Who thought Scouting for girls was a good idea then?

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LESLEY KEATING: A white-knuckle pursuit ending with a lesson in trust

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Sometimes girls just need to be girls. And, of course, boys need to be boys.

While I’ve never really understood the point of single sex schools (at some point, boys and girls have to meet, so why delay the inevitable hormonal surge that will create?) the same can’t be said of other just-for-fun groups.

As a Brownie I had a great time running around in my odd bobble hat and hideous shirt-style dress.

I achieved some blatantly sexist badges that involved knitting, sewing and baking, plus one called something strange like befriender of the elderly.

But what I didn’t have to do was mix with boys. And with two brothers at home, being able to go off and do something with other girls came as something of a relief.

When you’re nine you think boys stink and are 99 per cent mean. Not much changes when you get to be 29 to be honest.

But if they’d suggested lads could join my Brownie pack I wouldn’t have been able to see the point in going.

And yet the poor old Scouts now have to share their movement with the girls. In fact, in the past year, more girls joined than boys.

Older girls already have a movement of their own – it’s called Guides and do you know what? Boys aren’t allowed to join.

I don’t think that’s sexist, I think it’s a very good idea.

And if you’ve ever experienced a pack of teenage girls, you’d question why boys would want to be within 100 metres of them anyway.

Thankfully, no-one thinks that little girls are delicate wallflowers any more.

We don’t need to follow more civilised pursuits while the boys get the chance to do all the action-packed stuff.

But a bit of breathing space between the two sexes is never a bad thing – no matter what age you are.

I’m sure those girls who have joined the Scouts are having a great time but I question why they didn’t think about getting involved with a Guides group instead.

If it’s because the girls-only option doesn’t sound modern or exciting enough, then it’s really up to the Guides to make sure that’s not the case.