By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Boy Scouts of America will start admitting girls as Cub Scouts next year and then open up a program for older girls in 2019.

In a statement, the Philadelphia-Area Cradle of Liberty Council applauded their national organization’s decision to accept girls into their ranks.

“Competition is nothing new for the Girl Scouts,” said Kim Fraites-Dow, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.

She says their group is 40,000 scouts strong and growing; and they believe girls-only scouting offers a unique opportunity.

“We’re really the girl experts. Girls really love being in all-girl, girl-lead environments,” Fraites-Dow said.

The national organization’s response was somewhat stronger- issuing a statement saying the Boy Scouts’ house is on fire.

“I don’t understand why they would do that,” said Darisha Miller.

Miller grew up in Troop 221 here in Philadelphia. She says the all-girl environment helped her develop.

“There’s something that a girl at a tender young age, that a man can’t help her with,” she said.

In recent years, Boy Scouts of America has seen declining enrollment.

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