To: North Florida Council, BSA Scouting Community
Fr: Jack Sears, Scout Executive/CEO
Dt: October 12, 2017
On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America voted to expand Scouting Programs to allow Girls. The North Florida Council Executive Board, Staff and National Council Representatives were given no advance notice that this would be an agenda item for resolution at the National Executive Board meeting. In fact, I learned of the outcome of the decision just as everyone else did via news sources outside of the BSA.
The official statement from the Boy Scouts of America is provided below. I have not been provided any information beyond what I am forwarding to you at this time. As soon as I learn more about the operational processes that follows this action I will share with you.
The North Florida Council, BSA Executive Committee (Officers), are meeting next Tuesday. Any input that you would like for me to share with the Officers regarding this decision will be shared with our Officers and we will be sure to pass along to the National Council of the BSA.
As I read the statement, Cub Scout Packs through their Chartered Organizations will be given the discretion to expand the Cub Scout program to girls at some point in 2018. Further, a program that uses the same curriculum as the Boy Scout program for girls will be announced sometime during 2018 as well; however, will not be available until 2019.
While these are great days of historic change for the Boy Scouts of America the Scout Oath and Law remains unchanged as it has for over 106 years.
As more information becomes available, I will share. Thanks for your continued interest and support.
National BSA Statement Regarding the Expansion of Scouting Programs to Allow Girls:
Today, the BSA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into our iconic Cub Scout program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA 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.
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 us 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 our 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.
Jack L. Sears, Jr.| Scout Executive/CEO
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
North Florida Council