Some of the first girls to join Scouts BSA shout: ‘Scout Me In!’

Photo by Roger Morgan/BSA

Scouts BSA launched Feb. 1, 2019, and reports of new Scouts and new troops are pouring in from across the country.

In places like Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon and beyond, parents looking for a character-building, leadership-strengthening, outdoors-focused program for their sons and daughters are saying … “Scout Me In!”

The three stories below only scratch the surface of Scouts BSA launch week.

If you’ve started a new Scouts BSA troop, I want to hear — and see — your story. At the end of this post, you’ll find instructions for sharing your own Scouts BSA “founder photo.”

Lancaster County, Pa.: Girls join Scouts BSA at earliest possible moment

Photo by Roger Morgan/BSA

Snow and single-digit temperatures didn’t stop these girls from making history.

Just after midnight Eastern Standard Time on Feb. 1, a group of girls from Lancaster County, Pa., made it official.

By joining the newly formed Troop 82 right as Feb. 1 began, the 15 girls became some of the first in the country to join Scouts BSA — the program formerly known as Boy Scouts.

Here’s how it went down. In the waning hours of Jan. 31, the girls of Troop 82, joined by a couple of adult leaders, took a hike. They arrived at a covered bridge right at midnight. As they crossed the bridge, they were surprised to see a gathering of community leaders, family members and friends on the other side.

After the celebration, newly elected Senior Patrol Leader Caris Daneker talked to WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Pa., about why she joined Scouts BSA.

“Girls aren’t always allowed to do the same things that boys are allowed to do, like use pocketknives or build fires,” she said. “With Boy Scouts, it opens new opportunities for everyone and gives equal opportunity whether you’re a girl or a guy.”

Irving, Texas: BSA Chief salutes some of our newest Scouts

Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh leads the group in the Scout Oath. (Photo by Michael Roytek/BSA)

Whenever young people visit the headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America, they’re the stars. That was especially true on Feb. 1, 2019 — a date forever known as Scouts BSA Launch Day.

More than 25 girls, boys and their parents gathered at the BSA’s National Service Center in Irving, Texas, for a special celebration. They recited the Scout Oath and Scout Law, received their Scouts BSA Handbook, and met some of the men and women who have been working tirelessly over the past two years to prepare for the debut of Scouts BSA.

Mike Surbaugh, our Chief Scout Executive, helped crystallize the importance of the moment.

“We stand with you on a historic occasion,” he told the new Scouts. “It’s the time that Scouting really is for the whole family.”

After the gathering, these new Scouts visited our photo studio for a special Facebook Live hosted by Boys’ Life. More than 15,000 people tuned in as we interviewed the Scouts, played some games and learned how to tie a friendship knot.

Check it out below!

Portland, Ore.: Scouts BSA launch offers perfect reason to party

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

How do you celebrate the launch of something exciting? With a party, of course.

The BSA’s Cascade Pacific Council, based in Portland, Ore., held a kickoff celebration on Feb. 1. They called it “The Party in the Redd Woods” — Redd being the name of the popular Portland venue that hosted the event.

Scouts and their parents attended to roast s’mores, try rock climbing, eat pizza, experience virtual reality, snap photos in the photo booth, and work on requirements for the Scout and Tenderfoot ranks.

Guests were asked to dress in Redd — er, red — a favorite red plaid shirt, a red dress, red pants or red shoes.

Kaitlyn Crowley, 16, told KPTV-TV in Beaverton, Ore., that this is a “huge opportunity” for her.

“I’ve been watching my brother and my father go out on Scout outings for years,” she says. “They’ve gone on canoeing outings, backpacking outings, camping outings. … To be able to go with a group of people that’s my age is like, wow, I can do this with people I know, people I love.”

How to upload your Scouts BSA “founder photo”

In the comments section below, share a photo from your Scouts BSA troop’s inaugural meeting, first campout or recent joining event.

Upload the photo as a comment below.

Just click the image icon at the bottom of any comment box and choose which file you’d like to upload. You can also drag an image file directly into the comment box. Max file size is 2 MB, and you can upload these kinds of photos: JPG, JPEG, GIF and PNG.

Be sure to include:

  • The “founder photo” of your Scouts BSA troop
  • Your troop number
  • The city or town where your troop is based
  • Your BSA council
About Bryan Wendell 2817 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is senior editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.