"I think both organizations really want families engaged in whatever way we can".
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America reported about 2.3 million youth members and Explorers registered in individual programs with roughly 950,000 registered adult leaders, according to its 2015 annual report, the most recent available. Cub Scout packs can include any combination of all boy or all girl dens. The group will keep relying on feedback from girls to shape programming, just as it has always done. However, Farrer said initial discussions to make both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programs co-ed died down about a year ago. "So, when we have the whole family together, that really helps the parents to get the activities that they want". The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the same Eagle Scout rank that has been attained by astronauts, admirals, senators and other luminaries. They worry the move will create unnecessary competition and will hurt their own membership.
"The Boy Scouts' approach is very militaristic and top-down, and I don't know if that's the best environment for girls to feel nurtured", said Barker, whose base is Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Boy Scouts of San Diego did not respond to multiple 10News requests for an interview.
"Girls and young women have been a part of the Scouting program at an advanced age, 14 and up, for a long time".
Tom Smotherman with the Sioux Council Boy Scouts says the national organization is seeing that trend across the country. She welcomed the Boy Scouts' decision to admit girls, yet in the same statement bemoaned the fact that Girl Scouts seem to struggle more than the BSA in terms of financial support.
Smotherman says boys and girls will learn the same programming but in separate groups. "This is not the first time Boy Scouts has pursued the girl market in an attempt to bolster its membership". She questioned whether that was an issue of concern to boys in the Boy Scouts. Indeed, I've spent the last 15 years explaining my Girl Scout Gold Award to friends, colleagues and prospective employers as the "Girl Scout version" of the Eagle Scout rank.
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"Girl Scouting is there to provide that encouragement and development for girls to empower themselves".
"All of our issues have weakened us to the point where the Boy Scouts now see opportunities", she said. "Will Eagle Scout still be a great, sought-after thing?" he mused.
Eberspeaker said, "We hope that local girls will still come to Girl Scouts because we are the best program for your daughters and for the girls and we still hope that everyone will still join Girl Scouts and have that all girl environment". "In our program there has been sister tag-alongs, they do everything but don't get the badges", Smith said.
Joni Kinsey, an art history professor at the University of Iowa, has been both a youth member and a troop leader in the Girl Scouts and fought against the possible sale of camps in her region.
"The young women who are part of the troop do all the hikes, they are deserving of the chance to earn the same rank advancements and deserving of a chance to stand in front of everyone and receive the Eagle", Stone said.
"The Boy Scouts' house is on fire" said Garcia, himself a former Boy Scout.
"Our son would rather have it just be boys and our daughters were excited to hear about it", Sioux Falls mom April Woody said. "For co-ed groups, it does say that there must be a girl leader when female troops are present and male leaders for boy troop members".