Boy Scouts of America opens doors to girls: Local Upstate chapte - FOX Carolina 21

Boy Scouts of America opens doors to girls: Local Upstate chapters weigh in

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Boy Scouts of America made a big announcement and it's starting a national conversation.

The organization officially opened its doors to girls when it comes to certain programs. The Blue Ridge Council Boys Scout of America said the decision has been years in the making.

"Girls would be able to join as cub scouts, in cub scout packs that would be single gender cub scout dens, but would be able to be a Cub scout as a girl," Mike Butler, scout executive explained.  

Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday it will now be including girls in cub and boy scout programs. Butler said in an ever-changing world, the organization wants to keep up with dynamics and is excited to open up its doors to girls. 

"There has been a lot of discussion and feedback and research we did at the national level with families, young families today, wanting to have the opportunity for their daughters to have the same experience that their sons have had in our core Cub scout programs," Butler said. 

"It means a lot to us, because our daughter will be able to be involved officially now," Lori Maguire said. 

Maguire  has a 14 year-old daughter who has been involved in Boys Scouts any way she could be from the age of four.

"She has followed along with her brothers throughout the program, enjoying the experience but not getting any of the advancements," said Maguire. 

The Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands said they could not comment on the decisions made by other organizations but said they are a leadership based program for girls.  

"A lot of people still think that Girls Scouts is all about cookies and camping and friendships and while those may be important elements, it's a lot more than that," said Karen Kelly, who does public relations for the organization.

Girl Scouts said having a safe, fun place for one gender is important to them, while offering over 400 outdoor and stem related programs to its members. 

"The girls scout research institute is not the only organization that has done research on singular gender environments. Other scholars, youth organizations talk about the importance of single gender experiences," Kelly said. 

Both Boy and Girl Scouts hone in on life, outdoor and leadership skills. Butler said the difference now is girls will have the option of standing alongside a boy and earning the boy scout badges. 

" really marks a new day," Butler said. 

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