As of Friday, girls between the ages of 11 and 17 will be permitted to become part of what’s now being called “Scouts BSA.”
The Boy Scouts of America says it will recognize its first class of female Eagle Scouts in 2020.
Eagle Scout is the higest rank in Scouts BSA and can offer lifelong academic and professional benefits.
More than 77,000 girls have already joined Cub Scouts, a program for younger children, since it began welcoming girls last year.
A group of girls made history on Guam, where America’s Day Begins. It marked a historic day for the nation, too, when those girls took their pledge and were sworn in to become the first all-girl troop in the Scouts BSA.
After 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America has dropped the “Boy” in Scouts to become the Scouts BSA.
We spoke to the new members of Troop 1 proudly wearing the merit badges that were once reserved only for boys. When asked what merit badges they were excited to work on, the girls were ready to share.
“So we want to do the swimming one,” Madison Bruce said.
Madison, 11, and Sophie Harlan, 10 are two of the five girls in Troop 1.
Two years ago the national program announced their plans to open up their doors to both boys and girls. Madison spent this last year as a Cub Scout, and now she plans to work her way to Eagle.
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of boys scouts and achieving the highest goal,” Madison said.
Sophie is excited to camp and spend time outdoors, and it’s her love for sports that makes the Scout program stand out.
“I just want to become stronger because that can help me in other sports that I wanted to do like I’m doing surf right now,” Sophie said.
To ride the island waves is a goal she wants to achieve with her family’s support.
Sohpie’s mom, Megan Harlan is the Scout Leader for Troop 1.
“She’s always kind of been a part of the events that Scouting BSA held and now she gets to be a part of all of it,” Harlan said.
The female inclusion makes scouting a family affair. The all-girl Troop 1 will be working with the boys from Troop 20.
Committee chair Shelby Goetzman and his wife Kris explain the merge.
“We’re really trying to focus on the family and have families come together and do this as one 128 instead of separate organizations,” Shelby Goetzman said.
“My husband was a boyscout growing up and I’m always impressed with some of the things he pulls out and I’m like where did you learn that so I want my kids to have those skills, whether they’re boys or girls everyone should have the opportunity to have that,” Kris Goetzman.
Whether it’s learning to tie a knot or public speaking, their son Colin also is excited to earn a merit badge with girls by his side.
“We are very lucky to have these girls in, and I hope they all achieve Eagle,” Colin said.
“Be prepared,” – that’s the motto here at the Scouts BSA. The girls on Guam, part of the first-ever Troop 1, are eager to continue that tradition.
“It’s very honoring I mean I look at all the people back in history and I’m like wow I’m a part of their group now,” Madison said.