Head of local Girl Scouts chapter says Boy Scouts may not be best place for girls

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DAVENPORT - The badges worn by boys for over 100 years can soon be earned by young girls.

Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday, Oct. 11th that girls can join the program.

The organization has had co-ed programs since the 1970's but now older girls will be able to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

"I've been in boy scouts for a long time and it's only been boys," said Caegen Baguss, cub scout.

"I'm surprised it's coming at this point of time but I think that it's gonna be alright, I think that Caegen will learn some things from the girls and the girls are definitely gonna learn things from them," said Cathy Bewley, former cub scout leader.

The head of the local girl scout chapter, Diane Nelson says she knew the announcement was coming, saying it's financially motivated.

"We know that the boys scouts are facing a lot of challenges when it comes to financials and a loss in membership," said Diane Nelson, CEO Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

In 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported boy scout membership has been falling for a decade.

However, Nelson says the girl scouts are growing with new badges and a focus on STEM programs.

"We are very, very positive that our families understand the impact that an all girls environment will make on their young daughters," said Nelson.

While girls will soon be able to be a cub scout, the troops will be single gender but Nelson says boy scouts aren't the best place for them.

"All of our research shows that girls in an all girl environment have a better opportunity to learn better, quicker to raise their hand, they're quicker to speak up," said Nelson.

Making the girl scouts the best place for girls and the boy scouts the best place for boys.

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