After years of debate, the Boy Scouts of America will begin to offer programs that allow girls to join.
The announcement by the Boy Scouts came Wednesday after a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors. The new programs allowing girls to take part will roll out in 2018 and 2019.
According to a press release, girls will be welcomed into the Cub Scout program in 2018 and a new Scouting program for older girls that wish to earn the rank of Eagle Scout will come the following year.
“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children,” the organization said in a statement.
“This decision is true to the Boy Scouts of America’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the chief scout executive for the organization.
Cub Scout dens will be single-gender, with all-girl dens being added at the choice of packs.
The Cub Scouts will use the same curriculum for both sexes.
“This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families,” a statement said.
Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts announced they would allow transgender boys to join.