According to CNN.com, the Boy Scouts of America will allow girls to join Cub Scout troops beginning in 2018. A way will be paved for girls to earn Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts. The organization envisions mixed troops, boys only, and girls only groups depending on needs and desires in various areas. The news organization directly mentioned The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that the Church will continue with boys-only groups as it has always done.
“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls,” Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. “[T]he organization 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.”
BSA had already opened its ranks to gay youth and trans youth and seeks to be ever more inclusive. The organization also cites the needs of various ethnic groups that seek to pursue scouting as families and busy parents who would benefit from more choices of wholesome activities for their children.
Boy Scouts of America has about 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in the United States and its territories.
Following the announcement, the Church explained that the change would not effect the current Activity Days and Personal Progress programs:
“The Activity Days and Personal Progress programs of the church have long been in place to meet the needs of girls and young women in these age groups, and no change will be made in church programs,” spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. ”We recognize that the desire of the BSA is to expand their programs to serve more young people in the United States. The church, too, continues to look at ways to serve the needs of our youth worldwide.”
Read about the negative reaction of the Girl Scouts.