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Family Scouting Update

January 08, 2018

Last fall, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America approved welcoming girls into its Cub Scout program beginning in 2018. Then, in 2019, the BSA will begin delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The decision was made based on feedback from across the nation. The character and leadership qualities our programs develop, grounded in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, are as relevant and helpful for girls as they have been for boys.

Although the program will officially launch to welcome both boys and girls in Cub Scouting with the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the Boy Scouts of America is offering a soft launch to register girls (grades k-4) into existing Cub Scout packs as early as January 15.

Cub Scouting is organized in packs and dens. A den is a small group of youth in the same grade level that meets at least twice a month. All the dens from grades one through five make up the pack. In 2018, an existing chartered organization may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain with an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender – all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, meanwhile, can include any combination of all-boy or all-girl dens. The choice is left to individual chartered organizations in consultation with their pack leaders. This hybrid model builds on the benefit of a single-gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for boys and girls.

For organizations interested in participating in the soft launch, the minimum requirements to participate include:

  1. Local councils determine if a unit is in good standing and has the capacity to participate
  2. Chartered partners and unit leaders confirm interest and agree to use the family pack model, and that they will:
    • Register a minimum of four girls into a new all-girl den of an existing pack,
    • Use the current Cub Scouting program and resources,
    • Uphold membership policies,
    • Provide input and feedback about their activities and experiences to help improve the formal rollout; this information may also be used in marketing and earned media outreach.
  3. The pack confirms that leaders are trained in their positions.
  4. The pack agrees to develop a program plan to ensure that participants can accomplish all rank requirements by May 31, 2018.

As a reminder, the choice to allow girls into a unit’s existing Pack is left to individual chartered organizations in consultation with their pack leaders. Chartered organizations 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. Additionally, units participating in the soft launch can only register girls online. No paper applications will be accepted.

The option to participate in the soft launch ends February 15. After that, the option to welcome both girls and boys into the Cub Scout program launches Aug. 1, 2018.

If you’d like to discuss this further or have additional questions, your district executive would be happy to meet with you. You can reach us at 314-256-3118 or pr@stlbsa.org. Additionally, an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new family Scouting model can be found here. More resources are available through the national Family Scouting page.