Mary Y., a 7-year-old North Florida Council Scout, was the first girl to join her Cub Scout pack and don the beloved blue and gold uniform – but she isn’t the only one full of excitement and anticipation. Her brother is thrilled to watch his sister join him and participate in the same activities, receiving the recognition she deserves.
“Finally,” brother Gavin shared with First Coast News. “My sister has been going with us on everything but never got recognition for it.”
The Boy Scouts of America began welcoming girls into the Cub Scout program in early 2018, and since then, thousands of families across the country have signed up to be part of the fun. The Cub Scout program serves boys and girls ages 5-10, and soon, girls ages 11-17 will be able to join the Scouts BSA program and earn the Eagle Scout rank. These decisions were made in part because of input from families who requested more opportunities to bring the entire family together for activities.
“We believe that our programs are uniquely able to develop character and leadership skills in young people and we are proud to be able to make them available to both boys and girls,” explained North Florida Council Scout Executive Jack Sears. “We understand that families today are busier and more diverse than ever … We think we owe it to families to offer our programs in a way that fits into their busy lives to deliver character development and values-based leadership training that Scouting promises.”
Sears says about 80 North Florida Cub Scout packs have “signaled an interest to welcome” girls through girls-only dens and more than 500 girls have already joined a den in one of those packs.
“Families today have many good options for character and leadership development programing for their families,” Sears said. “The 12 points of the Scout Law — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent — are relevant and important for both young men and women.”
Candice Y., Mary and Gavin’s mother, said having her children in Cub Scouts stemmed from having a packed schedule. She says the change has reduced her time on the road taking each of her children to different activities on different days and times. This allows for more family time and less driving time.
“As a busy mother, I love activities we can do together,” she said. “I support any organization that gets youth busy, all these things are fine. … But she wanted to go camping with her brother.”
To read the full story, visit First Coast News.
If you know a family with girls and/or boys who are interested in joining Cub Scouts, be sure to let them know it’s never too late to get involved. Cub Scouts is even more fun with friends! Be sure to share www.beascout.org with someone you know.