Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois not happy about Boy Scouts allo - – Rockford’s News Leader

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois not happy about Boy Scouts allowing girls to join organization


Leadership -- it's a skill Fiona Cummings says she never would've gained without her experience in girl scouts.

"Being in an all girl environment gives you the confidence to try things and also to fail," Cummings says.   

Now -- the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois -- Cummings says she's disappointed to see the Boy Scouts of America is expanding to allow girls join their programs next year. She says it's a move that will only hinder both programs.  

"No one will win," Cummings says. "I really believe that because there will be a lot of boy families that will say this isn't the organization that I wanted to join because I put my boy in Boy Scouts specifically to give them an all boy environment." 

But -- Jon Krause with the Blackhawk Council of Boy Scouts says the organization has already allowed girls to join in programs like high adventure trips in the past. 

"The girls were just as much leaders as the boys were," Krause says. "There is no reason frankly to keep boys and girls separate any more."

In 2018, the change will start with Cub Scouts. Boys and girls will be separated in to different dens but take part in the same skills and activities. But, they will come together for pack meetings once a month where they can celebrate their success and all be recognized as cub scouts -- and girls won't have to watch from the sidelines. 

"We would play some fun games, do some silly skits -- but their sisters would be sitting in the audience -- if you will -- with mom and dad wishing they that they could be part of this," Krause says.  

While the debate continues over the shift, both leaders say the goal for both programs is to mold the next generation.

We talked with the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois about their programs. They tell us girls usually start out as daisies. During the early years, they focus on skills like how to get ready for school. Then, as they get older they have the chance to choose from programs like STEM, outdoor and life skills, and entrepreneurship. 

We also spoke with the Blackhawk Council of Boy Scouts about what it has to offer. Boys start out as tiger cubs and have the chance to move up to a cub scout, boy scout and then eagle scout. They must complete each merit badge to advance to the next group.

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