Archive for category boy scouts of america

‘A natural progression’: Valley Boy Scout leaders talk about allowing girls

The announcement is not without its concerns, but the change seems mostly welcome.

Becky Johnson can see both sides.
As a mother to three Boy Scouts and one Girl Scout, she can u…

In historic change, Boy Scouts to let girls in some programs

The president of the Girl Scouts accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts’ operations.

MORE: Local Scout leaders talk about allowing girls

Embracing a historic change, the Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday plans to admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year and to establish a new program for older girls using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts.

Under the plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls.

The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders. The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

The Boy Scouts board of directors, which approved the plan unanimously in a meeting at BSA headquarters in Texas, said the change was needed to provide more options for parents.

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s chief scout executive.

“The values of Scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women,” Surbaugh added.

The announcement follows many months of outreach by the BSA, which distributed videos and held meetings with the Boy Scout community to discuss the possibility of expanding girls’ participation beyond existing programs, such as Venturing and Sea Scouts.

The Girl Scouts of the USA criticized the initiative, saying it strained the century-old bond between the two organizations. Girl Scout officials have suggested the BSA’s move was driven partly by financial problems and a need to boost revenue.

In August, the president of the Girl Scouts accused the Boy Scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the Girl Scouts’ operations.

“I formally request that your organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of American boys not currently participating in Boy Scouts … and not consider expanding to recruit girls,” wrote GSUSA President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan in a letter to the BSA’s president, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson.

The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, and the BSA, founded in 1910, are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. Reasons include competition from youth sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy schedules that prompt some parents to despair of meeting all their children’s obligations. For some families, scouting programs that welcome both boys and girls could be a welcome convenience.

As of March, GSUSA reported 1,566,671 youth members and 749,008 adult members, down from just over 2 million youth members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014. The Boy Scouts say current youth participation is about 2.35 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in peak years of the past.

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Northampton teen earns Eagle Scout rank

Matthew Guindine takes his passion for soccer and helps restore a Whitehall Golf Course.

Matthew Guindine, a member of Boy Scout Troop 93, of Northampton, earned the rank of Eagl…

Wyoming Valley Civil Rights Advocates Praise Boy Scouts New Transgender Rules

WILKES-BARRE — Many civil rights advocates in the Wyoming Valley are praising the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow transgender boys to join as a giant leap forward. The new policy takes effect immediately. It comes following new transgender-friendly membership policies in the Girl Scouts from just a few years ago. “Times are changing,” said Mark Barbernitz of the Boy Scouts of America NEPA Council. “It seems like it’s the right thing to do, to make a decision to […]

Winter Fun Day for Scouts in Kirby Park

WILKES-BARRE — Hundreds of Cub Scouts and their families gathered at Kirby Park for some winter fun and activities in Luzerne County on Saturday. There were lots of activities for the young scouts at the eighth annual Winter Fun Day ranging from archery slingshots to hockey. All of those stations were run by Boy Scouts […]

Scouts Spend Day in ‘College’

WILKES-BARRE — Some boy scouts spent their Saturday at college–merit badge college, that is. More than 300 scouts spent the day at King’s College working towards merit badges including lifesaving, chemistry, and even journalism. The classes will bring the scouts closer to Eagle Scout status. “Lots of good stuff going on, lots of opportunity for […]