Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Boy Scouts to welcome girls into all ranks for the first time

Image Kate Patterson  The Washington Post  Getty Images Image Kate Patterson The Washington Post Getty Images
Stacy Diaz | 11 October, 2017, 23:25

Grasping a memorable change, the Boy Scouts of America reported plans to concede young ladies into the Cub Scouts beginning one year from now and to build up another program for more established young ladies utilizing an indistinguishable educational modules from the Boy Scouts.

The Boy Scouts of America board unanimously agreed to allow girls into the organization and to develop a program that will enable them to achieve the highest and most prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.

"We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children", said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA's chief scout executive.

In another pre-emptive move, the Scouts will soon allow girls to become Cub Scouts and work their way up to Eagle Scout, the group's highest rank, after an unanimous vote by the scouting board of directors. The Girl Scouts, while a great organization, offer different opportunities from the BSA, and some girls would rather pursue the kind of leadership opportunities they can only find in the latter group.

"The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, fearless and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", he said.

Cub Scouts are in first to fifth grade, and a more expanded program for pre-teen and teen girls is expected to be rolled out in 2019, according to the press release. They say this approach "allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today's families".

Recently, the Boy Scouts announced that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys-only programs.

A representative for the Girl Scouts did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

GSUSA president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan in an email obtained by Buzzfeed News suggests the Boy Scouts have been attempting to bolster its own membership by reaching out to Girls Scout recruits.

The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA, founded in 1910, are among several major youth organizations in the US experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. "Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing".

The Boy Scouts already has certain co-ed programs in place, including Venturers and Sea Scouts, both billed as character-building programs, and Exploring, which focuses on career-building.