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5 minute read

I’m excited to finally be able to share our video project with the BSA!  Check it out!

Girls in Scouting!

If you haven’t heard the news, in October 2017, the Boy Scouts of America announced that they would be opening their doors to girls!   First in the Cub Scouts, then to Scouts in Feb of 2019!

Boys and girls who are part of Scouts BSA will be known as Scouts. Just as before, these Scouts will earn merit badges, go camping and work toward the Eagle Scout Award.  The organization name, Boy Scouts of America, will not change.

“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” says BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. “That is why it is important that the name for our iconic Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single-name approach used for the Cub Scouts.”

Beginning during the scheduled launch of Feb. 1, 2019, girls can join all-girl troops. Boys can continue to join all-boy troops. Scouts BSA will not have any mixed-gender, or coed, troops.

Here’s a handy infographic if you want to see how it will work.  I’m thankful for the ways the BSA has enriched my family and wish their programming had been available to me as a youth.FamilyInfographic.jpg

The film crew came out to meet our troop the same week they featured our week-long Superior Hiking Trail Adventure Ambassador series on the official BSA Instagram page. Wanting to build on the theme of celebrating female leaders in the Boy Scouts of America organization, the Texas crew braved a rainy Fall day at Elm Creek Park Reserve, a park near and dear to my heart.   This is where we hike a lot, where my son did his Eagle Scout Service Project and where we held his Eagle Court of Honor (a celebration of earning Eagle Scout Rank).  My favorite part of the experience was the B-Roll filming after the interview, when we ran around in the rain, spending time together just doing typical Scout activities.

Saying ‘Yes’

It’s a huge honor to share my story, which is basically an unscripted invitation to say ‘yes’.  Not just say yes to Scouting (which is a totally awesome thing to say YES to) but saying yes to things you may have automatically said no to in the past.   

My journey over the last few years has been a series of ‘Yesses’.  

Yes, I will go on a campout

Yes, I will be an Assistant Scoutmaster

Yes, I will lead a backpacking trip in Glacier National Park even though I have never been backpacking before.

Yes, I will jump off a boat into 700ft deep water half way to Cuba just to go pee.

Technically, I had no business saying yes to those things based on my background or experience.   BUT, I was willing to learn, and even more importantly, I was invited.

Learn as you go!

This is where I’ll do my plug for training. I quickly realized I would need to learn how to do the things that I was saying yes to, and the BSA offers SO MUCH training out there.  It’s right there for the taking, and most of it’s free!   Here’s where I started:

  1. Youth Protection (required)
  2. Scoutmaster Specific training
  3. Outdoor classes at REI, Midwest Mountaineering
  4. Podcasts like The First 40 miles and Dirtbag Diaries
  5. Every BSA online module including weather hazards, water safety, etc.   
  6. Red Cross WRFA Wilderness Remote First Aid (certified almost 6 years!).   
  7. Woodbadge  (that’s how this blog was born)
  8. Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate in Commissioner Service. 

IMG_4940.jpgInitially, I took these classes to build my own confidence and be better prepared to serve the youth I was learning to lead.   Now I am in a position to venture off on my own adventures and to give back, serving on staff at Commissioner College and Woodbadge.   It feels good to learn, progress and unlock new skills that prepare me for the things I love to do!   I would love to become a Leave No Trace educator someday, maybe that’s next.   

Living out who you are

img_4876I’m most pleased with how this all turned out, not just because I got to hug my kid a bunch and my hair looks totally awesome even in the rain…BUT because it feels good to celebrate something I love and feel valued for it.  And maybe someone else will see this and be brave enough to try something that they have not felt qualified to do.   This time of adventure and learning has been so personally motivating and I want others to experience that too!

Here’s a final thought I will leave you with:


How do you stay connected to your true self?   Who are you inviting?

My next post will be about my favorite winter sport–Snowshoeing!   And I’ll get to share another fun project that has been in the works since last February!  

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Happy Trails, and Scout me in!



9 thoughts on “Scout Me In! How Scouting Ignited My Love of Adventure and a Path of Learning

  1. Good job, Jen. And congratulations on having fun as you develop and achieve positive goals in life, and help others to do the same!

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