In a historic decision, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced today that girls will now be welcomed into the Boy Scouts, and their organization for younger people, the Cub Scouts.

The Cub Scout program is expected to take effect in early 2018, while the Boy Scouts will begin accepting older girls in early 2019. Cub Scout units, called “packs” will have the option of starting a separate girls-only pack, a co-ed pack or remain boys only.

In a press release, the Boy Scouts of America stated “This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting are important for both young men and women.”

The BSA conducted several studies prior to making the final decision and found that parents of daughters not currently involved in scouting showed a great deal of interest in becoming involved. 90% of parents surveyed stated they had an interest in Cub Scouts, while 87% had an interest in programs like Boy Scouts.

Although this will now allow young women to obtain BSA ranks such as the coveted Eagle Scout, several scouting organizations, such as Venture Scouts, have been co-ed since 1971.