KYLE, Texas (KXAN) – The Cub Scouts are in the process of expanding their programs, and one way the organization is doing that is by accepting girls as members.
Cub Scouts have always been an organization just for boys, but beginning this year local and national packs are welcoming girls. Pack 105 in Kyle says it has already been approved by its council to accept girls.
“They will intermingle if you have a co-ed pack. When you have a pack meeting everybody is together, boys and girls,” said Pack 105 Committee Chairman Tracy Schupbach.
Schupbach says the Cub Scouts are a family program and have always welcomed siblings of scout members to go on camping trips. “They already have girls around, it’s their siblings, they are already there. Since the dens are going to be gender specific, I don’t think you’re going to see much difference in the roles,” she said.
The difference now is that girls on those trips can now earn badges. “They can wear the uniform, take part in all the activities officially, earn all the advancements and awards and really feel like they are part of the program now instead of just tagging along,” said Charles Mead, a spokesperson for Boy Scouts of America.
Mead says the organization talked about the change with scouting families, who for the most part were excited about it.
“These families are saying, ‘We would love to be a part of this program. It would be much easier if we could just go to one place where all the scouting experiences take place,’” said Mead.
Currently, there are 300 Cub Scout packs in the 15-county Central Texas region. Each charter has three options: Co-ed Cub Scouts, separate Cub Scout programs for girls and boys, but the same charter, or only allow boys in the program and not create a separate one for girls.
Packs will begin allowing girls to join as early as April. Schupbach says her pack will be co-ed, meaning girls and boys will do activities together but when it comes to sleeping arrangements, they’ll be separated. Schupbach is excited about the change but says they’ll need some help.
“The parents that are bringing the girls in, we’re going to have to have some of them step up and volunteer in order to provide the program the way it’s supposed to be,” said Schupbach.
Mead says the Boy Scouts of America will conduct an audit of those 300 packs to see if there’s a location where packs are choosing to do “boys only” and will have to create an option for girls in those areas.