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Girl Scouts cry foul over Boy Scouts recruitment move

Reuters 2017-10-12 22:37:28

Girl Scouts of the USA is angrily complaining about the Boy Scouts of America's decision this week to let girls enroll, and allow them to eventually earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. Colette Luke has more.

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Starting next year, Boy Scouts of America will let girls enroll in Cub Scouts and allow them to eventually earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout… Boy Scouts Chief Executive Mike Surbaugh made the announcement on Wednesday: (SOUNDBITE) MIKE SURBAUGH, BOY SCOUTS CHIEF EXECUTIVE SAYING: "What we found most important to parents that have daughters is they want a chance to participate in the leadership development programs of the Boy Scouts - have a program like that. But ultimately many aspire to be Eagle scout." The 100-year-old group's board of directors made the unanimous decision after years of requests from families and girls.. including 16-year-old Sydney Ireland, who's wanted to be a boy scout since she was four years old (SOUNDBITE) SYDNEY IRELAND SAYING: "it's amazing to see the boy scouts make this change because it shows they really care about the future of this country which includes young women now…" Ireland, who is an unofficial member of the boy scouts troop in New York with her brother, says she appreciates the lessons that can be learned from the organization. (SOUNDBITE) SYDNEY IRELAND SAYING: "a scout has to focus on themselves but also more importantly the success and the betterment of the troop… But there's been mixed reaction to this historic move…Girls Scouts of the USA releasing a statement saying girls thrive in a girl-only environment… and accusing the Boy Scouts of trying to boost dwindling membership. Boys Scouts, which has lost a third of its members since 2000, will allow girls to join the 7-10 year-old Cub Scouts next year… The so called 'dens' will be single-gender… A program for older girls that will allow them to earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement in the organization, is expected to begin in 2019.