First Local Female Scout Master Discusses All-Girl Troop

GRANITE BAY -- The first all-girl Scout troop of what once was called the Boy Scouts is gearing up to begin activities in February.

Since the Boy Scouts of American announced that it will now accept girls into the scouting program, interest has been gathering.

Dianne Cooper is no stranger to scouting. Her son just aged out as an Eagle Scout.

The Boy Scouts have a tradition of developing leadership skills, self-confidence and self-reliance. But Cooper says girls can benefit too.

"Being influenced by other adult females," Cooper told FOX40. "I mean, that's a big part of the scouting program is emulating what they're seeing the adults do and being paired with adults for mentoring, for merit badges, that kind of thing. And I think that young women can use that same mentoring the same way young men can."

Cooper was once a Girl Scout and thinks highly of the organization, which develops similar skills.

"The family aspect of it and having both sides of the sibling group be able to participate," Cooper said. "And dad's not leaving daughter behind, mom's not leaving son behind. We can integrate both parts of the family and open scouting up to everyone."

Just two years ago a girl named Sydney Ireland, who participated with her brother in earning merit badges "unofficially" because she was a girl, initiated a public campaign to open up the ranks of the Boy Scouts.

The organization quickly listened to the demands of supporters. Troops of 11- to 17-year-old boys are now called Scouts, not Boy Scouts.

When the Boy Scouts were formed in 1910 there was an emphasis on developing skills to enjoy and survive the outdoors. But things are a bit different now.

While the all-female Troop 219 will camp, hike, fish and rock climb, other areas are equally important. Cooper said there are new activities that focus on science and art. Over 130 types of merit badges can be earned.

Recruiting is taking place right now in the Roseville and Rocklin areas.

Currently, there are nearly a dozen girls who have shown interest. The first camping trip for the new Troop 219 is scheduled for the second weekend in February.

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