Boy Scouts Hawaii CEO excited to add girls, but some have concerns

Eagle Scout Nigel Bailey of Troop 962 St. Andrews Methodist Church has earned all 137 merit badges

"My honest gut reaction is a little frustration because I feel we have the best girl programming and leadership programming already", said Mary Barneby, Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of CT.

According to the Boy Scouts of America 2016 Annual Report, there were 1,262,311 boys in Cub Scouts across the country.

"It's responding to our families and it's responding to the people in the community who say they want their girls to have a program like we offer in scouting", he said. Alan Franks, the scout executive with the Pony Express Council, said results from the surveys found parents are interested in a youth development program that can serve the whole family. In 2016, 822,999 boys were in Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts and 136,629 young men and women were in Venturing and Sea Scouts. "Rather than fundamentally transform BSA into a coed program, Boy Scouts should work to ensure that it expands the scope of its program to all boys, including those whom BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys".

"The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today - and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success", the statement says. "This is not the first time Boy Scouts has pursued the girl market in an attempt to bolster its membership".

"Scouting changed my son's life". Girls have different environmental and developmental needs, Wilcox said.

Allie Senn, Media Team member, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. Girl Scouts have been in CT since 1912 - a proud history that Mary wants to see continue - independent of the boys. "I really want you to consider to let my girl in to get the same benefits". Earlier this year, the church announced that it would stop participating in two Boy Scouts programs for teenagers. 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. Girl Scouts provides a safe and inclusive environment that has been proven over the years, she said.

And forming a united pack is important to these families.

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.

Wilcox said this is their membership season which makes it easier for girls to join during this time.

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