SAN DIEGO (KGTV) --There are mixed reactions in San Diego in response to the Boy Scouts of America's announcement that they plan to begin admitting girls in 2018. While some tell 10News they believe the move is a big step toward gender equality, others worry the plan is actually an attempt to boost falling membership by poaching girls away from the Girl Scouts.
According to a press release issued Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America will allow make all-girl Cub Scout dens in the 2018 programming year. Those all-girl dens will be part of larger packs, which will be co-ed. Programs for older girls are expected to be available in 2019.
The Boy Scouts say the move is something families have asked about for years. They say allowing siblings to participate in the same organization will be much more convenient for families. The Boy Scouts also point to a desire for girls to be able to attain the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.
However, 10News spoke with Girl Scout families who expressed concern about the change. They worry the move will create unnecessary competition and will hurt their own membership. They say the all-girl environment of the Girl Scouts helps girls grow up with more confidence and independence than in a co-ed environment.
While the Girl Scouts of San Diego chose not to comment on the Boy Scouts announcement, they do point out that they have an equivalent rank to Eagle Scout, known as the Gold Award, which carries equal prestige even though it is lesser known.
The Boy Scouts of San Diego did not respond to multiple 10News requests for an interview. One man who had earned Eagle Scout honors told 10News he is thrilled by the decision to admit girls.
He added that he hopes the organization will remove the word "Boy" from its name, and simply be called "Scouts of America."