The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that they will now welcome girls into the Cub Scout program. The decision was made unanimously by the board of directors after noting they had been receiving many requests from families and girls.

The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement regarding the decision,  “[T]he 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.”

The organization has also noted this could help busy families by consolidating these programs into one. BSA followed up this claim by saying, “Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing.”

Boy Scouts of America, founded more than 100 years ago, currently has about 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in the United States. The change will take into effect as early as next year where girls will be able to join Cub Scout units, also known as dens. In addition to the announcement, BSA also mentioned a separate program for older girls will be available in 2019 where they will be able to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. With the ever-changing culture of America, Boy Scouts feels this is the right opportunity to move forward with these decisions.

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