Boy Scouts to include girls
by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/11/17, 02:42 pm
The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that starting in 2018 it would accept girls into its boys-only programs. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Boy Scouts chief executive Michael Surbaugh said in a statement. The Boy Scouts board voted unanimously in favor of the policy change, a major reversal for the 107-year-old organization. Starting in 2018, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for the Cub Scouts program. A separate program for older girls will start in 2019, enabling them to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. Existing Cub Scout packs may choose to establish a new girls pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens, or remain an all-boy pack. There are no plans currently to allow boys and girls to join the same den. Previously, girls were allowed to participate in four Scouting programs geared toward outdoor activities, but they could never join dens or work toward an Eagle Scout ranking. The shift follows numerous changes to membership requirements in Scouting in recent years. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts now allow openly homosexual scouts and leaders. In 2015, the Girl Scouts opened their ranks to transgender children who identify as girls on a case-by-case basis. The Boy Scouts followed suit this past January, deciding to accept all self-identifying male applicants regardless of the gender on a child’s birth certificate.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.