In a historic decision, the Madison Scouts Board of Directors has decided for the first time to adopt a policy welcoming all genders into the 81-year old corps.
The board of directors voted this morning to adopt a non-discrimination policy that expands membership to all genders to participate in the Madison Scouts, effectively opening the way for women to become members of the corps. We are so pleased to say that the vote passed.— Madison Scouts (@madisonscouts) July 7, 2019
In a post to the corps' website, corps director Chris Komnick describes the change as "a historic day for the Madison Scouts... No doubt it will challenge our long history, but the value it brings to our mission and the members we serve is immeasurable."
The corps has featured women only four times throughout the 82-year history, but in very specific roles and usually only one or two at a time. As recently as 2018, the corps featured Megan Hutera, a young woman that played one of the focal points of their show "Heart & Soul." In 2020, the corps will now become the home of performers of all genders.
A new tradition. pic.twitter.com/ueOwhQax9B— Madison Scouts (@madisonscouts) July 7, 2019
One concern expressed by the corps' administration in their announcement is in regards to the corps' history—the traditions associated with originating from a Boy Scouts troop, being one of the last two remaining all-male corps in a constantly-evolving activity. Programs Director Dann Petersen clarified "The question of member eligibility in the Madison Scouts is one of high stakes, strong emotions, and different opinions. I applaud the courage of our Board for a very thorough analysis and decision in the best interest of Forward Performing Arts, the Madison Scouts, and current and future members."
The steps ahead for the Madison Scouts remain unclear, but one thing is for sure—the 2019 corps will be the last all-male Madison Scouts to take the field after 81 years.