February 2020
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PTAC Celebrates First Anniversary of Scouts BSA
Today, on Valentine's Day, we just want to say how much we love our donors like you!

Thank you for supporting the Scouting movement. Because of you, the Pathway to Adventure Council (PTAC) is able provide programs for over 20,000 youth that offer character development, fitness and citizenship training. Your generosity strengthens our ability to prepare youth to become responsible, participating citizens and leaders who are guided by the Scout Oath and Law. It also enhances our ability to expand our programs to new audiences.
February marks the first anniversary of Scouts BSA and the inclusion of girls in this iconic Boy Scouts of America program. Response from families across the Pathway to Adventure Council exceeded expectations. In fact, girls’ participation tripled in size from the pilot phase through the end of 2019. Throughout Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, more than 420 girls joined one of 41 Scouts BSA Troops. 

The girls of Troop 290 G are blazing trails in Hoffman Estates. This linked troop, chartered by the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has grown to 10 girls with two patrols.
According to Scoutmaster Anthony Valle, welcoming girls last year was a natural choice. “We’ve known most of the girls since they were very little because their older brothers were involved with the Troop.”

Almost all the girls in the Troop had or currently have a brother involved in Scouting. For Scout Emmylina, that is the best thing about participating in Scouts BSA. “It’s just a whole big family. I really like that,” she said. 

When it comes to their favorite activities, camping ranks high on the list. Leila had never been camping prior to joining Troop 290. “I had always wanted to go camping, but never did,” said Leila. “It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more!”
Bianca was surprised by how much interaction there is with other troops in the Council. “I think it’s cool that we get to meet new people,” she said.
Beyond making new friends and finding adventure, the girls are also growing in their personal development. And those changes are not going unnoticed by their leaders and parents. Scoutmaster Anthony has seen a positive change not only in his daughter, Bianca, but in all the girls. 

Jose Cabalfin, assistant scoutmaster and father of three Troop 290 Scouts, says his daughter is like a different person. “For the last few years, I’ve been trying to get Emilyn to be more responsible and to be a leader. After this first year in Scouts BSA, she is using the language I’ve been trying to teach her. She’s showing more confidence and taking more initiative,” he said. 

Liz Strik, mom of two Troop 290 Scouts and also an assistant Scoutmaster, saw how the Cubs Scouts program taught her son how to be a good friend, how to be loyal, how to cooperate with others and work together to achieve a goal. “I was jealous in a way that my daughter didn’t have that same experience, which is why having her participate in Scouts BSA now is so important to me,” she said.
The Scouts of Troop 290 G were recognized by the Village of Hoffman Estates for “paving a positive path for future young women and men as [they] strengthen[s] [their] skills in the areas of adventure, leadership, service and personal growth.” Additionally, at the recommendation of State Representatives Michelle Mussman and Fred Crespo, members of Troop 290 G received acknowledgement from the 101 st General Assembly House of Representatives for their “successful journey of completing one of the 1 st non-gender specific Scouting programs where [their] successes happened from the inclusion of each other as a team.”

The girls of Troop 290 G are fully embracing the Scouting experience and the opportunities it affords both boys and girls. Many attended an OKPIK Cold Weather Camping course, as well as National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). In fact, two of the girls will be staffing a NYLT session this summer. 

This is just the start of their Scouting journey, one that could take them all the way to Scouting’s highest rank – Eagle. You go, girls!
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