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Blazing New Trails

Edgewater boasts state’s first all-girl Cub Scout pack

      Being a little sister can be challenging. Even more so when you see older brothers achieving things not available to you, such as earning an Eagle rank in Scouting.
     Fear not, little sisters. Your time has come.
     The all-girl Cub Scout Pack 2018 in Edgewater is now working on achieving the same ranks and honors as their male counterparts. It’s a new program causing some waves in the world of Scouting.
     “I have been poking the leadership in our local council for months on this,” says leader Catherine Gillies. “They finally announced in January that our group would join the early adopter program for allowing girls in Cub Scouting.”
     The new pack tackles the same activities as the boys, just in an all-girl setting — and with an added element of competition.
     “Several girls in the pack are chomping at the bit to get to Eagle Scout rank before their brothers do,” Gillies says. “Right now we just need to get them caught up on their first ranks.”
      The girls have until May to meet that first challenge. Gillies says they are more than ready.
      “We are a very active yet non-traditional Girl Scout troop. We do a lot of outdoor skills and wilderness survival activities, just like the Cub Scouts. Our girls just want the best of both worlds.”
      Scout parent Kelli Beitzel of Shady Side is excited for the opportunity given to her daughters.
     “I feel this was an amazing move, and I am super excited for both my daughters,” Beitzel says. “My oldest is already a Cub, and my youngest will be joining later this year. Our troop leader Catherine is nothing short of amazing, being the first female pilot to fly in any Marine Corps aviation squadron. She made history then and now wants to do the same for our girls.”
     Gillies, a former Girl Scout and troop leader, began working with Girl Scouts 13 years ago, before she had children of her own. “I was in the Navy, and I wanted a way to give back. Scouting is awesome and raises awesome girls.”
      Interested in joining? Pack 2018, meeting in Mayo, accepts girls from kindergarten through fourth grade: