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Local groups respond to news of girls allowed in Boy Scouts

This June 2016 provided by their father, Gary Ireland, shows 15-year-old Sydney Ireland, left, of New York, with her bother, Bryan, who is an Eagle Scout, at a National Organization for Women conference in Washington. For several years, Sydney has been an unofficial member of her brother's troop in Manhattan, participating in many of its activities but unable to earn merit badges to start on the path to Eagle rank. (Gary Ireland via AP)

Starting next year, the Boys Scouts of America will allow girls to join the organization,

The expansion of girls' participation was approved today by the organization's board of directors,

The local Girl Scouts of the Deseret Southwest released a statement saying,

"Girl Scouts remains committed to and believes strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provide.”

Leonor Magana is a local resident who says she is interested to see the change unfold.

"We already have Girl Scouts and it'll be interesting to see what will happen to Girl Scout cookies and just to see what everybody else will say about it" says Magana.

Mario Perez is the CEO for the BSA in El Paso.

He released a statement responding to the new change.

“Today, the BSA's Board of Directors unanimously approved welcoming girls into our iconic Cub Scout program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. This decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls. The BSA 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.

"Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new-girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender - all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization also will deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and is projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows us to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today's families.

"This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for our iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls,” says Perez.

Boys Scouts of America has undergone major changes in the past five years, from accepting openly gay youth members to adult volunteers as well as transgender boys.

Since girls will be allowed to join Boy Scouts, many are wondering if they will change their name.

But the Boy Scouts of America say there are no plans to change their name at this time.

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