The Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board announced Wednesday they would begin accepting girls into the Cub Scouts next fall, with girls being allowed to join the Boy Scouts sometime during 2019.
Anthony Escobar, executive director of the Caddo Area Council, said the change came as a response to the growing demand for family activities within Scouting.
"The research and supporting data has shown for years that mom wants to bring her son and daughter to one activity and she wants family activities," he said. "She wants the wonderful things Scouts brings to her sonfor her daughter."
He said a good example of that was this past weekend's Cub Scout Fun Day, held at Camp Preston Hunt.
"We recruited 400 new families," he said. "It was an opportunity for families to come out and for those boys we just recruited to get a taste of Scouting. What was wonderful to see is you saw mom, dad, brother, sister, and grandma, grandpa. That was just proof positive that mom wants her whole family to participate in activities together. We've been listening to our customers nationwide and moms have told us we want family activities."
Escobar also said many people don't understand that girls have been a part of the programs for many
"We already have girls in Venturing and Exploring," he said. "We have all girl Venturing crews, all boy Venturing crews and we have co-ed Venturing crews. It has been very popular with young women and they are excelling at it."
Accounting to the BSA website, the organization has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Explorer Scouts.
He added that Bobbie Jo Bunnell, a Venture Scout from Crew 81 of Prescott, Ark., recently achieved the Ranger Award, the highest outdoor skills award offered by the BSA. Bunnell is the first female Venturer in the Caddo Area Council to win the award, he said.
"It's a tough award," he said. "She's a fantastic young lady and a fantastic Scout."
For more information on the new initiatives, go to