Local scouting community reacts to Boy Scouts changes

Darrell J. Harris Jr

The Boy Scouts of America are breaking a 100 year tradition by allowing girls to become Cub Scouts and earn the title of an Eagle Scout.

In Western New York, the Girl Scouts serve about 15,000 girls and there are 21,000 total members including adults, she said.

Starting in 2018, the Boy Scouts of America will allow families to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. "Putting it on resumes, that will always be something that colleges and places of employment will always look at and know that this girl is very impressive and she means business".

"I don't think they should allow boys with the girls", Terry Delavaldene said.

When it comes to programming, she said, "You can't just have girls be an afterthought".

However, this is not the first time the Boy Scouts of America has offered a co-ed program. While many national representatives have criticized the announcement, some lifetime Girl Scouts say it might be beneficial, potentially serving as a wake-up call to the national Girl Scouts organization. "If they don't, they don't have to", Conrad said. They issued the directive to be more accommodating to different families.

Les Callette said, "In both cases, we're not reaching the number of youth and families that we should be, and this is a way we felt we could engage more families in our program, and that's what we wanted to be about".

"This decision is true to the BSA's mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. They still need the same traits", Conrad said.

In what many are calling a historic decision, leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow girls to join the Cub Scouts. BSA is now working to develop a scouting program for girls to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

As for LeMond and Pulley, they said they don't see the big deal.

"Every young person who participates in scouting has the possibility of their life being changed for the better, so when you think about that, you want to try and involve as many young people as possible in that process", Gardner said. Rimby's Twin Valley troop, for example, has enjoyed hiking and camping."I'm getting all the experiences that I want", said Sarah Williams, an eighth-grader at Twin Valley Middle School who's been a Girl Scout since she was 6 years old.

A press release from the Girl Scouts of Western New York states the organization is against the idea.

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