Cub Scout packs in Houston area now welcoming both boys and girls
The Sam Houston Area Council, effective Aug. 1, is now accepting girls into local Cub Scout packs as a part of the new “Scout Me In” campaign. The Sam Houston Area Council serves approximately 50,000 youth in 16 counties in Southeast Texas.
Cub Scouts are for elementary school kids, ages 5-10 years old. Starting Feb. 1, 2019, girls will be able to join Boy Scouts, which is for grades 6-12 and ages 11-17 years old.
Debbie Rollinson, a volunteer member of the board of directors and the vice chairman of membership for Sam Houston Area Council, notes that starting February 1, the Boy Scout program will be known as Scouts BSA, to make the name more gender neutral. The other current programs, including Cub Scouts, Venturing, Explorers and Sea Scouting, are already gender neutral.
“Girls have been welcomed in Venturing and Explorers and Sea Scouts for decades, but now it is new to Boy Scouts And Cub Scouts,” Rollinson explained.
Rollinson continued, “I think it is a great idea to let the girls, who have been coming along with their brothers to all these activities, now earn the badges and the ranks.”
Rachael Hutchinson, who has a son Mason in Boy Scouts, and two daughters, Scarlett and Abby, entering Cub Scouts, echos that sentiment.
Hutchinson and her husband Chad have been involved with Scouts in the Sam Houston Area Council in a number of ways, with Chad being a den leader, and Rachael being an outdoor activities coordinator.
“Cub Scouting even way back then, was always for families. Your whole family can come camping, fishing or to a cook out. My daughters had been going to everything that my son has been going to. My one daughter was 18 months old the first time she went camping with the pack. They had already been planning to join Venturing at 14. When they realized they could be with Cub Scouts, they were very excited,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson noted that, as a parent, she is most looking forward to her whole family being truly involved.
“We have made some great family friendships in the pack. It’s great for our kids to make those friendships too,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson notes that both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are great programs, but its great for girls to now have the second option.
“I think that BSA offers somethings that just fits certain girl’s personalities better. Cub Scouts just fits my family better, we don’t have to be split up. Cub Scouts started us on a path to be outdoors together. Every family vacation we camp somewhere new. It has always been about families, and now it is official.”
Rollinson believes that the future of Scouting will be strong, just so long as there are always adults willing to volunteer and guide the Scouts.
Rollinson herself has been a volunteer for Scouts for 28 years, long past her children growing up and leaving the programs.
“I think Scouting offers some of the best leadership development training that is out there for use. We have an opportunity through Scouting to make an impact for good,” Rollinson said.
To sign up your child for Scouts, visit www.BeAScout.org. To find out what local packs are nearby, enter in your zipcode or child’s school on the website.