Nine girls have made scouting history in Dearborn, becoming the first in Michigan to be recognized as official members of Cub Scout Pack 1112.
This comes after the Boy Scouts of America’s historic decision to allow girls to join the organization and advance through the ranks to Eagle Scout.
Eight-year-old Carolyn Kuentz is one of those girls. Carolyn and her father Michael Kuentz, who is an assistant Cub Master for Pack 1112 talked with Stateside’s Cynthia Canty about the joys of scouting, and what this change means for the future of the Scouts.
Carolyn has unofficially been participating in Cub Scout activities for years.
When her older brother went on scout camping trips each year, he was always required to have a parent accompany him. In an effort to increase interest in scouting, the organization decided to invite the whole family on those trips, including younger sisters of scouts.
Carolyn was able to participate in all the activities during the camping trips, but she was only receiving patches for her accomplishments, not gaining actual Scout rank.
“I like that we do a lot of outdoors stuff, and sometimes we learn about germs and sometimes we've learned how to identify poison ivy,” Caroline said.
Michael said the Girl Scouts place a larger emphasis on arts and team-building, while the Boy Scouts put more focus on leadership development and the outdoors.
“These two are not competitors, they are working together,” Michael said. “They are taking the same program and they are teaching it, and they are supplementing each other.”
There has been pushback against the Boy Scouts' decision to welcome girls. Many still do not believe the program should be co-ed.
But Michael says not all troops are co-ed. If a girl over 11 years old joins the Boy Scouts, she will be in her own troop and patrol made up of girls. Girls in kindergarten through fifth grade are in packs with both boys and girls.
Five more girls have joined since Carolyn and the original nine became members. Several of these young girls want to become Eagle Scouts. There is even a group of older girls called the Space Hamsters who are ready to become Eagle Scouts once the organization officially changes from Boy Scouts of America to Scouts BSA in February.
This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry.