the Bahamas, and she participated in the venture only horseback riding weekend. My sister in four years was able to do a ton and participate in programs that the girl scouts rarely offer.
I bring our experiences up for one reason, I was able to do ten times more while I was in scouting than my sister did, I feel she could have done more and seen more if she had been granted the time and opportunity. While I know this transition will be hard for many especially those who believe that the Boy Scout program should only be for boys. But we should not deny the right for any child no matter the gender or religion to be involved in the scouting program as that is not what is taught to us as scouts and the Scout Oath and law are not written to be gender specific but to guide young men and now women with morals and skills that will follow them throughout their life.
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Donovan Mullen is an Army Veteran and served with the military as Military Police. He’s been shooting for 15 years. He’s used military surplus firearms, modern military firearms, bolt actions, revolvers and semi-automatic handguns and rifles. With his experience, he feels that he is moderately good with firearms and their operation. He built both lower receivers he currently owns. With that knowledge and advice from a good friend he started reviewing firearms and parts.
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