It’s been a few months since girls were allowed to form their own troops with Boy Scouts of America. Now, the first all-girl troop in Franklin County is looking to add to its ranks.
Troop 1281 of Scouts BSA, which is the new name of the Boy Scouts, will hold a recruitment event at Lakeview Park from 6-8 p.m. Monday. During the event, potential scouts and their parents can meet with current scouts and volunteers to hear about the program. The troop also has some activities scheduled, such as making s'mores and setting up tents.
The troop officially formed on Feb. 1, which was the day that scout registration opened for girls across the country. Natalie Lile, the troop’s scoutmaster, said there are six active scouts in the troop.
Scouts BSA announced that it would allow girls to register for the program late last year for the first time in the program's 100-year history.
Lile said the girls are working to earn badges, do frequent community service and camp. Over the summer, the troop went with other scouts to Camp McKee in Jeffersonville. A couple of members from Troop 1281 won a sharpshooting contest.
The troop's community service has included volunteering at Reforest Frankfort in the spring and gleaning, or picking up leftover crops, at Evan’s Orchard in Georgetown on Friday.
“I think it's a really amazing program that I wish I could have participated,” Lile said.
Her daughter, Emily Reed, a member of the troop, said that so far, camp has been one of her favorite moments as a scout. She scaled a 32-foot wall and set the new climbing record for the camp with 32 seconds, though she wasn’t sure if someone broke the record at a later camp.
Reed, 16, is on her way to becoming an Eagle Scout. In a few months, she has become a first-class scout.
Reed said she is learning skills that she can already apply to real life. For instance, the scouts learned how to wash dishes according to the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines, and when she did training for a food service job, she learned about the same process.
While Scouts BSA does have a lot of programming centered around camping, there are many different areas covered in its merit badges.
“There’s a little something for everyone in Scouts,” Reed said.
In addition to new scouts, Lile said the group is looking for experts to help scouts obtain merit badges by being merit badge counselors, who cover topics from photography to crime prevention, or volunteer with troops in positions like assistant scoutmaster. Lile said any adult who is involved with Scouts must go through youth protection training and pass a background check.
For information about joining the troop or getting involved with Scouts, contact Lile at email@example.com.