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C-U community reacts to Boy Scouts decision to admit girls

Now that boy scouts will allow girls, some Champaign-Urbana community members are speaking out. (WCCU)

Now that boy scouts will allow girls, some Champaign-Urbana community members are speaking out.

"We want to look at what we can do to deliver the boy scout program to as many youths as possible,” commissioner of Prairielands Council Boy Scouts of America, Gabrielle Martin said.

The change is the first in the boy scouts’ history.

"They wanted to see what they can do to make the program more accessible to more families because with single parents or both parents working it's hard to hit all the activities,” Martin said. “By doing this we can allow brothers and sisters, girls and boys to be in the same program so it's kind of a one-stop shopping for the program."

CEO of Girl Scouts of central Illinois, Pam Kovacevich said she does not see the benefit of boy scouts recruiting girls.

"When a girl comes to a meeting and her mom and or dad brings her to that meeting and if there is a little brother tagging along we'll provide them an opportunity to participate in the program,” Kovacevich said. “We just don't register them."

The Boy Scouts of America already had four co-ed programs including Venture Scouts, a program for young men and women between the ages of 14 to 21. Cathie Seebauer joined Venture Scouts when she was 14-years-old.

"I got involved because my brother was in boy scouts and was in troop 9 out of holy cross and I would always tag along in their camp-outs and I got really interested,” Seebauer said.

Seebauer said based on her experience she thinks the boy scouts change will only bring more positive opportunities.

"Any organization that's giving the youth an opportunity to grow as persons and as leaders is a great opportunity so it really just gave me the opportunity to expand my horizons."

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