When Cub Scouts became an official program of the Boy Scouts of America in 1930 — catering to boys from 8-12 who were too young to join the main Boy Scouts program — just over 5,100 boys were registered by year-end.
What’s not reflected in that official count, however, is the unofficial participation of a group that likely numbered in the thousands, as well: their sisters and other female friends who didn’t want to miss out on all the games, crafts, and fun events as the first Cub Scout dens began meeting weekly at member’s homes.
Thanks to the BSA’s historic decision to welcome girls into the ranks of Cub Scouting this year, and into a program for older youth beginning in 2019 that will allow them to work toward the Eagle Scout rank, these girls now can enjoy all the benefits of membership.
According to Steven Boyer, a lifelong Scout and current assistant Cubmaster of Pack 3283 in Belmont, Mich., it’s a change that is long overdue. “They’re doing it anyways — let’s let them be part of the pack and let them be part of the family. The Cub Scout family.”
Boyer said his daughter was disappointed to learn she couldn’t join Cub Scouts upon entering first grade. This was before the BSA’s announcement last October that girls could join the program. When she heard the news that she would soon be welcome, she was ecstatic.
“We got her a uniform on Saturday morning, and I think she hasn’t taken it off since,” he said.
In Arkansas, Michael McNamara also is excited to register his three daughters with the BSA. They, too, have been unofficial participants in the activities and leadership lessons of the BSA’s programs. “They’ve been in Scouting for a while, just never able to wear the uniforms or get the patches,” he said. “Now, they can officially be registered and earn all the things that boys do.
“They can be part of a group of families that go out and do camping, go out and do rock climbing, canoeing, boating, swimming, day camps, they just get to do so much stuff,” McNamara added.
He said he’s excited to have his girls as official members of Cub Scout Pack 12. “They have always been in the shadows and not able to participate,” he said. “Now they’ll be official and able to earn those ranks.”
Read the full story on ArkansasMatters.com.