Boy Scout Troop in Manchester Opens Doors to Girls

NBC Connecticut

A Boy Scout troop in Manchester opened its doors to girls who hope to join on Monday.

Soon will be possible for girls to join the Scouts thanks to a dramatic change in scouting rules last month.

"I really like Boy Scouts and I was hoping I could join sometime because I just want to be adventurous a lot," Julia Tinti, of Manchester, said.

That’s why the 4th grader listened with great excitement as Ed Bouchie, the scoutmaster of Troop 123, explained to families a decision by the Boy Scouts of America in October to welcome girls.

"I think there was a little bit of confusion about what that might mean," Bouchie said.

Bouchie laid out what that they know right now: the aim is for girls to join Cub Scouts starting next year and then starting a Boy Scouts program for girls in 2019.

Not everyone in Boy Scouts has been in favor of the changes.

Soon after the announcement, the Girls Scouts of Connecticut CEO Mary Barneby wrote an op-ed titled, Why Girl Scouting Works.

Bouchie said the reaction from boys in his troop and others has generally been positive.

"I think the parents understand that the program itself isn’t specific to boys; the character development, the leadership development, the life skills you learn," Bouchie said.

Also joining the talk was Steven Edwards, an Eagle Scout and a father of two girls.

"I desperately wanted them to experience what I experienced," Edwards said.

While his daughters are now too old to join, he’s watching another generation fulfill his dream.

"Very happy that she’s going to get that opportunity, maybe a little bit of sadness my girls didn’t get that," Edwards said.

There are still a lot of unknowns including the exact timeline of the rollout, how integrated the girls will be with boys and even how camping trips would work.

But the leader of Troop 123 hopes it’s as soon as possible and is as cohesive as possible

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