INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Major changes are on the way for Boy Scouts of America.
The organization is expanding programming to include girls.
It’s something the board of directors unanimously approved. They said it provides more options for parents.
Some people in central Indiana think the expansion is a great idea, but they’re interested to see how it will be implemented.
Starting next year, girls will be able to join Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts dens will be broken into smaller groups, one just for girls and one just for boys.
Cub Scout packs will have the option to have either one or both genders.
“I think it’s great. I think girls need the same opportunities as boys. It is a very good foundation for them,” Indiana resident James Saunders said.
Saunders said he was involved in Scouts on and off while growing up in Chicago.
“It really is team building and really just going out, having confidence in yourself. It is a lot of character building,” Saunders said.
Others 24-Hour News 8 spoke with grew up watching family members in Boy Scouts.
“My brother can start a fire with a stick, you know, the stereotypical Boy Scout things. He definitely learned how to tie certain knots. He went camping, learned survival tips, and I think that is something that he’s kind of carried with him,” Morgan Naylor said.
Older girls will soon have that opportunity as well.
Starting in 2019, a new program will let girls work toward the same Eagle Scout rank boys do.
Naylor said she’s glad girls will have an avenue to learn those skills, but she’s curious to see how the program will be put into practice.
“I think there needs to be an avenue that girls learn about things that guys do in Boy Scouts. Maybe not necessarily making them together, because I think sometimes it’s OK for men or boys to just have things that are boys, but I think the skill sets that are learned in Boy Scouts do need to brought over into the women’s world,” Naylor said.
As of right now, there are no plans to change the name of the Boy Scouts organization.
Employees and representatives involved locally referred questions and comments to a national spokesperson.