Update on Program for Older Girls
The National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has confirmed a scheduled February 1, 2019 launch date for the program to serve girls, ages 11-17. This timing is intended to align with the programmatic timeline so that girls who join Cub Scouts in 2018 and will have earned their Arrow of Light are able to cross over to a troop to continue their Scouting journey.
The Board also approved the option of a linked troop structure that would allow existing boy troops and future girl troops the opportunity to be linked through a shared COR and troop committee.
Questions & Answers:
Q. What program is available to girls that are older than Cub Scout age?
A: Using the same Scouting program offered to older boys, the organization will deliver a program for older girls that is scheduled to launch in February 2019 through which girls will be able to earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Q: What ages would be eligible for the program?
A: Mirroring the ages served by the existing Boy Scout program, the program for girls would serve girls who have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, or have earned the Arrow of Light and are at least 10 years old, or are age 11 but have not reached age 18.
Q. Will you change the program to accommodate girls?
A: Our existing programs are relevant for both young men and women. After all, the values of Scouting as outlined in the Scout Law – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent – are relevant and important values for both young men and women. As such, the program for girls, ages 11 to 17 will be the same curriculum offered in the Boy Scout program.
Q: Will the Scoutmaster position change in the program for girls?
A: No, the Scoutmaster is still responsible for training and guiding youth leaders in the operation of the troop and for managing, training and supporting assistant scoutmasters in their role.
Q: Can a boy troop and a girl troop share the same Scoutmaster?
A: No. Chartered organizations should have separate Scoutmasters for their boy troop and girl troop.
Q: Can both male troops and girl troops share the same committee?
A: A chartered organization can decide if they want the same or separate committee.
Q: Can a boy troop and girl troop meet at the same time?
A:Yes. Based on the preferences of the chartered organization, the boy troop and girl troop could meet at the same time and place.
Q: If a chartered organization is not able to establish a new unit based on the required number of same-gender youth needed, can boy patrols and girl patrols be combined to form a troop?
A: No. A new unit must be started using the current youth and adult requirements; however, chartered organizations can consider the linked troop model so that the newly-established girl troop will have the same COR and can share the troop committee.
Q: Can a boy troop and girl troop meet as one big troop?
A: Opening and closing of the meetings can be together or separate, depending on space and desire of the chartered organization and unit leadership. The other components of the Scout meeting should be run separately.
Q: Can boy and girl patrols make up a troop?
A: No. Troops must be all male or all female youth members.
Q: Must the leaders of a boy troop be men and all the leaders of the girl troop be women?
A: No. Adult leadership may be men, women, or both men and women together. All youth protection guidelines are to be in use no matter the make-up of the adult leadership.
Q: Can a boy troop and girl troop plan events together?
A: Yes, they can plan events together, as troops currently do.
Q: Can courts of honor be held jointly?
A: Yes, courts of honor can be held jointly if the chartered organization chooses.
Q: Can a council and district run camporees for boy troops and girl troops?
A: Yes, a council and district can run council and district events for both boy troops and girl troops if they are following the Guide to Safe Scouting and all current youth protection guidelines.
Q: Will all current Boy Scout troops be required to offer a program for girls?
A: Chartered organizations can decide which programs best serve the needs of their community, which means that the chartered organization can continue to offer Scouting for boys, or they may choose to add a unit for older girls.