NEW YORK (WTXF) - In its latest momentous policy shift, the Boy Scouts of America 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.
"We get to do a lot of activities. We go on camping sprees. We get to just be ourselves," said 10-year-old Arianna Meeks. It’s what most girls love about being a Girl Scout. It something they can call their own.
Arianna’s twin sister Gianna shares that thought.
"I'd rather be around all girls than more boys because boys are like really rough and at this age it's just weird to be around boys. I'm around them almost every day at school," she said. But now girls will have more options in joining boy scouts if they choose. Boy Scouts of America announced today that its expanding a program for older girls using the same curriculum as the boy scouts.
Kim Fraites-Dow is the CEO of the Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.
"Competition is not new for girl scouts. Girls time is being competed for all the time with band, soccer and boy scouts now. Now girls do it all," she said. Fraites-Dow says she isn't concerned about how this opportunity could affect membership in the Girl Scouts. In fact she says the organization has been aware of the boy scouts interest in K-5 for quite some time but say they've already been serving high school age girls before now.
"They're leaders in these organizations and they'll continue to be," she said.
12-year-old Gabby Plaza is in Troop 93547 in Fairmount. She doesn't plan on joining Boy Scouts not even for the opportunity to make Eagle Scout. She says their golden award isn't as recognized but carries the same rank.
"I feel like Girl Scouts is where I can be myself and who I want to be and who I am in front of my parents my mom and my sister. I’m at school with boys and I'm not as comfortable doing that," she said.
The Boy Scouts statement on the change reads in part:
"This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through the Exploring and the Venturing Program."