Girls can be boy scouts too, organization announces

Boy Scouts of America - Vestavia location

First came the controversial decision to allow gay and transgender males to join. Today, the Boy Scouts of America announced girls can become members too -- starting in 2018.

While the Boy Scouts will soon offer co-ed membership, the Girl Scouts of Central Alabama will remain female only.

"It gives them those opportunities to try, to fail, and to succeed. No place else can do that."

Military veteran, Karen Peterlin, became a girl scout at a young age. She's now CEO of the Girl Scouts of Central Alabama. Peterlin says more than ever our society needs strong, women leadership.

"And our program can give girls the skills and the talents to be where they want to be leaders."

A large percent of female leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math fields were girl scouts. Like astronauts Mae Jemison and Jan Davis. And, the organization is now taking it further.

"Whether they want to be leaders in government or in schools."

The organization is preparing girls for civic and government leadership roles. Already, one of their own worked with Save the Parks on the bill to get funding restored for Alabama's state parks.

"We have over a hundred years of experience giving girls those opportunities."

And, the girls scouts organization says it's offering girls more options. It's now adding theater and the arts; along with expanding their outdoor experience to include backpacking and more advanced survival type of skills.

While Peterlin wouldn't say much about the boy scouts' decision to recruit, she did offer this.

"Both organization have a long rich history. But, our organization proven among girls only that we're the best."

In a statement, the Boy Scouts says:

"The historic 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 have 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."

For more information on the organizations or to join them, visit:

Girls Scouts -

Boy Scouts -

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