Utah girls join Boy Scouts of America

SALT LAKE CITY — An 11-year-old girl who always wanted to enlist in her older brother’s troop is among the first wave of girls joining the Boy Scouts of America in two all-girl dens near Salt Lake City.

Miriam Cook of Tooele has already earned 11 badges in her first three months as a Cub Scout with the pack based in Taylorsville, The Salt Lake Tribune reported .

Before being able to join the organization, Miriam would tag along to her brother’s scouting meetings.

“I always go to his pack meetings and den meetings and wanted to do what he did,” Miriam said. “I didn’t think it was fair that boys got to do all the fun activities. I wanted girls to learn how to do stuff like that.”

Miriam looked into other scouting organizations that allow girls, but her mother Patricia Cook said they “didn’t seem to fit her personality and her passion.”

The Boy Scouts announced last October that it would allow girls to join. About 20 girls have become Cub Scouts with troops in Taylorsville and Sandy, said Mark Griffin, scout executive for the Boy Scouts’ Great Salt Lake Council.

Miriam’s Cub den has five other girls and is supervised by her father. Boys and girls are separated into different dens, but they do participate in some activities together.

“The kinds of things that we teach, girls learn better in an all-girl environment and the boys learn better in an all-boy environment,” Griffin said. “The boys have a chance to lead, and the girls have a chance to lead.”

Cub Scouting is the organization’s program for younger children. Miriam will graduate from the Cub Scouts and join the Boy Scouts next year.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

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