WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Spring is a big recruiting time of year for Boy Scouts of America. This year they are looking for girls interested in joining.
Boy Scouts has five branches: cub scouting, boy scouting, venturing, sea scouting and exploring. The last three have always been co-ed and in January cub and boy scouting decided to follow suit. At Pack 51's meetings in Windham you'll notice a large amount of girls taking part. Out of 18 members, 12 are girls and only six are boys.
"We're lucky because we've been able to embrace that right from the very beginning with our new pack, but all the packs are like that and as they integrate girls going forward if that's what they decide to do, that's allows the whole family to participate and I think that's the biggest benefit," said Pack 51 cub master, Annie Tarbox.
Addison Butters is the first girl in her family to join Boy Scouts of America. The women in her family have fought for their right to take the scout oath for decades.
"My grammy told me that they were letting girls in and before that she told that it was important and how her and a bunch of other girls fought to let girls in," said Butters.
Not everyone is thrilled about the new rule, including Girl Scouts of Maine. Joanne Crepeau, Chief Executive Officer of the organization, is disappointed with Boy Scouts of America's decision because she believes that girls don't get the same benefits from a co-ed environment as they do from a single gender one.
"It's an all girl atmosphere, a girl led one as well," said Crepeau. "It really builds girls into leaders, so that they can have a voice they have a safe place to express themselves."
Boy Scouts of America doesn't plan on changing the name it's had for the past 108 years, but they are re-phrasing one of their programs. The boy scouting program for ages eleven to seventeen will now be referred to as just Scouting.