Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Scout’s Honor

Girls in Boy Scouts share their experiences
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Brian Fowler
Communications junior Lily Kaminski poses in her uniform on Freshman Hill. Kaminski has earned 53 merit badges along with the rank of “Eagle Scout,” the highest possible rank in Scouts BSA.

On a traditional Boy Scouts camping trip, members trek through an evergreen forest, sunlight heating their paths, and set up their campsite for the night. Rope burns sting their hands as knots are tied, fires crackle above gathered wood, and vests are lined with badges varying from archery to geology. 

However, these experiences were not granted to everyone until Feb. 1, 2019, when girls across the country were officially able to join the Boy Scouts of America. Since then, the Boy Scouts of America has reported that around 140,000 girls have joined their troops nationwide. 

“When I went into sixth grade, they let girls into Boy Scouts, and I saw all the fun things that they (were) doing,” Troop 4125 senior patrol leader and visual junior Madeleine Lambert said. “I love camping, I love outdoor skills, and that’s just not something that Girl Scouts provide(s), so my best friend’s dad was creating a troop for girls in Boy Scouts, and I hopped on that. I would never go back.” 

Some girls feel that Girl Scouts cannot always provide training in the outdoor skills they are interested in. Boy Scouts gives them opportunities to participate in these activities, such as metalworking, adventure camps, and backpacking. As a senior patrol leader responsible for her troop’s overall operations, visual senior McKenna Nelson has attended high adventure camps as a part of Boy Scouts. These camps offer experiences in crafting, hiking, and camping.

“I’ve actually been to three (high adventure camps),” Nelson said. ”We did a 60 mile backpacking trek (for) a week and a half, and I just did a summit recently which is another high adventure camp, and those are the most prestigious things you can do in Boy Scouts, and I was welcomed with open arms.”

Given the recent nature of girls joining Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts member and communications junior Lily Kaminski feels the activities are still adjusting to girls joining. As girls make their way to the coveted Eagle Scout rank and collect more merit badges, Kaminski feels that the community will adjust with time. 

“People are just getting used to girls being there,” Kaminski said. “It’s the first time we’re getting the opportunity to do this, so we’re breaking (barriers) down as we go along.”

Despite being granted certain extra opportunities by being in Boy Scouts, some girls have faced numerous challenges along the way. Girls are still the minority in the average Boy Scouts troop, as Zippia, a job mentorship and recruitment company, concludes that girls make up 19.3% of Boy Scouts as of 2023. Even with the highest youth leadership position in her troop, Lambert has still faced disrespect from some of the boys. 

“At first when I joined, I’m not even joking, they would refer to me as ‘Hey girl,’” Lambert said. “Whenever they needed something, (they would say,) ‘Hey girl, can you grab that chair?’ They didn’t learn my name for a solid year.”

Brooke Yang

Even though there can be some issues between girls and boys in troops, Lambert feels that it is an opportunity to learn how to cooperate with others.

“There’s still disrespect and minor conflicts (between) boys and girls in our troop, but they’re learning, especially when the older scouts are showing respect towards the girls and young ones follow suit,” Lambert said. “That’s why I think it’s really nice to have co-ed troops because it teaches you how to learn to get along with other people.”

For Boy Scouts member and visual senior Jolie Copin, being a member of Boy Scouts allows her to build relationships with people outside of her daily life. Through activities organized by Boy Scouts, members are able to spend time with one another in new environments. 

“It’s (the troop) honestly the tightest knit family you could have with a group of kids,” Copin said. “I usually don’t have many friends who are boys in my day-to-day life, but in the troop, I have immediate brothers of every age, (and) it’s honestly just one big family.” 

Copin expresses her hope that more girls will continue to join Boy Scouts, allowing them to bridge the gap between girls and boys by ensuring equal treatment and fostering respect between genders. 

“I’ve been recruiting new scouts into our troop, and it’s grown a lot,” Copin said. “It’s grown (about) four times since I joined. So, hopefully more girls join, (and) any older and outdated ideas grow out of all (of) the troops and leave room for the new, accepting future of girls.”

 

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About the Contributors
Vivian Jiang, Writer
Vivian Jiang is first-year staffer and coverage staffer on The Muse. She writes, dances and practices karate. She is excited to meet new people and share their stories on The Muse!
Brooke Yang, Multimedia Staffer
Brooke Yang is a first-year staffer and multimedia staffer on The Muse. Outside of The Muse, she enjoys participating in Speech and Debate and playing New York Times Games. Brooke is extremely excited to work with everyone this year and further her passion towards journalism!
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