Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Local cub master and scout father weigh in on boy scout changes

Local cub master and scout father weigh in on boy scout changes

In Cape Coral, Eagle Scout Jason Wolfe looks back on his 37 years spent in the Boy Scouts of America, an organization his 14-year-old daughter is already a member of, in addition to being a Girl Scout. "They're both great, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Girl Scouts but it's a different program".

"We tried the Girl Scouts when she was younger and it just didn't work out for her - it's not what I expected it to be", she said. This new change has many showing support and others speaking out against it. But for now, the Boy Scout label will remain.

Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens, which is the smallest unit, will be single gender - either all boys or all girls.

Although girls will now be able to join the Cub Scouts, groups will still be separated by gender. "If people come to us and say we'd like to start a program for our girls where our girls can earn the Eagle Scout rank, then we'll start that program with them". "That they'll get to have the experiences that the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts have been having", says Venturing Advisor, Maddy Kangas.

In a statement, Boy Scouts chief executive Michael Surbaugh said it was a choice they needed to make.

Wycoff says, if anything, she thinks the changes will help bring more girls to their troops. "I'm an Eagle Scout, so I was in scouting as a child from Cub Scouts right on through".

But for families like Andrew Miller's, getting their daughters involved in Boy Scouts is the best option. "What we're presenting is a fairly unique hybrid model".

The announcement comes weeks after the Girl Scouts accused the BSA of running a "covert campaign" to recruit girls, the Washington Post reported. Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA's move was driven partly by a need to boost revenue, and they contended there is fiscal stress in part because of past settlements paid by the BSA in sex-abuse cases.

Girl Scouts president Kathy Hopkinah Hannan wrote earlier in 2017 to the Boy Scouts to oppose their expansion and accuse them of attempting to artificially shore up membership numbers. "I think everybody should learn it, so making it open to girls also is awesome", Watson said. "That shows that girls are just as good as boys".

Watson says numerous boys have sisters who have expressed interest in archery, BB guns and other scout activities.

"I have to say I'm disappointed", Girl Scouts of North Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski told our sister station WFAA.

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