As of Feb. 1, Boy Scouts of America is officially allowing girl troops into its scouting program.
The Boy Scouts program, now known as Scouts BSA, opened its doors to girls from the ages of 11-18 to join its program and earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
Chartered by the Elks Lodge in Sequim, Scouts BSA Troop 1498 will have its first girls troop meet for the first time on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Jessica Hulen, the girls’ troop’s scoutmaster, said there are five girls who have turned in applications to join the troop — including her daughter, 11-year-old Sienna Hulen.
The Hulen family is well-versed in the Scout BSA program. Jessica’s husband, Corey Hulen, stepped into the role of scoutmaster for the Scouts BSA Boys Troop 1498 this year and one of their sons, Grant Hulen, is a scout in the Boys Troop 1498.
Jessica Hulen said she was a den leader for her son when he was in Cub Scouts and now their daughter is excited to join the family in its Scout BSA ventures.
“My daughter always naturally wanted to participate in all the scouting activities,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for me to step in and help see her through her scouting journey.”
Jessica Hulen said the Scouts BSA Girls Troop 1498 is open to any girls interested in participating between the ages of 11-18. The girls troop will meet weekly from 6:30-8 p.m. every Thursday at the Elks Lodge in Sequim, 143 Port Williams Road.
Jessica Hulen said allowing girls into the Scouts BSA program is an opportunity for families to be involved in the program together.
“The goal and vision is that families feel that this is a great place for them to grow and see their sons and daughters develop great leaderships skills and not be so divided in their family time,” Hulen said.
“It will be a great opportunity for them to be able to combine activities they were doing separately. Now it’s a little less separately.”
Jessica Hulen said the girls will have their own troop and leadership and decide what merit badges they want to work toward each year. She said there may be some overlap in activities, such as courts of honor and some outdoor activities, but the girls troop will operate on their own.
“The beautiful thing is that BSA has set it up so that separate troops are able to develop leadership skills independently with their own leadership committees,” she said.
Jessica Hulen said she is excited to get her scouts doing outdoor adventure activities where the girls will learn some of their leadership skills, such as first aid skills, how to pack a backpack, how to set up a tent, how to be prepared for some of the hikes they will do, and more.
“I want the girls in the community and parents to know we are excited for this chance to have girls join the scouting program,” Hulen said. ‘
“It’s going to be a fun and exciting adventure.”
For families or girls interested in joining the Scouts BSA Girls Troop 1498, contact Jessica Hulen at firstname.lastname@example.org.