The national Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program has made a decision to welcome in girls to their programs.
According to a statement from the BSA, “the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.”
The BSA had received several requests over the years to include girls in their programs, and the organization has made the decision to move forward with it.
“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women. We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders,” stated BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh in the released statement.
Currently, Boy Scouts of America has almost 2.3 million youth members from the ages of seven to 21.
The roll out of the change will begin in the 2018 program year, where families will be given the choice to sign up both their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts.
More on the transition, from the statement:
Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
In the Boy Scouts’ Occoquan District – which covers mid-to-eastern swathes of Prince William County – there are 1,662 youth Scouts enrolled.
The District currently has two existing co-ed programs, their Venturing and Learning for Life programs, which allow girls to participate. It is unclear how many of the 1,662 is made up of girl Scouts involved in the two programs.
Read the full statement here.
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