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Local councils weigh in on Boy Scouts' decision to include girls

The Boy Scouts will soon be for the girls as well. The organization announced yesterday their plans to officially invite young women into their programs.

Posted: Oct 14, 2017 3:06 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2017 3:06 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Boy Scouts will soon be for the girls as well. The organization announced yesterday their plans to officially invite young women into their programs.

“Girls have been a part of our program up to this part already," said Chief Executive Scout Rick Chapman. "Parents are working and they’re being pulled in a million different directions and they really wanted a program they whole family can participate in.”

Chapman tells me they held town hall meetings with the public to get input.

“The leaders would come to the meetings, and the little sitters would tag along and be a part of it," Chapman. "It’s just now they get to participate and earn the badges their big brothers have.”

Girls who do decide to join can do so as Cub Scouts when they’re younger, and when they’re older, actually being able to earn the Eagle Award.

The Yocona Council says Boy Scouts will be single-gender, but adding a parallel girl program.

Girl Scouts USA said this week, "Only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success."

We spoke to the local council in Tupelo.

”We’ve had meetings with the Boy Scouts locally," said Jenny Jones, with Girl Scouts Heart of the South. "We’ve always had a good relationship with them. We’re going to remain the premier leadership organization for girls. We have outdoor activities that some parents don’t know that Girl Scouts still do.”

Jones believes a girl-led program sparks more confidence in scouting and leadership. 

“They’re more likely to take leadership roles, Jones explained. "They develop and take that courage, confidence and character that we develop in the Girl Scouts, because they’re in an all-girls setting.”

Changes start next year for younger children and in 2019 for those older.

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