B.S.A troop for girls forming in New Ipswich, Greenville, Jaffrey, Rindge and Peterborough

  • Genny Kot is a Cub Scout and is excited at the prospect of forming a Scouts BSA girls troop. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Genny Kot is a Cub Scout and is excited at the prospect of forming a Scouts BSA girls troop. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/16/2019 11:03:36 AM

A Cub Scout Master is holding a meeting next week to garner interest in the formation of a Scouts B.S.A. troop for girls in New Ipswich, Greenville, Jaffrey, Rindge and Peterborough.

Jaffrey Cub Scout Master Shannon Tremblay has scheduled a general interest meeting about the new troop, which would be for girls currently in grades 5 through 11, or ages 10 to 17, Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cutler Building in Jaffrey.

“All of these towns have active [Cub Scout] packs and [Boy Scout] troops, and will have a need for girls in their pack to go [to a troop],” said Tremblay.

Cub Scouts have been co-ed since 2018. As of February, girls can participate in Scouts BSA, or Boy Scouts, as well. However, they must form all-female troops, with at least one female leader present at all times.

Tremblay’s pack of Cub Scouts will have their crossover ceremony this coming March, which marks their transition from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA. At the ceremony, she said, scouts cross a small bridge, and their new troop greets them on the other side. This poses a problem for Genevieve Kot, 10, a female Cub Scout in Tremblay’s pack, since there is currently no girl’s Scouts BSA troop in the area.

“We need a troop waiting for Genny!” Tremblay said.

This past year, Tremblay’s pack earned their whittling chips, and components of their NOVA badge. According to meritbadge.org, earning the NOVA badge can involve activities like writing secret codes and ciphers, taking apart broken appliances, and interviewing people with careers involving design. Last year, Tremblay’s pack went to the Discovery Museum in Acton as a group. This year, they’re working on the math component of the badge. Tremblay hopes they will complete the badge by the crossover ceremony.

“Some Cub Scouts earn their Arrow of Light award and that’s enough for them,” Tremblay said, and noted there had been five girls involved in the pack at various points since the start of 2018.

She and Linda Kot, Genny’s mom, waited to make sure Genny was interested in continuing to Scouts BSA before they looked into forming a girls troop. Their answer came this summer, after Genny completed her first week of sleepaway camp at Camp Carpenter in Manchester and returned more enthusiastic than ever.

“We definitely did knots there, we did swimming,” Genny said, as well as practicing archery, and shooting with BB guns and air rifles.

The shooting sports particularly delighted Genny, who since received her own air rifle for her birthday.

“My mom loves to shoot, hunt, and fish,” said Linda Kot, Genny’s mother, and said Genny goes to her grandmother’s house to practice with her rifle.

Kot said Genny is very interested in doing more shooting and hiking, and meeting more girls through Scouts BSA. This is Genny’s first year in public school, and Kot said Genny knew at least a dozen kids on the first day because of Cub Scouts.

Kot said Genny’s allegiance with Cub Scouts happened organically when her older brother Sam began attending meetings three years ago and she would tag along.

“She got involved with Cub Scouts because that’s what she was exposed to, the program she saw up close,” Kot said.

Genny said some of her friends are Girl Scouts, but that she doesn’t really know what they do.

Tremblay said the biggest challenge will be securing leadership for the troop. New troops need a Scoutmaster, and an appropriate number of adults to help out in various leadership positions. For girls’ troops, a certain number of the leaders must be women. Tremblay hopes to get the Jaffrey Woman’s Club onboard as the troop’s charter organization, and will meet with them in October.

Kot said she will be involved in the girls troop, but hasn’t thought about what position she will hold. She said she hopes to recruit enough girls and volunteers “so that not everyone wears three different hats.”

Tremblay said that she would be willing to sit on the girls’ troop’s committee, but does not see herself in a direct leadership position. She’s been involved with the Jaffrey Cub Scout pack for ten years. She has three boys, and the youngest will complete Cub Scouts with Genny this year.

“I never pictured myself being the Cub Master,” she said. “When my oldest son started, I knew nothing about Scouts [BSA].”

As she immersed in scouting culture and connected with the pack, she said “you start to feel passionate about these girls having a place.”

Tremblay said representatives from BSA will be at the meeting, as well as Renee Sangermano of Jaffrey’s Parks and Recreation Department. Tremblay said that interested parties could contact her at shanrhodestrem@gmail.com.

“I look forward to meeting with you ... we need girls who are interested, and adults to be leaders!”


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