Carroll County’s first all-female Scouts BSA troop members joined their male counterparts on a co-ed camping trip for the first time earlier this summer.
Carroll County’s first all-female Scouts BSA troop members joined their male counterparts on a co-ed camping trip for the first time earlier this summer.

Carroll County’s first all-female Scouts BSA troop members joined their male counterparts on a co-ed camping trip for the first time earlier this summer.

Earlier this year, Troop 417 became the first in Carroll to welcome girls into a nine-member troop sharing that name. The Boy Scouts of America has embraced “family scouting,” first integrating female dens into Cub Scouts in the summer of 2018, and then in February allowing girls to participate in the Boy Scouts program, but in separate troops, according to the organization website.

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At the end of June, the boy and girl iterations of Sykesville-based Troop 417 went to Camp Minsi in the Poconos for a little less than a week.

According to Kelly, there weren’t any problems or issues on the trip and the girls had a great time.

“Everybody had their own tent site and they had their own little campfire but our 417 G girls were hanging out with the boys,” said Colleen Kelly, scoutmaster of the female version of Troop 417. “So, they’d go hang out over there [the boys’ site] and play cards and stuff, when they had time.”

According to Kelly, the girls soon found out the difficulty of finding free time at summer camp to hang out with other troops.

The troop had a site with a latrine in the middle, a large campsite to the right where the boys troop stayed and another site on the other side of the latrine where the girls’ troop stayed, Kelly said.

Parents had no issues with the trip being co-ed, Kelly said.

“We had three adults with the troop; it was myself, my assistant scoutmaster, who’s a man, and then we had another female; one of the other moms went just in case something happened,” she said. “The parents in our unit, they’re all really cool. They understand that the girls get to interact with the guys.”

Carroll County’s first all-female Scouts BSA troop members joined their male counterparts on a co-ed camping trip for the first time earlier this summer.
Carroll County’s first all-female Scouts BSA troop members joined their male counterparts on a co-ed camping trip for the first time earlier this summer. (Courtesy photo)

In fact, some of the girls in the troop were actually disappointed that they couldn’t hang out with the boys more, Kelly said.

“Some of the girls in our troop are a bit irked because since we had to change our meeting time and slightly our meeting place, they don’t ever get to see the boys for that much, because they liked hanging out with the boys,” she said. “Because a lot of our girls are tomboyish and they like talking to the boys. They have fun playing cards with them on camping trips.”

Since the change of the meeting times, the girls’ meeting starts before the boys’ and ends a little before the boys,’ so they can’t interact with them while meetings are in session. According to Kelly, the girls enjoyed being able to interact with the boy troop more on the trip than usual.

“They want it to be more like that,” she said.

Whether they take another trip like this next summer is up to the scouts.

“Senior patrol leaders of both are supposed to get together and figure out if they want to go together,” said Kelly. “If so, they’re going to have to plan their next meeting or two in September.”

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