Local scouting community reacts to Boy Scouts changes

Local scouting community reacts to Boy Scouts changes

One man who had earned Eagle Scout honors told 10News he is thrilled by the decision to admit girls.

"I can tell you that there are hundreds and thousands of girls who have done everything their big brothers did in Boy Scouts, but never got the recognition for it because they weren't allow to join", he said.

One member of the Girl Scouts national board called the move "a bad idea" and said the boys' organization was suffering from financial problems and dropping membership attributed to sexual abuse scandals and gender identity and deficient programming. However, Farrer said initial discussions to make both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programs co-ed died down about a year ago.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts pledge to be friendly and helpful.

He added that he hopes the organization will remove the word "Boy" from its name, and simply be called "Scouts of America".

Under the plan, Cub Scout dens will be single gender, either all-boys or all-girls, and a new program expected to start in 2019 would allow older girls to pursue a path toward the rank of Eagle Scout using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts.

While the Girl Scouts of San Diego chose not to comment on the Boy Scouts announcement, they do point out that they have an equivalent rank to Eagle Scout, known as the Gold Award, which carries equal prestige even though it is lesser known. Or do "boys need time to be boys and girls need time to be girls"?

In August, the president of the Girl Scouts accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts' operations. Girl Scouts provides a safe and inclusive environment that has been proven over the years, she said.

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Every aspect of our programming (local and national) has been created to be girl focused and girl-led. Those all-girl dens will be part of larger packs, which will be co-ed. Over the years, the programming has also been reimagined to fit scouts' needs.

Joni Kinsey, an art history professor at the University of Iowa, has been both a youth member and a troop leader in the Girl Scouts and fought against the possible sale of camps in her region.

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. Earlier this year, the church announced that it would stop participating in two Boy Scouts programs for teenagers.

"All young people, all families can benefit from the Scout Oath and Law", Franks said.

Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have experienced sharp drops in membership in recent years. The scouting board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to make a historic change in the "all boy" organization.

Those groups said the Boy Scouts' new initiative would not weaken their commitment to single-sex programming.

"From coast to coast and inner city to rural plain, there are millions of boys in need of motivation, guidance and leadership skills", the release states.

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