The Boy Scouts of America‘s board of directors have unanimously agreed to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and will create a path for older girls to earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
The organization released this statement today:
“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. [T]he organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.”
This was also thought of as a way for busy families to help cut down on the number of various programs for their children:
“Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing.”
Currently the BSA has about 2.3 million youth members (age 7 t0 21) and another 960,000 volunteers in the U.S.
The rank of Eagle Scout was started over 100 years ago and only 4% of Boy Scouts are granted the rank after a long review process. It takes years to fulfill the requirements. Almost 2.5 million young men have become Eagle Scouts.
No word on whether the organization will change from its current gender-specific name. Nor have the Girl Scouts of America commented. Could this be a strategic move to force a merger between the two organizations to tap into that “big cookie” money? Probably not, but you never know.
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