Girls, want to join the Boy Scouts starting as a Cub? Want to earn the Eagle Award, the highest honor a Boy Scout can earn?
The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors made it official Wednesday (Oct. 11, 2017) when its members unanimously approved allowing girls to become Cub Scouts and for older girls to be a part of a Scouting program that will enable them to become Eagle Scouts. One thing to note, however, when it comes to girls joining the younger sect. Girls and boys will be in separate dens that operate under the same pack.
According to the official press release, the decision comes after years of requests submitted from families of girls and evaluating research focusing on such a move.
“Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing,” according to the release, pointing out results from research conducted by PEW Research Center and BSA. “… Recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.”
Of course, one of the first places for the news to spread was the internet. Of course, the negative comments came out — “Boys can’t be boys” and “What is this world coming to?” among them. My cousin, Vicki, shared a link from huffingtonpost.com with the news, and a positive outlook. She said that she did Girl Scouts while younger, but sought more “high adventure” activities that BSA offers. She found it as a teen member of BSA.
While the BSA announced today that girls may become Boy Scouts, the organization has actually welcomed girls’ participation since 1971, according to the release. Vicki said the co-ed programs include: Venturing, which focuses on high adventure activities; Sea Scouts features sailing; Explorers is a career-based option and STEM is educational-based.
Vicki, who lives in Philadelphia, did the Venturing program from ages 14 to 21 and she was a Sea Scout youth from ages 16 to 21. Today, she holds five leadership roles within the Boy Scouts of America. She is Cub Pack Cubmaster, a Boy Scout troop committee member, a Mate (leader) of the Sea Scout unit in which she participated and a Unit Commissioner and communications committee member on the district level. That’s pretty impressive.
So what is your take on this decision? Parents, would you allow your daughters to join BSA programs? As a mom to a current Girl Scout and a rookie Cub Scout and reading positive views from my cousin and other friends, the idea sounds interesting enough.