Eau Claire Girl Scouts react to girls' invitation to join Boy Sc - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire Girl Scouts react to girls' invitation to join Boy Scouts

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Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Starting next year, girls will be allowed to join the Boy Scouts of America.

Local Girl Scout officials said they're disappointed by the news but not surprised. News 18 viewers, on the other hand, seemed totally surprised by the move and had a lot to say about it on social media. 

Stephanie Snyder, from Chippewa Falls, said on Facebook:

"I honestly am excited for this. I wish Girl Scouts would teach our girls more of the things Cub Scouts teaches boys. The survival skills and outdoor skills ... I will be signing my daughter up for this for sure." 

Though the Girl Scouts that spoke with News 18 on Thursday wanted to set the record straight about what it is their organization actually does.

"People think Girl Scouts, they think arts and crafts. They think Boy Scouts -- they think camping and whittling and making campfires, and all this," life-long Girl Scout Brieanne Vasterling said. "But it is not that. I mean, my brother was a Boy Scout for a couple years and he brought home just as many crafts as I did." 

Karen Hauck, with the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, said what many people don't know is that the Girl Scouts already offer all kinds of outdoor activities. 

"Girls are out there. They are building the campfires, they are fishing," Hauck said. "They are learning how to shoot bows and arrows and they are learning how to find their ways on the trails and learning about leave no trace and all of the things that boys do too. There's nothing that the boys do that we don't do." 

That includes having the chance to earn high honors through community service. While Boy Scouts aim to become an Eagle Scout, Girl Scouts work towards the Gold Award. 

"It has the same recognition as the Boy Scouts' Eagle Scout award. It gets them the higher pay grade if they were to join the military. It is looked at the same as far as employers, with colleges," Hauck explained. 

And Vasterling said it's no easy feat. 

"The Girl Scouts -- it's a little more difficult than you would think," she said. "My Gold Award - I put more time and energy in than one of my best friend's - his Eagle Scout. It's not that Boy Scouts is more hardcore. It is what you make it, I mean, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts."

Now local scouts are hoping families do a little research and find the group that's best for them. 

"If the Boy Scouts seem to offer more of what you like to do," Vasterling said, "go for it." 

"We want families to research and make the best decision for their family," Hauck agreed. 

Girls will be accepted into the Boy Scouts of America starting in 2018. Though Cub Scout dens will remain single-gender, all boys or all girls. 

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