Boy Scouts ready to accept girls

Bianca Moorman / The Meridian Star

Havah Swartz, with her father James, is interested in becoming a Cub Scout.  


When James Swartz watches his daughter Havah chase her cat around, he can see her adventurous spirit.

The 4-year-old girl is one of six children in the Swartz family. Two of the boys are Boy Scouts, while another is a Cub Scout. Swartz said Havah became interested in scouting when she followed her brothers to events and had fun when she went camping. Swartz is the scoutmaster for his son’s troop.

“Havah’s more adventurous and more high-spirited,” said Swartz.

Those traits may help Havah, who has an interest in joining The Boy Scouts of America. The youth development organization will soon begin accepting girls for the first time in its 108-year history.  

The Boy Scouts announced late last year it would allow girls to join the Cub Scouts. The decision came after “years of receiving requests from families and girls,” a statement said.

 Ken Kercheval, Scout Executive/CEO of the Choctaw Area Council, said he 

wants the program to be something that all families can be part of.

“I think it is a great opportunity for girls and for families,”said Kercheval.

The drive to recruit girls from kindergarten to the fifth grade will be starting for the first time this year, according to Kercheval. He said the name of the Boy Scouts is not changing. The only name that will change is the troop program to Scouts BSA.

Kercheval said both programs will be gender specific – girls will be with girls and boys will be with boys. Kercheval said girls have always been part of the Boy Scouts but now girls will be able to earn badges starting at the Cub Scout level.

Swartz said Havah is interested in joining soon, but he has to see what happens next year. 

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