Boy Scouts will allow girls to join

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(CNN) — The Boy Scouts of America’s board of directors has unanimously agreed to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and to forge a path for older girls to pursue and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout, the organization said Wednesday.

“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls,” Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. “[T]he 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.”

BSA said the move is also aimed at helping busy families consolidate programs for their children.

“Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing,” the BSA statement said.

Boy Scouts of America has about 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and about 960,000 volunteers in the United States and its territories.

STATEMENT FROM LDS CHURCH

From LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins:

“The Activity Days and Personal Progress programs of the Church have long been in place to meet the needs of girls and young women in these age groups, and no change will be made in Church programs. We recognize that the desire of the BSA is to expand their programs to serve more young people in the United States. The Church, too, continues to look at ways to serve the needs of our youth worldwide.”

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