Females in Boy Scouts of America program celebrate first anniversary

West Milford. Scouting Troop 44G, the town's first all-girl troop, celebrated the first anniversary of being in the Scouting program. The Troop invited other female troops from around the region to join in the activities on Feb. 1.

| 12 Feb 2020 | 06:44

Scouts BSA Troop 44G of West Milford invited other fellow female troops from the area to celebrate together its one-year anniversary in the Scouting program on Feb. 1.

Female Scouts and Troop Leaders from Troop 44G in West Milford joined Troop 259 of Mahwah, Troop 933 of Upper Saddle River, and Troop 192 of Wayne at the Troop 44 Scout house, located next to the Presbyterian Church on Union Valley Road.

Troop 44, chartered by the church, was one of the first Boy Scout troops in the State of New Jersey, and across the nation, to sign up to be a part of the historic moment of allowing girls into the program.

The Boy Scouts of America Organization announced in late 2018 that it would be changing its program name for older Scouts ages 11-18 from "Boy Scouts" to "Scouts BSA,” and also welcoming girls to participate fully in scouting programs beginning on Feb. 1, 2019.

It was on that date that the Troop 44G Trailblazers officially became a part of the Scouts BSA program, with its own Troop, Patrol, and Leadership within the Troop 44 Unit.

Since then, the female Troop has enjoyed working on rank requirements, earning merit badges, and performing community service projects.

It held weekly meetings and flag ceremonies, attended leadership training, planned its own program together, including council activities, monthly tent and cabin campouts.

The Scouts learned knots, proper use of equipment, tools safety (knife, saw, ax), first aid, emergency preparedness, fire building and fire safety, campfire cooking, archery, shotgun shooting/safety, rock climbing, hiking, STEM activities, and much more.

During the anniversary celebration with the other area Scouts, the girls mingled for a bit, shared information about their experiences in Scouting thus far, and then lined up in patrols to begin the meeting.

The Troops participated together in the opening flag ceremony, team-building activities, fun and games, Troop skits, and a closing ceremony complete with Scout Vespers.

Each participant received a souvenir T-shirt with all of the participating Troops listed on the back, and a Scouting keychain as mementos of the special anniversary celebration.

The attendees then assembled in the adjacent meeting hall building with their fellow Trailblazer Scouts and leaders for Scout Graces before sharing a meal and good company.

They parted ways as new friends and new Scouting connections, as well as with new ideas shared, and plans made to gather together again in the future.