Edmonds among first with Scouts BSA troop for girls

Information meeting Nov. 17
Nov 08, 2018

As reported earlier this year, the iconic Boy Scouts program for boys ages 11-17 years old is opening its doors to allow girls to join for the first time. The new program launches on Feb. 1, and Scouts BSA Troop 319 for Girls in Edmonds will be ready to go.

Scouts BSA, under the umbrella of the Boy Scouts of America, will have entirely separate troops for boys and girls.

“Having separate troops means there will be no change to the traditional troops already in place for boys,” said David Young, committee chair for both Troop 319 for girls and Troop 312 for boys. “It just now gives girls the same opportunity to participate in this great program.”

Edmonds United Methodist Church is sponsoring the new troop.

“This fits right into the church’s mission of reaching out into the community and having an open door for all,” said Craig Birkby, the church’s scouting coordinator.

The new program is not trying to compete with the Girl Scouts, he said.

“There are many wonderful youth programs out there, including Girl Scouts, 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, and sports programs. Each is different. They all play an important role in helping prepare our youth for the future with fun and adventures along the way. Now there is one more option available with Scouts BSA for girls.”

Advancement through rank requirements and earning merit badges builds confidence, helps Scout learn and grow, raises self-esteem and develops leadership skills, said Lisa Battern, the advancement chair of Troop 312 for boys.

“Troop 319’s adult volunteer leaders offer over 70 years of combined leadership experience in the BSA Scouting program,” Battern said. “That’s an incredible investment in our troop and its scouts, and one that pays dividend to society by helping to provide enjoyable and productive programming that will help develop exceptional young leaders. I can hardly wait to help our girls learn new skills on their trail to Eagle Scout.”

Scouts BSA is built on a foundation of outdoor activities, said Young, with outdoor challenges building character, self-reliance, teamwork and leadership skills.

It also allows scouts to experience the greatness and inspiration of nature, he said. Teaching scouts to value and respect nature and its resources through outdoor ethics, including Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly and the Outdoor Code, are major components of the scouting program.

Michele Hollingsworth, membership coordinator for Troop 319 for girls, is preparing an open house to introduce the troop and its program to the community.

“We want to give the girls a little taste of the excitement and adventure that lies ahead,” she said. There will be displays, information handouts and troop leaders to talk to.

The informational open house is 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, in the Wesley Room on the main level of the Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., Edmonds.

For more information on Scouts BSA Troop 319 for girls, email Michelle at Troop319Edmonds@gmail.com, or visit the troop’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ScoutsBSATroop319forGirls.

For information about other Scouts BSA Troops for Girls in the area, visit the BSA Mount Baker Council website at www.mountbakerbsa.org/.


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