Photo Credits: ALLYSON KO / AGGIE
Davis Troop 1625 is first generation to participate in the Boy Scouts
Since Feb. 12, a Davis troop of girls have had the right to join the Boy Scouts of America. They are some of the first in the nation to receive the same merit badges as the boys.
Amara O’Brien, a 12-year-old active member of Davis Troop 1625, described what she likes about this new change.
“I like Scouts BSA [Boy Scouts of America] because of the ranks, and there’s more like competitions,” O’Brien said. “I want to be the patrol leader for the wolf patrol.”
Officially making history in February, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced girls between the ages of 11 and 17 are allowed to earn the rank of an Eagle Scout and be a part of a previously boys-only troop. This gives the girls newfound access to more physical activities that challenge them to explore the skills they need for the outdoors and their survival. Some of these include pushups, sit-ups, running and anything that will merit them worthy of the position of Eagle Scout. This special occasion marks an important transition because the girls can now follow the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers before them who were a part of the Boy Scouts as youngsters.
Brian Meux, an Eagle Scout who serves as both the Girl Scout leader and Scoutmaster, talked about the Boy Scout curriculum.
“We like the curriculum in the Boy Scout program a little bit better because it just covers a ton of topics,” Meux said. “It’s very organized and structured — it’s just more easy to wrap your head around — start a fire, learn this first aid skill. And I as an adult male leader of a group of girls, there’s a learning curve for me.”
In order to emphasize its inclusivity, the Boy Scouts of America decided to rename its original scouting program from “Boy Scouts” to “Scouts BSA.” This is just one of the many historical changes on which the BSA has decided to embark, as young girls were also allowed to join the cub scouts program.
“The part that has recently become open to girls was the cub scout program, which is for kids from kindergarten to fifth grade,” Meux said. “So, last year, we had girls start joining cub scout packs. And in that program they are allowing the girls to be in the same unit as the boys.”
The Davis group of girls were a part of Girl Scout Troop 625 for years and are not letting go of their Girl Scout titles and awards. Being involved in the Scouts BSA Troop 1625 does not stop them from continuing on with the Girl Scouts, but rather provides them with additional opportunities to go beyond gendered obstacles that have limited young girls for years. This unique Troop 1625 consists of only girls, and is considered to be the only all-girl Scouts BSA troop in all of Yolo County. Most members originate from Davis, Woodland and other areas.
Audrey Mccurdy, the parent of 11-year-old Girl Scout Miley Healy and part of Troop 1625, commented on the community aspect of the troops.
“They [Scout Masters Brian Meux and Melissa Meux] are amazing — they are so involved and so well rounded and very communicative to where, like, it’s very easy to stay with everything you don’t ever feel left out,” Mccurdy said. “They’re always doing something. Every other week is like a camping trip. They do stuff for the community, it’s amazing.”
Already, the girls have taken advantage of these opportunities, going on a few camping trips, hiking and backpacking. They also engaged in a Camporee, a local gathering for scouts to participate in camping and similar activities that were originally only open to boys until the reformation of its organization, which included dozens of youth participants from the Yolo and Solano counties. This event was especially significant for the brand new Davis troop because they won the highest award for the skills competitions, defeating the all-boys troops.
Ariel Majarccon, a 17-year old Girl Scout who has been with Troop 1625 for 11 years and is the assistant to the Scout Master, described what she likes about Scouts BSA.
“The thing I love about Scouts BSA is the merit badges, and we get rewarded,” Majarccon said. “We don’t just do it for fun anymore because now there are positions of leadership. It comes with a lot of responsibility. I have seen firsthand how the girls have grown more mature than before. The Girl Scouts organization was barely taken seriously, as it wasn’t nearly as highly regarded and well known as the Eagle scouts.”
These girls have gone camping in the snow, learned how to build a fire and discovered a variety of survival skills to assist them in their new BSA journey. Troop 1625 is just one group of the many girls making history for being the first generation given the chance to go head to head with their male counterparts.
Written by: Susana Jurado — email@example.com