Troop 55 Riverside News
Troop 55 has been busy in October continuing work on the biking Merit badge, having some fun meetings including a Scout themed Family Feud game and a fun night at Sky Zone. They were also around town selling popcorn and getting ready for the annual Scouting for Food drive to support our local food banks.
This month I asked the Senior Patrol Leader for our female troop a few questions about her experiences as scout. Her name is Eliza White. She is in 10th grade at Bay View.
Q. Before the BSA started female troops were you interested
in scouting? Why/why not?
A.I had been in Girl Scouts for a little less than a year when I was in fifth grade but I didn’t really enjoy it and I didn’t think that scouting would be for me. My brothers were in Boy Scouts and did so many amazing things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience. I think for me, seeing how much they got out of it was the big draw. Camping, hiking, summer camp, leadership training — not to mention I’m kind of a sucker for order so the uniform really appealed to me too!
Q.When you learned female BSA troops were going to start, what did you think?
A.I was shocked! I was a little apprehensive about how some boys would react and how they would treat girls joining BSA, but otherwise I was really just excited. BSA offers so many opportunities for young people, and now that it’s offered to girls too is incredible. I could hardly wait to join!
Q.How has it been to be the first SPL of the female troop in 55 Riverside?
A.A lot of trial and error. Being the first SPL of the troop, I was starting from the very beginning too! I had to learn alongside the other female scouts, which meant I would oftentimes have to quickly learn a skill and then immediately teach it to the girls. It was tricky at first because I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but over time and with the support of the adult leaders in the troop, I’ve learned a lot over this first year. And I’ve made so many mistakes! But a big part of Scouts is developing leadership, and so through those mistakes I’ve grown into a much better leader.
Q.What have you enjoyed the most about being a scout? What has been your favorite experience so far, and why?
A. For sure my favorite part about being a scout is the friendships that I’ve formed. That definitely wasn’t what I thought I’d enjoy about scouting — I thought my main focus would be earning merit badges, ranking up, etc, etc. But I love all of the friends I’ve made in scouting. Through all these unique experiences you’re really able to bond with the people in your troop! Some Scouts I met only when the girls troop started back in February have become some of my closest friends today. You might not think it going into scouting, but your troop will become some of your best friends in just a matter of months.
My favorite experience so far in scouting has definitely been going to Yawgoog, which is the summer scout camp the boys’ side of our troop has been attending for years. This was the girls’ first year at Yawgoog and it was incredible! I got three merit badges, did lots of swimming, playing cards, and all sorts of other fun things. I was nervous to be at camp for a whole week, but it was so awesome. Not to mention camp spirit is so strong there! I was telling my mom I couldn’t wait to go back the second I got in our car on the last day.
Q.What would you say to other young ladies who are wondering if Scouts BSA is right for them?
A. Try it. Just try it. You don’t need to be an “outdoors-y” type or anything like that to have an awesome time in Scouts. There is endless opportunity in scouting; aside from camping, there’s merit badges, hiking, archery, shooting, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and so, so much more available to scouts. Not to mention the bonds you form with your friends within the troop! I don’t mean to sound cheesy or anything, but Scouts has really changed my life for the better and I absolutely love it. Everyone should at least give it a chance!
When she’s not busy being a great student and one of our youth leaders in Troop 55 Riverside Eliza is 10th grade student at Bay View also involved in Mock Trial, D&D, Performing Arts and Writing club.
Your son or daughter can join in the fun of monthly camping, community service, and learning skills that will last them a lifetime. For more information, go to www.troop55riverside.org or come check us out at one of our weekly meetings held at St. Andrew’s Lodge (located @ 18 Turner Avenue, Riverside) Monday nights @ 6:30 PM. We hope to meet you soon!