Pennsylvania Boy Scouts Welcome Female Members to Troop by Buying Their New Uniforms
"The girls know they're wanted and accepted and have a home," female scout master Barbara Steinmetz said
A Boy Scout troop in Pennsylvania is welcoming girls into their program with a very special gift.
The boys of Troop 339 dipped into a fund typically used to pay for various equipment and outings in order to purchase uniforms for their new female counterparts, local Fox affiliate WTXF reports.
The act of kindness served as a way for the members to ensure that the girls felt welcome as they joined the program.
“It’s just fantastic that they went and did that for the girls,” Scoutmaster Barbara Steinmetz told the outlet. “The girls know they’re wanted and accepted and have a home.”
The uniforms were purchased at the Valley Ford Scout Shop with money from an investment fund that serves to teach scouts about how to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds, according to WTXF. The cash is typically spent on equipment like tents, and to pay for various trips.
“This stuff is not cheap, also, so we get to start out with not having to worry about that as one of the first things,” former Girl Scout Danielle Scott told the outlet.
A girls’ uniform shirt retails for $29.99, while pants sell for $44.99, according to ScoutShop.org. Uniforms also typically include a neckerchief, socks and a merit badge sash.
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“We normally go off of, ‘You do a good turn daily, and not get any big return.’ So if you help someone out, you don’t expect to be paid or anything. It’s just a simple thing,” Vaughn Ritter, 13, told the outlet.
Girls were allowed to join the Boy Scouts beginning in February, according to a Feb. 1 news release by Boy Scouts of America.
“I could not be more excited for what this means for the next generation of leaders in our nation,” said Michael B. Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive. “Through Scouts BSA, more young people than ever before – young women and men – will get to experience the benefits of camaraderie, confidence, resilience, trustworthiness, courage and kindness through a time-tested program that has been proven to build character and leadership.”
Much of the draw for girls to join is the opportunity to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the program. The inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts will be celebrated in 2020.
Fox 29 reports that the troops are still single-gender and will meet separately, but the “Boy Scouts” program name was changed to “Scouts BSA” as a way of welcoming all genders.