Boy Scouts of America Become Co-Ed


Jake May

Eli Whalen, 10, center, purses his lip as he salutes the lives of fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice dying for their country in battle while paying his respects alongside fellow Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts alike on Memorial Day amidst hundreds of families attending a ceremony on Monday, May 29, 2017 at Fairview Cemetery in Linden, Mich. (Jake May /The Flint via AP)

Wednesday, October 11, the Boy Scouts of America announced that younger girls will be allowed to join Cub Scouts and older girls will be eligible to join the prestigious ranks of Eagle Scout. The organization announced this on the International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to encouraging enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives. This change is set to occur at the beginning of next year.

Zach Wahls, co-founder of Scouts for Equality, said that the development was “yet another step forward” for the Boy Scouts. Chief Scout Executive, Michael Surbaugh claims that “The values of Scouting—trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example—are important for both young men and women.” Though many people have positive things to say about this, some are wary of the development. According to the Associated Press, the president of Girl Scouts of America, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accused the BSA president of “seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts”.

Though there is a cursory equivalent in the Girl Scouts, the honor that comes with the title is not as well-known as the distinction of Eagle Scout. The announcement comes during a decline in membership for the Boy Scouts of America, and may attract girls who do not wish to be a part of Girls Scouts. So as not to overstretch the decision, Cub Scout dens and other small groups remain single-gender, which allows all-girl and all-boy groups for those who do not agree with the co-ed organization.