Chicago, IL. (CBS) — A feud is brewing between the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.
After 105 years of teaching girls to overcome obstacles, the Girls Scouts say they are now facing a new one: the Boy Scouts of America.
The Boy Scouts of America, or BSA, told CBS it’s considering an expansion, potentially creating a separate division for girls.
In a blistering letter Monday to Boy Scout leadership, the president of the Girl Scouts, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, called the potential move a “covert campaign to recruit girls” citing the Boy Scouts declining membership.
“To be clear this is not a statement on the work that BSA has done and continues to do. Rather, it is a statement on the short-sightedness of thinking that running a program specifically tailored to boys can simply be translated to girls.”
Troop leader Lisa Hilgenberg has a daughter in the Girl Scouts and a son in the Boy Scouts.
“They can just be who they are. There is no pressure to be anybody else. Girls Scouts really starts leadership and empowerment and good decision making at 6 years old with the girls, and I don’t find that at the boy scout program is set up to start that quite as early with the boys.”
In a statement, the Boy Scouts told CBS News, “Based on numerous requests from families, the Boy Scouts has been exploring the benefits of bringing Scouting to every member of the family – boys and girls. No decisions have been made”
One such request came from 16-year-old Sydney Irelan, who has launched an online campaign. She’s been an unofficial member of her brother’s troop since she was 4 and has always dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout which is exclusive to the Boy Scouts.
CBS News reached out to both the presidents of the Boy and Girl Scouts, but neither was available for an interview. The Boy Scouts have not set a timeline for their decision regarding the girls.