Local leaders have mixed thoughts on girls participating in Boy Scouts

13 October, 2017, 15:57 | Author: Tabitha Byrd
  • Eagle Scout Nigel Bailey of Troop 962 St. Andrews Methodist Church has earned all 137 merit badges

The Boy Scouts were long the target of progressive ire for refusing to change rules it followed for decades that prevented gay youths and leaders from joining the organization. It's not even the first time BSA has opened its ranks to youth who are not boys - teen girls, for example, have been able to join its Venturing program since the late-20th century. And yes, the Eagle Scout rank is far more familiar to many Americans than the Gold Award. An official with the Allegheny Highlands Council said the group will adhere to the guidelines.

Under the Boy Scouts' new plan, Cub Scout dens - the smallest unit - will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. But for now, the Boy Scout label will remain.

The Boy Scouts of America embraced a historic change with its Wednesday announcement that the organization will allow girls to enroll into the Cub Scouts program next year. "They reviewed the program types that we were planning on offering", Smith said.

According to the Boy Scouts of America 2016 Annual Report, there were 1,262,311 boys in Cub Scouts across the country.

More than 2.4 million young men like Skelly have achieved Eagle Scout.

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Girl Scouts of the U.S. criticized the Boy Scouts' decision and on Wednesday pledged to remain an all-girl organization.

"There are people who still think of Girl Scouts as campfires, cookies and friendship bracelets-but we are so much more! BSA's declining membership has been well-documented, as well as other significant challenges it faces". "It is a high honor, and a lot of people put a lot of stock in becoming an Eagle Scout".

But don't expect changes from the Girl Scouts any time soon.

The BSA's initiative, announced Wednesday, has already chilled what had been a mostly cordial relationship between the two youth groups since the Girl Scouts of the U.S. was founded in 1912, two years after the Boy Scouts. Do you think the Boy Scouts should be a coed organization?

Girl Scouts of Western New York Chief Operating Officer Alison Wilcox said in a recent interview that the Girl Scouts were aware the idea was on the table but the Boy Scouts council has not yet reached out to them.

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"We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides", the GSUSA said, describing itself as "the best girl leadership organization in the world".

"It's now gonna be inclusive, the girls can now join and do what little brothers are doing", says Thomas.

As one woman claiming to be a troop leader said in an unofficial GSUSA Facebook group, "I am completely fed up with the journeys and badges".

Eva's experience in Girl Scouts was beneficial, Lewis said, but distinct from the Boy Scout programming. But there's a difference between being in a girl-led group within a larger entity whose entire history and mission has been about serving boys and being part of an organization like the Girl Scouts whose central focus has always been on building "girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place". Earlier this year, the church announced that it would stop participating in two Boy Scouts programs for teenagers. The Girl Scouts have turned away from the outdoor adventures that my daughter wanted.

-The Girl Scouts say that girls particularly need all-female organizations to really thrive and flourish.

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And forming a united pack is important to these families. "Girl Scouts can use on their resumes and also on their college applications". Stone said they've been pushing for full inclusion.



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