New opportunity for young women in scouting
Sigler, one of the founders of Troop 1920, the first female BSA troop, shot a rifle at Centennial Gun Club as a part of her Venture Crew 563. Venture Crews were the first co-ed opportunity in BSA before their policy change that will allow females to have access to the same opportunities as males.
Article and photo by Amanda Brauchler, RCHS intern writer
By February, the quintessential American Scouts group will have undergone major changes for its new members. Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will change its name to Scouts BSA and usher in a new generation of Scouts, allowing girls to join their program in an announcement made in May 2018. The policy change will not only increase the program’s membership, but it will help families consolidate their scouting commitments, and will offer the prestigious Eagle Scout award to new female members.
Female-involved scouting organizations are not an anomaly. The famous Girl Scouts of America (GSA) is a prominent scouting organization for girls and BSA also has a “venturing” program, a co-ed group for boys and girls. Neither organization offers awards as well-known as the Eagle Scout Award, however.
The first all-female troop in the BSA Denver Council was formed in the Highlands Ranch/Castle Pines area in early 2018. The Troop’s number is 1920, representing the year that women were allowed to vote in the United States. Carissa Sigler, a sophomore at Mountain Vista High School and one of the co-founders of the Troop, also participated in GSA and Venture Crew before the BSA policy shift. Sigler grew up in a household immersed in scouting because of her brother’s involvement and wanted access to the same opportunities that he had.
“I believe the experience Scouts BSA provides will allow young women to break away from common stereotypes, push their limits, learn new things, and become leaders,” Sigler said. “I want girls in our community to have that same experience and fulfill their leadership potential.”
Troop 1920’s goal is to present new opportunities to young women in the community and advance new members through to the Eagle Scout award before they age out at 18 years old. They will begin meeting at the beginning of February 2019 at Mountain Ridge Middle School, hosting distinguished female leaders in Colorado as a way to offer connections to troop members and insight into badge topics.
Rock Canyon High School student Issy Kiefert joined Troop 1920 because of the focus on nature and potential opportunities. “Boy Scouts gives members real life knowledge that isn’t normally taught to girls,” Kiefert said. “Knowledge is so vital for young girls growing up in this day and age.”
Robbie Reinhardt, a former Boy Scout and an 80108 resident, is ready for the change in the scouting community. “I believe that the change will widen Scouts’ perspectives,” Reinhardt said. “Meet new people, make new connections; that’s what I always say.”