Calling all adventurers! The Boy Scouts of America has some big news.
After 109 years of only accepting boys into the organization, the Boy Scouts announced that its program will now welcome young women, and all we can say is finally.
The program has made its venturing, exploring, Sea Scouts and STEM Scouts programs available to girls for more than 60 years, however the traditional scout program has never officially been open to females.
As of February 1, young men and women aged 11 to 17 can get involved in the leadership and character development program now aptly called Scouts BSA. Welcoming children of all genders into the program allows for the creation of all-girl and all-boy troops, which will abide by the same programs, earn the same merit badges and seek the same advancements to take kids all the way up to Eagle Scouts. In fact, BSA expects to celebrate its inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts by 2020. (Yep, next year.)
Michael B. Surbaugh, chief scout executive, spoke about the new initiative in a press release, saying, “I could not be more excited for what this means for the next generation of leaders in our nation. Through Scouts BSA, more young people than ever before—young women and men—will get to experience the benefits of camaraderie, confidence, resilience, trustworthiness, courage and kindness through a time-tested program that has been proven to build character and leadership.”
BSA announced its intention to include young girls last year, but the news just became official. The Scout BSA shift comes after years of families asking for more inclusive scout programs and as our society begins to move away from gender specific activities for a more encompassing and enriching world.
Next stop Eagle Scouts, girls.