Leadership Becomes Second Nature for Local All-Girls Troop, Now Official Members of Scouts BSA

In February, for the first time in its 100-plus-year history, the Boy Scouts of America welcomed young women to its iconic program. Since then, a group of local girls has become one of the nation’s first all-girl troops to join the program for fun, adventure, life skills, and leadership – all elements they experienced on a recent weeklong camping trip.

Previously known as the Boy Scouts, the program is now called “Scouts BSA,” a change meant to welcome both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 17 to its ranks. Downingtown resident Patti VanCleave, Assistant Scoutmaster of the newly formed troop, has been involved in scouting for 16 years and is still involved with her son’s old troop.

“It’s a great program that teaches a lot to the Scouts about leadership and self-confidence,” she said.VanCleave, who works as a Project Manager at the Chester County Economic Development Council in the Department of STEM Innovation, is no stranger to helping area youth explore their passions. She runs point on the annual Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT) event that provides an opportunity for young women in grades 5 to 10 to explore STEM careers.

She is also involved in the state’s What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? student video contest, which has teams of middle school students partner with area manufacturing companies, as well as summer career academies, that provide area kids with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Through these programs and other career exploration events, she helped 4,681 local young people discover, explore, and learn this past year.


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