Decision to allow girls in Boy Scouts sparks controversy

The Girl Scouts have responded harshly to the Boy Scouts decision to admit girls into their organization. (WSYX/WTTE)

People across the country have been talking about the Boys Scouts of America's decision to let girls participate in the program starting next year.

That decision has been met with a scathing response from the Girl Scouts.

"I'm obviously disappointed that they've decided to go this route," said Tammy Wharton, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland.

Wharton is speaking out firmly against the Boy Scouts' move to bring in young girls.

"We believe in an all-girl environment. That's important for a girl to be able to reach her fullest potential," said Wharton.

The Boy Scouts have undergone major policy changes in recent years, accepting openly gay youth members and adult volunteers, as well as transgender boys. Girls participating is possibly the biggest change yet. Administrators with the Girl Scouts say they have a proven track record, with years of research that indicates the positive impact they're having on the lives of young girls.

The controversy is heating up. Charles Garcia, a Girl Scouts' National Board member, condemned the plan. He wrote in part in an op-ed that "The Boy Scouts' house is on fire."

Wharton is confident young lades will not be leaving their organization.

"Many of the leaders of today share that the Girl Scout experience and the skills that they learned through our program was what helped them become the leader they are today," Wharton said.

The Boy Scouts will begin accepting girls early in 2018.

We reached out to the central Ohio Boy Scout Chapter to hear what they think about girls entering the Boy Scouts. They released a statement stating "While we know that there will be mixed reactions from our stakeholders, we feel it is a positive decision that will affect many more young people with the benefits that scouting provides."

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