As many of you know, I have been involved in scouting for 16 years on the local unit level. I love the programming and the people involved and think nothing but positive things about Boy Scout Troops & Cub Scout Packs.
I have known about the initiative to allow girls into our units for a few months and will wait to see how the transition goes. Everything I have read from BSA National has me intrigued and I feel the programming will be a positive for families, if what we are being told, is how things will roll out.
I have been in a leadership role for several years in our individual units and we have included brothers and sisters... even girlfriends in to our programming, to an extent. I believe including them in those programs has benefited the families involved in our units. You see, with working parents, single parent households, grandparents and siblings as primary care givers, the family dynamic has changed.
I can't speak intelligently about the Girl Scouts because I have never been involved in their programming, but I am being told that Boy/Cub Scouts programming is very different and can benefit kids that would enjoy one program over the other. I hope and pray that and both programs will continue to coexsist and complement each other going forward.
Here is the "official" news story from CNN, if you're interested...
The Boy Scouts of America says girls will soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the organization's highest honor. The scouting board of directors has voted unanimously to make the historic change.
Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts Michael Surbaugh says that he hopes the change would "meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children." The organization has been primarily for boys, since its founding more than 100 years ago.
What does this mean? Starting next year, young girls will be able to join Cub Scout units known as dens. Dens will however remain single-gender – all boys or all girls. A separate program for older girls will launch in 2019, enabling young women to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. In a statement, the organization said the move reflects the "changing nature of American life." What’s the public reaction? Mixed and measured to say the least:
- "I think it's a good thing in that the Boy Scouts have a long history of discrimination and they are taking action," says Toni Van Pelt, the President of the National Organization for Women (NOW). "The devil is in the details and we need to wait and see how this plays out."
- The Girl Scouts, on the other hand, are looking at the move as little more than a money grab. “The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today – and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success," the organization says in a statement. “The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families. Girl Scouts offers a one-of-a-kind experience for girls with a program tailored specifically to their unique developmental needs.”