East Alabama Boy Scouts leader speaking out after controversial change

East Alabama Boy Scouts leader speaking out after controversial change

(WTVM) - Controversy is stirring after the Boy Scouts of America says they are going to allow girls in their troops.

An east Alabama troop leader is speaking out on this change. Michelle Newman has spent 14 years of her life as a Boy Scout troop leader for Pack and Troop 356 based in Beauregard. She says the troop is about family, rather than gender.

"I see the entry of the girls into boy scouts as a positive move in the right direction," Newman says.

Troop and Pack 356 is no stranger to letting girls join in on the trips the scouts take.

"I have girls on every outing we go on... usually sisters of the boys in the scouts."

However, some don't see it the same way.  News Leader 9 posted the news on our Facebook page and many have mixed feelings.

One viewer writing, "This is absolute insanity…" another saying,  "I mean, it's interesting because I remember being jealous of what the boys did over in Boy Scouts. Especially when they hit Eagle Scout…"

Even the Girl Scouts of South Alabama have an opinion saying in a statement:

"Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama commits 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."

Troop leaders say ultimately it will be up to not only a local leader, but a committee of people and the local chartered church to have the last say on whether girls can join that specific troop,  but Michelle Newman lets it be known where she stands.

"I don't look at the gender rule, I look at what the scouts have to offer and it's about teaching them to be our future leaders…I'm open to it, I'm  inviting, I'm looking forward to it actually," says Newman.

Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved. | For more news, download the WTVM app here.