Local scouts react to Boy Scouts rule change allowing girls - WNEM TV 5

Local scouts react to Boy Scouts rule change allowing girls

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In its latest momentous policy shift, the Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday they will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and establish a new program for older girls based on the Boy Scout curriculum that enables them to aspire to the coveted Eagle Scout rank.

Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts changed its membership requirements to allow transgender people to join the organization.

While many people have applauded the decision, some parents are not so sure that it is the best choice.

“My immediate thought was why?” said Laice Reid, a Boy Scout mother from Gladwin County.

Starting in 2018, girls can start working on climbing the Boy Scout ladder to Eagle Scout.

Reid and her son, Damian, said the change is puzzling.

“There’s Girl Scouts, you know?” Reid said. “So what is the big deal?”

“I think it basically would be the exact same, just there would be some girls involved,” Damian said.

Melanie Whitman, part of Gladwin Cub Scouts Pack 3779, said it’s too soon to tell.

“The fact that they are going to keep it gender separated so there would be a girl den and a boy den, so I don’t know necessarily if that’s so bad,” Whitman said. “I’m still not sure.”

“It gives the girls a chance to do everything that the boys do,” said Martin Looker, Gladwin Troop 779 Boy Scoutmaster.

On the other hand, Looker said the plan could be good.

“There’s girls who have wanted to be in Boy Scouts forever,” Looker said. “A lot of countries have co-ed boy scouts and girl scouts. Whether it’s Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, it’s based on trust. If you can’t trust those kids out in the woods, where can you trust them?”

The Boy Scouts said the change will give girls better leadership opportunities, like “National Youth Leadership Training.”

Carleen Campbell, co-area manager of the Gladwin Girl Scouts, agrees and said this shouldn’t threaten Girl Scout membership.

“I think that there needs to be difference between the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts,” Campbell said. “The girls need their space. The boys need their space but i think they can learn to work together.”

Scouts like Damian just hope tradition isn’t lost.

“I hope it just mostly stays the same,” Damian said.

Another program for older girls will be announced next year and will start in 2019.

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