Boy Scouts will now allow girls

There will be programs so girls can get the Eagle Scout rank.
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There will be programs so girls can get the Eagle Scout rank.

The Boy Scouts of America will now allow girls.

The organization announced the change Wednesday, saying its board of directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into the program starting next year. 

Michael Surbaugh, the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) Chief Scout Executive, said in a statement that this decision is "true" to the organization's core values, noting the values of Scouting are "important for both young men and women." 

Surbaugh added they believe it's "critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children." 

Girls will be allowed to join Cub Scouts starting with the 2018 program season, the release says. 

Existing packs will get to choose to establish a new girl pack, start a pack that has girl dens and boy dens, or stay an all-boy pack. Dens (the smallest unit in the organization) will still be either just girls or just boys. (See a breakdown of how this will work here.)  

And for older girls, they'll be allowed to earn the Eagle Scout rank through a program similar to what the Boy Scouts use. Further details will be announced next year, with the program expected to be available in 2019, the release notes. 

The BSA says this will allow the organization to keep its single gender model, but still meet the needs of families. 

The BSA made the decision to allow girls after getting requests from families and girls who wanted to join, as well as speaking with current members and families about allowing girls into the club. 

Allowing girls to join Cub Scouts had previously been a problem for Girl Scouts of the USA. BuzzFeed reported the Girl Scouts wrote a letter to the BSA in August, accusing them of recruiting girls to appeal to millennial parents and boost its membership. 

The BSA has denied those claims

GoMN has reached out to the Girl Scouts for comment on the BSA's move, but we haven't heard back. 

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