New Cub Scout Anna F. led the opening ceremony for Pack 42 for the very first time, complete with flags, Scout salutes and pledges. But that’s not the only way she’s leading the pack.
Seven-year-old Anna is one of the first girls to join Cub Scouts, blazing a trail behind her for many other eager young ladies since the BSA announced that it would welcome girls. She and her twin sister, Lily, are the pack’s first female members.
The twins’ 9-year-old brother, James had been a Cub Scout for more than a year when the twins heard the good news.
“It just seemed natural to sign my daughters up and let them be part of Boy Scouts,” mom, Terri said to The News Tribune. “It’s a family thing.”
Terri says this change has been a welcome benefit for the family because it brings the family together and works better in their busy schedules.
“We were going to end up being split,” Terri said. “My husband and son would have gone one direction, and we would have gone the other.”
Bringing the family together to experience Scouting was one of the key reasons the BSA chose to expand its programs to welcome girls.
“(Parents) were telling us that separating the boys and girls was making it difficult to participate,” Ralph Voelker, Scout Executive of the Pacific Harbors Council, said. “Our volunteers have been asking us to do this for a long time.”
Voelker says this will also encourage greater participation from cultural groups where gender segregation is less common.
“This is going to allow us to serve some cultures where they prefer to participate as a family,” he said.
Recruitment begins in the fall, but Voelker says the program expansion already has an unintended benefit.
“For every two girls we’ve recruited, we’ve recruited one of their brothers,” he said.
To learn more about this family joining together in Scouting, watch the video below and read the full story from The News Tribune.