by Ashley Wills, Humberto Zarco–
The Boy Scouts of America announced it will become fully inclusive for girls for the first time in its 107-year history.
To support its decision, the BSA cited surveys of parents whose children are not involved in scouting that said 90 percent of parents surveyed expressed interest in signing their daughters up for a program like Cub Scouts. Eighty-seven percent expressed interest in a program like Eagle Scouts.
The announcement drew mixed reactions from the BSA community and indirect criticism from Girl Scouts USA. “The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent that it is today — and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success,” Girl Scouts said in a statement.
BSA membership has been declining for years. In 2016, the organization reported they had 2.3 million members, a decrease from 2.8 million in 2012.
For months, Girl Scouts USA felt BSA would try to start recruiting girls. Buzzfeed obtained a letter in August in which Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannah actually accused the BSA of recruiting girls to boost their declining numbers.