All-Female BSA Troop 4125 Now In Wellington

Members of Scouts BSA Troop 4125.

By Emma Sunderman

For more than 100 years, Boy Scout troops have consisted solely of male members ages 11 to 17. This year, the program, now called Scouts BSA, is allowing young women the opportunity to join. On Feb. 1, Troop 4125 in Wellington became the first female scout troop registered in Palm Beach County and one of the first in the entire country.

The Boy Scouts of America has included girls in other programs, such as Venturing and Exploring for high school and college-aged youth, for decades. Last fall, it opened its Cub Scout program for elementary-aged youth to girls as well. It recently extended the Scouts BSA program to create equal opportunities for all genders. Many families involved with scouting thought that the program was terrific in that it taught their children many useful life skills, and some young girls had a desire to participate in the same ways that their brothers or other boys have. The Lanes were one of these families.

Scoutmaster Randy Lane participated as a youth and was reintroduced when his son, Nicholas, joined the Cub Scouts at age 7. When his daughter, Katherine, had the choice of becoming a scout, the decision was a no-brainer. “It has always been in my life,” she said.

Katherine had tagged along to many of her brother’s events in the past, and she is most looking forward to participating in campouts and learning to gain her independence. Her ultimate goal is one shared by many BSA members — she hopes to earn Eagle, the highest rank in Scouts BSA.

As the troop’s leader, Randy hopes to teach his scouts the ability to help anyone in almost any situation. To help the girls prepare for this, they will learn skills like first aid, cooking, citizenship and personal management.

While troops are still separated by gender, the programs are identical, and the girls have access to all of the same resources that the boys do. Campgrounds are shared, and the processes for advancement and achievement are undifferentiated. Troop 4125 and its male counterpart, Troop 125, are even sponsored by the same group. When the St. Peter’s United Methodist Church Men were approached to sponsor the girls, there was no hesitation. “They sponsor the Cub Scouts, the Boy Scouts and the Venturing Crew. Why not the girls?” Randy said. “We’ve had their 100 percent support.”

Both troops meet at St. Peter’s on the same day and at the same time, but in separate rooms. The boys meet in the Fellowship Hall while the girls meet in the choir director’s office.

Even though the troop has only been established for a short period of time, they have already been active in the community. Their first service project included a beach cleanup at Lake Worth Beach, and they also helped showcase adoptable dogs from a local animal shelter at the Winter Equestrian Festival. They have held several campouts, including an archaeological event at the Jupiter Lighthouse, and have more outings planned before the end of the school year. Several of the girls will be attending summer camp as well.

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