Six girls stepped out of the dressing rooms at a local shop in Pennsylvania with a twirl, showing off their brand new tan and green ensembles: Scout BSA uniforms.
The girls were making history as some of the first to join a local Scouts BSA troop — while proudly wearing the signature uniforms that were gifted to them by the boys of Troop 339, in Ridley Park.
The boys of the troop used their own money to buy the uniforms, valued at approximately $100 each, as welcome gifts for the girls. The cash came from an investment account typically used to fund camping trips or buy camping gear, and according to Scoutmasters Jim Walls and Barbara Steinmetz, the boys made the decision to dip into it for the uniforms — khaki shirts emblazoned with the Boy Scouts of America emblem, and striped sashes.
“The stuff is not cheap. So we get to start out not having to worry about that also,” Danielle Scott, one of the newest members of Troop 339, told Fox29.
As scout Vaughn Ritter, 13, told Fox29, “We normally go off of, ‘You do a good turn daily and not get any big return.’ So if you help someone out, you don’t expect to get paid or anything. It’s just like a simple thing.”
Walls said that the uniforms were a great way to get the girls started in the BSA program. “It’s not giving them the shirts off their back, but it’s giving them the resources so they show up ready for the first meetings [and feel] that they’re part of the organization,” Wall told the Delco Times.
According to Steinmetz, whose two daughters Emily, 13, and Alison, 12, have also joined Troop 339, the gift was priceless. “It’s fantastic that they went and did that for the girls. The girls know they’re wanted and accepted and have a home,” Steinmetz told the Delco Times.
In 2017, the Boy Scouts of America announced that girls would soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and, as of 2019, to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. Six months later, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would be changing the “Boy Scouts” program for kids ages 11 to 17, calling it, instead, Scouts BSA.
“We’re so proud of the girls who jumped right into the program,” said Scoutmaster Walls of the new Troop 339 members. “I look at them as pioneers. It’s not easy to be the first sometimes; you stick your neck out to be bold and brave.”
The same can be said, of course, for those supportive, uniform-gifting boys.
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