Girls Now Have The Option of Joining Boy Scouts of America

Maggie Vitela was part of a program with the Boy Scouts when she was 15-year-old. Credit Maggie Vitela

Although the Boy Scouts board of directors voted to allow girls to join their ranks, they were within their First Amendment Constitutionally protected right of freedom of association to deny them entry.

According to CEO Mike Surbaugh, the push for this change came from parents.

But the Girl Scouts say they were blindsided by the announcement and their data shows girls thrive when they take risks and experiment in the company of other girls. She added that a co-ed model goes against "research supporting single gender programming". "So it's been happening for quite a while, and now this gives girls the opportunity to actually participate", he said. As a result, she has mixed feelings about the Boy Scouts' new overture to girls.

In spite of the Boy Scouts opening up to girls in the future, the Girl Scouts tells Bustle that it won't be changing its for-girls and led-by-girls philosophy any time soon.

"Last year I sold 900 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and got an iPod touch", said Flicker at her dinner table showing off the badges that she has earned as a Girl Scout.

This week, my 6-year-old daughter, a member of Girl Scout Daisy troop 2024, put a sign on her door announcing that her room was officially a "no-boys allowed" zone.

Local 5 talked with some parents off camera who said that it is ridiculous that girls can join the Boy Scouts and worry that this will diminish the important role that the Girl Scouts play in young girls lives.

Laura Watson with Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio said they are sticking with the same-gender model. Current Boy Scout participation is two and a third million - down from 2.6 million four years ago and four million at its peak.

Donald Trump Jr. also weighed in, saying, "Strange, I thought that's what the Girl Scouts was for???".

For the most part, Boy Scout leaders in the Lehigh Valley see the shift as a natural transition.

Adamson hopes girls choose whichever path they feel most confident in.

For the Cub Scouts, there will be divisions, with smaller dens being single gender, all-boy or all-girl, and larger Cub Scout packs having the ooption of allowing both or just being single gender.

The Boy Scouts has offered girls limited access to some programmes before, but it has never before welcomed them into its core Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programmes. In 2011, the Girl Scouts of Colorado council released an official statement that transgender girls were welcome, and the national organization's website has the same policy.

"I think the working relationship has been very positive", Tucker said.

While it's nice that the Boy Scouts are letting in girls, the leaders could really learn a lesson from the Girl Scouts, which has been a secular organization since its founding, helping to mold the young minds of believers and nonbelievers alike.

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