The Boy Scouts of America votes to admit girls

Image Kate Patterson  The Washington Post  Getty Images

"The values of scouting - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, fearless and reverent, for example - are important for both young men and women", Surbaugh said in a statement.

Michael Surbaugh, the BSA's chief scout executive, said reinforcing positive character traits is important for everyone.

Both boys and girls will be allowed to enroll in the program beginning in 2018, with already existing "packs" given the option to create a new female companion "pack".

Got a little girl at home who's been begging to become a Boy Scout?

In making the decision, BSA released a questionnaire to parents regarding after-school activities and the response was overwhelming: 90 percent of parents surveyed expressed interest in signing up their daughters for a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent were interested in programs similar to Boy Scouts.

Girls will be able to participate in Venturing, Sea-Scouting, Exploring, and STEM, focusing on science and math, allowing them to receive training in the same outdoor adventure skills their male counterparts have learned for many years.

In January, the Boy Scouts chose to allow transgender boys to join and welcomed its first transgender member, a 9-year-old from New Jersey, the next month.


Boy Scouts has been primarily for boys for more than a century.

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Boy Scouts of America has about 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in the United States and its territories.

Please SHARE if you were a member of the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts, and if you think this is a step in the right direction! She said it was a "covert campaign to recruit girls" and described it as "reckless" and "unsettling".

The organization has had co-ed programs since 1971. "It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls".

In recent years, the Boy Scouts have been moving toward greater inclusivity: In 2013, the organization began accepting openly gay members and earlier this year they opened admissions to transgender members. Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA's move was driven partly by financial problems and a need to boost revenue.

There will still, however, be instances in which boys and girls will be gender-segregated.

Both organizations have been rocked by a steady decline in membership.

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