Girl power!

By on January 2, 2019

They are adventure seekers, explorers of nature and the great outdoors, and wilderness enthusiasts. They are a small but mighty crew accepting challenges and are working toward a common goal — they are the young ladies who are members of Scouts BSA.

What will officially be named Scouts BSA as of Feb. 1, 2019, the Scouts BSA (also known as Boy Scouts) have welcomed girls into their organization, and though met with some controversy, Pack 142 in Lititz in welcoming everyone to its troop with open arms.

“There’s a lot of people who think it’s good and a lot that think it’s bad,” says Candi Dirian, who is hopeful to offer a girl’s troop in the new year and is inviting girls ages 11 to 17 to join her Scouts BSA troop. “Troop 142 is excited about it.”

Though Troop 142 Cub Scouts have a handful of girls, they need more interest &tstr; five girls exactly &tstr; to form a Scout BSA Troop for girls who age out of Cub Scouts. Gwendolyn Wright, who has had successful ride with the Cub Scouts since she was able to join in June of this year and has earned a very impressive number of patches, is about to move out of Cub Scouts, and she and her mom have their fingers crossed that she’ll have a troop to join early next year with Pack 142.

Candi Dirian will serve as Scouts BSA troop leader for girls ages 11 to 17 in February 2019.

“I really wanted to become a Cub Scout because they meet more often and they do more exciting things,” adds Gwendolyn about her choice to join Cub Scouts. “I like to camp, and we went camping. And I really like being with other people.”

“One of the biggest reasons I chose Pack 142 was because they had plans to add girls. There were three packs and 142 was only the one that had plans for a troop,” says Gwendolyn’s mom, Julie Wright, who hopes to see her daughter advance in Scouts and eventually earn the coveted Eagle Scout rank. Cub Master Jim Brunken and committee chair Melonni Shields have five girls in Cub Scouts Pack 142, the youngest is 5-year-old Penny Maljovec.

“I joined because I knew it was going to be cool,” said Penny. “We play ball tag, games, and do stuff in our Scouts book and I get patches.”

Sophia Haley is excited to be a Cub Scout because “I like to go outside and I’m really looking forward to rolling skating and the Pinewood Derby race.” Although each troop will be different, the Scout BSA Troop 142 for girls ages 11 to 17 will share a committee, meet the same night and same time, and share equipment and other amenities. But, the girls will meet separately from the boys, with the exception of extracurricular activities, where they will often meet together.

Evelyn Atkins, 9, recently joined Cub Scouts Pack 142.

Photos by Lucy Deren
Pictured are the female Cub Scouts of Troop 142: (back row, left to right) Gwendolyn Wright, Ryleigh Winters, Evelyn Atkins, and (front, l-r) Sophia Haley and Penny Maljovec.

“I love all the fun adventures I’d be able to do and go outdoors and learn about nature,” she said. “My favorite part has been camping; we learned about fires and knots.”
“I wanted to do more things boys did,” adds Ryleigh Winters. “Boy Scouts meet more often and have more outdoor things, and you learn more about it.”

“Girls have been asking for this program and Boy Scouts are just giving them what they have been asking for,” added Dirian. “Girls run the troop. And that’s a big difference between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. It really is supposed to be scout-run and leaders help guide them. It’s about leadership and fun. The big thing is making sure they are learning and having fun.”

Set aside all the controversy, confusion, and misunderstanding (the revised motto of Scouts BSA is simply to involve everyone in its organizations &tstr; males, females, and families &tstr; and give everyone a chance to excel), another big reason is girls wanted the opportunity to become Eagle Scouts. Whether girls have participated in scouts of any kind, they are welcome at any age to join

Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA and will have an opportunity to ask for an extension on becoming an Eagle Scout. Troop 142 is hosting a Webelos Round Robin on Jan. 10 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 505 Woodcrest Ave., Lititz, in St. James Hall, where youth and their families can learn more about becoming a member of Scouts BSA, activities that they’ll participate in, patches they can earn, and more about becoming an Eagle Scout.

Pictured are (left to right) Candi Dirian, who will be Scouts BSA leader for the girls who join Troop 142, Cub Master Jim Brunken, and committee chair Melonni Shields.

“We will have stations for interested youth to see what Scouts BSA has to offer both boys and girls. No commitment required,” says Dirian.

For the young ladies who want to explore the great outdoors and join an adventurous and welcoming group, be sure to check out Troop 142 and all they have to offer.

Lucy Deren is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and feedback at lucy.redcay15@gmail.com. 

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