Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

The Boy Scouts of America says it will open membership to girls

The Boy Scouts of America says it will open membership to girls

The new rule will set up separate Cub Scout dens, made up of either all boys or all girls.

By 2019, some girls will be able to reach the organization's highest rank of Eagle Scout, the organization said.

"The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, courageous and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", Michael Surbaugh, the Boy Scouts' chief scout executive, said in a release. "The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, courageous and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", Michael Surbaugh, the group's chief executive, said in a statement, reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, president of the Girl Scouts of the US, in an August letter to Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson accused the BSA of a "covert campaign" to recruit girls amid "well documented" declining membership, the Washington Post reported.

"I've seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization".

The program for older girls is the one that will allow them to attain the rank of eagle scout. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders.

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"The Activity Days and Personal Progress programs of the Church have always been in place to meet the needs of girls and young women in these age groups, and no change will be made in Church programs", LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins in a statement released immediately after news broke of the BSA vote. The BSA statement also explains that the decision comes after years of requests from families and girls who wished to join the ranks.

According to the Boy Scouts of America website, three groups make up the organization: Cub Scouts, which is for children in first through fifth grades; Boy Scouts, which is for youth 11-17 years old and Venturing, which is a coed program for young adults ages 13 through 20. However, both the boy and girl dens will use the same curriculum. Reasons include competition from youth sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy schedules that prompt some parents to despair of meeting all their children's obligations. "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".

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