The Boys Scouts of America will now welcome girls. The Boy Scouts Board of Directors announced the decision in October 2017 after receiving requests from girls and their families to open the scouting program to both genders. The program will officially open to girls in fall 2018 and, according to the Michigan Crossroads Council of Boys Scouts of America, the organization is ironing out the details of how girls will be integrated into the program.
According to Boy Scouts of America, the move to include girls in Boy Scouts was aimed at making the program convenient for busy families.
“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,” Michael Surbaugh, the Boy Scout of America’s chief scout executive, says.
The move also opens the door for families to participate in scouts together.
In fall 2018, families will be able to enroll boys and girls in Cub Scouts. Existing packs can either establish a new girl pack, create a pack that consists of boys and girls dens or remain an all-boy pack.
Each Cub Scout den will be either all boys or all girls. Boy Scouts will also be structured to include girls Those programs will be announced in 2018 and available for enrollment in 2019. Girls will be able to work through the program and earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
Boy Scouts of America had educational experts review the curriculum of the Cub Scout programs to make sure it is relevant to girls. It’s also not the first time the Boy Scouts has created programs for girls. Since 1971, the Boy Scouts has included girls in the Exploring and Venturing program, as well as the STEM Scout pilot program.
The Girl Scouts responded to the historic decision with a blog post. It read:
“At Girl Scouts, we are the girl experts, and for more than a century, we have provided millions of girls opportunities for adventure, inspiration and valuable mentoring.”
Michigan Crossroads Council of Boys Scouts of America expects to have more details on the inclusion of girls into the program in the spring 2018.