Wednesday is Join Scouts Day here in western Massachusetts. The Boy Scouts of America is more than a century old, but this is the first year girls will be able to join.
More than 6,000 kids that are enrolled in The Western Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America – a number the organization hopes will grow after the National Council decided to admit girls for the first time earlier this year.
Girls will have their own dens, but will interact with and engage in activities with Cub Scouts. The Cub program ranges from kindergarten to 5th grade.
However, President of The Western Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America Jeffrey Glaze told 22News this isn’t the first time girls are getting involved in the program. The Boy Scouts have two programs called Venturing and Exploring for ages 13-21 – programs that have been co-ed for the last 40 years.
Glaze told 22News that boys and girls will benefit from working with each other. “They’ll learn a little bit about camping, hiking and fishing and all the outdoors. Believe it or not, the girls like doing that stuff just as much as boys do. It’s all about having fun, and along the way, learning something that’s a life skill they can take with them.”
The Boy Scouts of America also announced a new program that will allow older girls to earn the rank of Eagle Scout starting in 2019.