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Local troop leader reacts to girls being allowed in Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America announced plans Wednesday to allow girls to have the chance to earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. (KTUL)

The Boy Scouts of America announced plans Wednesday to allow girls to have the chance to earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. It’s a move many say brings the program in line with similar programs in other countries.

Girls have been able to participate in boy scout programs, like Venturers, for decades, but have never had the opportunity to earn the ultimate title. Many scout leaders think they deserve that chance.

“In scouting we focus on mentally awake, morally straight, physically strong,” says Troop leader Scott Hawkins.

Now, girls will have a better chance.

“As an adult who has kids in the program,” Hawkins says. “And as a father who has two daughters, I was proud.”

The move caused an uproar on social media. Many people have posted ‘That’s why there are Girl Scouts’. But Hawkins believes differently.

“We have lots of families that have daughters,” Hawkins says. “And they want to do the same thing. So it lets them participate as a family and make it a true family program.”

Learning to shoot and fish and build a fire are only a few of the things boy scouts learn.

“The rest of the world is mostly coed,” Hawkins says. “You know, Canada, Australia, the UK.”

Hawkins says when he looked at his daughters he doesn’t want to tell them no but has had to on some things.

“I’ve raised daughters to adults,” Hawkins says. “I’m raising boys now and the biggest difference was, for me, was that I never had to tell my boys ‘You can’t do that because you’re a boy’.”

The Cub Scout program for kids under ten will allow single-gender dens, either all boys or all girls, starting next year. The program for older kids is expected to roll out in 2019.

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