Boy Scouts now known as Scouts BSA as it welcomes girls into organization

Girls now allowed to join boy scouts

The Boy Scouts is not just for boys anymore.

Starting Friday, it will be known as Scouts BSA, as it welcomes girls into the organization.

Marina Mitchell has been in Girl Scouts since she was in first grade but in 2017, the Boy Scouts of America organization decided to allow girls into its program.

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Mitchell says she jumped at the opportunity and is now part of the newly formed, all girl troop 291 in Ponte Vedra Beach.

“There’s shooting, which you don’t get to do in Girl Scouts. There’s hiking, too, which I do a lot,” said Mitchell.

Leaders within the organization say they’re already welcoming more than 100 girls into troops throughout North Florida.

“We’ve got volunteer leaders over the last 48 hours that are so excited to get their paperwork in and coming into the Scout Shop to get their uniforms and get this thing going,” said Patrick Linfors, the chief operating officer of the Boy Scouts of America North Florida Council.

Linfors told Action News Jax that, while the curriculum remains the same, there are some minor differences, such as the logo on the shirt and the handbook, which features pictures that are gender-specific.

Girls will now also be able to become Eagle Scouts, the organization’s most highly coveted rank, which often leads to scholarships and academic achievements.

“Being one of the first girls in history to make Eagle will be highly rated and, again, a lot of fun,” said Mitchell.

A new troop just formed in Gainesville in the last 24 hours and there is another new group in Interlachen.

Together, they’re part of 15 all-girl troops in North Florida that just made history.

"It makes me feel empowered, like I get to finally make a difference,” said Rose Gottschalk, a member of Troop 291 in Ponte Vedra Beach.

For information on how to register, click here.