Red Bank, SC - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) unanimously voted to include girls into its program in October of 2017. Although girls had been allowed to participate in some scouting programs up to that point such as Sea Scouts & Venturing, they were not permitted in the more popular programs such as the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts or able to earn the organization’s Eagle Scout rank.
The local and national roll-out programs of girls in Club Scouting has been well received, and that includes right here in Red Bank in the heart of Lexington County. Cub Scout Pack 332 that meets at St James Lutheran Church is to be one of only four packs in the Indian Waters Council to become an Early Adopter Unit for those families with daughters, that do not wish to wait till June when it is formally rolled out as a program.
Brooks Prevette, who has been involved in Scouting as a volunteer for a number of years at the unit, district and council levels, is the membership chairman for the local district of the Boy Scouts. “I have seen the benefits of the program for my own children and others, so of course I want to involve as many youths as possible,” Brooks said. “Cub Scouting, which serves youth aged five to 11, is very popular in the Lexington community with almost 1,000 youth being served.”
One reason the BSA decided to be inclusive of girls is the recognition that families are busier now than when the 108-year-old organization began. The consolidation helps make things more convenient for the whole family.
“We will accept girls in grades kindergarten through fourth grade and boys in grades kindergarten through fifth grade,” Brooks stated. “The reason that fifth grade girls cannot register at this time is because they won't be accepted into the Boy Scouting Program until 2019, so with that lapse year, we've developed a plan for consistent programming for our new members. One of our goals is for families with youth of multiple ages to attend activities on the same evening in the same location.”
“Girls will not be eligible to register for the Boy Scouting Program until 2019, this gives the BSA another year to sort out the logistics of that decision,” Brooks continued. “The one thing that is certain is the girls will be eligible to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Rank advancement and the amazing programming opportunities will not change for girls entering Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.”
Brooks also explained that if girls who are 14 years old or have completed the 8th grade are interested in joining a high adventure scouting program now, they can visit www.beascout.org to find their local Venture Crew unit.
Brooks will be among one of the individuals to host a joining night for those families who are interested in learning more about Cub Scout Pack 332. The meeting will be at St James Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1358 S Lake Drive in Red Bank soon.