Local chapter reacts to Boy Scouts accepting girls

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U.S. Air Force

"There are people who still think of Girl Scouts as campfires, cookies and friendship bracelets-but we are so much more!"

But a major change is coming to the Boy Scouts of America, which has faced pressure recently over transgender scouts, President Donald Trump's remarks at the National Jamboree, and other issues: Girls will now be able to join Cub Scouts and attain the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout through two initiatives announced on Wednesday. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders.

The Boy Scouts say the move is something families have asked about for years. "So, when we have the whole family together, that really helps the parents to get the activities that they want".

Skelly says the Boy Scouts still have a lot to work out before they start welcoming girls into the organization, but he's looking forward to new opportunities not just for himself as a volunteer, but also his family.

Following the announcement by Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to open its programs to girls, Girl Scouts remains committed to and believes strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment. They worry the move will create unnecessary competition and will hurt their own membership.

Denise Ebersealer, the Director of Development and Communications for Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, said they want to maintain as many girls in their program as they can. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the Girl Scouts' highest honor, the Gold Award.

The Boy Scouts of San Diego did not respond to multiple 10News requests for an interview. This outreach included the distribution of video testimony of Surbaugh discussing the possibility of expanding girls' participation in Scouting programs outside of the existing Venturing and Sea Scouts programs. About that many young people and about 500 fewer adults participate in the Anthony Wayne Area Council of the Boy Scouts.

"My five year-old daughter probably knows the scout oath better than half of the boys to be honest", Reynoza said.

Smotherman says boys and girls will learn the same programming but in separate groups.

- A day after the Boy Scouts of America announced it will admit girls starting in 2018, the Girl Scouts of the US are responding.

Nelles also said she was embarrassed by the harsh tone of some GSUSA statements assailing the Boy Scouts, such as one written this week by Latino civic leader Charles Garcia, a new member of Girl Scouts' national board.

"Eagle Scout gets them somewhere on their resume", she said. "We are not trying to replace them", Smith said. Girls will work on the same rank advancement as boys and participate in events like the Pinewood Derby and summer camp along the way. When it comes to scouting, Wilcox said Girl Scouts is the best positioned girls leadership program nationally and in Western New York.

Co-ed programs through the Boy Scouts organization are nothing new, he said.

While there is a rough equivalent in the Girl Scouts - the Gold Award - the honor is not almost as well-known as the Eagle Scout distinction.

"When you're the father of a young woman who's going to be going off to college, you kind of wish they had the opportunity to make the rank of Eagle", Lewis said.

Les Callette said it's not just about the awards, however.

The BSA's initiative, announced Wednesday, has already chilled what had been a mostly cordial relationship between the two youth groups since the Girl Scouts of the United States of America was founded in 1912, two years after the Boy Scouts.

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