Cub Scout Girls Ready to Run With the Pack

Photo courtesy Nancy Ko
Photo courtesy Nancy Ko

They didn’t have a den number, but that didn’t stop the newest members of Pasadena Cub Scout Pack 4 from recording a first at the recent Golden Nugget weekend campout at Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island last month.
Theirs was the first girls’ den to attend the campout, sending seven of its 16 Valentine Elementary School girls to the three-day event. Just weeks earlier, they had joined the formerly boys-only pack, which is now coed after Boy Scouts of America decided last year to admit girls.
“My girls, they were just really great,” said den leader Nancy Ko. “It was all last-minute because we just joined a month ago. When they came back, they said, ‘When are we going back, Ms. Ko?’ They came back so grown up and just proud.”
The development comes after the Cub Scouts opened doors to girls, and months before Boy Scout troops will welcome girls to start working toward Eagle Scout ranks. Boy Scouts of America, which will adopt the moniker Scouts BSA in February, elicited controversy in its decision to bring in girls, who now will have the merit-based achievements available to them that are not part of Girl Scouts.
The Golden Nugget weekend included activities and advance-ments for the new Webelos II members, such as archery, BB gun shooting, kayaking and snorkeling. The pack spent a Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the scout camp on Catalina.
“We saw so many cool creatures,” said Scout Linda Zhang, who said she enjoyed kayaking and snorkeling the most. “There were some really cool coral reefs on the side, too. It was really fascinating.”
The Scouts all agreed they were excited to ultimately work toward earning an Eagle Scout ranking, in large part because of the various group activities newly available to them — like the Pinewood Derby racing event — and also because of the different survival skills they could put to the test on camping trips.
“You can do different things and it’s not the same thing every year,” said Paige Teng. “It’s more interesting because you haven’t already done it.”
“In Cub Scouts, it’s actually like we’re doing things that are more active and we’re learning things that we can do independently,” echoed Annie Li.
“It’s cool,” added Chloe Huang. “I think it’s important to learn these things so we can know how to survive.”
Taking the ferry from the mainland to the island proved an odd introduction for the girls: a lot of perplexed boys, who’d never done Scout activities with girls before, were caught staring.
“It felt sort of awkward because when we got there, we were the only girls and we stood out from the whole group,” Li said.
“Once we got there and we started doing the activities, it wasn’t as awkward,” added Brooke Phelan.
The girls finished the weekend on a high note. As part of the Building a Better World requirement for the Arrow of Light achievement, the dens joined in a game of Jeopardy among themselves that was centered on scouting history and practices. The girls, who had been members for all of two weeks by then, won the game.
Ko added that her Webelos also distinguished themselves in other activities such as BB gun shooting, kayaking and hiking that weekend.
“They were so proud to kick the boys’ butts!” she exclaimed, laughing. “They were really incredible. To be the first group of girls to be there and to show them what they’re made of was really exciting. They really belonged there.”
For information on joining the pack, visit pack4.net.

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