Dillwyn Girls Ready for Scouts BSA
“Gigi?”, Ariel fidgeted with her neckerchief, but had finally made a decision.
“I wanna be the first girl Eagle Scout from Buckingham.”
A sigh of resignation passed through her godmother’s subtle but proud smile, “Okay, we’ll make it happen.”
It wasn’t unexpected. Ariel had been in Buckingham’s Cub Scout Pack 6535, which has had Dens for both boys and girls for two program years. Ariel met each project, each meeting and every outing with enthusiasm, and was now ready for an even greater challenge. The only trouble was, she would have to go all the way to the eastern side of Powhatan County to do it, there was nothing local.
Since February 1st of this year, the Boy Scouts of America has allowed females to join their iconic middle school program, under the title of “Scouts BSA”. The girls can meet as a troop and utilize the patrol method, just as the boys have been doing for over 100 years, though separately from them. They may share the same chartering organization, even the same opening and closing ceremony, but they do the program on their own. Scouts BSA is different than Venturing, a coed opportunity for older boys and girls that are high-school age, which has been around nationally in one form or another since 1971.
Judy Grigg, a Senior Fiscal Technician at University of Virginia and volunteer EMT, was determined to make good on the promise to her Goddaughter. Judy is no stranger to the program, becoming involved first as a Tiger parent for her son in 1995, then serving as a Venture Crew Advisor, and also serving in dual volunteer roles for the Cub Scout Pack and Troop 1818. With over two decades experience in Scouting, and most recently helping her son form a new troop at Enon Baptist Church; with enough interest and support, she knew she could create that opportunity for Ariel.
It’s not surprising that in central Virginia, where traditions are hard to change, Scouts BSA has been a bit slow to start. Currently there are 12 Scouts BSA Troops in the Heart of Virginia Council, but what they lack in population, they absolutely shine with in enthusiasm. For many of these daughters, it is their fathers who wanted them to have the Scouting experience, just as they knew it in their youth. It is a link of love to offer leadership and teamwork training, safety in outdoor experiences, as well as critical citizenship skills. For many parents, the arrival of the program was a dream come true.
Ariel, wasn’t living up to a family legacy; she, and other girls like her, were determined to pioneer their own. Having had the chance of a lifetime this summer to visit the World Jamboree at The Summit, the BSA’s newest High Adventure base located in West Virginia, Ariel had seen first hand the diversity of cultures that embody Scouting’s values. There was no reason to not press forward. Once again, with the support of Enon Baptist Church, “Gigi” recruited the needed volunteers and youth to create sister Troop 1817 whose meetings will begin near the end of August. Like a hearty campfire that can be coaxed to life with but a single, well-placed spark, a new group of adventurers will be taking to the woods this Fall, and mothers and godmothers, couldn’t be more proud.
Girls and families who are interested in learning more about Scouts BSA should contact the Heart of Virginia Council at firstname.lastname@example.org