Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Boy Scouts to admit girls into programs

Boy Scouts to admit girls into programs

Beginning next year, families will be able to enroll their sons and daughters in Cub Scout programs.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America criticized the initiative, saying it strained the century-old bond between the two organizations.

He added that "we believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children". But those programs have not offered a path to Eagle Scout for girls.

The Boy Scouts top managerial staff, which affirmed the arrangement consistently in a meeting at BSA home office in Texas, said the change was expected to give more alternatives to guardians.

For the first time in their more than 100-year history, Boy Scouts of America will now welcome girls to all ranks.

The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls.

"The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, fearless and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", Michael Surbaugh, the Boy Scouts' chief scout executive, said in a 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". After allowing women to serve as Scoutmasters and volunteers for local groups in the 1980s (following a lawsuit), the organization has (since 2013) reversed its policies and allowed LGBT scouts and volunteers.

In August, the president of the Girl Scouts accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts' operations.

The organization has had co-ed programs since 1971.

The BSA's argument is that Scout Law requires members to be "reverent" while the Scout Oath includes the line, "I will do my best to do my duty to God". Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA's move was driven partly by financial problems and a need to boost revenue. "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 BSA statement said.

Girls could previously be apart of other programs - Venturing and Sea Scouting, both of which focus on outdoor activities, the career-oriented Exploring program and STEM - but could not become Eagle Scouts, according to the Scouts website. Earlier this year, Girl Scouts USA reported 1.5 million youth members.

Like this: