Greenville may have missed out on the new Amazon facility. One Amazon exec stated: "We wanted to go to Greenville but...

Scouting a different world

Bob Garner

Bob Garner


Sunday, October 14, 2018

I was a proud Boy Scout and Scout leader but had lost touch with the program.

However, my youngest grandson’s excitement over having just been signed up for Cub Scouts happened to open a window on some truly monumental changes in the Scouting world. Like me, you may have missed them.

The first is that the Boy Scouts will soon no longer be an all-boy organization. Although Boys Scouts of America (BSA) will continue to be the name of the umbrella organization, a new program will open for female participation in February. To be known as Scouts BSA, the program will enable male and female youth age 11-17 to earn all Scout ranks and merit badges up to the Eagle rank.

The Cub Scouts program for children age 5-10 was opened to girls in June. It’s important to note that while the Cub Scouts and the Scouts BSA programs will be open to both males and females, they will not be co-ed.

Scouts BSA troops for older youth will be either all-girl or all-boy. BSA leaders says this preserves the proven benefits of the single gender approach while extending Scouting’s character and leadership development opportunities to boys and girls alike.

Cub Scout packs are organized into several groups of six to eight children known as dens, and all dens will be single gender even if the entire pack may not be. Chartered organizations may choose to establish a new girl pack, form a pack made up of both girl dens and boy dens or maintain an all-boy pack.

Chartered organizations will not be required to offer programs for girls but can choose which models best meet the needs and interests of their communities.

BSA conducted extensive research on the change, evaluating input from thousands of volunteers who took part in nationwide family listening sessions. When surveyed, parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up, with 90 percent expressing interest in Cub Scouts and 87 percent in Boy Scouts.

What’s more, 90 percent of girls who were surveyed indicated they were interested in joining the Scouts BSA program for ages 11-17.

Due to this level of engagement, several local Scout councils around the country were allowed to begin a soft launch, welcoming girls into Cub Scouts as early as January of this year, and over 5,000 girls joined. The number of volunteers increased immediately, and volunteerism is expected to climb further as new Cub packs and Scouts BSA troops serving girls are established.

Will there be competition for membership between all-girl Scouts BSA troops and Girl Scout troops? No doubt. Existing Girl Scouts have already begun migrating to the Cub Scouts and many will undoubtedly plan to progress onward as the ranks of the previously all-male Boy Scouts are opened to them.

There seems to be nothing in the BSA curriculum — including the outdoor element — that girls or their parents find gender-specific, the ability to earn badges in specific interest areas is very similar in both organizations and the top award, Eagle Scout, may be better known than its Girl Scout equivalent, the Gold Award.

At the same time that the Boy Scouts of America is changing its name and admitting girls, another seismic shift is occurring in Scouting. The great majority of chartered organizations operating American Scout troops are churches. So it is huge that one of the largest of them — the Mormon or Latter-Day Saints church — is ending its 105-year relationship with the Boy Scouts. Mormon congregations will phase out of their sponsorship of Scouting programs by the end of 2019.

This will be a significant loss to American Scouting, since as many as 1 in 5 among 2.3 million Scouts in the U.S. are Mormon.

Latter-day Saints leaders say the decision is part of a broad restructuring of the church's programs for all its youth in the face of global Mormon growth. The majority of its membership now lives outside the United States, where Scouting is not generally available.

Bob Garner is a UNC-TV restaurant reviewer, freelance food writer, author of four cookbooks, barbecue pit master and public speaker. Contact him at bgarner2662@gmail.com. 


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


November 16, 2018

A tale of two lovers, set in Sweden, will come to the stage tonight as East Carolina University Opera Theater presents “A Little Night Music” for its fall performance.

“A Little Night Music,” written by author Hugh Wheeler with music by Stephen Sondheim, is a love story that…


November 14, 2018

Q I didn’t grow up eating berries. They taste good, but is there a nutrition reason for eating them? — FJ, Greenville

A We are lucky to see a greater variety of berries — fresh, dried, canned and frozen — in our local stores than before. Children and…

Kolasa, Kathy

November 11, 2018

Losing a child before his or her first birthday is an unthinkable tragedy for any parent — and unfortunately it occurs too often in North Carolina, where we far outpace the nation in infant mortality.

With over seven deaths per 1,000 live births vs. the national average of fewer than six per…

Anita Bachmann

November 11, 2018

WINTERVILLE — Approximately 300 people gathered in the South Central High School cafeteria recently to celebrate their time as students at Winterville High School. The school, which was built in 1935, has served as A.G. Cox Middle School since 1971.

“The first Saturday in November has…


November 10, 2018

The year is old, the birds are flown.

And yet the world, in its distress,

Displays a certain loveliness —

 — John Updike, from “A Child’s Calendar”

Autumn has once again snuck up upon us, as it always does.

Autumn is known mostly as a time of cooling temperatures,…


November 07, 2018

Q Would you please help spread the word about our upcoming event that will celebrate the successes of people in Pitt County who are eating healthy, being physically active and managing their own diabetes.  JS, Pitt County.

A Jackie Sugg MS, RDN, LDN is a long time friend and colleague from the…

Kolasa, Kathy

November 07, 2018

Bateeni Mediterranean Grill & Cafe at 1868 W. Arlington Blvd. in Greenville is a healthy escape for those seeking fresh and delicious food that will keep your taste buds and body fulfilled. They offer an array of authentic Mediterranean cuisine using their centuries old traditions of combining…

Mixed Grill Close Up.jpg

November 05, 2018

Drivers needed

The Pitt County Council on Aging is in need of volunteers to help deliver Meals on Wheels in Ayden and Bethel Monday through Friday. Drivers will provide lunch for homebound older adults. Route delivery takes about an hour. Training is provided. Call 752-1717.

Bell ringers needed


November 04, 2018

North Carolina’s long literary tradition lives on and was celebrated with presentation of the North Carolina Book Awards at the Greenville Convention Center last week. ECU’s Charles Ewen was among those honored.

The awards, held on Oct. 26, are presented annually by the North Carolina…

Charlie Ewen.jpg

November 04, 2018

Why would I ask you to read from a column I wrote almost 30 years ago?

When I read that column, tearfully, at a recent family reunion, I knew I wanted to share it with you, just in case you missed it back in 1987.

That year was one of triumph for my mother.

In 1933 she finished college and left her…

215 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 22
        Next Page»   Last Page»