Recently, the BSA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into our iconic Cub Scout program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders — as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting — to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.
Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows us to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for our iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.
The links below are to BSA’s announcement and additional information regarding Family Scouting.
The Sam Houston Area Council will now begin to develop plans on how to implement these decisions as they become effective in 2018 and 2019. We will keep our stakeholder groups informed using various platforms.
As we develop these plans to pursue new opportunities to better serve families, we acknowledge the value of the programs of Girl Scouts of the USA respecting their importance in meeting the needs of girls and that our programs can be complimentary in meeting the needs of families with girls.
We are proud of the healthy relationship our Sam Houston Area Council has with our sister organization, the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. We have had ongoing discussions with the executive leadership of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. The leadership of our two organizations are in dialogue on how we can direct each of our resources and proven programs to meet the needs of youth and families in the communities we serve.