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Published July 10th, 2019
First Court of Honor for Lafayette Girls BSA Scout Troop
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Nineteen girls from Lafayette Troop 402 celebrated a historic ceremony Thursday, May 23, as they participated in their first Scouts BSA Court of Honor Ceremony. This inaugural ceremony marked the beginning of a new troop and a new future of scouting.
Just over three months ago, on Feb. 1, Boy Scouts of America changed their name to Scouts BSA and welcomed girls into the historically all boy program. A small group of scouts and scouters in Lafayette hit the ground running, quickly establishing a troop on par with long running Scouts BSA boy troops. The troop marks the start of a new era that allows girls access to the same programming boys have participated in for over 100 years.
As a sister Troop to 204, the troop meets in the historic Lafayette cabin. The two troops use some of the same resources, but the programming and leadership are separate. For example, the girls have their own troop, they are not coed with boys. Other troops have used different formulas for integration. Troop 402 meets on their own and has their own patrols. While the national organization still holds on to "BSA", Troop 402 is all about the girls.
The troop comprises Scouts aged 11-16, in grades 5-10. They are led by a 10th grade Senior Patrol Leader and meet weekly. The Troop has already gone backpacking, camping, and earned awards and recognition for advancement. Typically, it takes four-five years for scouts to advance the ranks to become an Eagle Scout, but since girls were only allowed in this year, they need to quickly advance if they aspire to scouting's highest rank. All scouts were awarded their first rank, Scout, and seven scouts achieved the rank of Tenderfoot. The scouts were also awarded a cumulative total of 14 merit badges for their work on subject matters of interest to them. The Troop attended a BSA summer camp in June and are going on a 25-mile backpacking trip in August. The girls are eager to work hard and achieve the requirements for advancement and learn new skills. They are picking up the skills rapidly and really taking off with the program.
Troop 402 is supported by a charter organization called the Lafayette Dads Club. This club first began supporting scouting in 1932 as the Boy Scout Troop 204 was formed. Troop 204 has a long history of scouting in Lafayette; it is the oldest troop. Many of the girl Troop 402s traditions are being built on the longstanding traditions of the Boy troop. The girls are just adding their bright ideas, fresh faces, enthusiastic spirit, and moxie.
Interested future scouts can learn more about joining the troop by emailing troop402lafayette@gmail.com.

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