LEWISTON — Beginning Friday, the Boy Scouts of America will allow girls to join for the first time in the organization’s 109-year history. A group of girls from Lewiston will lead the charge.

The six girls will make history Friday when they are among the first females nationwide to join Scouts BSA, which decided last year to eliminate the boys-only rule.

Six girls are joining Pine Tree Council’s First Scouts BSA troop from Lewiston, Troop 2019. Charters for new Scout BSA troops officially launch Friday. From left are Scoutmaster Casey Arsenault; Stephanie Gabriel, committee chairwoman; and Emillie Gabriel and Hannah Arsenault, presenting their troop charter to Abnaki District Executive Jack Waite. (Pine Tree Council, BSA Facebook photo)

“While there are many wonderful character building organizations available to Maine youth,” said Diane Madden of the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America, “we are thrilled that these young women have chosen to form a Scouts BSA troop and work towards the rank of Eagle Scout.”

On Thursday, the half-dozen Lewiston girls were the first troop to hand-deliver a completed charter to the Pine Tree Council BSA office in Raymond.

All newly chartered Scouts BSA troops will be officially registered Feb. 1.

The newly formed Troop 2019 will meet at Calvary United Methodist Church in Lewiston, and will serve girls age 10 or older.

Scoutmaster Casey Arsenault said the troop is already working on a series of indoor and outdoor events, including traditional scouting activities, such as Klondike Derby, Court of Honor and Pinewood Derby, and service projects, including Scouting for Food.

“Scouting is all about connecting our boys and girls to the community, getting them outside, having fun with their friends and living our oath and law,” Arsenault said.

Her daughter, Hannah, officially handed in the completed charter Friday.

“I am excited about being in scouting and look forward to doing things I love like camping and archery,” Hannah said.

The Boy Scouts of America began considering the idea of allowing girls in 2017. The organization announced last year the word “boy” would be eliminated from its title in 2019 and girls would be allowed full scouting privileges.

Not everyone is a fan of the move. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the BSA for dropping the word “boy” from its flagship program in an effort to attract girls.


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