Girl Scouts lead pledge for first time

October 06, 1998|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Having a gangly group of young scouts open Baltimore County Council meetings with a hurried Pledge of Allegiance isn't unusual -- if they're Boy Scouts.

But last night, nine members of Girl Scout Troop 1106 earned a footnote in county history, stepping forward at the request of a councilman's wife to become the first troop of female Scouts to lead the pledge before the council.

"It seems sort of peculiar that we've never had Girl Scouts in here. What's wrong with us?" asked Lisa Keir, an aide to Towson Republican Councilman Douglas B. Riley, whose wife, Eileen, invited their 12-year-old daughter's troop to lead the pledge.

Council members stress that there's no discrimination involved.

"We welcome any Boy Scout or Girl Scout," said Council Chairman Stephen G. Sam Moxley, a Catonsville Democrat. It's just that no Girl Scout troop asked before, officials said.

Boy Scout troops regularly lead the pledge at council meetings, using it as an opportunity to earn the citizenship badges required of Boy Scouts.

Mary James, co-leader of the Girl Scout Troop 1106, said the seventh-graders attended as "part of a requirement on leadership skills." She found it curious that no girls had led the pledge before last night.

Lisa Cid, executive director of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, said Girl Scouts go to the General Assembly every year to visit their legislators -- and "often do a flag ceremony when they're asked to do it."

Still, she said, "it isn't unusual in everything from funding down that the girls are not thought about. We are seeing that begin to turn around."

Pub Date: 10/06/98

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