Boy Scouts of America to begin admitting girls in 2018

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

IRVING, TX – The Boy Scouts of America will soon begin accepting girls.

The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors announced its unanimous decision that they said comes after years of receiving requests from girls of all ages to join the iconic organization.

“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Recent surveys of parents involved in scouting show over 90 percent wanted their daughters to join the Boy Scouts, according to a press release on the BSA’s website.

“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” BSA’s national board chairman Randall Stephenson said. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization. It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

The changes will take effect in the 2018 program year, according to the BSA.

Girls will be able to enter scouting at the rank of Cub Scout and progress all the way to Eagle Scout.

Nearly 2.3 million boys between the ages of seven and 21 are currently active in scouting, according to the BSA.