Girl Scouts remains girl-focused

U.S. Air Force

Deliberation over the plan had caused friction between the organization and the Girl Scouts of the US, which spilled into public in August when a letter from Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan that accused the Boy Scouts of trying to bolster dwindling numbers was released.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday it will soon be admitting girls to its ranks, but one group in particular is not pleased with the news.

"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 are girl experts, proven by the outcomes: Girl Scouts develops positive values, a strong sense of self, healthy relationships, and a commitment to community service.

The Boy Scouts say the move is something families have asked about for years.

For Megann Wilson, a recipient of the Gold Award, the Girl Scouts' highest honor, she feels there are unique opportunities in both organizations.

90% expressed interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87% expressed interest in a program like Boy Scouts, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

In Western New York, the Girl Scouts serve about 15,000 girls and there are 21,000 total members including adults, she said.

Girls will be able to join Cub Scout dens in 2018 and start working their way toward an Eagle Scout ranking come 2019.

Boy Scouts of America announces plans.

"In Venturing, there is a manual in place that has instructions on how to do activities with girls and boys together", Hulet said.

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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.

The Girl Scouts learned back in January that the Boy Scouts were considering opening their ranks to girls, Margosian said.

The change will open the organization to potentially hundreds of thousands of girls.

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.

Wilcox said Girl Scouts is positioned for continued growth.

"Girl Scouts works. We're committed to preparing the next generation of women leaders, and we're here to stay".

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

The Girl Scouts of the U.S. criticized the initiative, saying it strained the century-old bond between the two organizations.

"I formally request that your organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not now participating in Boy Scouts ... and not consider expanding to recruit girls", wrote GSUSA President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan in a letter to the BSA's president, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson.

She is among many Girl Scout alumni concerned that camping and other outdoor activities have lost their prominence in the programming now promoted by the GSUSA.

The move by the Boy Scouts seems like a reach. They say allowing siblings to participate in the same organization will be much more convenient for families.

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