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How Girl Scouts is building future-ready leaders

How Girl Scouts is building future-ready leaders

A letter from Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, the president of the Girl Scouts, claims that the Boy Scouts were running a "covert campaign" to gain female members and thus undercutting Girl Scout participation.

"While numerous programs may be the same - camping and outdoor adventure - when we talk about leadership we know that when girls get to the middle school level, there's research that they tend to sit back, they let the boys lead, and we don't want to see that happen to a whole generation of young women", Barneby said. The Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming told NBC Montana they believe girls will end up suffering as a result of this change.

I don't begrudge the Boy Scouts' decision to allow girls to join their program.

"Believe me when I tell you, it would be awful", Gremel said. BSA is now working to develop a scouting program for girls to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. She questioned whether that was an issue of concern to boys in the Boy Scouts. Jones feels the decision will allow girls to move through rankings they've never had and gain new experiences. A program for older girls - mirroring the Boy Scout curriculum - is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

The announcement also notes that girls will be able to attain the coveted Eagle Scout rank, a nationally recognized achievement.

So, no matter where girls live or what their age or background may be, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential. "If they don't, they don't have to", Conrad said.

The decision to integrate girls into Boy Scouts' programs has been met locally with an unenthusiastic response.

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Even this new move by the Boy Scouts isn't completely inclusive or integrated.

The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana boasts almost nearly 53,000 youth members this year, though the chapter has seen a decline from more than 69,000 girls enrolled in 2013, a trend Payton said has been seen across most youth service organizations in recent years. "What they learn in scouting will help them for the rest of their lives". The Eagle Scout program for young women is now being finalized and will reportedly be announced in 2019. 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. "You can't fault an organization for making a conscious effort to evolve itself and survive."The very idea of the Boy Scouts offering to girls programs once exclusively considered male-oriented - think wilderness survival skills - has some former Scouts like Sarah Manderbach excited about the change."I think it's a great opportunity", the 18-year-old Muhlenberg High School senior said.And yet others are quick to point out that the Scouting experience is unique to each troop". But, as with people and programs like the Girl Scout program itself, there was more than meets the eye. Over the years, the programming has also been reimagined to fit scouts' needs.

The Boy Scouts of America have also faced push back from the Girl Scouts. When it comes to scouting, Wilcox said Girl Scouts is the best positioned girls leadership program nationally and in Western New York.

"We're still going to focus on our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place", Wilcox said. Other leaders have college-age children, but they saw a need to train the next generation of female leaders.

Parents from the troop have stepped up to fill the leadership positions, and the scouts attended the Camp Bedford Harvest Fun Day Oct. 7.

Most people in the valley are in favor of the change.

Wilcox said this is their membership season which makes it easier for girls to join during this time.