Boy Scouts now accepting girls

Maggie Vitela was part of a program with the Boy Scouts when she was 15-year-old. Credit Maggie Vitela

Maggie Vitela was part of a program with the Boy Scouts when she was 15-year-old. Credit Maggie Vitela

According to the release, the program will enable older girls to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout rank while allowing Boy Scouts of America to maintain its single-gender model.

After receiving years of input from families, and girls, the Boy Scouts of America chose to open its doors for girls to enroll. The rank is now only available through the boy's only organization.

BSA says it's simply wants to make things more convenient for families.

"It's an awesome program, a lot of high adventures and stuff they may not be able to do in Girl Scouts", Walter said.

He said the girls and boys will be in separate groups, and older girls will have a chance to join in 2019.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has lost about a third of its members since 2000, which now stands at 2.3 million.

"There are no plans to change our name at this time", spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in an email.

Etzenhouser said computer and tech fields are important to expose boys to as well.

Alison Wilcox, Chief Operating Officer for Girl Scouts of Western New York, still feels that a girls-only environment is best for girls' development.

Anderson says that the BOA has had other co-ed programs since 1971.

"Boys and girls are the same".

Cub Scout dens will stay single-gender, either all boys or all girls.

The organization says the change comes after years of requests from families and girls.

"My immediate thought was why?" says Laice Reid, a Boy Scout mother from Gladwin County.

"It will benefit girls because it gives them the opportunity to do the same different things that the young men are doing now, and there's a great learning opportunity", said Bain.

"I'm surprised it's coming at this point of time but I think that it's gonna be alright, I think that Caegen will learn some things from the girls and the girls are definitely gonna learn things from them", said Cathy Bewley, former cub scout leader.

"We will continue to have our camping trips that serve girls", Wyckoff said.

"I know that the Boy Scouts have been experiencing a decline as a segment of their membership base has shifted away", she said.

As for 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah, she pointed to one of the badges on her Girl Scout vest, the one with Rosie the Riveter on it flexing her muscle. He expressed enthusiasm at the possibility that the changes could draw hundreds of thousands more girls into BSA ranks over the coming years.

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