Boy Scouts to allow girls to climb ranks, decision criticized by - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Boy Scouts to allow girls to climb ranks, decision criticized by Girl Scouts

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It's a historic decision that was 18 months in the making. Soon, girls will have the same opportunities as boys in the Boy Scouts of America. However, not everyone is on board. 

The monumental change was announced Wednesday, on the International Day of the Girl. Starting in the fall of 2018, girls will be able to climb up the ranks in the Boy Scouts including Cub Scout and Boy Scout. Then, in 2019, girls will be able to put in the work to become an Eagle Scout. 

"This is great," Amy Kitching said enthusiastically! She's been a leader in the Boy Scouts of America in Janesville's Troop 405 for the past 20 years. 

"When they're little they don't know who they're going to become when they're older, so let's give them the opportunity to try everything," said Kitching. 

Before the big decision, girls, including Kitching's daughter, could only participate in certain boy scout programs such as Venturing and Sea Scouts. 

"For me I feel sort of bad because my daughter will never have that coveted Eagle Scout nor will I, but it's great moving forward,"

However, some are criticizing the move, including the Girl Scouts. 

"I think that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are both interested in growing membership. So, whether it's good or bad for the Boy Scouts, that will be up to them to make that decision and to live with the ramifications of that decision," said Marci Henderson, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland. 

Henderson says there are several other organizations that already include both genders. The girls behind the vests say they're man enough to be girl scouts -- no boys needed. 

"What's unique about the Girl Scouts is it has been and it will be a place for girls," said Henderson. 

But members of the Boy Scouts of America believe their core values should be offered to both boys and girls. 

"Let's give any kid an opportunity to move forward and become a better leader, to become a better person, a better citizen," said Kitching. 

A historic decision that's changing tradition for one organization, but not for another. 

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