Family Scouting

In order to provide some clarity surrounding the recent announcement of the BSA welcoming girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and delivering a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout, the Northeast Iowa Council is providing the following information.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The BSA has been providing programs to young girls since 1971 when we extended our Exploring program to young women.   Young women also participate in our Venturing, Sea Scouts and STEM Scouts.

Starting in 2018, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts (grades K-5). Each Den, where the majority of the Cub Scout activities take place, will be single gender – all boys or all girls.  An official start date during 2018 is not known at this point.

Each Pack can choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. The choice is left to the chartered organization with consultation with their Scouting leaders.

Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. Details on the program will be announced at a later date. Please see “Older Girl Program Update” section below.

Girls will be invited to join Cub Scouts in the same manner as we invite boys. We will not be actively trying to recruit current Girl Scouts.

Cub and Boy Scouts will continue to sell popcorn as a main fundraiser. There are no plans to change our fundraising strategies.

The Boy Scouts of America organization name will continue to be Boy Scouts of America. It is not changing. The program that currently serves boys ages 11-17 (currently called “Boy Scouts”) will change the program name to “Scouts BSA” in February 2019 when it will begin serving girls and boys.

The Troop structure will remain single gender, meaning a Scouts BSA troop will be made up of all boys ore it will be made up of all girls. There will be no co-ed or mixed troops. Boys and girls will not be in troops together. Boys will be in troops with only boys and girls will be in troops with only girls.

There will be three types of Cub Scout packs: all-boy packs, all-girl packs and packs that include a mix of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender: all boys or all girls.

Older Girl Program Update

The National Executive Board of the BSA has confirmed a scheduled February 1, 2019 launch date for the program to serve girls, ages 11-17. This timing is intended to align with the programmatic timeline so that girls who join Cub Scouts in 2018 and will have earned their Arrow of Light are able to cross over to a troop to continue their Scouting journey.

February 1, 2019 is also when the name of the older youth program (currently call “Boy Scouts”) will change to “Scouts BSA”.

For more information on the updates to the older girl program, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.


Check out Bryan on Scouting’s interview with Chief Executive Mike Surbaugh, where the Chief answers the top questions concerning the reasons for the change, the implementation, and the rollout plan. GO HERE.

For all the latest updates please visit the Family Scouting page of the BSA: https://www.scouting.org/familyscouting/.

As more information becomes, it will be updated on this page.