The Boy Scouts are no longer just for boys - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

The Boy Scouts are no longer just for boys

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The organization Wednesday announced it will admit girls to the program.

Under the plan, Cub Scout dens, those are kids kindergarten through 5th grade, will be single-gender either all-boy dens or all-girl dens.

The Boy Scouts 6th graders through 21 years old will allow girls starting in 2019.

This will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of eagle scout.

On the BSA website, a press release explains, most families are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before 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.

The Girl Scouts said they are not pleased with the announcement.

“Bottom line is Girl Scouts have been around for more than a century.  We're 105 years old.  Girl Scouts is the best leadership experience for girls in the world.  We have the experience, we have the expertise, we have the data-backed programming that is designed specifically for the needs and interests of girls,” said Kristi Osterlund, Montana Girl Scout.

We also spoke with several parents this afternoon to get their reactions to the announcement.

"It shouldn't just be so stereotypical that boys are rugged and girls are not, girls are in the kitchen and boys aren't. I think that it's important to let them explore whichever aspect that they want to and encourage them to seek different ways,” said Paula Peterson, Parent.      

We did hear from a scout dad.

He said the Girl Scouts have been for girls and the boy scouts for boys. That's how it's been for over a century.

He added he thinks the mixed gender dynamic can present a logistical nightmare for pack camping trips and other activities.

“Not to mention the fact that adding females to the Boy Scouts would create a fundamental conflict with the name of our organization,” said Evan Miller, Cub Scout parent.

The national organization is leaving the final decision whether to admit girls to packs and troops up to the local leadership.

Again, the new rules will go into effect in 2018 for Cub Scouts, kids kindergarten through-5th grade, and 2019 for the older scouts.

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