San Antonio Boy Scouts Will be Among the First to Admit Girls

The Alamo Area Council of Boy Scouts next month will become one of the first to allow girls to become active and full members of Cub Scout Packs, and eventually, as the girls grow up, to become full members of the Boy Scouts of America and eligible for all awards offered in the Boy Scouts, including Order of the Arrow and Eagle Scout, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Council CEO Michael de los Santos tells 1200 WOAI news this follows the vote of the National Executive Board to admit girls to Boy Scout programs, and they left it up to the individual councils to set the calendar for admitting girls.

He says this isn't some social engineering program.  It is being done to help stressed out families better serve both sons and daughters.

"Families nowadays as we all know are busy," he said.  "We want to make it a little more convenient, so we want to open the character building program to all the kids in a family, and in this case, that includes sisters."

He says the individual Cub Scout packs will remain single genders, but will participate in many activities together, and the girls and boys will have equal opportunities in Cub Scout programs like Bears and Webelos I.  

The idea is that the dens will meet at the same time and the same place, so parents can drop off their sons and daughters at one place.

De los Santos cited one father who came to him with a story about trying to make sure both his son and his daughter had equal opportunities.

"She goes, dad, you spend a lot of time with my brother," he related the father telling him.  "If I could spend more time with you, I would like to be a Cub Scout."

The Boy Scouts will be open to teenage girls in 2019, De los Santos said.

He points out that Boy Scouts have participated in programs for girls for decades.  Both the Venturing program and the Camp Fire Girls program are Boy Scouts initiatives.

He says the structure of the coed Cub Scouts will be decided by the individual groups, and the parents in those groups.

"Our packs will be given the opportunity to have a girl and a boy pack, or we will have one unified pack, with girl dens and boy dens."

Jim Jeffrey, who is the President of the Alamo Area Council, says Boy Scouting is a 'proven way to strengthen our future.'

"Thew investments we make with our time, energy, and resources to build the character and leadership of our youth is a positive impact on the lives of all youth," he said.The Boy Scouts of America, at least for now, has no plans to change its name.

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