LIMON, Colo. -- A group of young girls in Limon are making history as some of the first females in the country to join the Boy Scouts of America.
The traditionally boys only organization announced in the fall it would soon be opening membership to all children.
“We are an all-inclusive pack. Families come in all different shapes and sizes and we are excited to welcome the girls,” Pack 52 Cubmaster Kristen Allen said during the pack’s monthly meeting Sunday.
Limon does not offer a Girl Scouts program, leaving many girls without a program to learn leadership, outdoor skills and other scout-related life skills.
So Pack 52, which has 28 boys, often has a lot of sisters that join in on all the activities.
“The girls were always here. They were welcome to join in on whatever we were doing,” Allen said.
Last year the pack made T-shirts for the girls that say “Cub Scouts Sister” on the front and on the back it says “We help the boys do their best."
Allen said the shirts were a way to make the girls feel more included since they weren’t allowed to officially participate in the scouting activities.
Next week, Pack 52 will officially welcome seven girls to its organization.
“I think she’s starting something that can change the whole world,” Shylah Hartnett-kir
She has an 8-year-old daughter, Rhylee, who can’t wait to join the Cub Scouts.
When asked why she wants to be a Cub Scout, the second-grader said, “Cub Scouts to me is fun ... [and] because there’s not Girl Scouts in here and I don’t think that would be fun for me.”
“It was kind of one of those things that for them it was no big deal but to us it was a shock because I’ve never seen that anywhere before,” Hartnett-Juranek said, adding she wishes she had the opportunity to join the Boy Scouts as a girl.
Cub Scout Dens, which usually meet once a week, will remain single-gender groups of all boys or all girls.
The Packs, which are made up of several dens and typically meet once per month, will have the choice to be all-boy, all-girl or coed.
“I think it’s fantastic. I’m so excited that these girls will actually get to earn the adventure belt loops. They will get to earn certificates and patches and everything that goes along with the Scouting program. Not only that, but they will get to learn the morals and values that we teach to these kids,” Allen said.
Girls in the Boy Scouts will be held to the same standards and will have the same opportunities as the boys. Older girls will even be able to earn the Eagle Scout rank if they choose.
“The get to learn all about the outdoors. They get to get down and dirty outside in the dirt with the boys just like they already do, but they’re going to be official,” Allen said. “So that sets an example to all the girls and the other boys too.”