In 2018, Boy Scouts of America renewed its commitment to diversity and inclusion by establishing Scouts BSA and welcoming young ladies into all levels of its youth leadership programs.
According to BSA officials, more than 20,000 young ladies have joined Scouts BSA nationally since the beginning of February.
Kayleigh Buck, a marketing specialist for the Simon Kenton Council, said Camp Lazarus, 4422 Columbus Pike, Delaware, will host an estimated 375 youth during Cub Scout Day Camp, which started Monday and wraps up today. She said to date, the Simon Kenton Council serves more than 750 young ladies in both Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA.
“Approximately 100 of those campers are girls,” said Shannon Langer, Cub Scout Day program director.
The Cub Scouting program is designed for youth ages 6-10 years old.
Langer, also known as Ladybug, said in past years the sisters of Cub Scouts tagged along with their brothers participating in the camp activities.
“We had one little sister call herself a ‘wolf pup’ because her brother was a wolf (rank),” she said. “We love Girl Scouts. A lot of the families have Girl Scouts and they do a lot of great things, but the more important thing is that they now have an option and what works for their families. That’s what it is really about.”
Langer, wanting to set the record straight, said there is a misunderstanding about scouting being co-ed when it is not. She said in Cub Scouts, boys and girls have their own packs and dens, and that older Scouts have their own individual troops with their own Scoutmasters and leadership structure.
However, Boy Scouts of America does offer Venturing, Sea Scouts, and Exploring, which are co-ed programs for ages 14-20 years old.
During camp, Cub Scouts learn archery, BB gun shooting, swimming, field sports, nature, arts and crafts, and a variety of other activities.
Leaving the BB gun range holding onto a paper target that she just shot five holes into, Lydia Baltzell, 7, with Pack 550, said she really likes scouting and has always wanted to be a Scout because her father is a Cub Scoutmaster and her brother is a Cub Scout.
“I like shooting BB guns,” she said. “I made five holes in the paper.”
However, Cub Scout Camp isn’t just about having fun. It also provides youngsters a chance to learning new things.
“I learned about arrows,” said Aesiyah Abdikarim, 7, whose Cub Scout pack had just finished on the archery range. “I like learning about new things to try and to make new things.”
Mohamud Aden said after picking up trash in camp, he learned to recycle it in a new way.
“We made new stuff,” he said. “We made sculptures.”
Ellie Harris, 9, said this was her first year in Cub Scouts, and she wants to earn her Eagle rank — highest ranking in Scouting — one day. Harris added she even has a shirt that says, “Future Eagle Scout on it.”
“I like to meet new friends and go camping and hiking,” she said. “I did the Pinewood Derby this year. I liked it.”
The Simon Kenton Council of Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest councils in the nation, serving 18 counties in central and southern Ohio, and Greenup County in northern Kentucky.
The council is staffed by more than 40 professional and administrative Scouters with more than 6,500 adult volunteers delivering the Scouting program to more than 18,000 youth.
The values Simon Kenton Council strives to instill are based on those found in the Scout Oath and Law and Outdoor Code.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.