Irving, Texas – October 11, 2017 – Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, 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.

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“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before [1], making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family. Recent surveys [2] of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts.  Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.

“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization.  It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack.  Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.

For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page.

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit


[1] PEW Research Center survey conducted Sept. 15 – Oct. 13, 2015 among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18.

[2] BSA surveys included two external Harris surveys and four internal surveys conducted from April to September 2017. Surveys were conducted online.


  1. Melany Gardner
    Melany Gardner ( User Karma: 3 ) says:

    I wish this was a thing when I was a youth, so that I could have earned my Eagle. I think it’s important to note that this announcement says that there will be separate dens for boys and girls, but packs can be combined if the chartered organization wants to. Considering the benefits and research behind it, I think this is a great day. Also what an appropriate announcement for International Day of the Girl! Alas, at least I can be a Eagle at heart, thanks to Wood Badge!

  2. Darryl Alder
    Darryl Alder says:

    Looking back, my last child, Hayley, would have been an Eagle Scout for sure. She served on camp staff in a coed Venturing crew for four years, but would have have loved the trail to Eagle. Way to go BSA for giving girls the same chance as boys!

  3. Skyler Hunter
    Skyler Hunter ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Since girl scouts is not backed or funded as well as the boy scout program, it makes sense for girls to join scouts. Girls should have an equal opportunity to learn the skills in scouting, and be a part of a pack. Our society has become less traditional in term of the roles of women and I think it is a good thing for girl to learn the same skills as the boy scouts. Though men and women often have different skills, there are many skills that we choose not to teach women for no good reason. Scout will teach girls the same hard work and outdoor skills the program has been teaching boys for a century.

  4. Avatar
    katelyn rodriguez says:

    Even though the “BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program” its so awesome that girls like Katie Hancock (see her awesome video: can now be awarded for all of their hard work they put into Scouting. Men get to be credited and looked up to in their professional careers for having achieved such a nationally recognized accomplishment as an Eagle Award and its awesome that now girls will have their talents and abilities equally validated. I really hope people don’t see this as “feministic” girls trying to impose themselves on something that men wanted for themselves- activities and campouts can and will still be separate as desired! I know I would’ve loooved to learn everything and do everything guys were able to do as they worked on their Eagle

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