Boy Scouts of America not just for boys anymore — membership opening to girls

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Source: Market Watch Personal Finance

The Boy Scouts will soon be adding girls to their ranks.

That’s the announcement posted Wednesday on the national service organization’s website after its board of directors unanimously approved allowing girls to join the Cub Scouts program.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law,” the organization’s chief Scout executive, Michael Surbaugh, said in a statement. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best — developing character and leadership for young people — to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Starting next year, girls will be able to join Cub Scouts programs. Older girls will then be allowed to join a program enabling them to earn the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout starting in 2019.

“This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families,” the announcement continues. “This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls.”

The move follows “years” of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization with nearly 2.3 million members between the ages of 7 and 21 announced.

According to the plan, existing Cub Scout packs may establish a new pack for girls, create a pack consisting of smaller girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy unit. Cub Scout dens, meanwhile, will be single-gender, consisting of either all girls or all boys. While primarily known for its programs for boys, the Boy Scouts of America has offered opportunities to co-eds since 1971, including its Venturing program that will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

Current participation in the Boy Scouts, which was founded in 1910, is down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in earlier years. The announcement comes as the organization and other youth service groups have seen dips in membership. The Girl Scouts, meanwhile, reported 1,566,671 youth members as of March, down from just over 2 million in 2014.

This report previously appeared at NYPost.com.

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Source: Market Watch Personal Finance