Now it’s unisex Scouts! Leaders are told to avoid referring to youngsters as boys and girls so transgender members are not offended
- Leaders have been told to use gender neutral terms when addressing children
- Instead of saying ‘boys and girls’ scout leaders should say ‘hello everybody’
- There are new guidelines to help transgender scouts feel more comfortable
- Advise is given against saying boys like football while girls prefer pink
Scout leaders have been told to avoid referring to children as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ to ensure transgender members are not offended, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Official guidelines instruct leaders to use ‘gender-neutral’ phrases such as ‘hello, everybody’ when addressing Scout troops.
They also say the phrase ‘hello gentlemen’ should be avoided and warns against calling female Scouts ‘ladies’.
Scout leaders have been banned from referring to their children as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’, file photo
Girls aged six to 25 have been allowed to join the Scouts, which was previously a male-only organisation, since 1991.
Other guidelines advise that transgender members who bind their chests to suppress their breasts or wear ‘very tight underwear’ to disguise their genitalia should have private places to change while on camping trips.
The advice has come to light just a week after the MoS revealed that the Girl Guides now allows boys who believe they are female to share changing rooms and toilets with girls while camping. But last night Conservative MP David Davies branded the Scouts’ guidance ‘ludicrous’.
Mr Davies, a campaigner against Government plans to allow people to ‘self-identify’ as transgender without a medical diagnosis, said: ‘This is just madness. I used to be in the Scouts and it seems now that common sense has been thrown out of the window if you can’t say “hello girls” or “hello boys”.
‘It’s going to cause massive confusion to everyone.’
The new guidelines mark a major change in the 107-year-old organisation
The Scouts, originally called the Boy Scouts Association, first allowed girls over 16 to join the Venture Scouts in 1976 before opening up the whole movement to girls 15 years later.
The guidelines, which apply to Scouts of all ages, mark another major change in the 107-year- old group’s practices. Published on the Scouts website, the document tells leaders that children as young as two can be diagnosed with gender dysphoria – the belief that they are born the wrong sex.
It adds that the Scouts has ‘a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that transgender young people can have access to Scouting’.
The guidelines also say that leaders should avoid stereotypes such as boys liking football and girls preferring pink.
A spokesman for the Scouts Association said the guidelines would help ‘create inclusive environments’, adding: ‘Using gender-neutral language can help ensure that all young people feel comfortable to be themselves.’