The Boy Scouts of America is committed to serving youth, families and communities through programs that deliver character development and values-based leadership training for young people– all while remaining true to our mission and core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.
The Boy Scouts of America’s Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program in 2018 and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. It is important to note that the BSA did not decide to make the Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs co-ed; instead, the organization has introduced a unique model that builds on the benefits of a single-gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.
Chartered partner organizations 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 new program for older girls, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the singlegender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
What do we know about the changing needs of today’s families?
The BSA is not only listening to our Scouting families, but also to those that haven’t joined the program. We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever.
• Most are dual-earners.
• There are more single-parent households than in previous decades.
• Many underserved communities, including fastest-growing Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family.
• And, all families have less free time. More than one-third of parents feel they spend too little free time with their kids, and millennial parents are desperate to spend more time interacting with their kids.
The BSA has experienced renewed interest in Scouting, and we believe that is largely in response to program innovation and a more thorough understanding of what families want and need when it comes to extracurricular activities. In fact, recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters sign ed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Following an evaluation of what families and young people want and need when it comes to extracurricular activities and Scouting, the BSA welcomes girls into expanded programs from Cub Scouts to the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Is this change a departure from the BSA’s core mission and values?
No. In fact, this aligns with our mission and values. After all, the values of Scouting the 12 points of the Scout Law as detailed in trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, women. thrifty, brave, clean and reverent are relevant and important for both young men and Our mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. To achieve our mission, we create innovative programs and evolve existing ones that respond to the needs of today’s families and deliver them through dedicated volunteers in communities across the nation.
What research did the BSA conduct that informed this decision?
To inform this decision, the Boy Scouts of America conducted extensive research. The BSA also evaluated input from thousands of volunteers who participated in the nationwide family listening sessions. The results were overwhelmingly positive and supported the decision to welcome girls into Cub Scouts and provide a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank.