In a landmark decision Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America announced girls will soon be allowed into the organization and have the opportunity to achieve their highest honor, Eagle Scout.
Mary Buszuwski is CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, and says Wednesday's announcement now means more competition, and feels the move isn’t beneficial to participants.
“The Boy Scouts are now another competitor and it’s disappointing," said Buszuwski. "What will the Boy Scouts be losing in becoming a co-ed program? I think that’s an important question for families, because boys also benefit from a single gender program specific to their needs."
“Long before any of this started to happen, we had formed a task force internally looking at the question of how do we reach more girls," Buszuwski continued.
Dennis Dugan is assistant scout executive from the Twin Rivers Council. He says adding girls into their Boy Scout program will give them and their families more options, one of the main reasons for their decision.
“It’s different for everyone who gets involved," said Dugan. "Some kids join the program because of the outdoor aspects like going camping, cooking outside over an open fire; other kids are interested in the STEM program, where it’s science technology and mathematics."
Girls will be allowed into the organization as Cub Scouts starting next year, with a program for older girls launching in 2019. Both groups say their programs are here for our future generation.
“We give girls a safe space where they can explore themselves in ways they can’t do due to social pressure," said Buszuwski.
“We're not saying our program is better; it’s just that our program may appeal to certain young women that say they don’t want to do the Girl Scout program or they want to do both," said Dugan.