Parish hopes to form all-girls scout troop


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — When girls were allowed to enter Scouts BSA (formerly known as Boy Scouts) last year, Ellen Jardine wanted to join. Her goal is to earn her Eagle Scout award.

Ellen Jardine hopes to form an all-girls troop with Scouts BSA through St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport.

Now, Ellen is a “lone scout,” or an independent scout with St. Paul the Apostle Parish, which has an all-boy troop. Regulations for both Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA do not allow co-ed troops.

As Ellen works her way to Eagle Scout rank, she will need leadership positions and to meet other requirements. She needs an all-girl troop to achieve some of those advancements. She could join one of three other all-girl troops in the Quad-City area, but prefers affiliation with the St. Paul the Apostle troop.


“I have attended scout meetings with my brother since I was young,” Ellen said. As her brother transitioned into Scouts BSA, she continued to attend meetings as his sister. “I’ve know them (the boys in the troop) for so long. They are a cool group to hang out with.”

Over the years, the Jardine family has attended meetings, campouts and other activities. Ellen feels a natural fit in becoming a Scout BSA. “I have had a lot of fun and learned a lot of skills,” she said. “Scouting prepares you for a good work ethic, going out in the community to help and do community service projects.”

Zachary Beuthien, assistant scout executive/COO with the Illowa Council in Davenport, said five members is the goal for a troop to exist. “There are some vibrant girl troops in our council,” he noted.

Morgan Kuhlman, Kittan district executive who serves Scott County with the Illowa Council, said progress is being made to form the all-girl troop.

St. Paul the Apostle Parish, which charters the boys’ troop, has agreed to charter the girls’ troop. The next step is finding a scoutmaster for the new troop. Separate scoutmasters are needed for each troop. Once the troop is formed, both troops can share committees, resources and meet together at times, Kuhlman said.

Matt Thompson, scoutmaster with boys’ Troop 20 at St. Paul the Apostle, said both troops could share adult leadership positions. Once the girls’ troop is established, he predicts meetings would be held at the same time.

“Part of the meeting time would involve common activities between the troops such as flag ceremonies, merit badge, rank training and activity scheduling. Part of the time would be spent as individual troops working on various items such as patrol work.”

Thompson said Ellen at age 16 is starting later than many scouts who are working toward Eagle Scout rank. However, he believes she can advance to Eagle Scout by her 18th birthday — which is the age limit for scouts to achieve that rank.

An informational/recruitment meeting will be held March 10 at St. Paul’s at 6 p.m. He noted scouts do not need to be members of St. Paul the Apostle Parish or Catholic.

“We currently have scouts from five different schools.” Ellen is from St. Anthony Parish.

For more information about joining the troop, being on the mailing list or asking questions, email

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