Amarilloans react to Boy Scouts' decision to let girls in

Amarilloans react to Boy Scouts' decision to let girls in

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Texas panhandle's local Boy and Girl Scout directors are now weighing in on the Boy Scouts of America's recent decision to allow girls into all their programs.

Girls are already part of some Boy Scout programs, but soon every branch of the organization will have an option for girls to fully participate.

Starting next year, girls can sign up to be cub scouts. In 2019, teen girls can join a not-yet-named program for older scouts.

Boy Scouts Golden Spread Council Executive Director Phillip Shipley said the addition of girls to the organization promotes the Boy Scout belief in creating experiences as a family, since girls were already invited to a lot of Boy Scout activities.

"It was interesting that a lot of the little sisters wanted to be a part and do activities along with their older brothers," said Shipley. "They'd go shoot the BB guns, they'd go camping and they'd do stuff and they weren't able to earn the advancements. So it was just a natural progression that, yes, we're going to allow young ladies in scouting now."

Some Amarillo residents support this idea.

"It's a really well respected organization and I think if girls want to join Boy Scouts and have those opportunities then why not let them," said Amarillo resident Matthew Merriott.

"I really wanted to be an Eagle Scout, and I can't," said Amarillo resident Jasmine Shannon. "Because there's nothing really cool and credible about being a Girl Scout, like no one really brags about being a Girl Scout but all the guys get to go brag about being an Eagle Scout."

Some Amarilloans aren't happy with the Boy Scouts' decision.

"It bothers me that girls and their parents feel the need to take over anything and everything that applies to boys," said one viewer on NewsChannel 10's Facebook page.

Another viewer wrote, "I think it's a disgrace. If women need to prove they are equal by joining the Boy Scouts then there is something terribly wrong."

Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains don't plan to make a similar change soon by letting boys in.

Their CEO Becky Burton released the following statement:

"We don't comment about the policy decisions of other organizations – but I can tell you that Girl Scouts is, and will continue to be, the best leadership experience in the world for girls. The single-gender environment we offer at Girl Scouts creates an inclusive, safe space where  girls are free to explore their potential and take the lead without the distractions or pressures that can be found in a coed environment. At Girl Scouts, we have a tradition of developing female leaders. In the U.S., 90 percent of female astronauts, 80 percent of female tech leaders, 75 percent of current senators, and 50 percent of female business owners are Girl Scout alumnae. As parents choose activities for their daughters, we encourage them to consider the proven track record of Girl Scouts. We'd love to have their girls in our program."

"The Girl Scouts of America is a great program," said Shipley. "They offer a lot of opportunities for young women to learn leadership skills. "We're [just] different. We're offering an opportunity for the entire family to participate as a unit or as a group."

Cub Scout dens will be separated by gender, and most other details are still being finalized before girls start joining in a few months.

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