Local chapter reacts to Boy Scouts accepting girls

Henrietta Brewer
October 13, 2017

But not everyone is thrilled - namely, Girl Scouts of the USA. "Let's face it. We live in a coed society, but we're giving girls the skills and the tools and the resources to be able to, yes the word is to compete, but also to thrive". On Wednesday, the organization announced that it would accept girls into the Cub Scouts. It is expected to be formally announced next year and is projected to be available in 2019, the organization said. But GSUSA says girls who earn the Gold Award also reap benefits, including college scholarships and the chance to skip a rank in the military.

Yarbrough was a guest on McIntyre in the Morning. The shop employees proudly wear scout uniforms as they help parents pick out attire for new members and order patches for pack leaders. It's about what we convey to young women about their achievements and the context in which they pursue them - that they are less valuable, simply because they weren't designed by men.

A high-school junior, Cassidy is "extremely happy" that women will have the opportunity to join the program at a younger age and work their way up to achieving Eagle Scout.

Giles emphasized that every Scout unit has a chartering organization that can decide if they will keep an all-boy pack or start an all-girl pack - or make the pack co-ed, with single-sex dens.

Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of tradition, the Boy Scouts have undergone major changes in the past five years, agreeing to accept openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys.

"In Venturing, there is a manual in place that has instructions on how to do activities with girls and boys together", Hulet said. "We are providing this opportunity for the whole family to participate". If the Boys Scouts' new status as an all-gender organization pushes the Girl Scouts to expand its horizons, the ripples will be beneficial.

Rather than altering its message, Margosian said, the Girl Scouts will "double down" with a commitment to empowering girls.

"They never reached out to let us know what was happening", she said.

"No one understands girls better than we do, and despite the recent announcement by Boy Scouts, we don't think that the experience we have or the longevity of that experience is easily gonna be replaced or replicated overnight", says Christi Robinson, Communications Consultant, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. "Girl Scouts has been the key driver in developing female leadership for more than 100 years, and no one does it better".

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. 90% expressed interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87% expressed interest in a program like Boy Scouts, according to the Boy Scouts of America. Girls will work on the same rank advancement as boys and participate in events like the Pinewood Derby and summer camp along the way.

"Only 4 percent right now earn the rank of Eagle Scout", Skelly told VOA.

Starting in 2018, the Boy Scouts of America will allow families to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts.

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

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 United States of America was founded in 1912, two years after the Boy Scouts.

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