Boy Scouts of America extending membership to girls
As of February 1st, the Boy Scouts of America is now allowing girls to participate in traditional programs, like hiking trips and summer camps.
The policy change allows girls between the ages of 11-17 to join.
Victoria Johnson with Boy Scouts of America says this change benefits everyone.
She sees this as an opportunity to teach all scouts, boys or girls, leadership skills for the future.
"Girls take leadership positions in our community all the time. Women leaders, they do incredible things. And if you are offering that to more kids, it's a positive thing. It's a positive thing for our community,” Johnson said.
She wishes this policy change had happened sooner.
"It really was so exciting when they made this announcement. So it was kind of like the little girl in me was wanting to sign up,” Johnson said.
Girls can now participate in hiking trips and summers camps, learning the same skills as the boys would.
They also have the chance to become Eagle Scouts.
Johnson says requirements for the honor aren't affected by the new policy.
"It is as rigorous as it's ever been. Both boys and girls will have to complete all of the required merit badges, the community service hours and any sort of community projects in order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout,” Johnson said.
Giving their new members a chance to be future leaders.
"If you have Eagle Scout on that application, you wanna talk to that person or individual. Women are tomorrow's leaders as well. Let's give them every opportunity to succeed,” Johnson said.
We reached out to the Girls Scouts of America about the change.
They have not given a response at this time.
Johnson said they already have girls enlisted in the Boy Scouts of America, and they are expecting more to join in the future.