Boy Scouts welcome first girls to troop with uniform gift

The boys of Ridley Township’s Troop 339 welcomed their female counterparts by using their own money to purchase uniforms for the girls.

Danielle Scott, a former Girl Scout, proudly tried hers on after joining the troop.

Thirteen-year-old Vaughn Ritter says the gesture is the boys' way of welcoming the girls to the troop.

"We normally go off of, 'You do a good turn daily and not get any big return.' So if you help someone out, you don't get expect to get paid or anything. It's just like a simple thing," said Vaughn. 

The payoff is the smile on each of the girls' faces. They’re excited to start their own troop within the Boy Scouts.

"The stuff is not cheap also, so it's kind of like, we get to start out with not having to worry about that as one of the first things," said Danielle.

The money to buy the uniforms came from a small investment account the boys have that teaches them how to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. 

They would usually use the money they make to buy equipment, like tents, or to fund camping trips. But this year, they did something different. Scout Master Jim Walls says the move demonstrates growth and maturity on the part of the boys.

"For them to make a decision like this I think is proof positive that's a terrific program for them," Walls said. 

While the Boy Scouts now welcome girls, the troops are single-gender and meet separately. Some of the girls say they wanted to join for the opportunity to reach Eagle Scout, which is the highest honor.

The girls' scoutmaster says what the boy scouts did adds to the excitement the girls have about designing their own program and looking forward to new ventures.

"It's fantastic that they went and did that for the girls. The girls know they're wanted and accepted and have a home," said Barbara Steinmetz.