PUYALLUP, Wash. - - In just a few weeks, Boy Scouts of America will allow girls to register with the group for the first time in its history.
For over a century, Boy Scouts of America has been at the forefront of training boys to be leaders and teaching them survival skills like swimming, back packing and camping. On Feb. 1, Troops like 692 in Puyallup will begin welcoming some new members.
“Scouting around the world is a boys and girls program, so why not have it here?” said Jeremy Kelly, an Assistant Leader with Troop 692.
His daughter Grace Kelly is one of the girls who plans to join Scouts BSA, the new brand name for Boy Scouts of America.
“I don’t know very much about what’s going to go on but I just know it’s going to be fun!” Kelly said.
Last year the group decided to allow girls to join for the first time in its history. Girl Scouts USA was critical of the move but troop leaders say the change was something parents asked for.
“This was a way of giving the families what they really wanted. Which was a program that they could have the entire family in at the same time,” said Amanda Lafferty, the Unit Coordinator for the newly formed girls Troop 7692.
Lafferty says the girls will attend meetings and ceremonies with boy scouts and still have some separate activities.
“I’m looking forward to just learning more survival skills and knot tying and to be able to hopefully get my Eagle Scout rank,” said Mackenzie Ward, who plans to join Troop 7692 in Scouts BSA.
“I’m really excited to go camping a lot more often. I’m excited to earn merit badges and moving up in the ranks,” Kelly said.
Both Kelly and Ward say many of the boy scouts have made them feel welcomed and they’re all looking forward to some friendly competition.
Troop 7692 will invite girls out to learn more about the program on January 23rd .