The Seneca Waterways Council recently welcomed four Scouts BSA girls troops into its membership, with 40 girls registered and engaged in meetings and activities: Troop 2019 (Fairport), Troop 2020 (Monroe County), Troop 410 (Honeoye Falls/Mendon) and Troop 315 (Phelps).
As interest grows among girls to join Scouts BSA, Seneca Waterways Council expects to have 10 girl troops registered by the end of February, with an additional 25-30 girls actively participating.
Troop 2019, chartered by Bethlehem Lutheran Church, was one of the first troops to launch. Committee Chair Sarah Noblett recently turned in her troop’s application and rang the new unit bell.
“We are proud to welcome these young ladies, and provide them with the character and leadership development training that has only been offered to boys, perhaps their brothers, in the past,” said Stephen Hoitt, Scout executive/CEO, Seneca Waterways Council. “This is an exciting time for the Boy Scouts of America as we fulfill our mission to prepare all young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout oath and law.”
The Boy Scout program for ages 11-18 is now called Scouts BSA to reflect the inclusion of all genders. The name of the organization — the Boy Scouts of America — remains intact.
The BSA’s decision to welcome girls into the Cub Scout program and offer a program for older girls comes from input they received from Scouting families, as well as prospective Scouting families. Majority of parents said they were interested in having their daughters involved in a program like the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
As girls join Scouts BSA, the program will be single gender with all-girl or all-boy troops. The change in the BSA membership demographic started last September, when girls joined the Cub Scout program for youth in kindergarten to fifth grade. At the end of 2018, over 350 girls were registered and actively participating in the Cub Scout program.