Local Boy Scouts leader and Girl Scouts leader react to Boy Scouts accepting girls
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
The door is now open for girls to take part in the Cub Scouts program with Boy Scouts of America.
Plus, a new group is in the works for older girls, with a chance to earn the coveted Eagle Scout rank.
"I know troops that have actually given them the ranks, but they can't get the recognition, because they're not actually officially in the boy scouts," said Andrew Miller, a Venture Crew Leader with the Quapaw Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.
But a local Girl Scouts leader tells Channel 7, they already have an equivalent award.
"It's called the gold award. We also have a bronze and silver award that are progressive leading up to the award," said Christy Sowell, the Chief Strategy Officer for Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
On Thursday, Girl Scouts of the USA criticized the decision, telling ABC News in a statement: "The Boy Scouts' house is on fire. Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls."
"I have not recruited girls into my program,” said Miller. “They've shown up at my door. "
With about 8,000 in her local council, Sowell says Girl Scouts of the USA is best equipped to serve girls.
"There are countless educators, scholars and other youth-led organizations that know that girls thrive better in an environment that is conducive to girl-led being girl friendly and being girl-driven," said Sowell.
But seeing girls participate in Boy Scouts isn't a new idea. Andrew Miller's daughter was in his venturing crew growing up.
"Actually, going back into the 70's, girls have been allowed to be in the Boy Scouts as explorers and venturing scouts," said Miller.
Both Miller and Sowell agree the change may be more convenient for parents, since they’ll be able to take their children to the same activity, no matter their age.
The change takes effect in 2018, and both organizations urge parents and children to check out their organizations to see how they best fit.