By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Smiles and cheers filled First United Methodist Church, 22124 Garrison, after the first nine girls in Michigan were inducted into Dearborn Cub Scout Pack 1112 May 1.
The girls who were celebrated during the historic event were Elizabeth Woodlley, 7; Lillian Britt, 6; Luna Britt, 9; Rosemary Calder, 8; Eleanore Jezewski, 8; Caroline Kuentz, 8; Gabriella Schneidt, 8; Courtney Ehnis, 8; and Alice Ferguson, 9, all from Dearborn.
“The idea was very well received by the parents and pack members,” Pack 1112 Master Tom Stechow said. “Seeing the girls get inducted and all their smiles was the best part of the ceremony.”
Although the Boy Scouts of America started recognizing girls for meeting the same qualifications and completing the same work, the official name change to Scouts BSA will take place by February 2019.
“Organized in 1950, Dearborn’s Cub Scout Pack 1112 created a Cub Cadet program which allowed a scout’s younger, not-of-age siblings and sisters to participate in all of the scouting activities, minus the BSA recognition and advancement,” a press release read.
Once the Boy Scouts of America recognized the cadet program as a premiere program, Pack 1112 was designated to be an early adopter, the release said.
“Having girls involved in the Dearborn pack was something Scout leader Frank Plonka started 17 years ago because he wanted something for his daughter to do while his son participated in the pack,” Stechow said.
The nine girls who were inducted into the pack May 1 worked to complete six months of adventures in just three months from February to April.
Cub Scouts who complete a series of adventures can move up the ranks from Lion Cubs, Tiger Cubs, Wolf Cubs, Bear Cubs, Webelos, then Arrow of Light, Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts.
Adventures that boys and girls must complete under the curriculum include tying knots, cooking, building a campfire, leaving no trace in the woods, building a birdhouse, identifying essentials for a hiking trip and more, all to “build character, develop citizenship, and encourage mental and physical fitness,” according to the Boy Scouts of America website.
During the ceremony, letters from the City Council and Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. were read loud. The girls are scheduled to attend the May 15 council meeting where they will be recognized for their achievement and also will have an accommodation honoring them during the May 14 Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education meeting.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)