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12 October 2017, 12:47 | Darnell Patrick
Boy Scouts Will Finally Allow Girls to Join
This change will allow local troops to decide the best approach for them and will eventually allow girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women urged the Boy Scouts to admit girls to the entire program, supporting the efforts of a NY teenager, Sydney Ireland, to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, as her older brother did. Cub Scout dens will each remain single-gender, either all-girls or all-boys.
A separate program for older girls will be available in 2019, the Boy Scouts said, enabling them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
The BSA has approved the plan unanimously at a meeting in Irving Texas.
Boy Scouts of America has about 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in the United States and its territories.
Officials at western MA council of the boy scouts are excited about the news.
"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. She added that a co-ed model goes against "research supporting single gender programming". That didn't sit well with the Girl Scouts of the US, whose leadership accused the Boy Scouts of running a "covert campaign to recruit girls".
The Boy Scouts still finds itself in the national spotlight from time to time.
Wonderful and timely news from @boyscouts on the #DayoftheGirl! "The Girl Scouts is a great organization, but it's just not the program I want to be apart of".
The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA, founded in 1910, are among several major youth organizations in the US experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years.
Five years ago, Scouts for Equality challenged the Boy Scouts of America to fully live up to its own principles and take the lead in making the organization a home to all Americans willing to live by the Scout Oath and Law.
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