Girls can join the Boy Scouts starting next year

Girls can join the Boy Scouts starting next year

Girls can join the Boy Scouts starting next year

The decision came after years of receiving requests from families and girls and BSA's Chief Executive Michael Surbaugh said that it was "critical" for BSA's programs to evolve.

Both boys and girls will be allowed to enroll in the program beginning in 2018, with already existing "packs" given the option to create a new female companion "pack". The Girl Scouts, while a great organization, offer different opportunities from the BSA, and some girls would rather pursue the kind of leadership opportunities they can only find in the latter group. "The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, fearless and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", Michael Surbaugh, the group's chief executive, said in a statement.

Eventually, they will also be able to attain the rank of Eagle Scout - another program focused on older girls will go into effect in 2019.

In another pre-emptive move, the Scouts will soon allow girls to become Cub Scouts and work their way up to Eagle Scout, the group's highest rank, after an unanimous vote by the scouting board of directors.

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In explaining the decision, the board said it took the realities of a busy family life into consideration.

More details about a program for older girls, which will the same curriculum as the boys program, will be announced next year.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that they will officially begin to allow girls into their ranks.

The Girl Scouts of the U.S. reprimanded the activity, saying it stressed the extremely old bond between the two associations. After allowing women to serve as Scoutmasters and volunteers for local groups in the 1980s (following a lawsuit), the organization has (since 2013) reversed its policies and allowed LGBT scouts and volunteers.

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GSUSA president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan in an email obtained by Buzzfeed News suggests the Boy Scouts have been attempting to bolster its own membership by reaching out to Girls Scout recruits.

Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, president of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, in an August letter to Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson accused the BSA of a "covert campaign" to recruit girls amid "well documented" declining membership, the Washington Post reported.

"Families today are busier and more diverse than ever".

Cub Scouts range in age from 7 to 10, and Boy Scout members can be as young as 10 if they have finished the fifth grade.

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The BSA said it has 2.3 million youth members, down about a third since 2000.

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