The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.
Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack if they wish, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender – all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the important age-appropriate single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Education experts also evaluated the BSA curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.
Just a couple of key points to mention:
- This change initially will impact Cub Scout age youth in 2018.
- The change occurs with the start of the 2018 program year (next summer).
- Charter partners and Packs will have complete say over how the change will be implemented, if at all.
- Information on a middle school age program will come out in 2018 with implementation in 2019
- These program changes will allow us to deliver our values based leadership programs to even more youth while maintaining the single-gender aspects of Scouting.
“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive.
“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization. It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”
If you have questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to your District Executive, or as always you can reach out directly to me. I have already begun conversations with local media outlets. If as a volunteer, you are contacted by the media, feel free to refer them over to me as well.
Thank you for your time and thank you for all that you do to bring Scouting to the youth of Northeast Indiana!
John E. Gliot