The Boy Scouts of America organization on Wednesday announced that young girls will be permitted to enter the organization.
The organization added that girls will be able to become Cub Scouts and can earn the rank of Eagle Scout, just the same as young boys.
Why was the decision made?
Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts, in a statement explained the organization’s decision to allow girls into the traditionally — and historically — male-only scouts.
“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Surbaugh said.
The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to allow girls into the Boy Scouts.
Starting in 2018, girls will be allowed to join Cub Scout dens, and it will be up to local chapters to determine what type of den they want.
“Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls,” the organization said in a statement.
What did the Girl Scouts have to say about it?
Lisa Margosian, the chief customer officer with the Girl Scouts, in a statement to Buzzfeed said, “We’ve had wind that this was in the works and we were somewhat surprised that this was a unanimous decision [by the BSA board].”
She said that the Boy Scouts made their decision to allow the entry of girls into the organization to help bolster their membership, which she claimed is on a decline.
“We’ve enjoyed a strong relationship and partnership with them over the years and we’re disappointed that the BSA didn’t discuss this with us to say ‘We’re having trouble with our membership,'” she said.
Margosian added, “We’ve had competitors come and go. This is yet another competitor. At this point, we’re just about reminding people that we have an expertise in serving girls that the Boy Scouts just don’t have.”