East Idahoans react after Boy Scouts invite girls into the pack

Local councils weigh in on Boy Scouts' admittance of girls

Local scouting community reacts to Boy Scouts changes

Local reaction to Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts also point to a desire for girls to be able to attain the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

"It's kinda disappointing because one of things I really like about Girls Scouts is that it's all girls and we get to see from women leaders who have really impacted the world", says Senn.

"We're really the girl experts". Girl Scouts is tried and true- we deliver the leadership experience for girls.

"Girl Scouting is there to provide that encouragement and development for girls to empower themselves".

Starting in 2018, the Boy Scouts of America will allow families to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Jones feels the decision will allow girls to move through rankings they've never had and gain new experiences.

"I'm very happy that the girls who want to do the kind of camping I grew up with have a place to go - more power to them", she said.

The Boy Scouts of America announced the change on Wednesday after a meeting at their headquarters in Texas where the measure was unanimously approved. Or do "boys need time to be boys and girls need time to be girls"?

In August, a top Girl Scout official accused the Boy Scouts of running a "covert campaign" to recruit girls to increase its declining membership, the Washington Post reported.

Under the Boy Scouts' new plan, Cub Scout dens - the smallest unit - will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls.

The new challenge from the Boy Scouts is only the latest in a string of difficulties faced by the Girl Scouts over the past 15 years.

Locally, however, girls are becoming more involved in Scouting. Girl Scouts provides a safe and inclusive environment that has been proven over the years, she said.

Joni Kinsey, an art history professor at the University of Iowa, has been both a youth member and a troop leader in the Girl Scouts and fought against the possible sale of camps in her region.

Clarke Farrer, the scout executive for the BSA's Grand Teton Council headquartered in Idaho Falls, said this was a decision that has been kicked around for several years now. "Rather than fundamentally transform BSA into a coed program, Boy Scouts should work to ensure that it expands the scope of its program to all boys, including those whom BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys".

Although Hulet believes the announcement may cause some contention between the two groups, she said the impact wouldn't be significant because BSA programs have remained heavily focused on outdoor activities while GSUSA programs have not.

Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have experienced sharp drops in membership in recent years.

The Boy Scouts were long the target of progressive ire for refusing to change rules it followed for decades that prevented gay youths and leaders from joining the organization.

Those groups said the Boy Scouts' new initiative would not weaken their commitment to single-sex programming.

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