Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Area groups react to Boy Scout decision

Area groups react to Boy Scout decision

But their parent organizations may find that promise hard to keep as they head into a potentially bitter competition triggered by the Boy Scouts of America's dramatic move to admit girls throughout its ranks. Cub Scout packs can include any combination of all boy or all girl dens.

Else said programming is decided among councils and troops, and that plenty of troops offer opportunities for camping and outdoors activities. Smith said he can remember when he started his career with Boy Scouts in 1982 that unit leaders wanted their daughters to go. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Neil Armstrong and Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates are just a few notable men who have attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

Deliberation over the plan had caused friction between the organization and the Girl Scouts of the US, which spilled into public in August when a letter from Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan that accused the Boy Scouts of trying to bolster dwindling numbers was released.

"We're really the girl experts". Both Jones and Osterlund told NBC Montana enrollment has been steady for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh described the decision in part as an attempt to bring more families into the Boy Scouts, whose membership has declined by about a third since 2000. The changes will begin in 2018, when girls will be able to enroll as Cub Scouts. She acknowledged the group needs to do more to build its visibility.

A high-school junior, Cassidy is "extremely happy" that women will have the opportunity to join the program at a younger age and work their way up to achieving Eagle Scout.

The Boy Scouts, which has seen dwindling membership numbers in recent decades, said that its programs could nurture girls as well as boys, and that the switch would make life easier for busy parents, who might prefer to shuttle children to a single organization regardless of gender. "We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive".

Although Hulet believes the announcement may cause some contention between the two groups, she said the impact wouldn't be significant because BSA programs have remained heavily focused on outdoor activities while GSUSA programs have not. Girls have different environmental and developmental needs, Wilcox said.

"I went overseas with Girl Scouts and I camped all over the United States with Girl Scouts, but he did very recognizable Boy Scout things, so there's a difference", she said.

Steven Smith, CEO of the Connecticut River Council - the local branch of the Boy Scouts of America, with more than 20,000 scouts in eastern, central, and western Connecticut - emphasized that the integration is meant to complement Girl Scouts.

BSA offered camps to Girl Scouts affected by closures. She says the all-girl environment helped her develop. "Our program is written for girls, by girls", said Communications and Marketing Manager for the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Gina Dzielak.

While the Girl Scouts of San Diego chose not to comment on the Boy Scouts announcement, they do point out that they have an equivalent rank to Eagle Scout, known as the Gold Award, which carries equal prestige even though it is lesser known. It's about what we convey to young women about their achievements and the context in which they pursue them - that they are less valuable, simply because they weren't designed by men.

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