Local troop leaders give opinion on Boy Scouts of America name change, acceptance of girls

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Boy Scouts of America has made a big change for the next generation.  

The organization known as Boy Scouts will go by the name Scouts BSA next year.  Troops that cater to kids from 11 to 18 will soon enroll girls with the boys. 

“I think it opens up amazing opportunities for girls to do things and get involved in a program that they have not yet been involved in,” said Brian Williams, parent, scoutmaster.

Some in southern Nevada are excited for the new era, while others say they have some serious concerns. 

8 News NOW stopped by the International Scouting Museum near Sahara and Valley View on Wednesday to get their reaction on the matter.

“Hopefully, it will just grab the community and make them go and get a little bit more united than anything,” said Steven Carter, a parent, former Eagle Scout.

“It’s the right decision to make; a flagship program for the ages,” Williams said.

Williams has two sons moving through the ranks, now his daughter will give it a shot.

“My daughter is only turning 12, so she’ll get to be part of this from almost the beginning age,” Williams said. 

Mike Marchese southern Nevada’s Scout executive sent the following statement supporting the shift:

“As we make this change, we hear from girls and their families daily about how excited they are to be part of the adventures offered through Cub Scouts and in 2019, our older youth program, Scouts BSA.”

Not everyone’s on board with the co-ed change.

“Just to realize that it may not be a situation that all girls need to be in,” said Kimberly Reinhart, a parent to a Girl Scout and a co-troop leader.

Reinhart and Girl Scouts of America Communications Chief Linda Bridges fear for the future of female needs in an all boy environment.

“They’re not ready for big programming that’s specifically tailored to a girl’s needs,” Bridges said. 

She says she wants parents to think twice before they enroll their growing girls.

“What do they understand about the unique girl space,” Bridges asked. 

But Williams and many more still feel, “this can only have a positive effect on our whole society in this country and maybe the world.”

“Give it a chance,” Carter said.

The Boy Scouts of America in Las Vegas started accepting girls as Cub Scouts in January.

Co-ed registration for all councils will start July 2018. 

For more on the Scouts, BSA go here.

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