"It's a safe space for a girl to be a girl". "The family structure has changed since 1910", said Jon Brennan, Scout executive for the Susquehanna Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She wants to see girls receive the same opportunity.
Skelly admits there also are those within the Boy Scouts who may not view the change favorably, but then again, that's not a surprise to him either because he's heard it before.
One viewer writing, "This is absolute insanity..." another saying, "I mean, it's interesting because I remember being jealous of what the boys did over in Boy Scouts. If they don't, they don't have to", Conrad said.
"Here's my take on it, particularly the Eagle program you're sent to obtaining the Eagle award in scouting, it's such an awesome program that I think is great that girls now have an opportunity to participate in that". It's a huge part of what my troop does - from caroling in the nursing home to donating food to the Williamstown food pantry as younger girls to completing more complex projects as they grew more mature. "It's very condescending for the Boy Scouts to say 'Hey, we're better, join us'". He expressed desire that his daughter, 17-year-old Eva, could have been fully included in the Boy Scout programming like his son Will, who is on track to earn the Eagle rank.
"If the program does go in a co-ed direction, I think the fundamental character of it changes", he said.
Moreover, if society expects workplaces where men and women treat each other respectfully, that training has to start with children, Eliot added.
Gremel is something of a legendary figure in local scouting circles, having served more than 60 years as Scoutmaster for Troop 979, for which he still volunteers.
The announcement also notes that girls will be able to attain the coveted Eagle Scout rank, a nationally recognized achievement. Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts have overcome some exclusionary policies, such as barring members and not allowing women to be troop leaders.
In fact, Boy Scout officials said troops will remain single-gender.
On Wednesday, BSA released a statement that its board of directors had voted unanimously to allow girls to participate from Cub Scouts, starting in 2018, to the highest rank of Eagle Scouts, starting in 2019.
Speaking as someone who has kept his Order of the Arrow sash for almost 30 years, the Boy Scouts of America lost my almost all of my remaining respect today. He had stopped in with his wife of 45 years, Shirley, to pick up introductory badges for their group's 15 new members. Nationally, both Boy and Girl Scouts have report declines over the past year. "I always claim we restrict kids' development by plotting them into the boys' chute or the girls' chute in terms of what activities can you do and who can you talk to, and it really limits the full range of one's human potential to only hang out with half of the population", she said.
Single-sex institutions can be limiting for both boys and girls, Eliot said.
Shirley said her granddaughter could run with the boys.
Wilcox said this is their membership season which makes it easier for girls to join during this time.
Eva's experience in Girl Scouts was beneficial, Lewis said, but distinct from the Boy Scout programming.
At the Jefferson Park scout meeting, some of the younger people present seemed to embrace the change. BSA is now working to develop a scouting program for girls to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
"She was 10, and a boy came up to her and pretty much said, 'What are you doing here, ' " Mr. Ireland said.
State police charged a St. Regis Falls couple with grand larceny on Tuesday for misappropriating over $6,000 from a financial account belonging to their local Boy Scout troop.
Even this new move by the Boy Scouts isn't completely inclusive or integrated. Among her favorite things: arts, crafts and playing dodgeball.