Earlier this month the iconic Boy Scouts of America program became Scouts BSA to reflect the decision to include young women.
In June of 2018 girls were allowed to join the Cub Scouts, which is the youngest age group, but now the Boy Scouts program is also included.
As times have changed, going camping, tying knots and shooting guns are not thought of just for boys anymore. For the first time in over 100 years, girls can now join the Boy Scouts.
Every Scouts BSA meeting starts with the presentation of the colors, but now the meeting is a little different. For the first time, the Boy Scouts meetings include girls.
“The adjustment for the troops is now shifting to Scouts BSA to accommodate the fact that we are now serving all youths, not just boys, but we are serving young ladies as well now. We want to encompass all youth in our program,” said Scouts BSA VP of Membership Ruth Luna.
“We feel like there is a whole lot that kids need to learn outside of the classroom, and we get to do that in an outdoorenvironment using the scouting program. Our girls will learn leadership skills, camping skills, and other skills so they can show up their husbands later,” said Scout Master John Gilbert.
Since the Fall, more than 230 elementary age girls joined the Cub Scouts. That number represents about 21% of all new youth that has joined.
This month a handful of girls aged 11 to 17 has joined to get the same experience as Boy Scouts.
“The program is not changing either way. The same program that’s been going on for the last 109 years for boys is the same program that our girls are going to be working. They will just be in their own separate troops,” said Luna.
The move opens a new door for young females who are thrilled to get their hands dirty. It will also give them an opportunity to reach the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.
“It feels great, and you have a lot of opportunities to learn about different stuff, especially on camping trips. You learn about making a campfire and learn what not to do and what is in the wildlife,” said BSA Troop 356 quartermaster Abby Smith.
“It is a lot of fun, and it’s a great time to learn new things, and you get to experience a lot of things other girls wouldn’t be able to experience,” said BSA Troop 356 Hallie Dark.
Boy Scouts leaders say they are responding to the needs of the families they serve with the new scouting program. The new troops will not be co-ed, but girl troops and boy troops can be connected so everyone can be doing the same kinds of activities simultaneously.
“Fundamentally, boys and girls are at different levels, and we want to be able to allow the girls to stretch their wings as well as allow the boys to stretch their wings and not have them necessarily competing,” said Luna.
The first class of female Eagle Scouts will be recognized in 2020, according to Boy Scouts of America.
Since 1949, girls have been involved in the Explorer programs and in June of 2018 girls were invited to participate in the Cub Scouts program.
If your child is interested in joining the Boys Scouts and needs more information call 1-361-814-4300 ext. 112 or 117 or go online to scouting.org
The Boy Scouts of America (the BSA) is one of the largest Scouting organizations in the United States of America and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly one million adult volunteers.
The BSA was founded in 1910, and since then, more than 110 million Americans have been participants in BSA programs at some time.
The BSA is part of the international Scout Movement and became a founding member organization of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922.