Serving the Whole Family
Recently, the National Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The organization as a whole evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.
Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs 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 program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.
While there is planning and work to be done for the future, it remains critical that our immediate focus continues to be on OUR current mission at hand here in the Laurel Highlands Council, to build a new organization with our units at the center providing needed solutions to the community.
Early Adopter Program Update
After receiving overwhelming demand from chartered partners, Cub Scout pack leaders and local councils already prepared to provide the Cub Scouting program to girls, the Boy Scouts of America is offering an early adopter program that participating councils can extend to chartered partners as early as January 15, 2018. Although Family Scouting programs will officially launch to welcome both boys and girls in Cub Scouting during the 2018-19 program year, the soft launch for early adopters will allow eligible packs in participating councils to officially register girls (K-4) in Cub Scouting as early as January 15, 2018.
Locally, the Laurel Highlands Council has numerous Packs who have already begun to welcome girls into their programs. For more information and to find an early adopter family pack for you and your daughter, please visit www.beascout.org or contact Alan Parks.
Older Girl Program Update
As part of the ongoing process delivering the program for older girls that will be introduced next year, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has confirmed a scheduled February 1, 2019 launch date for the program to serve girls, ages 11-17. This timing is intended to align with the programmatic timeline so that girls who join Cub Scouts in 2018 and will have earned their Arrow of Light are able to cross over to a troop to continue their Scouting journey.
The Board also approved the option of a linked troop structure that would allow existing boy troops and future girl troops the opportunity to be linked through a shared COR and troop committee.
Program and Membership
Older Girl Program Resources
- Family Scouting Program Overview
- Family Scouting Program Infographic w/ Structure
- Family Scouting Timeline