The awesome reason you may already be seeing girls in Cub Scout uniforms.

If you think girls wouldn’t want to be part of the Cub Scouts, you probably aren’t aware of all the fun stuff they get to do.

"You get to go to parks, you get to ride your bike, you get to pet a bug," exclaims one young girl about why she loves being a Cub Scout.

And now, thanks to a historic change, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), one of the country's oldest ongoing youth programs, is giving girls the chance to get in on these awesome adventure-filled activities that build character and leadership skills.


All photos via Cub Scouts/Upworthy.

In October 2017, the 108-year-old organization announced it would officially open the doors to girls in the Cub Scouting program for the first time ever. And in January 2018, the very first girl Cub Scouts (kids in kindergarten through 5th grade) took their pledge to join and recited the same Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

To date, there are more than 32,000 girls registered in Cub Scout packs all across the country.

In order to keep that momentum up, BSA launched "Scout Me In," a campaign to recruit more young girls and boys into the Cub Scouts.

BSA wants parents and kids to know that all boys and girls, no matter their gender, will be welcomed into the Scouting program. They’ll be given equal opportunity to participate in the same activities, learn the same skills, and vie for the same badges and levels of distinction, like the coveted Eagle Scout rank.

There will be times where boys and girls will be together, and other times they’ll work as dens of all girls or dens of all boys so that they can benefit from both dynamics.

All Cub Scouts get to do things like hike, learn emergency preparedness skills, play games, and give back to the community through service projects, just to name a few. It's no surprise that girls would want to get in on the fun.

And the boy Cub Scouts are excited to welcome the girls.

"I think girls are going to enjoy being in the Cub Scouts, because I think it's fun for everybody. Not just boys," said one boy.

In a time when women are fighting to get the same treatment and respect as men in the workplace, it's comforting to see younger generations being given a much more even playing field. Together, this new group of Scouts will help build a better, brighter future.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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