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Local Girl Scouts leader opposes move to allow girls to join Boy Scouts

“Our needs are different and Girls Scouts is best positioned to by that program for girls,” said Pam Hyland of Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England. (WJAR)

By 2019, Boy Scouts won't just be comprised of boys.

The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday historic changes, as girls will soon be able to join the Boy Scouts.

They’ll allow young girls into the Cub Scouts and create a new program for older girls using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts.

Under the new plan, Cub Scout dens will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders.

The program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.

The Boy Scouts Narragansett Council supports the historic change.

"(It) eliminates a barrier that has prevented families, perhaps, from being actively involved in the program,” said Tim McCandless of the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Even though boys and girls will be mostly kept separate as they move up through the ranks, the head of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England doesn't like the idea.

“Our needs are different and Girls Scouts is best positioned to by that program for girls,” said Pam Hyland of Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England.

Hyland said girls need a safe space to be girls.

"I talked to some girls, and I said, ‘What do you think about this?’ And they said, ‘No, I don't want to join the Boy Scouts. I don't want to be bossed around,’” said Hyland.

In the future, girls can join both programs and try to become an Eagle Scout or earn the Gold Award, which is the achievement among Girl Scouts.

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