(MURFREESBORO) An ceremonial event that welcomed girls into the Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts of America took place Friday (2/2/2019) in the historic Rutherford County Courthouse.
A trio of Eagle Scouts, with strong ties to this community and MTSU, took part in the official welcoming of girl members into its youth program. February 1, 2019 was the day when age 11 to 17-year old girls could join Scouts BSA, the new name for this nationwide program.
Trio of Eagle Scout Leaders Spoke
The three participating local Eagle Scouts included Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, a Murfreesboro native, Blue Raider alumni and member of Scouting's Middle Tennessee Council executive; retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber; along with MTSU Board of Trustees member J.B. Baker, a member of Scouting's Middle Tennessee Council executive board and CEO and owner of Sprint Logistics.
MTSU signed a partnership agreement with the council in March, 2018 that allows the university to be a greater resource for Scouting programs, particularly in science and technology.
Blue Raider President Sidney A. McPhee said, "We at MTSU seek out partnerships like these so that we can serve our communities and give promising perspective students a chance to take a closer look at our university."
Huber, MTSU's senior advisor for veterans and leadership initiatives, led the new scouts in the Pledge of Allegiance and spoke to the significance of the ceremony, saying the girls, as founding members of Troop 2019, were making history with their commitment to be among the first girls to join Scouts BSA.
Ketron, a member of the council's executive board, invited troop leaders to hold the ceremony at the historic courthouse. He joined representatives from scout units across the Trail of Tears District, which includes Rutherford County, in congratulating the new girl members of Scouts BSA.
Baker, also a member of the council board and CEO and owner of Sprint Logistics, delivered formal congratulations to the girls on behalf of the university. Baker led the new scouts in reading of the Outdoors Code.
Chartered By 16 Girls
Each of the 16 girls signed a charter document that listed them as founding members of the troop. After signing the charter document, each girl was presented with a neckerchief by their parents and a copy of the new Scouts BSA Handbook by Scoutmaster Kevin Phillips.
Although MTSU will provide program support to the troop through its partnership with the council, the men's ministry of Trinity United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro is the unit's chartering organization and will provide meeting space and oversight for the unit.
MTSU has worked with Boy Scouting since 1920 and, since 1991, has hosted a Merit Badge University on campus, where faculty members and staff members help scouts earn badges in a variety of different disciplines.
The partnership puts into play the educational resources of the university's College of Basic and Applied Sciences to engage scouts in science and technology pursuits. The council, based in Nashville, has more than 19,000 members and has been fastest growing of 270 nationwide councils in recent years.
MTSU signed a similar partnership with the Tennessee Wing of the Civil Air Patrol's cadet program in 2014 and renewed in 2017. Discussions are underway at MTSU for a pact with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee.