(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) In October, the Boy Scouts of America announced they will soon be welcoming girls as members.
Alan Franks, Scout Executive for the Pony Express Council of the Boy Scouts of America, said the change means girls will be eligible to attend Boy Scout Camp at Camp Geiger next summer.
"Females will have the opportunity to join our Boy Scout program, which is our program [for people]11 [years-old] to the age of 18. Which will create the opportunity for them to attend Boy Scout Camp,” Franks said.
Franks said he is not sure how many girls to expect at the camp next summer, but the campground is already designed to accommodate groups of both boys and girls.
"We've been prepared in hindsight, a few years ago, with the completion of our storm shelter project which will allow in each campsite individual locking showers and toilets. So, we are well prepared for a camp season next year," Franks said.
Franks said the summer experience at Camp Geiger should be the same for all scouts regardless of gender.
"I really believe the opportunity and the enjoyment here at Camp Geiger is getting away from home and doing the things that young people like to do [and] delivering the promise of scouting," Franks said.
This summer the camp will host over 1,500 scouts and 600 camp leaders from Missouri and 15 surrounding states.
“We’re really proud of the fact that Camp Geiger is such a draw for all scouts,” Franks said.“We have an amazing camp staff, primarily all of them are Eagle Scouts; they are products of our program. They [ the scouts] really have a tremendous experience when they come here for the week.”
Jean-Pierre Bega is an Eagle Scout from Troop 436 in Lakewood, Washington that said the camp keeps most scouts busy with outdoor activities like kayaking, rock climbing and range shooting.
"Many kids say Camp Geiger is a great place to go. There's lots of activities you can do, it's really hard to get bored at Camp Geiger," Bega said.
At Camp Geiger, scouts can participate in over 50 outdoor activities to earn merit badges and learn life skills.
"It's a really good program. The honor society for Mic-o-Say I really like because it builds character of young men and soon to be young women,"Bega said.
In February 2019, the Boy Scouts of America will drop the “Boy” from their title to become more inclusive as they recruit new female members. This fall the St. Joseph Boy Scout troops will begin recruiting female scouts.
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