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Local Groups React To Boy Scouts' Decision To Integrate Girls

Local Groups React To Boy Scouts' Decision To Integrate Girls

"I personally think the Girl Scouts should stay the Girl Scouts, and the Boy Scouts should stay the Boy Scouts".

The Girls Scouts' statement puts it this way: "Girl Scouts is, and will remain, the scouting program that truly benefits USA girls by providing a safe space for them to learn and lead".

But a local chapter of the Girl Scouts said the decision won't change much for them.

In Western New York, the Girl Scouts serve about 15,000 girls and there are 21,000 total members including adults, she said. We remain committed to that ideal as well as the core values and vision of the Girl Scout Movement as established by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912.

We already use what boys achieve in Boy Scouts as our point of reference for what girls accomplish in Girl Scouts because the former is more familiar to the broader public than the latter.

Bean said one of the chief reasons for the inclusion of girls into the Boy Scout program, is family togetherness.

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

Under the Boy Scouts' new plan, Cub Scout dens - the smallest unit - will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls.

The rank of Eagle Scout is a prestigious and widely recognized achievement, one that can have longterm benefits in academic, professional and even military spheres. We also stand by the value of our program as manifested in years of statistically proven outcomes which demonstrate why a fully immersive single-gender scouting experience offers a powerful and unique choice.

The Boy Scouts of America "has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program", Wednesday's news release noted.

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"The Boy Scouts' approach is very militaristic and top-down, and I don't know if that's the best environment for girls to feel nurtured", said Barker, whose base is Kalamazoo, Michigan. In the interest of maintaining safe spaces for girls, boys will still not be welcome, Lopes and other GSUSA members said.

Barker noted that numerous older girls in her council were interested in talking about issues such as the sexual-assault problem on college campus. "Why not just put them [Boy and Girl Scouts] together and you could probably accomplish more with the kids ..." There was a wrenching realignment in 2006-2009 that slashed the number of local councils from 312 to 112.

Tom Smotherman with the Sioux Council Boy Scouts says the national organization is seeing that trend across the country. "We lost so many girls because of the weak programs and lack of support for outdoor activities".

Knab's 16-year-old daughter Cassidy, who holds a leadership position in the group, said that imbalance mattered.

"I think it's kind of a natural progression", said Skelly, who is part of a scouting family.

"The Boy Scouts' house is on fire", Garcia wrote in the Huffington Post. However, the organization issued a statement that implicitly challenged the Boy Scouts' decision without mentioning it. Both Jones and Osterlund told NBC Montana enrollment has been steady for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

"Girls and young women have been a part of the Scouting program at an advanced age, 14 and up, for a long time". As a result, she has mixed feelings about the Boy Scouts' new overture to girls. "I'm thrilled because the girls that I work with have said that they had wished the Boy Scout programs were available to them, so now not only can the younger girls and their siblings get involved, but I'm also thrilled that these programs will be available to all children". Do you think the Boy Scouts should be a coed organization?

The Boy Scouts of America announced the change on Wednesday after a meeting at their headquarters in Texas where the measure was unanimously approved.

Girls have been participating in the high school level of the organization since 1971.


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