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Boy Scouts Open Programs to Girls, But Local Girl Scout Chapter Says “No Thanks”        

For the first time in its 100-year history, the Boy Scouts of America will make all of its programs available to girls. The organization approved the decision to allow girls into the Cub Scout program earlier this week. Inclusion of girls is something some girls and their families had been requesting for years. But Katie Wiedemann, a member of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, says their organization has no desire to cross over into the boys’ territory. Wiedemann cites research which shows girl scouts are much more comfortable in an all-girl environment, and are more likely to speak up on issues involving girls. While boy scout membership has declined in recent years, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois say they’ve seen a slight increase in membership this year. Allowing girls to participate in their Cub Scout program would eventually allow them to earn the prestigious Eagle Scout ranking. But Weidemann says girl scouts can earn what is called the “Gold Award.” The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois has more than 16,000 members.

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