Under new plan, girls allowed into Boy Scouts as early as next year

FILE - In this Monday, May 29, 2017 file photo, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts salute during a Memorial Day ceremony in Linden, Mich. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. (Jake May/The Flint Journal - MLive.com via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – In a historic change, the Boy Scouts said they will let girls into the cub scouts starting next year.

Under the plan announced today, Cub Scout Dens, the smallest unit, will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to welcome both genders if they choose.

The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will let girls earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. This new change has many showing support and others speaking out against it.

Tammy Wharton with the Columbus, Ohio Girl Scouts said so many young girls will miss out on life lessons that continue to evolve with a focus on science.

“Girl Scouts over the years has invested a lot of money in STEM technology and in creating new tools to support our volunteers. Girls in an all girl environment and an environment that’s girl-led will allow them to participate more, engage more, and learn more than if it were in a co-ed environment,” said Wharton.

NBC4 reached out to the Boy Scouts of America in Columbus chapter who says they support the new co-ed policy.  They chose not to speak with us on camera, however Scout Executive and CEO Jeff Moe sent the following statement:

“Our council, like most councils in America, has participated in the process of evaluating how to bring the benefits of scouting to the greatest number of youth possible and adapt to the changing needs of today’s families – all while remaining true to our mission and core values, outlined in the scout oath and law.”

Wharton doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t think the girls will get the experience that they frankly deserve. I believe in our charter, which we were founded on, which says in our mission we are going to serve girls and only girls and it’s unfortunate that’s not how the Boy Scouts are moving forward,” said Wharton.

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