SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday a move to accept girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year.
The Boy Scouts of America is more than a century old, and the shift to admitting girls into the organization has been met with some opposition.
The Boy Scouts of America’s board of directors unanimously approved the decision to begin admitting girls, saying the move was needed to better meet the needs of families.
Under the Boy Scouts new plan, Cub Scout dens would be groups of all boys or all girls, and larger Cub Scout packs would be able to make the decision if they want to welcome girls into their group.
In August, the President of the Girl Scouts formally requested that Boy Scouts of America not expand their membership to girls. Both organizations have seen sharp declines in membership in recent years, but one former Girl Scout said there could be positives to bringing boys and girls together.
“The Boy Scouts individually have good intentions for just the boys to get them to grow up and learn about boy stuff, and also as girls,” Sherry Giniewicz of New Hampshire told 22News. “But it’s nice to see them interacting, so I guess I’m a little bit both ways.”
But one father and former Boy Scout said it’s best to keep them separate.
“I think it’s best to keep them separate, you know,” said Lucian Hronowski of Holyoke. “Whether we like it or not, we’re made differently. You want to avoid potential problems. We’re made differently whether we like it or not.”
The Boy Scouts of America also announced a new program that will allow older girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scouts starting in 2019.