early adopters program
By Madison Austin
Feb 14, 2018

Family Scouting Begins in the Utah National Parks Council Through Early Adopter Program

For many girls who have joined their brothers at Scout events for years, the BSA expanding its program to include girls into Scouting was a big and exciting change. While Scouting has been available to girls through other BSA programs — such as Venturing and Exploring — as of January 15, 2018 through the early adopter program, these girls can now officially register in selected units in Cub Scouting in girl-only dens. The early adopter program for family Scouting has already been a success in our council, showing that there are places where families can do their Scouting together, and they are excited to participate. 

If your girl is interested in being a part of those early-adopters, here is where its happening and why families are so excited. 

First Girl in the Council

early adopters program

Jamie (left) and all of the girls who joined Cub Scout Pack 1389 through the early adopters program.

Jamie Worch is homeschooled, belongs to a cheerleading team and knows the Scout Law faster than most of her brothers. She is also the first girl in our council to become a Cub Scout. Her parents started her pack in 2013 for their sons, but they had no idea that eventually the whole family would be a part of it.

Amber Worch, Jamie’s mother and Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 1389 in Elsinore, UT, says they started the Pack in 2013 to serve families who wanted their boys to start Cub Scouting as Tiger Cubs.  “At first,” she says, “the sisters of the boys were on the ‘sidelines,’ some of them participating in Pack and family events.”

At that time, Jamie and her family tried to find other programs similar to the BSA, where she could get similar experiences to those of her brothers’. 

Jamie and her family tried chartering an American Heritage Girl troop for Jamie and other girls in the area, but they faced many difficulties. However, the day after their AHG troop charter was denied the announcement by the BSA to allow girls into Scouting was made national. What a stroke of luck! 

Although this was the perfect opportunity for Jamie, it was difficult for many in the community to fathom girls joining Cub Scouts. Despite the difficulties that arose within the area, Amber and her family made the choice to add a all-girl’s den to their Cub Scout Pack, which is one of the options available for family Scouting, all of which include gender-exclusive dens. 

During this time, another family, the Worchs, joined. The mother of the family was born and raised in Germany, and was a Scout there in her youth, Amber says. Germany, like the majority of countries in the world, welcomes girls together with boys in their Scouting programs. She really wanted all her children to be in Scouting like that, too. When the BSA announced family Scouting, they could not wait to register all their girls with our Pack! This meant that Jamie could officially join Cub Scouting and earn the same ranks as her two older brothers. After emailing the official announcement to the Pack Committee and parents about taking the Pack in this direction, Amber included a copy to her District Executive. He quickly replied and informed Amber about the Early Adopter program. She knew that is exactly what her family wanted to do! 

“I want parents to know its not weird,” she says about her troop’s experience early adopting. 

Now, Amber’s Pack has girl dens and boy dens for Tigers, Bears, and Webelos, with Lions coming soon.

Jamie is a standout example of how girls can excel in Scouting. She loves crafting, she says, and already has her bobcat badge!

Early Adopters

The BSA’s mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Its priority is to bring the benefits of Scouting to more youth while remaining true to our mission. 

early adopters program

Pack 1389 becomes the first in the Council to utilize the family Scouting early adopters program

After receiving an overwhelming demand from chartered partners, Cub Scout pack leaders and local councils already prepared to provide the Cub Scouting program to girls, the BSA offered the early adopter program that participating councils could extend to chartered partners from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, 2018. Although Family Scouting programs will officially launch to welcome both boys and girls in Cub Scouting during the Fall of the 2018-19 program year, this soft launch for early adopters allowed eligible packs in participating councils to officially register girls (K-4) in Cub Scouting. 

Here’s a list of all of the Utah National Parks Council’s Packs that are participating in Family Scouting Early Adopter program with more to come when it is official in the Fall:

  • Pack 1389, Elsinore, UT
  • Pack 1456, Springville, UT
  • Pack 1114, American Fork, UT

Family Scouting

early adopters program

Jamie and her brother, Joseph, selling Scout popcorn.

Maybe not all girls are looking to join Scouting. But, there are a lot that do. If girls want to explore the outdoors or participate in the pinewood derby, Scouting is where they can do it. 

Amber Worch explained that Scouting was the perfect choice for her whole family because she wanted to keep the “moral principles and the character building” in the activities her children participate in.  

For families with young girls, parents can find a new mission in Scouting. Amber says her daughter “recharged her in Scouting.”

Now, instead of being on the “sideline,” girls can earn something and be proud of what they’re doing. These are experiences that all children need, and now all can find through Scouting.        

For more information about family Scouting see this CNN interview with Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh: https://voiceofscouting.org/chief-scout-executive-mike-surbaugh-interview-cnn-girls-scouting

What are you most excited for regarding family Scouting? 

 

Author: Madison Austin | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council 

 

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2 thoughts on “Family Scouting Begins in the Utah National Parks Council Through Early Adopter Program

  1. Maloree Anderson

    I just don’t have words to truly describe how I feel about the BSA welcoming girls into all programs of Scouting and not just a couple of the programs. I have grown to love the Scouts in the past few years. I have a husband who was and is a Scouter and have witnessed how it has positively effected his life. I see all this good happening for mostly boys and now the entire family can participate in all aspects of Scouting. Families can be together and grow together, all while learning how to make moral and ethical decisions. Such amazing news!

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