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Girls can join the Boy Scouts now -- but not everyone is happy about it

It's official: Girls can now join the Boy Scouts.You read that right. As of Friday, the organization's older youth program, "Boy Scouts," will be call...

Posted: Feb 1, 2019 1:36 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2019 1:36 PM

It's official: Girls can now join the Boy Scouts.

You read that right. As of Friday, the organization's older youth program, "Boy Scouts," will be called "Scouts BSA" -- a change meant to welcome both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 17.

It also means young women can realize their dreams of becoming Eagle Scouts, the organization's coveted highest rank, which can offer lifelong academic and professional benefits. The first class of female Eagle Scouts will be recognized in 2020, according to Boy Scouts of America.

The program for younger kids, Cub Scouts, has been welcoming girls since last year, and more than 77,000 girls have joined. Its name will stay the same, as will the name of the 108-year-old parent organization, Boy Scouts of America.

"I could not be more excited for what this means for the next generation of leaders in our nation," Chief Scout Executive Michael B. Surbaugh said in a statement Friday.

"Through Scouts BSA, more young people than ever before -- young women and men -- will get to experience the benefits of camaraderie, confidence, resilience, trustworthiness, courage and kindness through a time-tested program that has been proven to build character and leadership."

'I wanted to become a scout myself'

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) first announced it was going to include girls in 2017.

It was welcome news for many girls, like 10-year-old Kaylee Russell, who told CNN affiliate WJXT she's been tagging along and participating in her older brother's Boy Scouts events for a long time.

"My brother was always a Boy Scout and in Cub Scouts," she said. "And they would always include me and I would do things like archery, swimming, shooting rifles. So much. And that encouraged me that I wanted to become a scout myself."

Kaylee's mom, Stacey Russell, is also glad her daughter is going to be able to participate, WJXT reported.

"She liked camping, she liked the hiking, the outdoors stuff. And this gives her a chance to actually earn the merit badges for the stuff that she's already been doing with him anyway," she said. Russell also likes the "leadership skills" that her son has developed, and is happy her daughter will have the same opportunity.

Not everyone welcomes the change

Welcoming girls into the Boy Scouts has not come without controversy.

There was mixed reaction on social media at the time of the initial announcement, with some suggesting the change was "PC," or "politically correct."

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) issued a statement that didn't name BSA, but said that the "benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families."

BuzzFeed News previously obtained a letter reportedly from GSUSA President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, who accused BSA of welcoming girls to help their diminished enrollment numbers.

And late last year, GSUSA actually sued BSA over the change from "Boy Scouts" to "Scouts BSA" in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

In an updated statement on Friday, GSUSA said BSA's decision "does not change the position of Girl Scouts of the USA or our mission to serve girls, and girls only, and to foster their amazing leadership potential. We remain steadfast in our knowledge that Girl Scouts is the world's single best leadership development program for girls."

The organization later added that a judge last week ruled that the lawsuit is moving forward with all of the claims GSUSA made, after the BSA filed a motion to dismiss two of the claims.

"Beyond our view that the decision was entirely correct, Girl Scouts has no further comment on pending litigation," GSUSA said in a statement.

Asked about the lawsuit, BSA said, "We look forward to resolving the matter so both of our organizations can do what we do best -- serve communities through character-building programs for youth."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
DeKalb438785
Montgomery434690
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399259
Miami392768
Jasper386954
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360583
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330253
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269955
Clay265848
Washington244934
Randolph244683
Jennings235149
Spencer234231
Starke227558
Fountain218647
Sullivan213943
Owen211058
Fulton201542
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175726
Vermillion173644
Franklin170235
Tipton165846
Parke149016
Pike138034
Blackford136132
Pulaski120247
Newton112736
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton101014
Martin91515
Warren83615
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
Lorain25641502
Warren24558303
Mahoning22332601
Lake21139385
Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5723102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
Champaign343858
Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285350
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
Van Wert247264
Adams242956
Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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