The Boy Scouts of America are in the process of expanding their programs, and one way the organization is doing that is by accepting girls as members.
Starting in April, girls will be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the organization's highest honor.
The Scouting board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change in an organization that has been primarily for boys since its founding more than 100 years ago.
"Locally, no Cub Scout packs are serving girls at this moment. We will start serving girls in August at the start of the new school year. Our local council made a decision to hold off on registering girls so we can be sure to have all the information on our program changes and on our leadership requirements so we can better serve our youth, "said Scout Executive/CEO Marty Sepulveda.
The move will reflect a big change, and at the same time, it will be adding to the appeal of a scouting program that can serve the entire family.
"Our Cub Scout programs are family events. We bring females, moms, and grandmas, and brothers and sisters, and grandparents to our campouts. So our accommodations are already set up for families. Our programs are set up for tagalongs and me too's. So there are very little changes that are going to happen other than the girls can officially sign the application and earn the badges where they didn't have that opportunity in the past," said Sepulveda.
Currently, there are more than 150 Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout Troops in the 17-county South Texas region. Each charter has three options:
"Our charter partners or charter organizations, those are organizations that use scouting for their youth ministries or youth programs can have an all boys Cub Scout pack, continue what we are doing now, or they can have an all Girls Scout/Cub Scout pack, or they can have a Cub Scout pack that has separate gender dens," said Sepulveda.
Sepulveda also said he does believe this is a good thing. He thinks it is serving youth, and it's keeping families together, and the bottom line is it is a healthy program for all youth.
A separate program for older girls will be available in 2019, thus enabling them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
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