What will the BSA's new policy mean for the QCA?

FILE - In this Monday, May 29, 2017 file photo, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts salute during a Memorial Day ceremony in Linden, Mich. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its 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. (Jake May/The Flint Journal - MLive.com via AP)
By  | 

QUAD CITIES (KWQC) — In a highly debated announcement on Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America say they will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting in 2018 and create a new program for older girls so they can earn the Eagle Scout rank.

This change in policy has been a hot topic for debate on social media, but some here in the QCA say girls have been part of scouting for some time.

KWQC reached out to the BSA headquarters in Davenport. They told us Scout Executive/CEO, Tom McDermott was out of the office and not available for comment.

Those we talked to who are involved in Cub Scouts locally say Cub Scouts has always been a family friendly program. They say siblings are welcomed to participate, even sisters. One parent even said the girls were allowed to participate in annual Cub Scout events like the pinewood derby. The new rules means that the girls would now be eligible to earn awards like their brothers.

Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs, made up of a group of dens, will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders.

The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will allow girls to earn the Eagle Scout rank. Up until now, girls have been able to participate in other scouting programs such as Venturing, Exploring and Sea Scouts, but weren't able to earn the Eagle rank.

Some involved in scouting here in the Quad Cities applaud the move while others worry that the changes might lead to changes in the programming that's traditionally targeted boys.