BRUNSWICK — It’s been three months since Brunswick welcomed its first all-girls Boys Scout troop and the time has cemented the belief among troop leaders that girls will step up to the scouting way.
“As of Feb.1, the girls were allowed to be active in the unit; the unit went live,” said Ginger Foust, scoutmaster for Troop 7407. “The girls were out camping the very first day that they were able to be live. So, our very first campout was Feb. 1-3.”
Its been a busy three months with the girls accumulating six nights of camping, or one weekend per month, and gaining community service hours. The girls also got to go tobogganing and participate in service projects.
February also marked the change in the national organization’s name from the Boy Scouts of America to Scouts BSA, a way to make the moniker more inclusive to new members.
“As everyone knows, the Boy Scouts of America has been a single-gender organization,” Foust said. “The mentality behind it is that all of the immense, like, leadership skills, life skills, the values that the boys are learning in this program are not necessarily only gender-specific.”
Foust said through Scouts BSA girls can enjoy outdoor programs and activities in addition to gaining the leadership skills and values boys in the organization experience.
“I think these girls like the same things that the young men like,” said committee chairperson Chuck Hale, who helped Troop 7407 get started.
“You know, being outdoors, learning things and getting their Eagle Scout Award.”
- Gabby Foust
- Claire Getz
- Cloe Hovanek
- Mikayla Karla
- Elise Keller
- Marisa McCartin
- Savannah Mitchell
- Stella Morosky
- Katelyn Rupert
- Jessica Schneider
- Olivia Ortiz
Micheal Getz said had been involved with Boy Scouts since he was a kid and worked his way up to being a Gold Star Scout. He became a scout leader when his son got involved and now serves as an assistant Scout leader for Troop 7407. He said the all-girls troops has been a good experience he can share with his daughter, Claire.
“It was kind of a politically controversial thing when the idea first came out and leading into the unit actually taking flight and getting off the ground and actually becoming an opportunity for girls, but I think it’s an amazing experience,” Getz said Thursday.
His daughter, Claire, has been previously involved with Girl Scouts of the United States of American and joined the new Scouts BSA troop in February. He said the experiences in the two organizations have been different.
His daughter joined Girl Scouts early on, starting out as a Daisy.
“Scout BSA affords opportunities to do (things that) were not quite there in the Girl Scouts,” he said.
“… And, I want to be respectful of Girl Scouts. I’m not intending in any way to put them in a bad light. I just think there’s a lot more that the girls have the opportunity to do and was looking to do.”
Claire, his 11-year-old-daughter, has enjoyed her time in Troop 7407 and hopes to earn her Eagle Scout Award.
“I really like how, when we go camping together, we work together and go walking together and have all of these, like, great conversations and fun times,” she said. “It’s really fun, too.”
While girls are now able to join Scouts BSA, troops will not be co-ed for now, said Foust.
Troops will be either all-male or all-female.
Foust first got her start with the Boy Scouts because of her sons and was eager to start a group with her daughter, Gabby.
“I am a mom to three Eagle Scout sons,” she said.
“I immediately joined up as a leader, mostly on the premise that I was a Scout when I was young.”
Foust’s experience in Girl Scouts motivated her to be a Scout leader with her children. She described herself as being outdoorsy and enjoying many of the activities synonymous with Boy Scouts.
“I signed up to be a leader with my very first son and haven’t really looked back since,” she said.
“When the opportunity came a long for a girls troop to be started and my daughter (Gabby)… she has gone through this on the sidelines of her brothers going through the program and just dying, wanting to be a part of it. … There was no question whether we’d be joining, whether we’d be active in it.”
Now, getting to be a part of the Boy Scouts with her daughter has allowed Foust to provide her daughter with the same opportunities she was able to provide her sons.
“On a personal note, it’s extremely fulfilling because, as a parent, I want to give my children equal chances at life, chances at fun, chances at leadership, chances at growth and personal advancement and felt I couldn’t necessarily do that with my daughter in the same ways,” Foust said.