Residents open minded about Boy Scouts letting girls participate

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 11, 2017

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that girls will soon be allowed to join.

Next year young girls will be welcomed to the organization that has been primarily for boys like Sean Ruttenberg of Whitefish Bay for the past century.

"The truth is I'm really excited to see how this will turn out," Ruttenberg said.

The historic decision came with a unanimous vote from the Scouting Board of Directors. It’s a change Ruttenberg was hoping for.
"I think it's just the equality part; all people are equal in any shape or form," he said.

Ruttenberg's mother is also happy to see girls have a new opportunity, but wonders how it will affect troop culture.

"I am a single mom and I am a little concerned that it may change the dynamic of the troop," said Lisa Ruttenberg

Bob Ambrose Steckbauer has been a troop leader in Wauwatosa for decades.

"I'm glad that BSA has offerings for girls like my daughter," Ambrose Steckbauer said.

According to the Boy Scouts of America, the decision allows young girls to join cub scouts in single-gender dens. A separate program for older girls allows them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor. The announcement is already drawing mixed reactions on social media. President Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “Strange, I thought that's what the Girl Scouts was for???”

Ambrose Steckbauer believes girls can learn a different set of skills in boy scouts, especially when it comes to the outdoors.

"The camping skills, things like that," Ambrose Steckbauer said.

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast sent TODAY’S TMJ4 the following statement about Boy Scouts of America’s announcement:

 “Girl Scouts remains committed to and believes strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a necessary safe space for girls to learn and thrive. Only Girl Scouts has more than 100 years of experience helping girls tap into their leadership potential through hands-on STEM, outdoor, entrepreneurship, and life-skills programming. At Girl Scouts, we are girl experts, and we work every day to help girls develop the courage, confidence, and character necessary to make the world a better place.”

 -Christy Brown, CEO
Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast