Girls in Montana will soon be able to join Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts all the way to the rank of Eagle Scout, according to an announcement made on Wednesday by the Boy Scouts of America.

Scout Executive for the Montana Council Don Bean said the program will be expanded starting in the fall of 2018.

"In the fall of 2018, they're working on accepting Cub Scout-age girls into packs," said Bean. "Cub Scout age is from six to ten, that's from kindergarten to fifth grade." There have been a lot of pre-meetings in Montana, and people have had the opportunity to express their views on having girls involved in Scouting. Most of it was positive. It wasn't split 50-50, it was more like 25 percent had some reservations, while 75 percent thought it was a great idea."

Bean said one of the chief reasons for the inclusion of girls into the Boy Scout program, is family togetherness.

"Nationally, we found that it's harder and harder on the families to have several programs for the kids to be involved in, and some of the parents have been pushing us to have something where the whole family can be involved," he said. "We've always said the Boy Scouts was a family organization and we want to have family activities. So, when we have the whole family together, that really helps the parents to get the activities that they want."

Bean said the local Boy Scout organizations are privately run, mostly by local churches, and each separate organization will decide to opt in or out of the policy to admit girls.

KGVO reached out the state Girl Scouts organization to ask if boys will eventually be admitted to Brownies and Girls Scouts, but that call has not yet been returned.

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