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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs

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Here it is, folks.  It's a decision.


From the Scouting Newsroom


Research reinforces interest expressed by families and girls nationwide as organization looks to offer programs that meet the needs of today’s families


Irving, Texas – October 11, 2017 – Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the 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 decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,†said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.â€

Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before [1], making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family. Recent surveys [2] of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts.  Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.

“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing†said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization.  It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.â€

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. 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. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.



This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.



For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page.



About the Boy Scouts of America


The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®†The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.



[1] PEW Research Center survey conducted Sept. 15 – Oct. 13, 2015 among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18.

[2] BSA surveys included two external Harris surveys and four internal surveys conducted from April to September 2017. Surveys were conducted online.



Keep it civil.

Edited by John-in-KC
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I'm glad the board made this decision. It is the right one, for our youth and for the future of Scouting. If some COs and leaders can't adjust to modern life, so be it. The Scouts will be just fine, r

I became Eagle shortly after you (1978).  When I joined, the old requirements were still in place, and I earned Second Class under them.  I had about half the requirements for First Class done when th

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Nope, this argument is the straw man. Boy Scouts is for boys. So a member of an organization for boys -- that has been for boys only for over 100 years -- has a very valid argument aski

Here is the article from NBC:


Boy Scouts will admit girls, allow them to earn Eagle Scout rank
NBC news
Oct 11th 2017 1:12PM
The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that girls will soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the organization’s highest honor.
"We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children," said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts.
The scouting board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change in an organization that has been primarily for boys since its founding more than 100 years ago. 
Starting next year, young girls can join Cub Scout units, known as dens. Local scouting organizations can choose to have dens for girls and dens for boys. "Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls," the organization said in a statement.
A separate program for older girls will be available in 2019, BSA said, enabling them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
The Boy Scouts said the moves reflect the changing nature of American life, with more dual-earning and single-parent families than never before, adding to the appeal of a scouting program that can serve the entire family.
BSA said it commissioned two nationwide surveys that showed parents not involved in scouting had high interest in getting their daughters signed up for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Girls are now part of four scouting programs — Venturing and Sea Scouting, geared toward outdoor activities; Exploring, a career-oriented mentoring program; and STEM, focusing on science and math. But those programs have not offered a path to Eagle Scout for girls.
Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women urged the Boy Scouts to admit girls to the entire program, supporting the efforts of a New York teenager, Sydney Ireland, to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, as her older brother did.
 "I just want to do what the Boy Scouts do — earn the merit badges and earn the Eagle Award," she told NBC News. "The Girl Scouts is a great organization, but it's just not the program that I want to be part of. I think girls should just have the opportunity to be a member of any organization they want regardless of gender."
In the past, the Girl Scouts have been cool to the idea of admitting girls into the Boy Scouts, citing research which showed that many girls learn best in an all-female environment.
"We are unparalleled in our ability to build great female leaders who contribute to society at every level," said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a psychologist who helps guide the Girl Scouts.
Edited by NJCubScouter
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Just to be clear, this is NOT a decision to allow girls into Boy Scout troops.  I understand that some here believe that will be the result, or the "second step", or whatever, but the fact remains that the BSA is setting up a separate, parallel program for Boy Scout-age girls, in which they can earn Eagle.


What I find interesting is that girls will be admitted to Cub Scouts in the "2018 program year" (question: Does the "program year" start in January, or September?) but the new girls' Boy Scout-age program "will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019."  I believe that in the famous video, CSE Surbaugh said this is what they would NOT do; he said the change in Cub Scouts membership would NOT be implemented until a new program was in place for the girl-Webelos to cross over to.  My interpretation of this is that National is really anxious to start signing up girls for Cub Scouts but they realized it was going to take some time to work out the logistics of an entirely new program - even if it is identical to Boy Scouts in program, advancement, etc., and the reference to Eagle suggests that that may be the plan.  Also notice the word "projected", which means they will TRY to have the program implemented in 2019.  Projections have a way of changing over time.

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I'm glad my tenure is almost over. Lets spin some more lies. Just to be clear that video we watched and survey I just took last month was to be clear. It was clear in that it was a survey on whether a discussion should take place about this possibility. So it went from "should we discuss this topic" to a done deal in less than 4 weeks. They stood in front of me at our round table and said multiple times. "This is not a done deal, far from it. It to gauge interest on whether we should persue this topic".....Do they think I'm that stupid.. So when someone now sits there and says "Just to be clear, this is NOT a decision to allow girls into Boy Scout troops"....I'll call bull crap now...It may start out as a separate program and then when there's not enough scouts or leaders they will morph into co-ed troops. I can tell you from my troop experience. There isn't one female person that wants to be a scout leader. As a man. I'm not going camping with another male leader and no female leader and girls in a troop. That's all there is to it...I'm done...Boy scouts was the one last thing a boy could have to himself...It's BS and it's a money grab. Plan and simple...
lets stuff them into cub scouts, let the packs figure it out and then we will try and figure out how to stuff them into boy scouts..

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1) It sounds like a good idea probably in the boardroom, but frankly I just don't see there being enough volunteers to staff totally duplicate programs.   


Maybe I am wrong, but based on what I know from my own troop, and what I know of our sister cub scout pack, there just aren't enough people willing to help out to make this happen.


2) How long until certain merit badges are dropped now because they have "sexist" content, or are labeled as "not fair" for the female scouts...


I am not trying to be a chauvinist here or anything, but come on, we all know how this works these days and how parents are.

Edited by ham_solo
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