TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Times are changing in Southern Arizona where badges aren't just for the boys anymore.
Eleven girls have joined the Catalina Council of the Boy Scouts of America to become the first ‘Scouts, BSA Female Troop’ in southern Arizona. The organization officially admitted girls into its youth program on Feb. 1 for first time in program history.
“Hiking, camping, fishing," said Sidney Dial, when asked what she was most looking forward to in the program.
The 14-year-old is part of the linked troop to Troop 007.
“I am so happy," said Dial.
The national organization announced it was changing the guidelines for the youth program in May of 2018. For Erin Conant, that meant she didn’t have to sit out and watch her sibling have all the fun anymore.
“My brother was a boy scout and he always got to go on hikes and camping trips and it always sounded so fun, so when they opened it up to girls, I was very excited," said 14-year-old Conant.
The future for the all-female troop is a family affair for many in the room. That includes Scout Master Laurene Huelsman, whose daughter can now follow in the footsteps of her sons, both Eagle Scouts.
“They get to do exactly the same things the boys have been doing for years," said Huelsman. "It’s all the same requirements, the same ranks that they get to, the girls can now earn the rank of Eagle, just like the boys.
These scouts, proving the girls can do just what the boys have done for 109 years.