The Boy Scouts of America officially announced today that it’s letting girls take the oath starting in 2018.
“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls,” stated a press release from the BSA. “The organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting, to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.”
In making the decision, BSA released a questionnaire to parents regarding after-school activities and the response was overwhelming: 90 percent of parents surveyed expressed interest in signing up their daughters for a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent were interested in programs similar to Boy Scouts.
Although the Boy Scouts organization has been running special coed programs since the ’70s, the organization has yet to allow girls to actually join a “den,” or unit of scouts. But starting in August, any kid 7 to 10 years old can sign up for the Cub Scout program.
And if you have a daughter who’s already aged out of Cub Scouts, no problem. BSA is planning on introducing more inclusive programs for older kids in the upcoming year and will even let them earn the rank of Eagle Scout, just like their male counterparts.
It also hopes its new recruiting guidelines will mean more racial and ethnic diversity across the board. “Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family,” said the release.