While making history, the Boy Scouts of America announced today (Oct. 11) its plans to admit girls into the Cub Scouts beginning next year; simultaneously creating new programs for older girls using the same curriculum as the boys and allowing them to earn the highest and coveted rank of Eagle Scout.
Moreover, earlier this year the organization announced its accepting of transgender children and nearly 9 months later the board wishes to continue evolving their programs for the children of the next generations to come — despite pushback from the Girls Scouts of the USA.
Additionally, under the plan, Cub Scout dens, its smallest unit, will include single-gender — either all-boys or all-girls.
In addition, the larger Cub Scout packs include the option to remain single gender or accept both sexes.
While the programs for the younger girls will open in 2018, the older girls will have to wait an additional year — but will have the ability to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.
Furthermore, the unanimous decision was approved at the BSA HQ in Texas via its board of directors, claiming the change was needed in order to provide additional options for parents.
Additionally, the BSA’s chief scout executive, Michael Surbaugh, stated:
“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. The values of Scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women.”
So what does that mean for the Girls Scouts of the USA? Well, appropriate executives criticized the new order, claiming it strained the century-old bond between the two orgs.
Moreover, GSUSA officials suggest that their brother-org solely made the decision to boost revenue and remedy financial problems.
Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, GSUSA President, wrote to the BSA’s president, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson:
“I formally request that your organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in Boy Scouts … and not consider expanding to recruit girls.”
While both the GSUSA, founded in 1912, and the BSA, founded in 1910, are staples in U.S. youth organizations; in recent years both are among several major communities to experience sharp drops in membership.