In California, a 7-year-old girl screamed with delight when she learned she could become an official member of her brother’s Cub Scout pack.
In Tennessee, a Cubmaster approached his chartered organization about becoming an early adopter pack and welcoming girls, and the church leader told him “we’re right behind you.”
And in Washington state, a volunteer said the BSA’s commitment to Family Scouting is “a call to modern-day parents” that allows the family to experience Scouting together.
When early adopter councils began welcoming girls to Cub Scouting in January, some packs hit the ground running. From California to Maine and beyond, these packs have ventured into uncharted territory with wildly successful results.
These stories, told in more detail below, paint an inspiring portrait of what Cub Scouting looks like in 2018 and into the future.
It’s enough to get anyone pumped for when all councils become eligible to begin welcoming girls to Cub Scouts soon. (Speaking of, be sure to read these seven ways to Be Prepared for Family Scouting.)
Here are just five of the many great stories I’ve seen.
California: ‘I’m really excited about it’
Today’s families are busier than ever, and that’s precisely why D.D. Hutto is such a fan of Family Scouting.
The den leader for an all-girl den in Pack 122 of Coronado, Calif., said having both her son and her daughter in the same pack is more convenient for the family’s schedule.
“I thought it was awesome,” Hutto told the Times of San Diego. “Yeah! We can do one program … I’m really excited about it.”
The girls in Pack 122 are equally ecstatic. Laura Hutto, 7, screamed with delight when she learned she could become an official Cub Scout after years of unofficial participation.
“I was so excited that I could do more things with my brother and actually get prizes and get badges … all of the stuff that I did with my brother,” she said.
And what do the boys think?
Oliver Brown, 9, gets it.
“At school they say, ‘Don’t let a girl beat you,’ and I always say ‘What’s the difference between a boy and a girl?’ I think it’s fun. I like it.”
Maine: ‘Your reward is the knowledge’
Kristina Wood’s 8-year-old daughter, Abigail, has been joining her brothers at Cub Scout events for years.
Abigail jumps at any chance to spend time in nature.
But when it came time to present awards like Adventure loops to the Cub Scouts, Kristina had to explain to her daughter why she was left out.
“We explained to her [at] a younger age why she didn’t get called up and rewarded,” Kristina told the Portland Press Herald. “We told her, ‘You worked just as hard as the boys did, and your reward is the knowledge, just as theirs is.'”
That’s a great attitude, but now that Abigail is a member of Pack 454 of Oakland, Maine, she gets both the knowledge and the reward.
Tennessee: ‘We’re right behind you’
Scott Milliken of Pack 59 in Farragut, Tenn., is one of countless Cubmasters who have approached their chartered organizations to discuss adding girl dens to their existing packs.
He went to the leaders of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church with the plan. Milliken told them that Cub Scouting has been a family-oriented program since the start. In his pack, entire families are encouraged to attend campouts, hikes, trips to the museum and more.
The church leaders were “very much behind this, very supportive,” Milliken told The Daily Times. “They said, ‘Yes, open it up. If you think you can provide this program to girls in the community, we’re right behind you.’ So that’s exactly what we did.”
For Milliken, the appeal of Family Scouting is personal. His wife’s work schedule makes her unable to attend Cub Scout meeting nights, so he’s forced to bring all of his children to the meeting anyway.
“I don’t have the option of letting one stay with Mom or stay home,” he said. “A lot of other people are in that same scenario.”
Virginia: ‘We’re so excited!’
Jan Helge Bøhn, a mechanical engineering professor at Virginia Tech who has led Boy Scout troops in the U.S. and Norway, contacted Ashley Bell, a math major at Virginia Tech, with an idea.
Bøhn suggested they form a new Cub Scout pack to serve girls in Blacksburg, Va. The result is Pack 158.
Bell, whose dad is an Eagle Scout, told WVTF-FM that she would have “loved to have had this opportunity” when she was a girl.
The girls of Pack 158 got to prove themselves at a district campout.
“We’re so excited! We’ll be hiking, camping in the freezing cold and snow,” one of the girls told the WVTF reporter.
“And that doesn’t worry you?” the reporter asked.
“No. Not really. I have plenty of warm clothes and a big sleeping bag.”
Be Prepared — that’s a good first lesson.
Washington: ‘It just seems fair’
Dean Davis, 10, is quite pleased his 7-year-old sister, Grace, will join him in Pack 121.
In fact, the Cub Scout from Everett, Wash., seems like he’s already taken some important Scouting lessons to heart.
“I’m kind of glad my sister now gets to do it. It just seems fair,” Dean told the Everett Herald. “How many times has she gone to my meetings and my pack times and not been able to do anything?”
Grace and Dean’s dad, Steven, agrees. He calls the BSA’s commitment to Family Scouting “a call to modern-day parents.”
“We like to do things as a family,” he said. “She [Grace] has been around in tow, and now she gets recognized for that.”