BSA will welcome girls into Scouting programs – from Cub Scout to Eagle
On Wednesday, the volunteer-led Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan to welcome girls and young women in all Scouting programs.
Historic movement means boys and girls will soon experience the Instagram-worthy, life-changing, values-based moments offered across all Scouting programs – from Cub Scouting to Scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout.
Cub Scouting will be available for girls starting in 2018. A program for girls ages 11-17 will be announced in the coming year for an expected introduction in 2019 and will allow young women to work towards Eagle.
What is driving this change? As a Scout Leader, you know that the values of Scouting – contained in the Scout Oath and the Scout Law – are more relevant today than ever. These values are vital for young men and young woman.
“We believe it is essential to evolve the way our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lasting experiences for their children,” said Executive Scout Leader Michael Surbaugh. “We strive to bring what our organization does best – building youth character and leadership – to as many families and youth as possible, while helping to shape the next generation of leaders.
Extremely high interest
I’m sure you’ve seen sisters accompanying at pack and troop meetings and events. You’ve seen them discover the fun of Scouting without earning any of the awards and recognition given to their brothers.
And I bet you’ve heard of the busy moms and dads in your pack or troop who crave more time to interact with their kids. A Scouting program for the whole family will help them maximize that time. They will have a great Scouting experience in one place.
What kind of interest is there? The survey results are overwhelming and echo the flood of requests BSA has received from families wanting a BSA program for girls.
In one look :
- 90 percent parents not involved in the BSA have expressed interest in involving their daughter in programs like Cub Scouts.
- 87 percent parents not involved in the BSA have expressed interest in involving their daughter in programs such as the Boy Scouts.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and a volunteer who leads BSA’s National Board of Directors, said “BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is incredible.” .
“I haven’t seen anything that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization,” he said. “It’s time to make these exceptional leadership development programs available to girls.”
How this will affect your pack
When girls join Cub Scouting in 2018, starting at age 5, packs across the country could welcome them right away.
An existing pack can choose to recruit girls or remain a pack of boys. When creating a new pack, a chartered organization can form an all-boys pack, an all-girls pack, or a girls and boys pack.
Cub dens will be unisex – all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, on the other hand, can include any combination of boy-only or girl-only dens. The choice is left to individual pack leaders in consultation with their approved organization.
This hybrid model builds on the benefits of a single-sex curriculum while providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.
Some great things won’t change. Activities, advancement requirements and youth protection policies remain the same. The uniforms will also remain the same, although the fit and style may change.
The content and activities of the existing program are suitable for both boys and girls, so there is no need to change anything. Education experts evaluated the content of the program and confirmed the relevance of the program for young women.
As always, great volunteers like you can tailor activities to meet your children’s developmental needs and abilities.
What about youth protection? The policies match the existing rules in place for the Venturing program for young men and young women. When a Scouting activity includes both boys and girls, there must be female and male leaders present. At least one of these officers must be registered as an adult member of the BSA.
How it will affect your troop
A program for girls aged 11-17 will be announced in the coming year with an introduction planned for 2019.
Using the same curriculum as the current Boy Scouts program, it will allow participating girls to work towards – and earn – Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout Award. Eagle Scout requirements will be the same for young men and young women.
Girls who are in fourth grade in 2018 will surely want to move on to the next phase of their Scouting journey once they have completed their time with Cubs. Rest assured that such a program will be in place when the time comes. And it will be awesome.
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