Troop 44 to open an all-female scout troop


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WEST MILFORD - Boy Scouts of America Troop 44, chartered by the West Milford Presbyterian Church, is opening a scouting troop for females ages 10-17 in February, according to the organization.

The group is inviting all interested girls and their parents to attend an informational session on Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at the West Milford Presbyterian Church Troop 44 “Scout House”, 1452 Union Valley Road in West Milford.

The move comes as the national organization implements changes to bring girls into scouting.

“The National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has confirmed a scheduled Feb. 1, launch date for the program to serve girls, ages 11-17,” Northern New Jersey Council, Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. “This timing is intended to align with the programmatic timeline so that girls who join Cub Scouts in 2018 and will have earned their Arrow of Light, are then able to cross over to a troop to continue their scouting journey. The official name of the older youth program will be Scouts BSA, effective with the scheduled launch in February 2019.”

Under the Scouts BSA program, chartered organizations are not required to add a Scouting unit for girls, but can decide which programs best serve the needs of their community, the organization said.

Each chartered organization can continue to offer scouting for boys only, or they may choose to add a unit for older girls.

According to the organization, chartered organizations that choose to offer the female scouting program will have separate units for male and female members, but the units may participate in certain activities and meetings together.

Under the new Scout BSA initiative, the scouting program for females will follow the same membership guidelines as the former Boy Scout Program, and will be open to girls who have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, or have earned the Arrow of Light (Cub Scouts) and are at least 10 years old, or are age 11 but have not reached age 18, the organization said.

At least one female leader will be assigned to the new units, according to the organization.

Girls entering the troops will also be able to earn the Eagle Scout award, the highest rank that can be earned in the organization.

“Our existing programs are relevant for both boys and girls. After all, the values of scouting as outlined in the Scout Law - trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent - are relevant and important values for both young men and women,” the organization’s statement said. “As such, the program for girls ages 11 to 17 will be the same curriculum offered in the Scouts BSA program.”

For more general information about female scouting or family scouting opportunities, visit www.nnjbsa.org/join-scouting/family-scouting/69131.




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