Vintage Photos Show Boy Scouts Through The Ages

After more than a century of gender exclusivity, Boy Scouts of America will now be welcoming girls into Cub Scout programs.

In a decision unanimously agreed upon by their board of directors, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will now begin welcoming girls into their Cub Scout program. “The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls,” Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. The announcement was made on International Day of the Girl.

Besides the ability of younger girls to participate in Cub Scout programs, BSA has also decided to allow older girls to pursue and earn the highest rank of an Eagle Scout, said the organisation on Wednesday. (See if you're tougher than a Boy Scout.)

They said that the move to integrate girls into their Scouting programs is a part of their mission to “offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children,” and also aims to help busy families consolidate programs for their children while maintaining “the integrity of the single gender model.”

The decision to allow girls into BSA Scouting programs is not being supported by Girl Scouts of the USA. In a statement published by Buzzfeed, their National Board President, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, called the plan unsettling, and added that the co-ed model goes against research supporting single gender programming.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded on February 8, 1910, and is the largest Scouting organisation in the U.S. According to their website, the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

Lead Image: A Boy Scout performs a trumpet call during the raising of the flags at Fort Morgan State Park, Alabama. PHOTOGRAPH BY TED SPIEGEL, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

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