Scouting new territory

Photo submitted to Times Observer Sarah Blauser, the first female Cub Scout in the Chief Cornplanter Council, and her mom, Karen, in uniform.

In October, the Boy Scouts announced they would start accepting girls into their programs.

This spring, Sarah Blauser became the first female Cub Scout in the Chief Cornplanter Council when she joined Cub Scout Pack 30 in Youngsville.

“I loved it,” Blauser said. “I like all my counselors.”

“I got to go fishing, tie knots and other stuff,” she said.

It was not uncomfortable for her being the only girl in the pack. “I enjoyed just being with the boys and being one of them,” she said.

Times Observer file photo by Brian Ferry Cub Scout Sarah Blauser gets creative at Cub Scout Camp in June.

Going into her second year, Blauser, now 9, will advance from Bear Cub to Webelos.

When the time came to think about enrolling Sarah in a scouting organization, the Boy Scouts was a natural fit. Sarah comes from a Boy Scout family.

Sarah’s mother, Karen, who is a leader in Troop 22 and a member of the BSA honor society — Order of the Arrow — already had sons in Boy and Cub Scouts and she didn’t need more places to shuttle children.

“I’m a widowed mom,” she said. “It’s hard for me to have a different organization to take my kids to.”

“My oldest son is working on his Eagle Scout right now,” she said. “My youngest was a Tiger Cub, now a Wolf.”

Signing Sarah up didn’t change much beyond what she wore. “She was at all the events anyhow,” Karen Blauser said. “She put on a uniform and went to the first meeting and they didn’t blink an eye.”

“The boys are so used to seeing her there anyway,” she said. “She blends right in with them.”

She didn’t feel the need to go with an organization that is particular to girls.

“We as leaders have discussed the changes,” Karen Blauser said. “We all agree. We are in this because of the values that it teachers the children. The 12 points of Scout Law — it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, those are going to be valuable in your life.”

It has “definitely” been a good experience so far, she said.

Asked what she would say to girls who are wondering if they should sign up to Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, Sarah said, “I’d tell them, ‘Just join. It’s awesome.'”

Scout signups are from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the chartered organizations that can be found at District Executive Jim Shaw suggests new Scout families contact the Chief Cornplanter Council Service Center at 723-6700 for details. “We can get them to a location near them.”