About 500 scouts, troop leaders and parents spent the weekend on the Village Green for Valley Stream’s annual Camporee.
There, scouts of all ages participated in a Ninja obstacle course, competed in a cooking competition, performed skits and sat around a campfire.
“I think it went great,” said Patrick Burke, a member of the village’s Camporee Committee, adding that he saw scouts smile all weekend.
This was also the first year in 38 years that the Girl Scouts were unable to attend, as the Girl Scouts of Nassau County barred local troops from attending the village’s annual scouting celebration to support its mission of only serving girls.
That decision upset many local Girl Scouts, including Gabriella Burke, Patrick’s daughter, who created a Change.org petition asking GSNC to change its stance. When the administration refused, Gabriella’s mother, Lisa, formed a new girls-only Scouts BSA troop that could attend the Camporee.
They did, and Lisa said, the six girls in Troop 99 used the opportunity to get to know and support one another.
“What happened this weekend is nothing short of a scouting miracle,” she said. “I challenge anyone on [either] the BSA side or the GSUSA side to say these girls aren’t exactly where they always belonged.”