Chatter fills the room as Troop 1974 plans a campout. Like any other troop in town, they proudly wear their khaki-colored uniforms tucked and tied with kerchiefs and solemnly hold up three fingers to recite the oath. You have to look a little closer to see what’s so special about this small group of scouts—they’re girls. Troop 1974 is the first girl troop in West Chester.
Last February, when girls ages 11-17 were welcomed into the Scouts BSA program for the first time, Scoutmaster, Eagle Scout and West Chester father Ron Bacu didn’t hesitate to form Troop 1974.
“It’s the same great program whether it is boys or girls—the same goals, same mission,” Ron says. “My son Christopher went through the entire Cub Scout program and is now in the Scout program. When I had the opportunity to give the same experience to my daughter, Rebecca, we got her signed up.”
“There continue to be more and more women in leadership,” says Assistant Scoutmaster Cat Saddler. “What better way to nurture strong leadership and give that to the rest of the world than through scouting?”
The girls of Troop 1974 are eager to lead, earn badges and have fun with their peers. They don’t consider their gender to be a big deal.
“There are 140 possible badges: we can learn to swim, hike, emergency preparedness … I know I’m a girl, but I can do anything boys can do.” –Sydny Schmidt, scout
“Scouts is not something that needs to be divided,” says Senior Patrol Leader Delaney Metzger. “It allows exposure to all sorts of experiences for both boys and girls.”
“Scouts allows us to be what we are and who we really want to be,” scout Mia Radtke adds. “It’s fun.”
We salute you, Troop 1974. Carry on. BeAScout.org