Boy Scouts Of America To Admit Girls Into Some Programs Beginning Next Year

NEW YORK (AP) — In its latest momentous policy shift, the Boy Scouts of America will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and establish a new program for older girls based on the Boy Scout curriculum that enables them to aspire to the coveted Eagle Scout rank.

Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of tradition, the Boy Scouts have undergone major changes in the past five years, agreeing to accept openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys.

The expansion of girls’ participation, announced Wednesday after unanimous approval by the organization’s board of directors, is arguably the biggest change yet, potentially opening the way for hundreds of thousands of girls to join.

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Many scouting organizations in other countries already allow both genders and use gender-free names such as Scouts Canada. But for now, the Boy Scout label will remain.

“There are no plans to change our name at this time,” spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in an email.

Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders. The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the same Eagle Scout rank that has been attained by astronauts, admirals, senators and other luminaries.

Boy Scout leaders said the change was needed to provide more options for parents.

“The values of scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive.

The announcement follows many months of outreach by the BSA, which distributed videos and held meetings to discuss possibility expanding girls’ participation beyond existing programs, such as Venturing, Exploring and Sea Scouts.

Surveys conducted by the Boy Scouts showed strong support for the change among parents not currently connected to the scouts, including Hispanic and Asian families that the BSA has been trying to attract. Among families already in the scouting community, the biggest worry, according to Surbaugh, was that the positive aspects of single-sex comradeship might be jeopardized.

“We’ll make sure those environments are protected,” he said. “What we’re presenting is a fairly unique hybrid model.”

During the outreach, some parents expressed concern about possible problems related to overnight camping trips. Surbaugh said there would continue to be a ban on mixed-gender overnight outings for scouts ages 11 to 14. Cub Scout camping trips, he noted, were usually family affairs with less need for rigid polices.

The Girl Scouts of the USA have criticized the initiative, saying it strains the century-old bond between the two organizations. Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA’s move was driven partly by a need to boost revenue, and they contended there is fiscal stress in part because of past settlements paid by the BSA in sex-abuse cases.

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In August, the president of the Girl Scouts, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts’ operations. On Monday, Latino civic leader Charles Garcia, just days after being named to the Girl Scouts’ national board, wrote an opinion piece for the Huffington Post calling the BSA’s overture to girls “a terrible idea.”

“The Boy Scouts’ house is on fire,” Garcia wrote. “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.”

Instead of recruiting girls, Garcia said the BSA should focus on attracting more black, Latino and Asian boys — particularly those from low-income households.

The BSA recently increased its annual membership fee for youth members and adult volunteers from $24 to $33, but Surbaugh said the decision to expand programming for girls was not driven by financial factors. He expressed enthusiasm at the possibility that the changes could draw hundreds of thousands more girls into BSA ranks over the coming years.

The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. Reasons include competition from sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy family schedules.

As of March, the Girl Scouts reported more than 1.5 million youth members and 749,000 adult members, down from just over 2 million youth members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014. The Boy Scouts say current youth participation is about 2.35 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in peak years of the past.

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Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women urged the Boy Scouts to allow girls to join. NOW said it was inspired by the efforts of a 15-year-old New York City girl, Sydney Ireland, to emulate her older brother, who is an Eagle Scout.

Unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have maintained girls-only status for all their programs. The empowerment of girls is at the core of its mission.

“We know that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led environment,” said Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a psychologist who provides expertise on development for the Girl Scouts’ national programming.

The Boy Scouts’ new policy on girls was hailed by Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout who played an active role in pressuring the BSA to end its ban on gays. However, he urged the Boy Scouts to take one more step and end its exclusion of atheists and non-believers who do not profess a “duty to God.”

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


One Comment

  1. Finally, our new mainstream society manages (dictates) a new norm. Members who consider themselves poor will recieve free or reduced campfire smores. To ensure safety members will receive a compass, better still an Obama phone, so they dont get lost. New members will be required to join a scouting union to ensure that they have full access to snipes during a campout. The feds will create a new bureaucracy, the “Department of Redundancy Department,” to ensure that some privileged scouts who obtain numerous merit badges give up a few to those less productive.

  2. Ernie Ball says:

    Another American institution crushed and buried by the ‘progressive’ left…they are successfully killing off our history by destroying it from the inside out.

  3. In an attempt to recruit from new populations, fundamentally uninterested in their programs, the BSA and GSA adopt new policies that wilol utterly alienate their traditional base. Gramsci’s march through the institutions continues. Inevitably, when the BSA and GSA finally go belly up as a result of prog infiltration, the country’s progs will crow that it was because they were not leftist enough.

  4. I guess now the boy scouts can start to sell thin mint cookies. We are creating a society where there will be no gender and males will become neutral as far as leaders of households or protectors of families. We are doomed.

  5. Steven Bowen says:

    Yeah, another appalling media move by the BS due to the fact that the organization is dying due to lack of membership. This is why the left keeps losing political ground and credibility, and why Trump got elected, because this PC nonsense has gone way too far.

  6. Now that the Boy Scouts have caved in. It is time to force the Girl Scouts to accept boys.

  7. Boy scouts is for boys. Girl scouts is for girls. Why is that controversial? Start a new group if you want a mix. Seems sexist to imply that the girl scouts isn’t good enough for girls. The pussification of America is real. Look at people like Trudeau who called masculinity toxic. Really? Is that not sexist too? Who gets to decide what’s sexist?

  8. “The Girl Scouts of the USA have criticized”
    Criticizing is a kneejerk reaction, not a beneficial response. Creating within the GSA, programs similar to the BSA programs that have attracted girls, would be a logical and beneficial response.

  9. Admin-c says:

    Why are Boy Scouts age limited? This is age discrimination!

  10. MH Thomas says:

    How utterly Stupid the world has become.

  11. Julia Dixon says:

    Why do the Girl Scouts (GS) complain? The GS already admit gender confused boys and treats them as girls. Now the BS are just returning the favor. Progressive don’t you know?

    And pathetic altogether.

    1. Thomas Ford says:

      I’m sure that the parents of their precious Billy or Linda, pubescent or nor, are comforted to know that if their offspring has any question about which restroom to use or which changing room is applicable, the gay and confused Scout Master/Mistress will be there to give guidance.

  12. This is all consistent with the Lefties’ agenda to destroy every single American value and tradition. Nothing is considered immoral anymore. Can anyone name anything they have NOT tried to destroy? Patriotism, self-reliance, the struggle to achieve, respect for authority, the definition of marriage, of gender, of perverted behavior–EVERYTHING has been destroyed. What next? Will pedophiles soon demand the “right” to be scoutmasters? And if they do, upon what grounds can their “rights” be denied?

  13. Lee Jenkins says:

    Twenty years ago when my nephew went through Scouting we were all appalled at how mediocre the program had become. Badges were given away for just showing up instead of actually achieving anything. The Eagle Scout badge itself has been diminished so much that if a Scout is NOT able to obtain it then something is wrong with him. Rather than correct the problems with Scouting having become one big “participation trophy” the BSA has decided to embark on this course instead to try to recoup the loss of revenue and interest in its programs. Exactly the wrong path and it will eventually gut the whole program as a rival will undoubtedly pop up to offer what Scouting no longer offers.

  14. Liberals set out to destroy the boy scouts ans they have won. It is a total disgrace.

  15. What do we call this abomination now? The IT’S SCOUTS.

  16. Membership numbers will continue to decline as concerned parents move their kids to more traditional venues. And the gurus of smart will continue to be puzzled.

  17. Mike Herman says:

    Within one year both the NFL and Boy Scouts have committed suicide in the name of liberalism.

  18. Mike Herman says:

    So they think they’ll be able to have “separate but equal” functions for boys and girls? How long will that last before the Courts integrate them? And shouldn’t the NBA be forced to open a Women’s league parallel to their own to compete with the WNBA?

    1. Not so much. When we have an activity, adult leadership has to include women if a female venture scout will be present. Girls tent with girls. This is not the result of NOW getting behind a girl who wanted to join the Boy Scouts. In Canada, girls are part of Boy Scouting. Venture Scouts include girls. We have a lot of parents who have sons and daughters who are unhappy with Girl Scout values and activities (and we have a particularly good Boy Scout Troop). These people have suffered the Girl Scouts until their daughters are old enough to Venture. Now they have a choice. Scouting is an ‘asexual’ activity. It’s a lot of fun for boys and girls.

  19. Andy Howe says:

    Boys will be boys. And sometimes girls will be boys. And sometimes they are just not sure.

  20. No. That word must be used every time some moronic plan comes up. No.

  21. Paul Trott says:

    The emasculation agenda rocks on.

  22. Great development. We get girls in our Venture Crew. The Girl Scouts are *very* political and intolerant of diverse values. These young women are much more comfortable with our Venture program. Many have wished they could join earlier and now they can. It’s rare that the BSA’s national leadership gets something right. With this, they hit a home run!

    1. Mike Herman says:

      More like a long foul ball.

    2. Mike Herman says:

      Beware liberals bringing “diverse values”.

      1. The Scout Oath and Scout Law are far from liberal values. Most troops are sponsored by a local church or temple of some kind. Be careful not to confuse the missteps of the national leadership with the stewardship of local troops. At the national level, the BSA is about raising money. Locally, scouting is about raising good kids.

  23. If I was in my teens, I might not have a problem with a girl hopping in my sleeping bag for an overnighter. ;-)

  24. Rodney Reed says:

    Boy Scouts accept openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys.
    That’s not the America I came to accept as great. Immoral people like the gays and trans is not the roll model for Boy Scouts of America that they WERE known for. Now girls, so no more BOY “, just immoral Lucifer Scouts. That sounds right!!

  25. First they started accepting gays. Then transgendered. Now girls.
    So why do they still insist on the name “Boy Scouts?”
    They lost my support when the gays were admitted. I’m not sorry for my decision either.

  26. Mark Meyer says:

    The height of liberal PC stupidity.

    1. Mike Herman says:

      NEVER assume you’ve seen the depths of liberalism. It has no floor.

  27. Prediction: In 10 years girls will come to dominate the Boy Scouts like women dominate the college student population, and then even more boys will lose interest in it because it is no longer a guy thing but a girl thing. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will then merge into one giant development program catering mostly to girls, and boys will be marginalized and their unique development needs neglected, like we are witnessing in society generally. The truth is that girls do not need Scouts in the same way that boys need it. Boys have a much greater need for the structure, discipline, goals, and leadership skills provided by the Boy Scout program than do girls.
    Boys need Scouts to help harness and channel their physical energy into constructive paths and to counteract boys’ greater natural ADHD, and their lack of motivation and self discipline. But the good news is Scout executives and employees all over the country will be able to maintain their employment with the influx of girls joining scouts.

  28. “Surveys conducted by the Boy Scouts showed strong support for the change among parents not currently connected to the scouts,”

    Seems strange that they are more interested the views of parents whose kids are not in Scouting than they are of those that have boys already in Scouting. I wonder if they asked them if they would sign up their kids after the change?

    I bet both the BSA and the Girl Scouts will see membership declines because of this change.

    1. Dana Egbert says:

      Perhaps if the local BSA’s actually respond to multiple emails expressing interest in joining in a timely manner, instead of waiting almost a year and a half without any responses, they would not have to have girls join the ranks.

  29. iodiner says:

    Raise the rainbow flag….the left has conquered another American institution.

  30. iodiner says:

    Liberals literally ruin everything.

  31. Darren Davis says:

    The Boy Scouts of America will crumble to a club for boys and girls. It will be taken over by LBG and Women. Women cannot lead Boy Scouts, and Men cannot lead Girl Scouts, and LDGT have zero business with either. It’s a sad day in history.

  32. “there would continue to be a ban on mixed-gender overnight outings for scouts ages 11 to 14…” Well that’s reassuring. Nice to know the 15 and 16 year-old boys and girls will have no restrictions on camping out together. I wonder if condoms will be added to BSA recommended list of supplies to take on a campout?

    1. Mark Meyer says:

      Change your name to TonyDolt.

      1. Lee Jenkins says:

        No, you change your name to Ms. Emasculation.

    2. Mike Herman says:

      Teenage boys and girls camping in the woods overnight…what could possibly go wrong?

  33. Stu Pedasso says:

    Should make those camp outs a whole lot more interesting than I remember. ; )

  34. Is there a merit badge for engaging in turf wars?

  35. This is annoying the feminists at the Girl Scouts, so I can’t see it as a bad thing.

  36. Which will it be, the “Goy Scouts” or the “Birl Scouts?” Decisions, decisions.

    1. Mike Herman says:

      Just don’t use the wrong pronoun. You can get arrested.

  37. Girl Scouts is clearly an organization that is a thing of the past. Move into the future with Boy Scouts.

    1. Clearly you are a Harvey Rapestein pedophile. Democrats like you should be banned from the public.

  38. Sharp Shtik says:

    Democrats feminized the boy scouts into the gay scouts, rendering it irrelevant to 99.99% of boys. Girls with be a good fit with the gay scouts..

  39. Martin Deano says:

    The left is destroying this country brick by brick. If America doesn’t wake up, take these clowns seriously and correct this problem, the country is lost.

  40. This is one reason Trail Life USA was formed. My son was able to get his Eagle before the church sponsoring his troop dropped their charter. The church considered the troop as a part of it’s youth ministry and did not agree with the decision to allow openly gay scouts and just the overall direction of BSA. Many troops were dropped because of this. I am also an Eagle from way back and the organization has definitely developed some issues over the years and became really PC. Still proud of my son’s accomplishment though. It really is a personal journey and teaches boys and young men a lot.

  41. Name change coming up: Scouts ?

  42. Harry Buskin says:

    “…and use gender-free names such as Scouts Canada. ”

    What’s wrong with the “LGBT Youth”? Or LGBT Pioneers”? There is one question, though: Where will they assign the boys who self-identify as girls but still keep the plumbing?

    “What a brave, new world, that has such creatures in it !” (Shakespeare, the Tempest)

    1. Why put the adjective after the noun? Scouts Canada? Is this a French thing?

  43. Soon, the left will have destroyed Boy Scouts and Scouting completely, and they can move on to the next American institution that annoys them.

  44. chrismireya says:

    The inmates are truly taking over the asylum.

  45. David Alster says:

    Those camping trips are going to be more fun.

  46. Sam Jones says:

    Unbelievable! They are now the Zie Scouts.

  47. Sean Sanders says:

    Just join the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and call it the Snowflake Society.

  48. BSA just lost my support – utterly ridiculous decision.

    1. I became an Eagle back in the 70’s when it was a really different organization. My son finished his in 2014. Things had really gone downhill by that time and many churches including the one chartering my son’s troop dropped their charters. He was one of the last Eagles from his troop.
      The church took up a charter with the new Trail Life organization. My son was able to complete their Freedom award which is the equivalent to Eagle in that organization. He was one of the first in the country to do so. I recommend Trail as a good alternative. It was formed by former scout officials as an organization to basically be what BSA used to be and improve upon it. I am not sure how they are doing now, although I could see them maybe growing even more now.

  49. Surprised I’m not reading this was a result of some civil rights bs, but it is a good idea. Girl Scouts has been on a downhill climb for years. Sell mucho cookies and girls get pennies toward summer camp, and not much else.

    1. It is a result of NOW getting behind a girl who wanted to join the Boy Scouts.

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