Boy Scouts of America makes changes to help busy families - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Boy Scouts of America makes changes to help busy families

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Girls will be able to join the Boy Scouts staring in 2018. The historic decision came after years of receiving requests from families and girls.

Many are welcoming the change.

"I really can't wait for that. This is the first time I'll be able to get my own badges. I would go with my little brother through the camping trips and I would get the badges that my mom would pay extra for. It was always fun to be able to have that," said Allyson Howard, 17, who plans to join the Boy Scouts.

She is currently a Line Leader for the Cub Scouts.

Her mother, Susan Howard, says the outdoor adventures are what drew her in.

"We tried the Girl Scouts when she was younger and it just didn't work out for her -- it's not what I expected it to be," she said.

When Allyson Howard heard the announcement on Wednesday that she will no longer have to tag along with her brother and that she, too, can become a boy scout -- she and her mother were ecstatic.

"I was overjoyed because I think the scouting programs delivered through the Cub Scouts are such an excellent family-oriented experience. It was kind of a bummer that this whole time females were excluded from that," said Susan Howard.

The Boy Scouts of America says they decided to include girls to help busy families consolidate programs for their children. Existing packs will be able to choose to remain an all-boy, establish a new girl pack, or have a pack that includes girls and boys.

Susan Howard says even with the change, she would still like to see the boy and girl troops kept separate as opposed to coed troops.

"If you're a boy being around boys and if you're a girl being around girls, there's just a certain freedom and comfort level that goes with it and I think that might take away from the experience for either one," she said.

The Girl Scouts released a statement saying: "Girl Scouts of Western Ohio remains committed to and believes strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a necessary safe space for girls to learn and thrive."

A separate program for older girls who want to be Eagle Scouts will start in 2019.

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