Bloomington Boy Scouts introduce first all girls troop

The five founding members of Scouts BSA Troop 9903 are are all excited about being a part of the first all girls troop in Bloomington.

The new addition to the Boys Scouts of America’s Scouts BSA program were able to join thanks to recent changes made by the organization that allows girls from ages 11 to 17 to join.

Though the all girls troop is now a part of the Scouts BSA program, their activities will be seperate from the boy troops.

All of the scouts in Troop 9903 have brothers who are now or were boy scouts in the past, one reason the girls wanted to participate.

“When we start talking about the ability to have family scouting this is the intent to make it more convenient for families to provide the kind of activities,” Scout Executive Lee Shaw Jr. said.

One mom and assistant troop leader said joining the scouts could help her 12-year-old daughter with her social skills.

“[My daughter has] what’s called selective muteism she doesn’t talk to adults, school teachers, grandma and grandpa, neighbors, friends, none of them,” Melissa Tanner said.

“I am so excited, I can’t wait. She’ll learn new skills, make a lot of friends and hopefully the more friends she makes, she’ll break out of that shell a little bit.”

Tanner’s daughter, Serenidy, answered some questions on paper about why she is excited to be a scout. When asked why she wanted to join she wrote, “I have seen my brother doing fun things in BSA.” Serenidy also wrote she hopes joining the scouts will help her make friends.

Their Troop Leader is one of scout’s mothers who recalls her and her daughter hugging and crying when they found out girls would now be allowed to join.

“I remember the day she looked at me and said I want to be an Eagle and my heart broke as a mother and as a scout leader to know she wasn’t able to have this opportunity. I did not believe in her youth that we would actually see this come to fruition. This is amazing,” Troop Leader Jo Litwiller said.

To find out how to join Scouts BSA visit their website at www.scouting.org/scoutsbsa/

Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez

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