The Boy Scouts of America made an announcement that is shaking up the scouting world.
As NBC News reports, the Boy Scouts will now be allowing girls into their troops. The organization claims it is making this move because of family requests.
But the Girl Scouts are not sold on the idea that the Boy Scouts are suddenly welcoming girls with open arms. The Girl Scouts suggest that low enrollment is one of the reasons behind the other organization's push to bring the girls in. The organization also believes a need for money is behind the decision; it argues the Boy Scouts need for money to cover past settlements in sex abuse cases.
A representative for the Girl Scouts told ABC News:
“The Boy Scouts' house is on fire. Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.”
But Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive, has a different reason for allowing girls to join. He explained to CBS News:
“The values of scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women.”
Scout member Sydney Ireland couldn't be happier about the announcement. She became an unofficial member of her brother's troop when she was 4 years old, with ambitions to become an an Eagle Scout just like him. The now 16-year-old told CBS:
“Not every girl has to want to do the things that the Girl Scouts do. I don't — I want to do the things that the Boy Scouts do.”
While Ireland is overjoyed at her chance to get into the boys' club, Andrea Bastiani Archibald, a psychologist for the Girl Scouts' national programming, is standing firm behind her belief that girls being kept with other girls is better for them. She said:
“We know that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led environment.”
The Boy Scouts will begin admitting girls into the Cub Scouts beginning next year. The organization is planning to create a program for older girls centered around the Boy Scout curriculum in order to prepare them to reach the rank of Eagle Scout.
See more on the Boy Scouts' change below.