Boy Scouts moving forward, says addition of girls won’t change group

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Boy Scouts raise a flag during a ceremony in Pima.

By Jon Johnson

Beginning in February 2019, the Boy Scouts will be formally known as Scouts BSA to reflect the inclusive program that allows girls to join.

The Boy Scouts of America previously announced that it is welcoming girls from first through fifth grades to the Cub Scouts this year, and girls from the sixth grade and up to join the Boy Scouts and work to the rank of Eagle Scout if they wish, starting next year.

According to a video from BSA Today, the boys and girls will be segregated in their dens for Cub Scouts and in separate troops for Scouts BSA. So, girls will be in all-girls dens and troops and will lead their own groups while boys will stay in all boy dens and troops the same as they always have been.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints withdraws of sponsorship

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has previously announced it will withdraw sponsorships of the Boy Scouts of America as of Dec. 21, 2019, in part, due to the restructuring its own youth program and to provide a global plan to church members. However, Scouts BSA has advised that the Church still supports all youth and families who desire to participate in the Scouts.

At the 2018 National Meeting Annual Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave the Church’s blessing for members to continue scouting.

“This isn’t a divorce,” Holland said. “It’s growth. We’re not in any way disavowing any of those virtues of Scouting. It is just the charter part that we are separating from.”

“We are friends now and will be friends forever. In 18 months when our charters are finished, we hope that many LDS youth who wish to do so will still choose to be in Scouting.”

According to Scouts BSA, plans are in motion to establish new sponsors in the Gila Valley, and the Church encourages Scouting for boys ages 8-13 and encourages families to continue financial support.