In a programme to be announced next year and projected to start in 2019, girls will follow the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts, which are for ages 11-17. NOW said it was inspired by the efforts of a 15-year-old New York City girl, Sydney Ireland, to emulate her older brother, who is an Eagle Scout.
Existing packs may establish a new pack for girls, create a pack consisting of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy unit. "They're both great, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Girl Scouts but it's a different program". But this is the first time the organization has opened up its traditional programs to girls, including the option to reach Eagle Scout, a distinction only about 2 percent of scouts have ever achieved, according to the BSA.
It's something the board of directors unanimously approved.
He said this decision was made, in part, by the organizations close relationship with the Girl Scouts of America in Middle Tennessee.
Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of tradition, the Irving-based Boy Scouts has undergone major changes in the past five years, agreeing to accept openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys. "Kudos to our national leadership, bringing Scouting in the United States in line with World Scouting Movement".
"I think when you are with a group of girls you're sometimes a little bit more willing to be independent and do your own thing than maybe with a co-ed group or maybe feeling like you're doing something that is what you want to do or is comfortable for you", she said.
"I think the biggest things for girls is their going to get recognized for their advancements", Miller said.
"There's Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts", Kevin Stewart said.
But the Girl Scouts say they were blindsided by the announcement and their data shows girls thrive when they take risks and experiment in the company of other girls. Gulfport resident Alexus Fairley said, "I wouldn't have girls in Boy Scots".
"I personally think it is fantastic", Signoretti said.
For decades the Boy Scouts of America has been one of the most exclusive clubs in the country.
Some parents say they have a lot of questions on why the change is needed. This will allow them to get recognition for their achievement and earn the top rank of eagle scout.
Tico Perez was the national commissioner for Boy Scouts of America for the past eight years.
"It was always fun to be able to have that", said Allyson Howard, 17, who plans to join the Boy Scouts.
For some families, scouting programs that welcome both boys and girls could be a welcome convenience.