The Boy Scouts of America may need a name change.
The organization will begin to allow girls into its Cub and Eagle scouts programs, according to a release published Wednesday to the organization’s website.
“The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the organization’s chief scout executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children.”
The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the acceptance of girls into its programs.
Girls will have the opportunity to advance to the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout.
The move comes less than two months after BuzzFeed News published a strongly worded letter in which a Girls Scouts of the USA leader called out the Boy Scouts for looking into recruiting girls.
A Girl Scouts spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed that Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, the Girl Scouts national president, wrote the letter.
Hannan wrote that the two organizations had long served children in a complimentary manner.
“It is therefore unsettling that BSA would seek to upend a paradigm that has served both boys and girls so well through the years by moving forward with a plan that would result in fundamentally undercutting Girl Scouts of the USA,” she wrote.
Hannan also accused the Boy Scouts of considering girls for its programs in order to combat flagging membership.
Many tweeted about the decision Wednesday afternoon:
While many seemed supportive of the decision on Twitter, others were critical.
NBC News’ Pete Williams was credited with breaking the news by multiple sources.