Girls join Cub Scouts

Kendra Ahart, 8, left, says the Cub Scout pledge with other Cub Scouts at the start of the weekly meeting of Cub Scout Pack 257 on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church in Copperas Cove.

In a historic ceremony Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, Copperas Cove Cub Scout Pack 257 welcomed three new members — all girls!

Kendra Ahart, 8, Romella Spitzer, 7, and Juliet Andress, 7, officially became the first girls in Cub Scout Pack 257.

“I’m happy,” said Ahart, smiling and proudly wearing her new uniform. “It’s a fun opportunity.”

A crowd of about 30 Scouts and parents gave the girls robust applause, cheers and hugs during the weekly meeting.

Cub Scout Pack 257 is chartered by First Presbyterian Church and holds its meetings Tuesday nights in the Fellowship Hall.

Pastor Naomi Ingrim serves as the chartered organizational representative.

“We want to get the word out: Pack 257 is accepting applications and we encourage more girls to apply.” She is thrilled at allowing girls into the pack. “I couldn’t imagine something more wonderful for them.”

In 2017, the Boy Scouts of America board of directors approved a plan to allow girls and young women into all the Scouting programs, beginning with Cub Scouts in 2018.

That was the right move, said Cubmaster Tremell Pittman. “Cub Scouts is based around the family and this feels really good.”

Even before the girls could officially join, they still participated in Cub Scout Pack 257 activities, although they couldn’t earn patches and awards.

“They did rock climbing, BB gun shooting and archery and everything, and they love it,” said Pittman.

“My favorite thing is to learn about nature,” Andress said.

Now that Romella Spitzer is in the Cub Scouts like her brother, she gets to spend more time outdoors, too.

“I really love to go camping,” she said.

Although the girls don’t feel like trailblazers, their mothers agreed letting girls join the Scouts in the U.S. was long overdue.

“It is about time, because others countries don’t separate the girls from the boys,” Brooke Andress said.

As a mother of six children, Denise Spitzer wished the change came sooner.

“I have two other girls that could have been doing it for a long time,” she said.

The values the Boy Scouts bring into children’s lives is important for both boys and girls, said Ivanna Ahart.

“This organization teaches the family values I want to instill in my kids.”

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