Gladwin Scouts React To Rule Change Allowing Girls Into Boy Scouts Of America

It’s a change for the Boy Scouts of America that is both historic and raising questions.

Next year, they will start allowing girls.

The Boy Scouts announced that girls will be able to join Cub Scout programs, nationwide, then work up the ranks.

Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts changed its membership requirements to allow transgender people to join the organization.

“My immediate thought was why?” says Laice Reid, a Boy Scout mother from Gladwin County.

Starting in 2018, girls can start working on climbing the Boy Scout ladder to Eagle Scout.

Reid and her son, Damian, say the change is puzzling.

“There’s Girl Scouts, you know?” Reid says. “So what is the big deal?”

“I think it basically would be the exact same, just there would be some girls involved,” Damian says.

Melanie Whitman, part of Gladwin Cub Scouts Pack 3779, says it’s too soon to tell.

“The fact that they are going to keep it gender separated so there would be a girl den and a boy den, so I don’t know necessarily if that’s so bad,” Whitman says. “I’m still not sure.”

“It gives the girls a chance to do everything that the boys do,” says Martin Looker, Gladwin Troop 779 Boy Scoutmaster.

On the other hand, Looker says the plan could be good.

“There’s girls who have wanted to be in Boy Scouts forever,” Looker says. “A lot of countries have co-ed boy scouts and girl scouts. Whether it’s Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, it’s based on trust. If you can’t trust those kids out in the woods, where can you trust them?”

The Boy Scouts say the change will give girls better leadership opportunities, like “National Youth Leadership Training.”

Carleen Campbell, co-area manager of the Gladwin Girl Scouts, agrees and says this shouldn’t threaten Girl Scout membership.

“I think that there needs to be difference between the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts,” Campbell says. “The girls need their space. The boys need their space but i think they can learn to work together.”

Scouts like Damian just hope tradition isn’t lost.

“I hope it just mostly stays the same,” Damian says.

Another program for older girls will be announced next year and will start in 2019.