Ulster County has its first female Cub Scout, five-year-old Sydney Ware of Kingston. Last October the Boy Scouts of America opened up registration to girls interested in being Cub and Boy Scouts. Last Monday, young Sydney — a kindergartner at Myer Elementary in Hurley — joined Pack 103’s Den 1 at St. James Methodist Church in Kingston. Her father, software engineer CT Ware, is the pack’s leader. Her mother, Brandi, is the Lion Cub leader and Sydney’s brother Zachary, 11, is a Boy Scout. “She has wanted to be a ‘Scub Scout’ since she could talk,” said Brandi Ware. “She was born two weeks into the start of her brother’s scouting career, and wanted to be a scout forever. We are so lucky that they changed the rules the year she is eligible to join.”
CT Ware said that among the other things, Sydney will be able to shoot BB guns, participate in the Pinewood Derby and do camp-outs. “There are, and have been, other Boy Scout programs which allow older girls, such as Explorers and Venturer Scouts,” said CT. “This year, girls are being admitted into Cub Scouting. Next year in 2019 they will be admitted into the Boy Scout program, where they will be able to pursue Eagle Scout.”
Why does this little girl want to be a Boy Scout? Like most younger siblings who desperately want anything their elder siblings have, she replied, “Because my brother is a Boy Scout.” When asked what she is most looking forward to do in the Scouts, she replied without hesitation, “Camp-out in church.” The morning after the campout, she said, is a pancake breakfast and then the Pinewood Derby for which her pink, purple and orange car is ready to rock and roll.
Sydney’s goals are lofty — one day, she wants to become an Eagle Scout. Fifth-grade Cub Keegan McDowell thinks Sydney’s signing up is a good thing. “It will bring more diversity to the pack.” First-grader Casey Eminowicz gave it a big thumbs-up. Though most of the kids in the pack said that girls can do anything that boys can, second-grader Damian Barton had a reservation. “Girls don’t like getting dirty.”
Brandi explained that the national Boy Scout organization has asked all leaders to have recruited at least four girls in each pack by March, and expects to see more signing up soon.
For more information on how to register, contact the Rip Van Winkle Council at (845) 389-4406 or visit their site at rvwbsa.org.