Reactions mixed to Boys Scouts accepting girls

Ruby Jenco, Girl Scout ambassador from Troop 8709, is working toward her gold award and thinks the achievement deserves more recognition, like the Eagle Scout rank.

"While we support girls and their families having a variety of options and activities, we vehemently oppose this decision and stand firm knowing that Girl Scouts is the best leadership experience for girls in the world and will remain a separate organization from (the Boy Scouts of America)", the release reads. 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. "Rather than fundamentally transform BSA into a coed program, Boy Scouts should work to ensure that it expands the scope of its program to all boys, including those whom BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys".

And a new initiative to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, called STEM, is also open to girls.Ken O'Regan, an Eagle Scout from Wyomissing now living in Washington, called the move to open the Boy Scouts to girls a happy surprise."What's the big deal?" said O'Regan, 28.

"Girls Scouts have to get 80-plus hours of community service", Jenco said.

The Boy Scouts were long the target of progressive ire for refusing to change rules it followed for decades that prevented gay youths and leaders from joining the organization.

Will Stone, the Scoutmaster of Troop 52, said that having a co-ed program benefits both the girls and boys in his 70-person troop, 16 of whom are girls. Girls have different environmental and developmental needs, Wilcox said.

Right now, there are 32,000 girl scouts in CT.

As for the Girl Scouts, they will continue doing what they're doing, she said. Earlier this year, the church announced that it would stop participating in two Boy Scouts programs for teenagers.

"We do numerous same activities that boy scouts do such as archery and rock climbing and zip lining and the low and high ropes class".

And forming a united pack is important to these families. "Putting it on resumes, that will always be something that colleges and places of employment will always look at and know that this girl is very impressive and she means business".

Wilcox said this is their membership season which makes it easier for girls to join during this time.

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