"I couldn't disagree more".
Barker noted that numerous older girls in her council were interested in talking about issues such as the sexual-assault problem on college campus. "In fact most other countries allow girls to participate in scouting, and we are excited that we can now offer the leadership training and skills to our entire local community". "It's a safe space for a girl to be a girl". While some tell 10News they believe the move is a big step toward gender equality, others worry the plan is actually an attempt to boost falling membership by poaching girls away from the Girl Scouts.
Boy Scouts officials say the shift is not financially motivated but rather a response to requests from parents.
I'm also the father of a 2 1/2 year old little girl who may or may not grow up into a teenager who wants to take part in "girly" activities.
Boys Scouts will be committed to the same, but now will do so as an organization with what Surbaugh calls "a hybrid model". "It's all girls, it's girl-led, it's an environment where girls learn and they thrive, and we know it works".
One question that has come up is what impact this will have on the Girl Scouts, which is a separate organization.
Some local families connected to scouting are wary.
But research comparing the two organizations reveals distinct differences in the messaging and programming available to boys and girls. "We believe in our program and believe parents will want an all-girl environment to foster their leadership skills". "It's very condescending for the Boy Scouts to say 'Hey, we're better, join us'".
Joni Kinsey, an art history professor at the University of Iowa, has been both a youth member and a troop leader in the Girl Scouts and fought against the possible sale of camps in her region.
Those groups said the Boy Scouts' new initiative would not weaken their commitment to single-sex programming. I applaud the activism of the young women who have been pushing for the policy change. "I remember as a kid people would say, 'oh my, the program is going to go down.' But it only strengthened the program, as it did with Rotary when they allowed women in".
Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires.com and a longtime Girl Scout leader (as well as a Girl Scout herself as a child!). Without knowing exactly how it would be implemented, or how their roles might change, many felt the development could overwhelm program volunteers.
"Then about two months ago, our council office was notified by another parent that they thought there was something wrong with the pack's finances", said Dennis Dugan, the assistant scout executive for the Twin Rivers Council, the Boy Scout district for northeastern NY.
They're pretty wonderful kids, and it has been a privilege to watch them grow from tiny little Daisies to proud and strong Cadette Girl Scouts. "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.
Wilcox said Girl Scouts is positioned for continued growth.
Shirley said her granddaughter could run with the boys.
Allman said the decision to allow girls to join is not truly a first. "We're confident in the face that we're the best choice for girls", explains Lori Enyart, Girl Scouts Communication Manager.
"It's a nice gesture", Rodriguez said of Boy Scouts welcoming girls, "but I feel like there's already opportunities for girls". Sure, Girl Scouts do things like go camping and earn badges, just like the boys do.
As of March, the Girl Scouts reported more than 1.5 million youth members and 749,000 adult members, down from just more than 2 million youth members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014.
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