Are you prepared for this? Girls are being allowed to join Cub Scouts and eventually will have a program allowing them to be Eagle Scouts.

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts saluting. Photo via aclu.org

“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls,” said the Boy Scouts of America from its base in Irving, Texas.

“The organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.”

Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s chief scout executive, said: “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.”

“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.”

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts, BSA said, adding:

Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls.

Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank.

This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.

The first official tweets, followed by early reactions:

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