Brownwood scout leaders support decision to let girls join

Marco Green
October 13, 2017

The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. "We've had females involved in our co-ed, ages 14 through the age of 20, career development programs called "Exploring" since its inception in the 1950s".

The Boy Scouts of America, which was the target of progressive ire over its decades long resistance to changing rules that prohibited gay scouts and troop leaders, has made significant moves to open up its membership in recent years.

Tom Smotherman with the Sioux Council Boy Scouts says the national organization is seeing that trend across the country. "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".

Marketing and Communications Manager for Montana Girl Scouts Kristi Osterlund said in no uncertain terms, they are opposed to the move the Boy Scouts made on Wednesday.

But Soto-Harmon believes there is a misconception about what is available in the Girl Scouts.

And the title of Cub Scout and Eagle Scout that was reserved for boys, is about to change.

Smotherman says boys and girls will learn the same programming but in separate groups. Girls have different environmental and developmental needs, Wilcox said.

Eberspeaker said, "We hope that local girls will still come to Girl Scouts because we are the best program for your daughters and for the girls and we still hope that everyone will still join Girl Scouts and have that all girl environment". Earlier this year, the church announced that it would stop participating in two Boy Scouts programs for teenagers.

"The Girl Scouts remain committed and feel strongly about the importance of an all-girl, girl lead, girl friendly environment that the Girl Scouts provide", Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons CEO, Marla Meyer said. "Girls in Boy Scouting is not a new concept".

According to statistics, in the United States, 90 percent of female astronauts, 80 percent of female tech leaders, 76 percent of current senators and 50 percent of female business owners are former Girl Scouts. The organization's highest honor is the Gold Award, similar to an Eagle Scout honor. She wants to see girls receive the same opportunity.

Wilcox said this is their membership season which makes it easier for girls to join during this time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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