NEW YORK — In its latest useful policy shift, the Boy Scouts of America will acknowledge girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and settle a new program for older girls formed on the Boy Scout curriculum that enables them to aspire to the desired Eagle Scout rank.
Founded in 1910 and prolonged deliberate a citadel of tradition, the Boy Scouts have undergone major changes in the past 5 years, similar to accept plainly happy lady members and adult volunteers, as good as transgender boys.
The enlargement of girls’ participation, announced Wednesday after unanimous capitulation by the organization’s residence of directors, is arguably the biggest change yet, potentially opening the way for hundreds of thousands of girls to join.
CBS News’ Jim Axelrod met 16-year-old Sydney Ireland — who’s been an unaccepted member of her brother’s couple given she was 4. She wanted to turn an Eagle Scout just like her brother.
“Not every girl has to wish to do the things that the Girl Scouts do,” she told CBS News. “I don’t — we wish to do the things that the Boy Scouts do.”
Many scouting organizations in other countries already concede both genders and use gender-free names such as Scouts Canada. But for now, the Boy Scout tag will remain.
“There are no plans to change the name at this time,” mouthpiece Effie Delimarkos pronounced in an email.
Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest section — will be single-gender, possibly all-boys or all-girls. The incomparable Cub Scout packs will have the option to sojourn singular gender or acquire both genders. The program for older girls is approaching to start in 2019 and will capacitate girls to earn the same Eagle Scout arrange that has been achieved by astronauts, admirals, senators and other luminaries.
Boy Scout leaders pronounced the change was indispensable to yield some-more options for parents.
“The values of scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, dauntless and reverent, for instance — are critical for both immature men and women,” pronounced Michael Surbaugh, arch director executive.
The proclamation follows many months of overdo by the BSA, which distributed videos and held meetings to plead probability expanding girls’ appearance over existent programs, such as Venturing, Exploring and Sea Scouts.
Surveys conducted by the Boy Scouts showed clever support for the change among relatives not now 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 certain aspects of single-sex affability competence be jeopardized.
“We’ll make certain those environments are protected,” he said. “What we’re presenting is a sincerely singular hybrid model.”
During the outreach, some relatives voiced regard about probable problems associated to overnight camping trips. Surbaugh pronounced there would continue to be a anathema on mixed-gender overnight outings for scouts ages 11 to 14. Cub Scout camping trips, he noted, were customarily family affairs with reduction need for firm polices.
The Girl Scouts of the USA have criticized the initiative, observant it strains the century-old bond between the two organizations. Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA’s pierce was driven partly by a need to boost revenue, and they contended there is mercantile highlight in partial since of past settlements paid by the BSA in sex-abuse cases.
In August, the boss of the Girl Scouts, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to stealthily partisan girls into their programs while adverse the Girl Scouts’ operations. On Monday, Latino county personality Charles Garcia, just days after being named to the Girl Scouts’ inhabitant board, wrote an opinion piece for the Huffington Post job the BSA’s proposition to girls “a terrible idea.”
“The Boy Scouts’ residence is on fire,” Garcia wrote. “Instead of addressing systemic issues of stability passionate assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA’s comparison government wants to supplement an accelerant to the residence fire by recruiting girls.”
Instead of recruiting girls, Garcia pronounced the BSA should concentration on attracting some-more black, Latino and Asian boys – quite those from low-income households.
The BSA recently increasing its annual membership price for lady members and adult volunteers from $24 to $33, but Surbaugh pronounced the decision to enhance programming for girls was not driven by financial factors. He voiced unrestrained at the probability that the changes could draw hundreds of thousands some-more girls into BSA ranks over the coming years.
The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA are among several major lady organizations in the U.S. experiencing pointy drops in membership in new years. Reasons embody foe from sports leagues, a notice by some families that they are out-of-date and bustling family schedules.
As of March, the Girl Scouts reported some-more than 1.5 million lady members and 749,000 adult members, down from just over 2 million lady members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014. The Boy Scouts contend stream lady appearance is about 2.35 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and some-more than 4 million in rise years of the past.
Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women urged the Boy Scouts to concede girls to join. NOW pronounced it was desirous by the efforts of a 15-year-old New York City girl, Sydney Ireland, to obey her older brother, who is an Eagle Scout.
Unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts have confirmed girls-only standing 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,” pronounced Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a clergyman who provides imagination on growth for the Girl Scouts’ inhabitant 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 finish its anathema on gays. However, he urged the Boy Scouts to take one some-more step and finish its ostracism of atheists and non-believers who do not confess a “duty to God.”