By Paula Neuman
Girls ages 11-17 are invited to join Troop 1721G (the G is for girls) of Scouts BSA.
The troop joins others like it forming all over the country since the Boy Scouts of America began welcoming girls on Feb. 1 to its program, and changed the name of that program from Boy Scouts of America to Scouts BSA. A year ago, girls nationwide in first through fifth grade were accepted into Cub Scouts.
The older girls are in a separate troop than the boys in Troop 1721B, which, having first formed more than 90 years ago, is one of the oldest in Michigan. Both troops — boys and girls —are chartered by the Trenton Exchange Club and are connected through the troop committee.
Brad Alderman of Riverview, an Eagle Scout from Troop 1721, is the Scoutmaster for the girls’ troop. He got involved through his daughters, Isabel, 11, and Cecillia, 7.
“They had both been involved in Girl Scouts in the past, but their troop folded before this school year began,” he said. “My youngest daughter received a flyer for Cub Scouts during a back-to-school event, and she approached me about joining. She has been enjoying it ever since. My oldest daughter has tagged along to several Cub Scout meetings and events, and started to ask more about Scouts BSA.”
Isabel, now a proud member of Troop 1721G, is working to become one of the first young women to become an Eagle Scout. Alderman, who also is assistant cubmaster for Cecillia’s Cub pack in Riverview, has years of experience as a volunteer leader at nearly all levels of the former Boy Scouts of America.
“I believe both programs, Scouts BSA and Girl Scouts, are great programs that develop a wide variety of skills within today’s youth,” Alderman said. “Girls that join are not forced to choose one program over the other. We have several girls that are currently members of both the Girl Scouts and Scouts BSA.”
The girls in Troop 1721G will follow Troop 1721B’s calendar for the rest of the year, he said.
“The girls will be camping, working on merit badges and rank advancement, and performing community service projects, just like the boys,” he said. “Since the girls are starting off as a brand new troop, they don’t have any of their own equipment yet. By having a linked troop, they will be able to use the equipment that the boys’ troop already owns.”
Interested parents and their daughters can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or attend a meeting. The troop meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sundays at the First United Methodist Church, 2610 W. Jefferson Ave., Trenton.
“We don’t meet on the weekends that we have a campout, so you may want to send us an email first,” Alderman said.