By Guest Blogger Anna M. (Age 14), Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Scouts BSA Troop 964
From backpacking in New Mexico to sailing in the Bahamas, I have seen my brother do it all. I have watched him leave the house every week to go to meetings and every month to adventure into the outdoors. I have listened to his stories about Camp Raven Knob and everything he has gotten to experience through this organization. With every story, every experience, and every opportunity he has had, my longing for the same has grown tremendously. Now, I have the same opportunities.
My brother is a Boy Scout, and I can finally be one, too.
In October of 2017, the Boy Scouts of America decided to allow girls into all of its programs. Girls aged 5-10 from all across the country joined Cub Scout packs this past August. On February 1, 2019, young women aged 11-17 were allowed to form separate female scout troops, with over 250 troops being formed in the first week. The organization changed the name of its program for older youth aged 11-17 to Scouts BSA with the decision to allow girls into the program. As soon as I heard about their decision, I told my dad I wanted to be a Scout. Thankfully, he was excited as well, and he began looking into troops for girls. Since there were no girl troops starting in our area, we decided to start our own.
On February 7, after months of preparation, Troop 964 held its first meeting at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church. After years of watching my brother go to meetings, I finally got to go to one myself. More importantly, because Scouting is a youth-led organization, I was able to be involved in the planning and implementation of this new troop. When deciding a number for our troop, we chose 964 as a nod to 1964. 1964 was the year the Civil Rights Act was passed, eradicating gender discrimination. The opportunities this organization has provided to so many young men are now being provided to our nation’s young women as well. Over the next few months, my troop will go camping, backpacking, caving, and biking. In July, we will be one of the first female troops to spend the week at Camp Raven Knob, our council’s Scout camp near Mount Airy.
With over 135 merit badges, I can explore topics ranging from Law to Welding to Climbing. In fact, we will work on Aviation merit badge on our first camping trip to Sugar Valley airport in Mocksville. On our second camping trip to Stone Mountain, we will work on camping, cooking, and backpacking skills. With 14 registered youth members and 17 leaders, Troop 964 is active and growing. Girls aged 11-17 who are interested should contact Scoutmaster964@gmail.com or visit our website, troop964nc.org for more information on how they can join our awesome troop and work on citizenship, character building, personal fitness, and the coveted Eagle Scout Award. Come join us – it will be a blast!
Girl Troops are now forming throughout Forsyth County and northwest North Carolina. To find out about units forming in your area contact Craig Depuy at the Old Hickory Council at 336.760.2900 or visit OldHickoryCouncil.org. Spring is also a great time for boys to join Scouts BSA as many Cub Scouts are crossing over into Scouting and can register in time to attend Summer Camp with their troop at Camp Raven Knob. To find a Boy Troop in your area visit BeAScout.org.
*Sponsored by Old Hickory Council