The following article was submitted by Vivian Reynolds, Registered Leader, Scouts BSA:
February 2019 ushers in a new era for the Boy Scouts of America as they expand the delivery of their Scouting program to girls.
Since June of 2018, girls ages 6-10 have been given the opportunity to form an all-girl den in a Cub Scout pack, and now older girls ages 11-17 will be able to form an all-girl troop of their own.
The program will not change whether delivered to boys or girls.
Now for the first time in history, a younger girl may earn the Arrow of Light Award, the highest award in Cub Scouts. An older girl may earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout based on her progression through the Scouting program offered through her girl troop. Girls and boys will not be in the same troops together, allowing for the benefits of the Scouting program to be tailored to the social development of boys and girls.
With the inclusivity of girls in the Scouting program, the organizational name has been altered to: Scouts, BSA. A girl or boy will be referred to as a Scout from either a boy troop or a girl troop, Scouts BSA. The term “Girl Scout” would still be appropriate for a girl who is a member of the Girl Scouts of America which is a separate youth organization exclusive to girls. To be clear, the Girl Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America have not merged but remain separate youth organizations with different programs.
A minimum of five youth and two adult leaders (one of which is female over age 21) is required to form a girl unit. Leaders must pass background checks, youth protection training and other training specific to their roles within the unit. An entity will need to charter the unit unless it is a den which may attach to an already existing pack of Cub Scouts.
Boy Troop 367, Scouts BSA will continue as a boy troop which has served the Smith County area since 2006. The Carthage United Methodist Church charters the unit as well as Cub Scout Pack 367, Scouts BSA which has been in existence for over sixty years. Cub Scout Pack 861, Scouts BSA has existed since 2015 and is now chartered by the Gordonsville United Methodist Church. Membership may be acquired any time of year and is not restricted by geographic location.