TAFTON - Girls from across the area are gearing now that Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will welcome girls into its most iconic program. 
“I really enjoy all the fun and exciting activities I have done in Cub Scouts and look forward to earning my Arrow of Light. I’m excited to be joining the troop and can’t wait to go camping with my friends next summer!” said Mylee Waldie, a Cub Scout in Pack 229, Chartered by the Tafton Fire Company.  

Mylee and countless other girls will join local troops next month thanks to the BSA’s historic decision to open the Boy Scout program, now called Scouts BSA, to both boys and girls age 11-17. 
Each Scouts BSA troop will consist of girls or boys, but troops will not be co-ed. Boy troops and girl troops may occasionally attend special activities together, but each troop will meet separately and work toward achievements in a single-gender environment. 
The Paupack Methodist Church will be sponsoring Troop 129 for girls, as a linked troop to Troop 129 for boys, which was established in 1936.

Mylee’s mother, Casey Waldie stated, “I have been a part of the BSA scouting world since February 2016 with my son. It’s been an amazing transition with the program opening to girls. I love seeing my daughter thrive through her Cub Scouting program so far. I look forward to all of the adventures the Scouts BSA troop has to offer our family.” 
Some of the girls who plan to join Troop 129 are like Mylee, coming from the BSA’s Cub Scouts program which opened to girls age 5-10 in 2018. Since then, more than 75,000 girls have joined the program nationwide, but Troop 129 is also seeing interest from young women in the community who would be joining a BSA program for the first time.

Natalia Lyckowski of Tafton will be leading Troop 129 for girls. She has been a leader with the BSA for over 10 years. She was chosen as a leader for the 2017 BSA National Jamboree and also the upcoming 2019 World Scout Jamboree.

 “I have witnessed the personal growth and leadership skills that the BSA Scouting program offers to youth. It has been wonderful to watch many of these young people, including my own son, earn the rank of Eagle Scout. It is it exciting that young women can now have the choice to do the same and I’m honored to be the troop’s first Scoutmaster.”, said Lyckowski.
Girls and boys who are interested in learning more about Scouts BSA or testing out their Scouting skills can attend a special joint Open House event with both Troop 129’s on February 6th, 7 p.m. at the Paupack Methodist Church, Route 507, Paupack, PA.