Girls ages 11 to 17 can now join the Long Beach Troop 215 of Boy Scouts of America, which welcomes kids from Long Beach and Island Park.
The national Boy Scouts of America organization began accepting girls into its troops in early 2019. Since then, there has been local interest in girls joining Scouts, according to Chris Webster, Troop 215’s assistant scoutmaster.
Now, the girls’ troop is coming into fruition, with Webster at the helm, along with two women leaders, Patrice Krezminski and Shannan Ricoy. They held an informational meeting on June 8, where 15 young girls registered.
“They’ll be paving the way for more young ladies to join scouting and have the equal benefits of the boys troop,” Webster said. “They'll go hiking, camping, earn over 137 types of merit badges and work hand in hand with boys, doing the same things as them.”
The Girls’ Troop 215 will participate in activities with the Boy Scout troop, only being separated for sleeping arrangements during camping trips. Otherwise, the troops will feed off each other and work together.
Krezminski noted that the girls’ troop will offer a unique opportunity for girls to learn skills they may not learn in other organizations. “I was also a Girl Scouts leader for my daughter,” she explained, “and we did camping and what ‘boy things’ would be, but some troops don't do that. A lot of girls want to do what boys are doing and don't have the opportunity.”
She also noted that the Eagle Scout Award, the highest honor in the Boy Scouts, is a commendable feat and holds a lot of weight on resumes. Therefore, girls should have the opportunity to earn it, as well.
Long Beach and Island Park girls ages 11 to 17 who wish to join the Girls’ Troop 215 can contact Chris Webster at (516) 655-1499.