Local councils weigh in on Boy Scouts' admittance of girls

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"The Boy Scouts of America conducted some research and about a year ago it seemed like they would fast-track this notion of allowing girls to join", Farrer said.

The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

The nation has been buzzing after the Boy Scouts of America recently announced a major change to their program.

Big changes are on the horizon for the Boy Scouts of America.

The decision was celebrated by many women, but criticized by the Girl Scouts, which said that girls flourish in all-female groups.

The Boy Scouts say the move is something families have asked about for years.

"The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, fearless and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", he said in a statement Wednesday.

"As an organization that's committed to positive youth development we see this as another way to offer more choice to families", said Kent York with Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Starting in 2018, the Boy Scouts will allow girls to join the 7- to 10-year-old Cub Scouts. One of the things that is our main focus is the leadership development for girls. However, there are many unanswered questions as to the effectiveness the BSA programming will have on girls. The co-ed Venturing program, about one-third of whose participants are women, split off from Exploring in 1998.

Under the Boy Scouts' new plan, Cub Scout dens - the smallest unit - will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.

Ilana Knab wishes the changes came sooner for her family. The organization's highest honor is the Gold Award, similar to an Eagle Scout honor. "It has the same benefits that the Eagle Scout Award has".

Knab's 16-year-old daughter Cassidy, who holds a leadership position in the group, said that imbalance mattered. "It will be unbelievable to say you got Eagle and people know what you're talking about and know the work you put into it".

"They never reached out to let us know what was happening", she said.

"The young women who are part of the troop do all the hikes, they are deserving of the chance to earn the same rank advancements and deserving of a chance to stand in front of everyone and receive the Eagle", Stone said. What challenges might they encounter?

Girls have been participating in the high school level of the organization since 1971. On the other side, its relationship with its largest partner, the Mormon Church - about 20 percent of scouts are Mormon - has grown increasingly fraught. "Rather than fundamentally transform BSA into a coed program, Boy Scouts should work to ensure that it expands the scope of its program to all boys, including those whom BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys".

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