Local scouts in Troop 614 marked an historic event in the pre-dawn hours of Feb 1 as a dozen young women were allowed to join the Boy Scouts of America for the first time and participated in a flag raising ceremony.
Last year the Boy Scouts of America began accepting girls for the first time in its 109 year history. Nationwide, more than 77,000 young women, ages 5-17, joined scouting in the last year.
“When I heard it would be possible for me to join Scouting and work to become an Eagle Scout, I knew I had to find a Scouts BSA troop to join,” one Troop 614 scout named Naomi wrote in a news release. “I can’t wait for our troop’s adventures — this is something I have been excited to do for a long time.”
On Feb. 1, Naomi and 11 of the 15 girls who are now in Troop 614, other members of the troop and their troop leaders held a flag raising ceremony at City Hall. Scotts Valley council member Derek Timm, along with the Scotts Valley Police Department, was on hand to welcome the young women into the organization and mark their special day with them.
The girls will meet separately from the boys but public events will involve every scout in the Scotts Valley troop, which is sponsored by the Scotts Valley Lions Club.
“The experiences and skills that Scouting provides are incredibly valuable to all youth — not just boys. I’m honored to help offer this opportunity to the girls and young women in our community,” Troop 614 adult volunteer leaders Alan Randolph and Marisa Cawley wrote in the release.
The Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council of the Boy Scouts of America to which Troop 614 belongs is comprised of more than 13,000 members between the ages of 5 and 21 and 5,000 adult volunteers.
“I can’t wait to go camping, earn merit badges, and go on adventures with my friends,” Naomi wrote.