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Girl Scout leader in Arizona speaks out against Boy Scout program change

In this July 21, 2017 photo, badges are seen on the vest of a member of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland as Girl Scouts participate in an activity introducing them to the world of robotics in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PHOENIX — The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday it will admit girls into the Cub Scouts starting next year, but a leader of the Girl Scouts of Arizona said she does not agree with the move.

Susan de Queljoe, the spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts of Arizona’s Cactus Pine Council, called the move a “sad” one for girls who are looking for an independent program.

“I think it’s really sad day. I think this move is going to short change both boys and girls,” de Queljoe said.

Girls need their own scout programs for self-discovery, de Queljoe said.

“We think that its really important that girls are in an all-girl, girl-lead, girl-friendly environment to feel safe and to learn and thrive,” she said.

De Queljoe said she thinks the move was made to serve parents rather than the children.

“I think often times, it’s not the girl that chooses — it’s the parents. It’s a lot easier to drop Janey and Bobby off at the same meeting and pick them up at the same place than to have to take my two kids to two different places,” she said.

“That’s short-changing girls. That’s not looking out for girls. I just think it’s sad. I think it’s sad for boys and sad for girls,” de Queljoe added.

Speaking personally, de Queljoe said she doesn’t understand why a girl would go to a male-dominated scout troop where she will be subjected to same gender-bias, gender stereotypes that she lives with in society.

“I see this as doing a real disservice [to our kids] in this country,” she said.

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