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Boy Scouts allowing girls to participate in programs in 2018

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(WOLF) -- The Boy Scouts of America announced new plans today to include girls in its programs.

The organization will let girls into the Cubs Scouts starting next year and establish a new program for older girls that uses the same curriculum as the boys’ program.

The Boy Scouts board of directors says the change is needed to provide more options for parents.

However the Girl Scouts of the USA is criticizing the move saying its straining the bond between the two organizations.

“Well the Boy Scouts respect the Girl Scouts tremendously, obviously it’s a separate organization. Our national office has reached out throughout the summer a number of times to see if there were possibilities of working together – and different values and different missions a little bit that just prevented further to do something jointly. But we did make that offer. And again we respect any organization that serves youth with a values based program,” Mark Barbernitz, Scout Executive/CEO for the Boy Scouts Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, said.

Cub Scout dens will remain single-gender while larger Cub Scout packs can choose to welcome both.

The program for older girls is expected to begin in 2019 and will allow them to earn Eagle Scout rank.

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