WOOSTER — Anything boys can do, girls can do, too, and that includes being part of the Boy Scouts of America.

A small but enthusiastic group of young ladies met at Zion Lutheran Church in Wooster last week to become part of the new Troop 64 — an all-girl troop which will offer the new recruits some privileges they think they’ve been missing, such as whittling and camping.

It's the first all-girl BSA troop to start in Wooster, according to organizers.

Under the umbrella of the Boy Scouts organization, female Scouts ages 10 to 18 will participate in Scouts BSA. Because of their new designation, may work toward the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout just like their male peers.

This troop will be led by the girls themselves, scoutmaster Colleen Cole said. “For the most part, it will be girls leading other girls.”

Young girls already had been streaming into Cub Scout packs and needed a place to cross over once they reached fifth grade.

The Cub Scout packs, welcoming girls and boys, have been part of a family-friendly trend in Scouting and have been opening up new opportunities.

Cole’s daughter had been “watching from the sidelines ... a lot of fun activities” that Boy Scouts were enjoying, Cole said, particularly related to the outdoors.

Jim Sayre, leading Troop 65, affirmed an “outdoor focus” in Boy Scouts.

With the option of joining Girl Scouts or Scouts BSA, “different people with different interests are being served,” said Brooke Johnson, Killbuck District executive.

She also pointed out that the Scout Oath and Scout Law are not gender specific, but rather “good for all our kids in our community.”

The Boy Scouts and the all-girl troop may get together for activities, Sayre said, but will have separate meetings and go camping separately.

“I think it’s great,” said Tom McFadden, the chartered organization representative for Zion Lutheran Church, which he said has sponsored an active Boy Scout troop for 100 years.

“We’re excited about [the all-girls troop],” McFadden said. “We hope it flourishes.”

“This is something I wish I’d had,” Johnson said.

Taking leadership will be “a learning experience” for the girls, McFadden said.

“We’re looking for adults to be volunteers,” Johnson added.

Rowan Craft, an 11-year-old Edgewood Middle School student, said after her Girl Scout troop disbanded, she decided to "join this group with all my friends.”

“I also love to camp, and I want to carve,” said Rowan’s cousin, Kailey Kartisek, a 12-year-old student at Edgewood.

“Outdoor things” are her favorite, Kailey said.

Families interested in the inaugural group may contact Cole at cole.colleen@yahoo.com or 254-368-9472, or Johnson at brooke.johnson@scouting.org or 330-362-2233.

 

Linda Hall can be reached at lhall@the-daily-record.com or 330-264-1125, ext. 2230. She is @lindahallTDR on Twitter.