Local Boy Scouts welcoming both boys and girls

Boy Scout Troop 309 stood at attention for the National Anthem during the Elks Flag Day Ceremony held at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans Chapel in Marquette earlier this year. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Bay-Lakes Council, Boy Scouts of America, has local packs welcoming both boys and girls to participate.

According to a press release, this fall, Cub Scout Packs in the U.P. are welcoming new families to join. For the first time ever, Cub Scout enrollment welcomes both boys and girls, kindergarten through fifth grade, to the program.

The council is inviting all families to attend one of the join nights in Marquette County to learn more about the program, get their questions answered, and register their sons and/or daughters for Cub Scouts. Local Join Nights are happening at the following dates and locations:

≤ Negaunee Pack 3346: Lakeview Elementary School Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

≤ Ishpeming Pack 3321: Mission Covenant Church, 1001 N. Second St. (lower level), Ishpeming, 6 p.m. Thursday.

≤ KI Sawyer Pack 3350: KI Sawyer Heritage Air Museum, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17

≤ Marquette Pack 3395: Messiah Lutheran Church, Fourth and Magnetic streets, Marquette, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18

≤ Marquette Pack 3308: Father Marquette Elementary, 500 S. Fourth St., Marquette, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20

≤ Harvey Pack 3361: St. Louis the King Catholic Church, Silver Creek Road, Harvey, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25

≤ Gwinn Pack 3333: Gwinn United Methodist Church, 251 Jasper St., Gwinn, 5:30-7 p.m. Sept. 28

According to the release, girls started to join Cub Scouts last spring.

Cub Scout dad and leader Mike VanHandel said in the release: “Our daughter joined the Pack. She gets so excited about it and it’s fun to watch her doing the things that we haven’t been able to find the equivalent opportunity elsewhere.”

Ian Schiesl, Cub Scout dad, added: “My daughter join scouting this year. She’s been having a blast and learning all sorts of things that she’s never had the opportunity to do before: snowshoeing, (using) tools, and just overall good character building.”

A nationwide survey shows girls are joining for the same reasons as boys: Camping and the Pinewood Derby. There is a difference in that more girls like hiking where boys are showing a preference for fishing as a third reason for joining. Early recruiting results are showing that 70 percent of girls are truly inspired to be able join Cub Scouts for the first time.

Parents can also visit BeAScout.org for more information and resources to learn more about Scouting in your community and its programs, the benefits and experience. Locally, Hiawathaland District Director Patrick O’Brien can answer any questions parents have patrick.obrien@scouting.org and let people know which of the local packs will be accepting girl members.