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State police charged a St. Regis Falls couple with grand larceny on Tuesday for misappropriating over $6,000 from a financial account belonging to their local Boy Scout troop.

By telling young women that they need to earn Eagle Scout rank to get the recognition and benefits it conveys, we are sending a crystal-clear message: To get the respect you deserve for your achievements, you have to join a historically male-oriented organization and meet that group's definition of success. But as membership rolls continue to decline - from 2.8 million in 2010 to 2.3 million previous year - the change could be strategic."Our focus is to reach more youth with our program", said James Milham, executive director of Boy Scouts of America Hawk Mountain Council in Reading.Although Wednesday's announcement does mark a significant policy change, girls in the Boy Scouts isn't new. She might prefer doing things more like the Boy Scouts than the Girl Scouts. "I hope he will enjoy it as much as I hope he will", he said. Proponents of the Boy Scouts' policy change have emphasized girls' newfound ability to earn Eagle Scout rank as one of the most exciting things about opening up aspects of Boy Scouting to girls. He and his wife, Megan, began their careers as professional Scout executives with the Boy Scouts in IL in the late 1990s. Jones feels the decision will allow girls to move through rankings they've never had and gain new experiences. "We've had competitors come and go and this is yet another competitor", said Girl Scouts Chief Customer Officer Lisa Margosian.

Regardless of what you might think, Girl Scouts are more than just cookies and crafts.

Other countries have shared-gender scouting organizations labeled under a gender-neutral name, such as Scouts Canada and Scouts Australia. "Simply put, it's not enough to emasculate men or categorize them as predators or toxic, now we must equate them with girls in order to remove gender differences, and eventually men, altogether".

Perhaps the most important revelation of the study is that the benefits of participating in Girl Scouts are not exclusive to any particular demographic group.

The new challenge from the Boy Scouts is only the latest in a string of difficulties faced by the Girl Scouts over the past 15 years.

Oklahoma City resident Alex Sherman achieved the rank of Eagle Scout when he was younger.

But the change is not without its critics, not the least of which is the Girls Scouts of the USA.

Because beyond the core Girl Scout leadership program of skill-building badges like First Aid, Camping, Geocaching and Digital Photography, community service rests at the heart of most troops.

Troop leaders say ultimately it will be up to not only a local leader, but a committee of people and the local chartered church to have the last say on whether girls can join that specific troop, but Michelle Newman lets it be known where she stands. Once girls cross the bridge to become Boy Scouts, they will have a separate but equal track that could lead them, too, to become Eagle Scouts, the pinnacle of the Scouting experience. Over the years, the programming has also been reimagined to fit scouts' needs. For older girls, existing coed Boy Scout programs can and do help address those shortfalls. The decision of who's better suited to prepare their child is one parents will have to make, she said.

Speaking as someone who has kept his Order of the Arrow sash for almost 30 years, the Boy Scouts of America lost my almost all of my remaining respect today. And that number is declining rapidly, albeit not quite as rapidly as the Girl Scouts. They are also developing traits such as grit, creative problem solving, resiliency and bravery, all while unleashing their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader).


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