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‘Paving the way’
October 26, 2018

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Zoey Boucher likes camping, tenting and the outdoors.

Her enjoyment of all three was a factor in her wanting to join Cub Scouts. Zoey said she wanted to join "The minute I explained it to Mom and Dad."

"She actually had decided before the date that they could sign up, so she knew that the day they signed up she wanted to join," said Zoey's father, Leon.

Zoey is the first female Cub Scout in the Tomahawk District of the Northern Lights Council-which comprises Pierce, McHenry, Rolette, Bottineau, Renville, Ward, Burke, Mountrail, Benson and Wells counties. For the past five years, Zoey followed along and participated in Cub Scouts with her older brother, Calvin.

"Now it allows her to earn the badges, go through the ranks and accomplish the goals and different steps," said Leon.

Zoey said she is 65 percent of the way toward completing her Bear badge. Cub Scout ranks include Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos (short for "WE'll BE LOyal Scouts") and Arrow of Light.

Calvin said he didn't initially like his sister joining Cub Scouts due to competition in sales, but now he sees that he can teach and help his sister advance through the ranks.

"It would be very easy to help her because I've already gone through the steps needed for the ranks I've completed," said Calvin. "So it'll be easier for me to teach her."

Scouting with her brother has given her some advantages, including learning some of the scout firsts such as the Scout Motto and the Scout Oath.

"She technically had it down because she'd been listening and helping me with it," said Calvin. "The first time she said it she got 90 percent of it perfect."

Like her brother, Zoey is a Lone Scout, which means she goes through the Cub Scout program with a counselor instead of a pack. Counselors may be parents, legal guardians, ministers, teachers or other adults who instruct scouts and review steps in advancement.

As counselors, Leon and Laura fill out all the documentation and make sure Calvin and Zoey do the work needed to get to each rank, and do all the planning. The family of four take on all the aspects of a pack. While they did miss having extra hands a pack would have provided early on, lone scouting has allowed them some freedoms, including setting up camping trips on their schedule.

One such camping trip, Leon recalled, had inclement weather in the forecast. Leon asked Zoey whether she wanted to stay or go home.

"I said, 'We're staying'," said Zoey.

In February 2019, girls will be allowed to join Scouts BSA-which will be the new name of the Boy Scouts of America's flagship organization when that happens-albeit in separate troops from the boys. Zoey said she wants to join Scouts BSA when she is of age.

"I'm definitely proud to have [a] daughter who's one of the first in the Tomahawk district," said Leon. "I believe she's paving the way for some of the other girls to be able to come too."

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