MISSOULA — One year has passed since Boy Scouts of America officially allowed girls ages 11 to 17 to join the prestigious organization and playing a role in that moment in history is a group of girls right here in Missoula.
“We’re the first all-female troop in Missoula County. We have almost 10 girls who are all on the trail to Eagle. We do basically all the same things the boys do, but we’re in an all girls setting,” said Scout Laurel Krause.
Girls Troop 1919 held their Court of Honor -- a ceremony where members are awarded their merit badges and rank advancements -- on Wednesday night. Seeing as they’ve hit their one year anniversary, the evening also called for some celebration.
"It’s a recap of the great year we’ve had...a celebration of ‘we did it’,” said Krause.
Laurel Krause will go down in history as one of the first girls to join Boy Scouts in Missoula County. Not only can she capsize a kayak, but she’s prepared for life after scouts too.
“I think that Scouts not only prepares you for the outdoor skills like cooking, camping, pitching a tent, tying knots, and stuff like that, but it also prepares you for how to conduct a job interview,” said Krause. “It prepares you not only for survival, but for life.”
Scout District executive Scott Jourdonnais says one major benefit of opening the program to girls has been the impact on families.
“One thing we really like about it is that it’s become family scouting. We have an opportunity now for boys and girls, sons and daughters to be involved in the program, and that helps parents make a decision on how they want to spend their time," he told MTN News.
Right now there are 161,000 girls involved with Scouts BSA. Montana claims 645 of those members.
Before Troop 1919’s next anniversary rolls around, Krause hopes to get the word out to more kids in the community.
“It prepares you for life, really, and it gives you so many friends and so many memories and things to look back on and be like ‘yeah, I had a great childhood’ when you’re old.”