Marquette welcomes first Scouts BSA Troop for Girls

Riley Curran, 12, left, and Natalie Neher, 11, create a structure out of marshmallows and toothpicks during a Tuesday open house for the new Scouts BSA Troop 6322. The new Boy Scouts of America troop will be chartered by Rippling River Resort. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

MARQUETTE — Now local females can become Eagle Scouts too.

An open house held Tuesday at Lakeview Arena’s Citizens Forum focused on Marquette’s first Scouts BSA Troop for Girls, becoming only the second such troop in the Upper Peninsula after Manistique.

Young women ages 5 to 17 can become part of the Boy Scouts of America program as part of a troop chartered by Rippling River Resort.

“We’ve got a great group of girls interested in becoming Scouts, so I appreciate that, and it’s a great journey and something that will be well worth a lot of wonderful things in your life and help you with your career development and leadership,” said Mike Brinker, scoutmaster of Troop 6322, who will lead the group.

Patrick O’Brien, district director of the Bay Lakes Council, said members of the BSA Troop for Girls can achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

“With that, they’ll be able to participate in all the awesome adventures that the boys have gotten to do over the years and be able to challenge themselves,” O’Brien said.

The existing boys’ troops will remain the same, he said, but now there will be troops for girls as well. Options include standalone troops of all boys and all girls with separate charter organizations, and linked troops with the same charter organizations but having separate events, activities and meetings.

O’Brien noted the BSA Troop for Girls differs from the Girl Scouts.

“To avoid confusion, we word it either Scouts BSA Girl Troop or Scouts BSA Troop for Girls,” O’Brien said.

The new BSA Troop for Girls will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at the Citizens Forum.

Upcoming activities include summer camp at Camp Hiawatha near Munising on June 23-29; hiking the Songbird Trail by Little Presque Isle; a bike-hike from Marquette’s Lower Harbor around Presque Isle Park and back; participating in the Memorial Day Parade and/or the Fourth of July Parade; learning Scout skills such as knots and lashings, forebuilding, orienteering and outdoor cooking; service projects; earning merit badges; and working on the Scouts’ Totin’ Chip, which grants a Scout the right to carry and use woods tools.

The annual membership fee for youths and adults is $33, with committee members needed to help steer the troop and provide resources to support the Scouts.

“The difference between Scouts and Cubs Scouts is you girls will be the leaders of the troop, so you will decide a lot of the activities,” Brinker said. “You will decide how to organize the work and things that need to get done when we go to camp and stuff like that. You guys will be the ones that are doing the cooking, setting up your campsite.”

For more information, contact Brinker at 906-250-2433 or mwbrinker@yahoo.com.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.