Scouts event looks to empower young girls

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST
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Scouts from throughout the Coulee Region came together Saturday for a special day of outdoor skill building.

The event looked to empower more young women in scouting.

10-year-old Nora Knapp is a first-year scout and dreams of becoming an eagle scout someday.

“My best friend Charlotte was in the scouts,” said Knapp. “I’m really close to her, and I was wondering what it would be like so I joined and really enjoyed it, and kept growing.”

Knapp was one of about 20 girls at Camp Decorah, taking part in the first-ever council-wide female scouting event hosted by Scouts BSA Gateway Area Council.

“These young ladies are from throughout our 9-county region,” said Joe Carlson, Scout Executive & CEO of Gateway Area Council. “It’s a great chance for scouts to connect with people they haven’t met before, make some friends, enjoy a beautiful day in the great outdoors and improve their scouting skills.”

Saturday morning, the girls participated in team challenges in tent building, fire building, and First Aid and competition skills, before ice fishing and snow sculpting. The day’s activities would then end with an outdoor cook-off in the afternoon.

Troop 19 leader Elizabeth Kramer says activities like these are meant to build character.

“They are set up in the program with many difficult challenges, and throughout that they learn to manage through them, and from that become resilient,” said Kramer, who also serves as a commissioner for Gateway Area Council.

Some key things leaders hope the ladies can take away from their experience at Camp Decorah today include life skills, as well as leadership and conservation skills.

“We’re excited that all our young people have the opportunity for leadership and life skills and the opportunity to be part of impactful community service,” Carlson said.

“I enjoy imagining how I’m going to use these later on,” said Knapp. “It’s going to be useful for if I’m in an emergency or just at home trying to make something for dinner.”

“Any families in our area, they’re all welcome to join and be part of scouting,” Carlson said.

“All boys and girls and parents get involved,” added Kramer.

Leaders hope these lessons can make a big impact and inspire both boys and girls to continue towards a strong future in scouting.

Right now, there are 28 girls in the Gateway Area District’s Scouts BSA program, and about 90 more Cub Scouts are expected to join them over the next few years.

Scouts BSA programs are open to those between Kindergarten-age through age 17.

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