A few young girls in Lincoln County are becoming pioneers, the first to join a Scouts BSA troop.
BSA Troop 308, the new troop for girls ages 11 to 17 chartered by Knotting Hill Inn & Events, is the first troop of its kind in Lincoln County since the Boy Scouts of America’s board of directors unanimously approved in 2017 to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Troop leaders noted that BSA did not decide to make the Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs co-ed; instead, the organization has introduced a unique model that builds on the benefits of a single-gender program, while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.
Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization is delivering a new program for older girls that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families. This program is called Scouts BSA. All troops, both male and female, follow the same curriculum and are known as Scouts BSA troops.
“We’re very excited,” said Josh Atchley of Knotting Hill Inn & Events, charter representative. “We’re happy to be a part of this.”
Josh, who hosts Scout Monday each week at Knotting Hill, is a strong supporter of girls joining Scouts BSA troops – “My daughter use to have to sit on the sidelines,” he said, referring to activities enjoyed only by boys. “Now, honestly, I can’t wait to see my girl as an Eagle Scout.”
If the girls put in the hard work and meet the demands required of Eagle Scouts, one from BSA Troop 308 could be the first in the district, or even in Middle Tennessee, to earn Scouting’s highest honor.
“I believe in Scouts,” said Katie Garcia, Troop 308’s first scoutmaster, noting the important role Scouting has played in the lives of her sons. “Scouting is an awesome program, and we’re just really excited for this opportunity.”
Garcia brings 12 years of experience as a youth member of the Girl Scouts of America. She has served as assistant scoutmaster with Scouts BSA Troop 489 since 2018 and is position trained for both scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster.
Already, a few girls have registered with the troop, while others have expressed interest during meetings held on Scout Monday each week. Girls ages 11 to 17 and their parents interested in learning more about Scouting opportunities are encouraged to stop by a meeting on Scout Monday at Knotting Hill Inn & Events, located at 149 Gunter Hollow Road, Fayetteville. Troop 308 meets at 7 p.m. each Monday. On Mondays when there is no school in session, there are no troop meetings.
BSA scouting programs are strong in Lincoln County, serving over 130 youth through four active Cub Scout Packs, four Scouts BSA troops, including the new Troop 308, one Venturing Crew and one Explorer Post partnered with the Lincoln County Fire & Rescue. Interested youth are always welcome. Go to beascout.scouting.org to locate a unit nearest you.