Boy Scouts of America welcomes girls

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Moosic, Lackawanna County (WBRE/WYOU-TV) History was made today in on of the largest youth organizations in the Country. Boy Scouts of America is now allowing girls to participate.

After years of ‘no’ to the idea, it passes unanimously, from the board of directions.

For years BSA has been receiving requests to make the change. The national organization says their research revealed it wasn’t a big difference having boys and girls together in K-5th grades. The decision to allow girls has the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council excited for the future.

BSA has a mission “to serve families better,” said Mark Barbernitz the Scout Executive of the Northeastern council.

Just like hundreds of other councils around the country leaders were informed about a new change Wednesday. That change, girls are allowed in the cub scout program.

“Having a one stop shop is kind of what this is all about. Where a family can go together, participate together as a family in scouting,” said Barbernitz.

BSA has tried to work with Girl Scouts of America but Barbernitz says their values and missions are a little different. The move raises some eyebrows, while others, are on board.

“I think it’s awesome because it gives the girls opportunity to do more of the ‘outdoorsy’ kind of stuff,” said Alexandra Covaleski of Peckville.

Jeffery James of New Milford says “it’s hard to understand for me because there is already a Girl Scouts. So letting Girl scouts into the Boy Scouts seems redundant,” said James.

In the Scout’s oath and law they’re trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent. “Our program is not going to change. As far as the activates and badges and everything they can earn and do will be the same,” said Barbernitz.

It will be up to the charter organization to make the more appropriate decision when it comes to males and females together in dens, based on, how it fits their needs.

“Scouting whether it’s Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts is needed more than ever,” said James.

As of now, girls are allowed in the cub scout program. Boy Scouts of America is also considering adding girls in the secondary ranks. Starting at age 11. That announcement should come sometime next year.

BSA will allow families to sign-up their children next September for the 2018-2019 program year. Chapter leaders want to make sure each scout gets the most out of the current program before the changes are implemented.

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