The BSA Expands Programs to Welcomes Girls from Cub Scouts to Eagle Scout
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Georgia-Carolina Council, our council, has embraced this mission for almost a century, guiding thousands to become responsible, productive, self-reliant citizens and servant leaders. It is no wonder then that we are extremely excited to be able to offer this opportunity to all youth – girls and boys alike. Although girls ages 14-20 have been members of the BSA for decades as Venture Scouts, Sea Scouts, and Explorers, many have lamented that they wish they also could have been Boy Scouts and benefitted from all that the Scouting program had to offer from Cub Scouting up to and including earning the rank of Eagle Scout. That wish was granted on October 11, 2017, and we are eager to help those dreams become a reality for today’s youth.
Beginning August 1, 2018, both girls and boys will have the opportunity to join Cub Scouting at age 5 as Lion Cub Scouts (new this year!), age 6 as Tigers, age 7 as Wolves, age 8 as Bears, and ages 9 and 10 as Webelos Scouts. For more information on Cub Scouting, please go to https://www.scouting.org/ and click on the Cub Scouting box.
Beginning Feb 1, 2019, Girls ages 11-17 also will have the opportunity to join single-gender girl troops. These all-girl troops will have their own leadership (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and youth leaders). They may have their own Troop Committee or share one with a boy troop sponsored by the same chartered organization. These girl troops will meet separately from boy troops although both may meet at the same time and in the same building, depending on the desires of the chartered organization and troops involved. The program itself will not change. Girls will be able to earn the same recognitions and advancements as boys upon completion of the same requirements. For more information on Boy Scouting, please go to https://www.scouting.org/ and click on the Boy Scouting box.
Leaders serving all levels of Scouts will be required to take the new Youth Protection Training along with leader-specific training, including outdoor leader training, as required by the rank. Detailed information and online training can be found at https://www.scouting.org/training/adult/.
Council-sponsored events will be open to all registered Scouts. As with older girls’ events, camping will be segregated, as will bathroom and shower facilities. In other words, nothing will change – we will continue to follow the Guide to Safe Scouting and adhere to the Youth Protection Guidelines as we provide programs designed to develop character building and value-based leadership skills in our youth.
Many have asked, why BSA made this decision. The short answer is – they listened! Today’s family is quite different from the family of the 1950’s and 1960’s. More and more mothers have joined the rank of the employed and more than half of today’s families are either dual-income or single parent. This places a burden on the family if only some of the family members can participate in an organization. By welcoming girls ages 5-17, families now can enjoy Scouting as a family unit. As mentioned earlier, a second component of the decision came from “tag-along” girls who have been asking for decades to be included. Quite often they did everything their brother did, but without any recognition.
To learn more about Family Scouting, please visit these links:
https://www.scouting.org/familyscouting/ This official website is full of links providing facts, answering questions, and providing videos.