In just a few days, girls from across the country will officially be allowed to join troops of the Boy Scouts of America.
The organization announced in late 2017 that they would allow both girls and boys to become members as part of an effort o be more inclusive.
A troop of girls in South Windsor is ready for the change.
The parents of these girls who are joining the scouts said it was their daughters who told them they wanted to join the Boy Scouts when they heard they’d have the option. Now they’re looking forward to a new chapter. The girls say they can do anything that boys can do.
The tent building, knot-tying outdoor skills and leadership that have been a part of the Boy Scouts legacy for more than a century will soon officially include these girls.
BSA Troop 682 will become active under the Boy Scouts of American on February 1. They held an open house Monday for families curious about what’s coming.
Though part of the Boy Scouts, this troop will operate as an all-girls unit.
“The girls if they’re in a girls troop, the boys if they’re in a boys troop are doing the exact same programs. They’re not dumbing anything down or changing anything,” explained Committee member Mike Miller.
Troop 682’s Scout Master Nicole Papa’s daughter was her motivation to make this troop a reality.
“My daughter came to me after the announcement and said I want to be a scout. I said what kind of scout and she said I want to be a boy scout,” Papa said.
Since August they’ve been operating under the Scout Explorers program while waiting to be formally recognized. They already have nine girls signed on and hope to grow bigger.
“I’ve run across girls over the years who said I wish I could do that. Up to now it’s been no. Now its yes,” Miller said.
Nisha and Pawal Rana brought their daughter, who was once a Girl Scout, to learn about Troop 682. They say the change is a long time coming, but a welcome one.
“Boys and girls are equal in today’s world so I don’t see any reason it should be separate,” Nisha Rana said.
The girls in this troop and across the country will be able to remain in the program for years and work their way up to the level of eagle scout, just like the boys.