One of those adult volunteers, Teresa Schumacher, helps with Scouts in Troop 68 in Oklahoma City.
One member of the Girl Scouts national board called the move "a awful idea" and said the boys' organization was suffering from financial problems and dropping membership attributed to sexual abuse scandals and gender identity and deficient programming. "I always claim we restrict kids' development by plotting them into the boys' chute or the girls' chute in terms of what activities can you do and who can you talk to, and it really limits the full range of one's human potential to only hang out with half of the population", she said. She might prefer doing things more like the Boy Scouts than the Girl Scouts. Jones feels the decision will allow girls to move through rankings they've never had and gain new experiences.
The national organization of Girl Scouts went further, harshly criticizing the move as a ploy for Boy Scouts to revamp its reputation after recent scandals.
But a major change is coming to the Boy Scouts of America, which has faced pressure recently over transgender scouts, President Donald Trump's remarks at the National Jamboree, and other issues: Girls will now be able to join Cub Scouts and attain the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout through two initiatives announced on Wednesday.
Regardless of what you might think, Girl Scouts are more than just cookies and crafts. Of parents surveyed, 90 percent responded positively when asked if they'd be interested in a program like Cub Scouts for their daughters, and 87 expressed interest in a program similar to Boy Scouts for ages 11 to 18, he said.
"There is no other place that she can get the whole package", Wheeler said. How often they camp, what badges they earn, varies by troop, as the core principle of the Girl Scout program is that troops are girl-led. The organization has also shown a willingness for inclusivity that has taken the Boy Scouts much longer to establish, so it could remain the preferred pick for parents of gender-fluid children.
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According to troop officials, Wells, 17 and a student at Green High School, earned a total of 35 merit badges, 21 of which are required to receive the Eagle Scout award. A program for older girls will be created by 2019. And both boys' and girls' scouting is facing increasing competition for young people's time from sports and other activities - and alternative scouting organizations religious groups promote as more in sync with their values.
Troop leaders say ultimately it will be up to not only a local leader, but a committee of people and the local chartered church to have the last say on whether girls can join that specific troop, but Michelle Newman lets it be known where she stands. "Girl Scouts is the best girl leadership experience in the world, period", she said. But a 2011 study published in Gender and Society found a mountain of difference in the way Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts teach it. Absolutely. Girl Scouts has numerous same challenges that any organization of its size would face.
Those groups said the Boy Scouts' new initiative would not weaken their commitment to single-sex programming.
From building race cars to programming robots and using resources wisely through environmental conservation and wildlife protection, girls are discovering their passions and using their voices to make sustainable change locally and globally.
Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires.com and a longtime Girl Scout leader (as well as a Girl Scout herself as a child!). They are also developing traits such as grit, creative problem solving, resiliency and bravery, all while unleashing their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader). "It's nice it's focused on girls - allowing girls to be girls without having to compete with boys", she said.