Women have leadership roles in government, business, academia and entertainment. Imagine what else would be possible with Scout training.
Perhaps the military, in integrating men and women, had it easier than the Scouts would in integrating boys and girls. Nonetheless, Britain's Scouts successfully went co-ed in 1991. Schools, clubs and churches have trained boys alongside girls for much longer.
And the Boy Scouts of America need look no further than its own Venture program for a model of co-ed adventures outdoors.
Scouting membership declined 16 percent from 2002 to 2012, according to the Boy Scouts' annual report, even as the number of boys ages 12 to 17 has remained steady.
Recruiting girls to Scouting could simultaneously recruit their parents and brothers.
Parental involvement is often essential to retaining Scouts and producing Eagle Scouts. Parents can better justify investing the thousands of volunteer hours — weeknights, weekends and vacation days — over a half-dozen years to an organization that welcomes and develops each of the family's children.
Recently, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and City Year have been working to rekindle the American spirit of service and sacrifice. Perhaps their challenge would be less onerous if all youths were exposed to that spirit at an earlier age.
That is why Baden-Powell taught that "the spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light."
Well, the spirit is there in my daughters, too. And it is in girls across America. Their spirit, too, ought to be discovered and brought out.
Scouting is a tradition-oriented organization. Our traditions ought to guide us, not bind us.
Other changes are underway as the Boy Scouts adhere to Matsuo Basho's counsel: "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise — seek what they sought!"
That is why the organization accepted the help of female adult leaders. That is why it is changing other membership restrictions.
And that is why it should change its rules regarding girls.
Welcoming all youths into Scouting would fulfill each of the values espoused in the Scout Law.
We Eagle Scouts and adult leaders take pride in helping fulfill the 103-year-old Scouting quest to transform youths into leaders. We should ensure that it endures for all.
Gharbi is an Eagle Scout, Army veteran and Boy Scout merit badge counselor who lives in St. Paul, Minn. This column first appeared in the Washington Post.