Zac McDorrYears of frustration have come to an end for my daughter, who has been tagging along to my son’s Cub Scout events for the past three years (much to his consternation.) She made history recently as Bath’s first female Cub Scout. Pack 621 seems very glad to have her, and she couldn’t be happier.

Scouting dates back to England in 1908, when Robert Baden-Powell wrote, “Scouting for Boys.”

The following year, scouting was brought to the United States by Chicago publisher William Boyce. He had been lost in a London fog on a trip to England, and was helped to safety by a scout who refused a tip for his services. He came home and started the Boy Scouts of America in February 1910.

Scouting in Maine actually began four months earlier. Troop 1 in Brewer was chartered under the British Boys Scouts organization in 1909. By 1917, several troops were springing up around the state, including one in Bath. Most of these only lasted a year or two, however, then dissolved.

By the 1930s, all of the various groups had coalesced into two main councils: Katahdin Area Council in the north, and Pine Tree Council in the south. Some of the campgrounds in use today date back to the 1920s.

I was a member of Bath’s old Pack 652, and I truly enjoyed the meetings and the father-son camp outs in the woods near Maine Yankee. In a storeroom full of scouting equipment at the old Weeks Street School, I marveled at the painted scout murals from the distant past (photo).

The number of scouts in America has declined by more than 50 percent since the 1970s. This may be part of why the Boy Scouts have decided to accept girls. It’s a controversial decision. Girls have been a part of the Sea Scouts and other Explorer Scout groups for years, however, so why not?

Source: Bangor Daily News