The BSA announced its policy change on Wednesday morning, and said the organization also will forge a path for older girls to pursue and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
"The values of Scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, fearless and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", Michael Surbaugh, the Boy Scouts' chief scout executive, said in a release.
Effective in the 2018 program year, existing "packs" can either choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens, or remain an all-boy pack.
"This decision is true to the BSA's mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law". Last September, the Girls Scouts board sent an accusatory letter to their male competitor stressing that they should "stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not now participating in Boy Scouts" and "not consider expanding to recruit girls".
In January, the Boy Scouts made a decision to allow transgender boys to join and welcomed its first transgender member, a 9-year-old from New Jersey, the next month.
Throwing the doors of their dens open to girls could, potentially, double their numbers.
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Boy Scouts has been primarily for boys for more than a century.. She said it was a "covert campaign to recruit girls" and described it as "reckless" and "unsettling". "It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls".
Officials at western MA council of the boy scouts are excited about the news.
The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA, founded in 1910, are among several major youth organizations in the USA experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years.
While us gals are still fighting as hard as ever for an equal share of the pie, respect, and rights, this timely tidbit gives way to new hopes for gender equality and having all have the same opportunities (and badges) that our male counterparts have.
There will still, however, be instances in which boys and girls will be gender-segregated.
Both organizations have seen drops in memberships in recent years. The Washington Post reported the Boy and Girl Scouts have lost around a million members each in the last decade.