As of Feb. 2, the first Boy Scouts of America troop for females in the Lakes District was officially chartered.
That troop, 7335, is out of the Greensburg United Methodist Church and will be a sister troop to Troop 335 which has been chartered by Greensburg United Methodist for more than 50 years.
“We are excited to form this partnership with them and join the Greensburg United Methodist Scouting Family,” said Scoutmaster Jodie Amiot.
Greensburg United Methodist Church has Pack 3335, with both boy and girl Cub Scouts from ages 6 to 11; Troop 335 for boys ages 11 to18; and now, Troop 7335 for young women ages 11 to 18.
It was recently approved for girls to join the boy scouting program. There has been confusion as to what this means and Amiot explained how it works. The girls and boys are in separate troops. The group, as a whole, is still called Boy Scouts of America and it encompasses, Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Explorers Posts and Seas Scouts. Explorer’s Posts and Sea Scouts have been co-ed for some time. The Scout troops for girls and the troops for boys are single gender troops.
So why would girls want to be a part of Boy Scouts?
Amiot said the number one reason the girls in the new troop gave for joining was that they liked girl scouting, but it was not as focused on the outdoors like the Boy Scouts.
“The programs are different enough, on certain levels, that we feel like it is not trying to compete with Girl Scouts, it is just offering another opportunity,” Amiot said.
She said a testament to that is that four girls in her troop are also in girl scouting and want to be some of the first to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award and the Boy Scout Eagle Award. All of the girls in her troop have brothers in the program so they have watched them doing these things. When the opportunity opened up, they wanted to do it as well.
Amiot has three sons and one daughter, and her daughter went along on all the activities, but she was not getting credit for it and when this opportunity came along, she was excited that she can earn the badges work to be an Eagle Scout as well as her brothers.
“Young men and women, at that age, still need that fraternity or sorority – the ability of being in a group of one gender – to thrive and survive and do fun things together,” Amiot said.
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts continue to be separate organizations. Girl Scouting began March 12, 1912, and Boy Scouting began Feb. 8, 1910.
Amiot, members of the committee and the church have worked for months to get everything in place for the troop to begin.
On Feb. 7 the troops at the church hosted the first Court of Honor for Troop 7335 where leadership and new Scouts were invested into the brand-new troop. There were more than 80 family and community members in attendance to welcome these young ladies into Troop 7335. Normally, a Court of Honor is the formal ceremony in which Scouts are recognized for earning ranks, merit badges, and other accomplishments, but this Court of Honor was held to mark the momentous historical event and welcome the new members of the Scouting movement.
“We had a cookie reception afterward and also a silent cake auction as an initial fundraiser to get the girls off to a great start,” said Amiot.
The girls made $116 to add to their personal accounts, and the Troop earned $148.
Amiot said the leadership and members of Troop 7335 are excited to start this new adventure along with Amiot are assistant Scoutmasters Daniel Amiot and Sarah Morris. The Amiot’s have been participating in Scouts for more than nine years and have held many positions including at the district level. Both have completed their WoodBadge training.
Sarah Morris has been a Girl Scout leader and a committee member.
“We are all so excited to guide these young women on their new journey,” said Amiot.
Troop 7335 has participated in their first Training and Lock-In and continue to get going on all they hope to learn through Scouts BSA. It has a full and exciting calendar including monthly camp outs and a week at Camp Manatoc this summer for summer camp.
For more information about the troop, call Amiot at 330-983-3272.