When the Cub Scouts began allowing girls to the program this year, five-year-old Sophia was eager to be one of the first to join.
“Because I love scouts and I love armies. Because they can save people. I love to save people,” she explained.
While six-year-old Makenna wants to keep up with the boys.
“Because my brother is in it and they do a lot of cool stuff so I was thinking I could join,” said Makenna.
That made the Cub Scouts a perfect fit for Makenna and her family.
“We do a lot of things in the Cub Scouts together with my husband and my son who’s already a Cub Scout, so she would already be with us. So when she got to become officially a Cub Scout it was pretty exciting for us, there was really no hesitation. It just made so much sense as a family to have her just join and have the uniform on,” said Maria Kiely, Mckenna’s mom and den leader.
In past Cub Scout camping trips, the Kiely’s would all tag along, but Makenna and her mother wouldn’t get to stay the night. Now the whole family is able to participate and earn badges while they’re at it.
“I’m pretty happy because she’ll be having fun with all my friends and her friends and she doesn’t just have to leave and come back the next day to pick me up, it’s really fun,” said Makenna’s brother Matthew, who’s been in the Cub Scouts for two years.
The inclusion of girls is an effort to get the whole family involved in scouting, and local scout leaders hope others follow their lead.
“The new thing right now is at the cub level, that grades kindergarten through fifth grade, which is starting this year for the girls. We have seven girls in our pack of 81 scouts. So it is a little slow, we would have liked to have more, we’re trying to get the news out there,” said Committee Chair for Cub Scout Pack 887 Susan Moraski.
Starting in February 2019, girls ages 11-17 may begin joining the troop program to earn the Eagle Scout rank. That’s also when the name of the Boy Scouts of America changes to “Scouts BSA.”
To find out more about how your son or daughter can join a local Cub Scout troop, check out beascout.scouting.org.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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