We may only be three months in, but 2019 has already been a momentous year for the BSA! As March comes to a close and we wrap up Women’s History Month, see what these female leaders around the BSA have to say about women in the Scouting movement.
“I am excited about Mike’s vision for engaging more women in the BSA movement. I think this is a great time for BSA to truly develop into an organization that leads from the front on engagement and inclusion of women leaders. I believe this will lead to a healthier, more well-rounded BSA.”
– Cathy Wilson, Sr. Admin Assistant
“As the first female Southern Region Scout executive (2008) and the first female area director in the Southern Region as of this past October, I am passionate about making sure women in the Scouting movement realize their opportunities are unlimited. With female representation on the Chief’s Cabinet and our first female National Commissioner, I am ecstatic about the forward momentum I am seeing for women, and frankly, all diverse candidates, across our Scouting workforce and volunteer structure. I would encourage all female commissioned employees and all National Council females to gain support by joining RISE, our women’s workforce resource group. “
– Carol Whitebook, Area 7 Director
“When men and women work side by side with respect and towards a common goal, great things happen. That can be seen in action every day in the BSA. Men and women are working together at every level: unit, district, council, area, region and national. All of them are investing in children not their own—and those investments pay off in terms of character development, service and leadership—not only for the youth, but for the adults as well. The addition of girls in Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA to Scouting’s other programs for young women will expand opportunities for everyone. It is exciting to see both men and women work together to ensure those girls have a great Scouting experience. As those young women earn their Eagle Scout Award, they will take their place alongside young men. Only time will tell where that will lead them and our country, but we know they will be prepared to do great things together.”
– Ellie Morrison, National Commissioner
“I think we have the ability to make a difference and give other women the opportunity to join us in this great movement because women have the power to move mountains and show a different perspective in a professional setting where everyone can rise. Our organization has the platform and allows professional women to create a better version of themselves and help young boys and girls become the leaders of tomorrow through the Scouting program.”
– Lucia Bernal, Field Director, Greater Los Angeles Area Council
“Women have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America for a very long time. We have even gotten better about attracting women into professional Scouting. Because of that, we must continue to reach out to them to ensure they have the support they need to be successful.
As a female professional, my vision for engaging more women in the movement is to provide them with a platform where they can speak openly about challenges and opportunities they are experiencing. Then we create a forum where they can work on solutions that will help everyone; giving them a voice.
I would like other women in the profession, including myself, to welcome the new women coming in so they have someone they can reach out to. This would be especially helpful in smaller councils where they may be the only female. Everyone needs someone they can call to get advice and if we could be proactive by reaching out to them, perhaps they will feel important and understood.
I dream of the day where we are a successful organization that is the model of diversity and a true example for the rest of the world.”
– Sharon Moulds, Scout Executive, Laurel Highlands Council
“Women are going wherever Scouting needs them. Women, like men, can now use every asset at their disposal—time, talent, treasure, passion—to empower Scouts to have the character, commitment and training to lead, guide, and enrich their societies. When all are benefitted, all should participate; when all participate to their best ability and without limitation, all are benefitted to the same degree. Go forth, gentlemen and ladies, and serve!”
– Alison Schuler, Executive Board Member
“Scouting is premised upon servant leadership. Women in Scouting have long-ago mastered the concept of working in service of others. Their work and dedication to Scouting has helped instill values such as honor and leadership in millions of youth across our nation. This rich history of Women in Scouting is one to be recognized and celebrated. But now is also a time for deepening this connection and creating a new and vibrant path for women as volunteer leaders, women working in and leading our councils and young women in Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA. Women in Scouting are authentic leaders who bring diversity of thought, experience and perspective to strengthen our Movement. We have a mission to change as many lives through Scouting as we can. We are volunteering, working, leading and learning in the most exciting time in BSA history. Our future is bright and together, the Scouting family will continue to raise young leaders with strong character and unwavering respect for God, our country and each other.”
– Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for Culture & People
RISE is a resource group for Scouting professionals throughout the BSA— both men and women. RISE works to recognize, inspire, support, and empower the women of Scouting through professional development, fellowship, service, and inclusion.
Special thanks to Dinaz Kachhi-Jiwani, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Specialist and RISE Chairwoman for submitting this story.