Early in December, the first all-girls troop of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in Woodbridge was initiated under Congregation B’Nai Jacob. This girl’s troop has been named Troop 410 to associate it with the boys troop (Troop 41) which has been around for more than a century. The formation of a girls-only BSA troop is a milestone event in the history of Woodbridge as it is one of the first and few BSA girls Troops in all of the United States. Six very interested girls in age ranging from 11-14 years have joined the Troop so far and are actively engaged in scouting activities. Even during these pandemic times, the girls of Troop 410 have been active on par with their boy scout counterparts and have already started to explore the outdoors via trails in Woodbridge. This was, of course, organized with the highest priority to social distancing and safety in mind. On a hike on the blue trail, with the Scoutmaster Mrs. Yucelen, assistant Scoutmaster Mrs. Santhanakrishnan, and assistant Scoutmaster Mr. Baitch (of troop 41), the girls learned orienteering using a map and compass as well as identifying signs of local animals and hazardous plants. The Troop conducts meetings every week at B’nai Jacob, learning and honing valuable scout skills. In their very first meeting, the girls learned how to whip and fuse ropes and how to apply first-aid to treat minor injuries. Committed to serving the local community, in the week before Christmas, the girls of Troop 410 worked with the Troop 41 boys on a food drive to replenish the supplies of the local soup kitchen. The scouts collected three pick-up truckloads of non-perishable foods, toiletries, and utensils. Troop 410 aims to instill the qualities of self-confidence, leadership, and community service in young girls through fun and adventure. We welcome all interested girls of ages 11 – 17 to join our Troop.
by Shreya Viswanathan