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The Boy Scouts of America will officially begin welcoming girls into their Cub Scouts program starting next year. The historic change was announced on Wednesday and, according to the BSA’s chief scout executive, the transformation will “help shape the next generation of leaders.” The organization will also introduce a new program for older girls that is expected to be available in 2019.

“Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout,” the organization said in a press release.

“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization 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.”

The BSA’s Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said in the statement that programs will continue to evolve in order to “meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children.” The change will allow for all-boy or all-girl dens. Additionally, a new program that will be announced in 2018 will provide older girls a path to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

In August, BuzzFeed News reported that the Girl Scouts of America accused the BSA of running a “covert campaign to recruit girls” in order to boost their declining enrollment. According to CNN, the organization had approximately 2.3 million members last year.

These changes are just the latest addition to the BSA’s co-ed programs. The Venturing and Sea Scouts programs allow for both men and women aged 14-21 to learn all-new skills in adventure, service and leadership. Additionally, their Exploring and STEM Scouts programs allow for both men and women to learn about leadership in different disciplines, future career opportunities and life skills.

While many applauded the organization’s decision, others weren’t as thrilled to see the changes. See how social media reacted to Boy Scouts allowing girls into programs below:

Social Media Reacts to Boy Scouts Allowing Girls Into Cub Scout Program

What are your thoughts on the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow girls into their programs? Do you support the organization’s decision to create and expand programs for girls? Sound off in the comments section below!