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The BSA Expands Programs Offered for Girls - A Message from your Scout Executive

Scout leaders and Parents,

By now, I am sure all of you are aware of the action taken by our National Executive Board, but in case you only got sound bites of information, you can read the full BSA press releaseExternal Link and a Fact Sheet & FAQ that have been posted on our council website.

I have received emails from close friends and past colleagues, who have said they are “disappointed” in the decision.  (I have also received a great deal of feedback supportive of the decision.) My first response was “why” are you disappointed?  The feedback has been interesting.  Some have said we have made this move to be “politically correct”, others have mentioned the societal pressures of “inclusion”, still others have discussed our membership decline.  I was asked to give feedback in this process from the start, as were all Scout Executive’s and many of you.  From the beginning of the feedback process, this has been about adapting our program to meet the needs of our current Scouting families.  Families with very little time, or families with one parent and two children, a boy and a girl, who want to meet on the same night, at the same location for a den or pack meeting, and yes, even families who have a Scouting alumni dad and daughters only. There were no law suits, no laws, no legislative actions, no pressure from outside groups that this new programming option was developed to address.

There is no pressure or push to make all Scout units coed.  We support all our charter organizations in their desire to provide single gender all/only Cub Scout or Boy Scout programming, now and in the future, but we also, now offer a choice we did not have before.

Also, I want to make clear, we enthusiastically hold up the Girl Scouts of America programming in our area.  The Gold Award is the Gold standard for girl scout leadership development, and there are many fine leaders in our community thanks to the Girl Scouts of America.  We will continue to work with the Girl Scouts, in the collaborations we have had in the past and discuss new opportunities as well, to provide life changing youth development opportunities to boys and girls in our area.

National has highlighted two key messages that I would like to reinforce below:

Key Messages:

  • This change is the result of years of requests from families: The BSA thoughtfully evaluated how to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible and adapt to the changing needs of today’s families — all while remaining true to our mission and core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.
  • Changes will begin in 2018 (Cub Scouts) and stretch into 2019 (older girls): Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the BSA also will deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable girls to earn the 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.

Download the Scouting Family fact sheet & FAQ here. Fact Sheet & FAQ.pdf The graphic at the end of this is included in the fact sheet and their answers to questions in the FAQ, both of these can be viewed here.

And here is a news clip from WDAY, with our Director of Field Service, Darin Steindl.

External Link
Finally, before you review the graph below, and read the national news release, I just want to thank you for your efforts in clearing up any misconceptions amongst your peer groups, as I have had to do with my retired colleagues and some friends.  It is easy for the mind to track down the path of skepticism, criticism and sarcasm.  I know, I’ve been there before too!  But our mission, is a unique values proposition.  It speaks of Duty to God and Country, of helping others through service and sacrifice, and learning and living a long list of values that are slowly being forgotten, or relegated to the corners of our minds.  Scouting brings those values to the forefront, every day, every week, every month and every year a youth is in our program.  Some will focus on what they think has been lost in this change, but I challenge you to think of what we have gained—a unique approach to better serve our families, and the ability to impact more youth with our most important mission, “to prepare young people, to make moral and ethical choices in our lifetime, by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

In service to you, and youth,

Roger B. Hoyt
Scout Executive/CEO



 Northern Lights Council Survey for Packs

First, please read this letter that was emailed to packs in early January.

We ask that the Pack Committee chair complete a short online survey. This is the link to the survey: Link

There will be 3 available options for the pack to choose from:

  1. Our pack is interested in participating in the soft launch now
  2. Our pack is interested in offering Family Scouting, but will wait until this fall
  3. Our pack wants to remain a boy-only pack

If the pack indicates option 1, a council staff member will be in contact with the pack's Charter Organization as soon as possible to discuss their wishes. If a pack indicates option 2, a council staff member will contact the Charter Organization later in the March-May timeframe.



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