Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
For the first time since girls were welcomed into Scouts BSA, Fort Leavenworth’s all-female Troop 166 had a new Scout join its ranks from Cub Scouts during the crossover ceremony March 2 at Merritt Lake.
Becca Anderson was one of 18 Webelos Cub Scouts who crossed over during the ceremony after earning their Arrow of Light badges.
“As a troop, we supported the crossover last year, but this is the first year we are receiving an AOL Scout,” said Sarah Groefsema, Troop 166 Scoutmaster. “The Scouts were excited and were happy to welcome Becca and her wonderful family into our troop.
“What I hope for our new Scout, as I do for each of the Scouts in the troop, is to learn and grow in their own way, learn new skills, develop leadership abilities, try new things and, most of all, have fun,” she said. “My first Scoutmaster’s minute at our first meeting was similar to my one (tonight), that the Scouts own their Scouting journey, grow in it and learn from it.”
Troop 166 Scout Kaylla Quinn-Colman said it was fun to watch Anderson crossover and is excited about the things she can teach her.
“I can teach her knots and I can teach her how to be a leader and I can teach her how to not burn herself her first time cooking because I’ve done that before,” Quinn-Colman said. “I think I can also teach her how to help her earn her first rank.”
Anderson said she’s excited to join Scouts BSA.
“I’m looking forward to all of it,” Anderson said.
Along with Anderson joining Troop 166, four Webelos joined Troop 66 and 13 joined Troop 366.
“It brings a new adventure into the troop,” said Dave Grindle, Troop 66 Scoutmaster. “Additionally, it gives an opportunity for the older Scouts to help coach and mentor the junior Scouts. Without having these Scouts transfer over, we lose the program.”
Gary Rowley, Troop 366 Scoutmaster, said it is an exciting thing to welcome in new Scouts.
“They are the lifeblood of the organization,” said Gary Rowley, Troop 366 Scoutmaster. “I know all the current Scouts are excited about getting them over here because of all the new things they can do with these guys. Teaching these younger Scouts is probably one of the most fun things that we do, and we look forward to seeing how they grow.”
When the Scouts crossed the lake, they were greeted by their Scoutmasters and their troop’s senior patrol leader.
“It’s definitely difficult switching over, so we try to make them feel as welcome as they can be, and we just fit them right in with the rest,” said Ethan Myers, Troop 66 senior patrol leader.
David Christensen, Troop 366 senior patrol leader, said he had high hopes for the new Scouts.
“I hope they realize how much of a difference this is,” Christensen said. “You’re now more in charge than you used to be. This is an entirely boy-led organization. The adults are just here to make sure we don’t die.”
The new Scouts said they had many things they were looking forward to.
“(I look forward to) being with all the older boys that can help me out,” said Ian Gibson, Troop 66. “It will be a nice change from Cub Scouts.”
Connor Teeter, Troop 366, said he was looking forward to merit badges and camping, but his older brother, Brennen Teeter, said he was looking forward to even more.
“It will be fun because all the things that I got to do, I get to teach him,” Brennen Teeter said.