Girls can join the Boy Scouts

Local councils weigh in on Boy Scouts' admittance of girls

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that it will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and establish a new program for teenage girls, a move that marks a historic shift for the organization founded for young men more than a century ago. "It is a high honor, and a lot of people put a lot of stock in becoming an Eagle Scout".

"The Boy Scouts' approach is very militaristic and top-down, and I don't know if that's the best environment for girls to feel nurtured", said Barker, whose base is Kalamazoo, Michigan.

GSMW consists of GSMW membership consists of more than 11,000 girls and adults with national membership at 2.6 million.

"There are no plans to change our name at this time", spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in an email.

Ruby Jenco, Girl Scout ambassador from Troop 8709, is working toward her gold award and thinks the achievement deserves more recognition, like the Eagle Scout rank.

In recent years, Boy Scouts of America has seen declining enrollment.

Hulet said she is excited about the announcement and agreed with Surbaugh in that the tenets of being a good Scout can apply to both boys and girls. "We are not trying to replace them", Smith said.

Les Callette said, "In both cases, we're not reaching the number of youth and families that we should be, and this is a way we felt we could engage more families in our program, and that's what we wanted to be about". Numerous research studies and countless testimonials clearly recognize that participation in Girl Scout programming has proven highly effective in enhancing leadership qualities - as well as other key indicators of success - for the girls involved.

She says their group is 40,000 scouts strong and growing; and they believe girls-only scouting offers a unique opportunity. However, there are many unanswered questions as to the effectiveness the BSA programming will have on girls. Troops are girl-led and girl-focused, from troop meetings, cookie sales and camping to STEM programming and more.

Although Hulet believes the announcement may cause some contention between the two groups, she said the impact wouldn't be significant because BSA programs have remained heavily focused on outdoor activities while GSUSA programs have not. "It will be unbelievable to say you got Eagle and people know what you're talking about and know the work you put into it".

Hank Fisher, who is only 16 years old, helped lead an effort to build batting cages in his community - then raised the money and helped organize the volunteers to get the job done.

"When you're the father of a young woman who's going to be going off to college, you kind of wish they had the opportunity to make the rank of Eagle", Lewis said. They say allowing siblings to participate in the same organization will be much more convenient for families. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Neil Armstrong and Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are just a few notable men who have attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

"We've been striving to get those stories out", she said.

"Everything will be completely different now", he said. It has not announced any plans to change in light of the Boy Scouts news.

But the change is not without its critics, not the least of which is the Girls Scouts of the USA.

"While we support girls and their families having a variety of options and activities, we vehemently oppose this decision and stand firm knowing that Girl Scouts is the best leadership experience for girls in the world and will remain a separate organization from (the Boy Scouts of America)", the release reads. We're committed to preparing the next generation of women leaders, and we're here to stay.

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