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Boy Scouts to allow girls in programs

Boy Scouts to allow girls in programs
Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 09:38:57-04

The Boy Scouts of America are just months away from allowing girls into the Cub Scout and Eagle Scout programs.

This comes after the bombshell announcement on Wednesday, "The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls," Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.

But the change in the more than century-old policy is drawing anger from girl scouts and raising questions for area families.

Randy Lienemann has 7 kids, 5 of which are girls, “They'll come along to some of our family campouts and things like that”

His two boys are in boy scouts and he's happy his girls could join them, “For me this is another opportunity for youth that some kids this fits their bill on where they want to me.”

This decision by the Boy Scouts will allow girls in kindergarten through fifth grade to join cub scouts and there will be a path for girls to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout rank.

Boys Scouts of America, Mid-America council CEO Chris Mehaffey says this decision comes down to what families want, “It just makes sense we've had so many families that have said this is really what we want.”

Mehaffey said there's been a lot of research into this decision and girls have been a part of the boy scouts for decades participating in the venturing program for girls aged 14-21.

“Mom and dad are already there with their son in cub scouts their daughter is either having to sit on the bench or run around and play and mom or dad is having to watch while their son participate,” said Mehaffey.

The Girl Scouts on the other hand said they wont let this decision change their focus.

“This doesn't affect our priority and commitment to remain girl-centered girl focused and providing girl-led leadership opportunities for girls,” said Wendy Hamilton, Fund Development Director for the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska.  

She argues their research shows single-gender programs work best for girls, “Single-gender activities in leadership development are more successful and more meaningful for girls from the feedback we've gotten from them that they want to remain in a single-gender environment” said Hamilton.

Girls can start participating in 2018, and it’s up to each local charter on whether they want to allow girls into the group.