Female alums of local Boy Scouts program thrilled with announcement

Female alums of local Boy Scouts program thrilled with announcement

CHAMPAIGN — When Cathie Seebauer of Urbana was a young girl, she used to tag along at her brother's Boy Scout activities, watching them from afar.

"My brother was in Troop 9 at Holy Cross School, and I used to go to some of their campouts at Camp Drake near Oakwood," she said. "I've always been an outdoorsy person, and Scouting looked like a lot of fun."

When Seebauer turned 14, she joined one of the Boy Scout organizations that admitted girls at that time, Venturing Crew One at First United Methodist Church in Champaign.

Seebauer, now 19 and a graduate of the High School of St. Thomas More, is the national vice president of the Boys Scouts of America Venturing program. She says Scouting has given her life-enhancing experiences she will never forget.

"I went backpacking through the mountains of New Mexico, and I was the emcee before 40,000 Scouts at the National Scouting Jamboree in West Virginia," she said.

Seebauer is one of several local Scouting enthusiasts who wholeheartedly endorse the Boy Scouts of America's decision to admit girls to Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

"I would say Scouting allows you to grow as a young person and do things outside your comfort zone," she said.

The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday that its board of directors unanimously approved a decision to allow girls into the Cub Scouts program for the first time in the organization's nearly century-old history and to allow girls to earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.

Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts.

The organization said its decision came following years of requests from families.

Maddy Kangas of Urbana said she wanted to be part of Scouting after seeing how rewarding serving in the Boy Scouts could be.

"I had a brother who was in the Boy Scouts, and I got to see all the fun he was having," said Kangas, who also joined Scouting's Venturing program when she was old enough.

"I had a whole bunch of leadership experiences in all kinds of settings," she said. "It encouraged me to get out of my shell."

Kangas, now 22, is a Scouting adviser these days.

"I am more than thrilled that girls are going to participate at all levels of the Scouting program, and not just Venturing," she said.

"We are welcoming girls with open arms," said Kyle Kietzmann, president of the Prairielands Council, which serves 2,500 young people in 120 different units within 13 counties of East Central Illinois and western Indiana.

"We are happy that girls are going to be able to experience our programs and practice leadership at all levels in all forms of Scouting," he said. "Our mission is to develop character and leadership for as many young people as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders."

Kietzmann said he wants to make the transition to participation by girls as smooth and efficient as possible.

"Any parent who has a girl interested in our Scouting programs can call us at 356-7201 to get more information," he said.

Gabrielle Martin of Champaign, adviser of Venturing Crew One, said she supports the acceptance of girls throughout Scouting.

"I think it is wonderful," she said. "I went through Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting with our sons, and I know a lot of sisters hung around at meetings. This allows girls to experience Scouting at all levels."

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RatDog wrote on October 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

Look, there's the Boy Scouts & there's the Girl Scouts. If you're a boy, ya go in the Boy Scouts. Girls go in the Girl Scouts. Are they gonna let boys in the Girl Scouts now? I bet not. There should be a place where boys can be with just boys. All Boy Scouts should quit NOW.

Trailmom wrote on October 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

You my not realize that the US is one of the few countries where Scouting has not been co-ed.   With this move, fewer than 5 countries will be single-gender Scouting including Yemen and Saudi Arabia. 

The BSA now follows the examples of England,Spain, Japan, France, etc.

And please tell me.... where can't boys be boys?


Common Sense wrote on October 12, 2017 at 11:10 am

Obviously, no longer in the BOY Scouts. When you add the opposite sex in to a group, things change drastically. If you don't know that, then you don't get around enough.

Why do these girls feel they need to be in the BOY Scouts?  If there are opportunities there that they can't get in the GIRL Scouts, then why not campaign to get those opportunities in their own group? Why spoil something that has existed for over a century?

Why do we have to follow examples of other countries?  Just because they do something, does that mean it is better? Many or most countries in Europe allow 100% school choice. Are people here saying we should do that here because of that?

For those who are weary of all the recent decisions of the BOY Scouts, there is an alternative group that is probably like what the BOY Scouts originally were, Trail Life USA.

rsp wrote on October 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Seperate but equal? They are absolutely not the same. Maybe you haven't been to many scouting meetings but it's not unusual to see girls there, so how is anyone "adding the opposite sex into the group" exactly?

Many scout leaders are women. That would be the "opposite sex", I'm afraid I have to inform you.

This has nothing to do with other countries except to show how backwards some people want us to go.

Regarding Trail Life USA, they define themselves as a christian organization. In order to be in leardership one must sign a religious oath and be of the Christian faith. That's so you can impart Christian values and beliefs on the the children, who can be of any faith. Faith was the motivation for forming, whereas the Boy Scouts it was patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values. (Boy Scouts of America, 1910). I don't see anything about swearing to the Christian church, which one anyway.

In 1910 there was rapid social change. Families were moving from the farm to the city. People were losing their structures that held society together. Scouting stepped in to help build a safety net, prepare the next generation. That's something it sees as it's role for the future. The future isn't just boys. It's all our children.

Thewatcher wrote on October 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

I don't agree with you on much rsp, but on this I do.  I don't ever remember Boy Scouts being tied to religion.  It wasn't back in the day when I was in it.  The only time God was even mentioned was when we said the Pledge of Alliegance from what I recall.  If the Girl Scouts are upset, maybe they should then become more inclusive and provide activities and experiences that cater to what the people want.  I had friends and relatives in Girl Scouts, and all I remember them for are cookies and crafts.  That's the truth.  I'm sure it's changed some, but their image hasn't.  The two groups aren't in competition either.  To say the Boy Scouts are trying to run the Girl Scouts out of business is ridiculous.

CallSaul wrote on October 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm


Of course the RWNJ little snowflakes are having meltdown hissy fits about this.

They're just too tender and delicate for this fallen world.

So predictable. 

They're really showing their tiny dinky little hands...

IlliniwekMerica wrote on October 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm



Go read that NY Times article and realize that some people actually think this is an attack on the girls scouts and shouldn't be celebrated.

Uh oh... now you have to come to your own conclusions weighing contradicting opinions!

CallSaul wrote on October 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

'Uh oh... now you have to come to your own conclusions weighing contradicting opinions!'

What a laughably weird attempt at an insult...

What attack are you under the impression you're making on me with that...?


Anyway, Tuttle is commenting on whether or not it's an unquestionably good thing. She notes that a lot of Boy Scout troops are tied to kooky churches while Girl Scouts are secular and quite progressive generally.

Again, her column is all about whether or not this move is as progressive as some might initially think it is...

Read my comment again and note that I took no position on whether or not or to what degree this is a progressive change. Tuttle makes great points about both the two groups and rightly notes that, as with pretty much all things in life, this is not unambiguously good or bad, progressive or reactionary, etc...

Again and for your apparently necessary benefit, I didn't address questions of the merits of the change.

I was just noting the predictable reaction of the tiny little manchild trogs here and elsewhere who are reduced to quivering puddles of rank goo by this change... 


cwakefld wrote on October 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Saul, no matter how much I agree with your points and opinions, it is always negated by the hateful and mean spirited way in which you choose to express them.

CallSaul wrote on October 19, 2017 at 12:10 am

I'm sure you don't mean that you've changed your mind on positions we agree on because of the way I've commented on them...

Yes, I often mock and ridicule the extreme positions espoused by the rightwing trolls, including the guy who pointed out the 'Boy' in 'Boy Scouts' as well as the one who said this will lead to rampant sexual abuse of girls by boys in the Scouts. 

I also call out --- and yes, mock and ridicule --- their racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, ethnonationalism and their other bigotries...

I'm not going to pretend that these are rational positions worthy of reasoned debate....

I'm not going to politely request that they please consider maybe being a just skosh less bigoted in their comments...

Liberals and progressives have been doing that for more than 50 years and we got Fox 'News,' Limbaugh and Trump, not to mention nazis marching and murdering in Charlottesville and elsewhere, in response...

Maybe we should worry less about being ultra polite to the bigots and instead truthfully call out their bigotry and respond to it with the mockery, ridicule and derision it deserves...

The Gipper wrote on October 12, 2017 at 8:10 pm

As usual, the resident liberal resorts to name calling of those he disagrees with, for an article regarding the Boy Scouts.  Pitiful

Are the parents of the girls going to be comfortable with them camping with young, possibly inquisitive boys? If something happens, will their reaction be "boys will be boys?"

CallSaul wrote on October 12, 2017 at 9:10 pm


What a disgustingly creepy comment... 

I hope you didn't raise and that you're not currently allowed around children. 

And the projection and sanctimonious hypocrisy of RWNJs never ceases to astound me.

Do you honestly think we'll all magically forget the many times you 'resort to name calling of those [you] disagree with'?


APC wrote on October 13, 2017 at 9:10 am

I will note that this same sentiment is the one used to argue to keep the LBQTs out of the scouts (and the military) - they will be unable to control themselves.

Maybe the question to ask is why do some Americans have such trouble with such integrations in Scouting when other developed countries have done this for years without trouble?


Silence Dogood II wrote on October 12, 2017 at 9:10 pm

My user name exists for a reason, but I feel strong enough about this subject material to give away a personal piece of my background. As an avid Scouter and Eagle Scout, my full endorsement is on the table. There is only one fellow Scouter I know that does not wear the World Crest on his uniform. Other than that one exception, we all wear the World Crest signifying unity in the World Organization of the Scout Movement. It’s about dang time we unified too!! I guess for the record as well, it always droce me abolutely batty when I would hear other leaders talking about “taking the boys” to an event or camping trip. No Mr. Scout Leader, you “take the scouts” to those events. Just one of those irritating pronoun choices I guess( or whatever grammatical term it’s called). Regardless, CONGRATS!!!!

BruckJr wrote on October 13, 2017 at 8:10 am

You know darn well what the reaction will be.  The ambulance chasers will come out from under their rocks and convince the parents that there are some very deep pockets to exploit.

sweet caroline wrote on October 13, 2017 at 10:10 am

Call Saul....how must it feel to be such a rude, angry, sarcastic person?  Plenty of people are upset by the Boys Scouts newest act of liberalism.  Not one of the commenters on this thread comes across with the hate that you do.  I don't understand why the News-Gazette allows your name calling and anger-filled personal attacks to even be printed.  Their rules specifically warn against name calling and hateful remarks, but they obviously don't enforce the rules.  I enjoy reading comments from most writers, even those I don't agree with but who are at least civil and respectful of others' view points.  Not yours.  Your writing comes across as bullying.  You like to accuse others of being haters.  Try looking in the mirror sometime.

Objective Reporter wrote on October 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm

That's a keeper, Caroline.  In fact, you could cut and paste that into many different "discussion" threads of which he has been a part.  Great post.

CallSaul wrote on October 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Looking in the mirror is good advice for everyone…

Do you honestly not read the comments of your fellow rightwingers or do you just think we're all too simple to recognize the same old hypocrisy in your partisan double standard?

Rightwingers show your authoritarian streak when you play self appointed comment cop and call for the banning only of certain commenters you disagree with, allegedly enforcing civility but only targeting those to your left…

I've never seen you condemn the name calling, rudeness and vile attacks that are regularly made by your fellow rightwingers…

There are plenty of them who do it everyday on here but you remain silent about them.

I wonder why that's the case…?

Objective Reporter wrote on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

If I were a right winger, that post would ALMOST make sense.  Nice try.

CallSaul wrote on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

That is a response to caroline, not to you...

...so, then I take it you now believe it makes sense...?

Objective Reporter wrote on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

My apology.  It had a line connected to my comment, so I assumed it was directed at me.  My mistake.

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on October 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Sollie boy will argue that its the RWNJ to cause the sun to rise in the east in the morning.  Sollie brings nothing to the table but hate.

CallSaul wrote on October 16, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Back to obsessively following me around with your weird personal attacks, huh...?


But I'm sure all the rightwing self appointed comment cops will be along soon to scold you for your lack of proper decorum...

Cos, y'know, it's not like they're a bunch of disingenuous hypocrites who only scold people they disagree with or anything...

Objective Reporter wrote on October 17, 2017 at 8:10 am

Saul brings nothing but hate, cjw, but you are right there with him.  It's like a couple of kids on the playground and it's tired.  One of you guys should try being the adult.

john wesley wrote on October 17, 2017 at 3:10 pm

I find myself somewhat ambivalent about this latest cultural development.  On the one hand, regardless of whatever other countries do, etc., I find it somewhat foolish and eye rolling.  It's the Boy Scouts.  Boy.  It's not hard, folks.  
  As a child I found all boy events to be helpful at times and bonding.  We do act different around the opposite sex, and sometimes men and women take solace in unisex groups where they can relax a bit more and be at times more vulnerable with one another.  I think this is healthy and good- for kids AND adults at times (unless it's paired with a disdain of the opposite sex in which case it can become toxic).

  On the other hand, it's not that big a deal in the larger context of life and our country and the values we hold.  At least, not a big deal to me.  If you want unisex organizations then go find another one or create another one.  It's a free country, at least so far.  If you're a Christian and you want a Christian Boy Scout-esque experience then there already is an organization in place for that.  If you are a girl and want a different Girl Scout experience then agitate for it or create a different group and so on. 

  So in short I think it's just not worth all the yelling.  Let 'em do what they want.  It's not the choice I would make if I was in charge of the Scouts but I'm not and hey it's a free country.  My thoughts on the topic.  

   And, yes, News-Gazette, is there a way to consider maybe just possibly pulling Saul's plug?  It's wearisome and he's crossed over the line about six hundred times in my opinion.  Yes, there are some right wingers who can be rude as well, but no one, and I mean NO ONE is as consistently rude, loud, insulting and- for the love of God- omnipresent as Saul.  

  Thank you.

CallSaul wrote on October 17, 2017 at 4:10 pm

I really am sorry you find my comments more objectionable than the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, ethnonationalistic and othewise bigoted comments dropped here everyday by the rightwing trolls.

Might I suggest simply not reading them...?

sweet caroline wrote on October 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Ha!  Call Saul, you just proved our (John Wesley, The Gipper, and me) point with your own post!  Do you bully people to their faces, as well, or just when you're hiding behind the anonymity of comments online?  As John Wesley said, there are those on the right who post some pretty sarcastic comments...but nothing in comparison to yours. 

CallSaul wrote on October 17, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Seriously, what post are you talking about and how are you claiming I bullied anyone...?

Also, why don't you ever critizice your fellow rightwingers for the insults and abuse they hurl at others on here on a daily basis...?

Objective Reporter wrote on October 18, 2017 at 7:10 am

I put out a call to both you and cjw, Saul, to start acting like adults.  We haven't heard from him so far (not that I've seen anyway) so maybe he is tired of the incessant name calling and blathering.  How about some grown-up level-headed discussions on topics with people with whom you disagree, rather than the "He said it first!" attitude that's used by every 10 year old on the playground?  Try the high road and see where it leads.  I think if your, and others', behavior continues, people will ask the News-Gazette to step in and put you in time out.

CallSaul wrote on October 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Pointing out how the sancimonious hypocrisy of rightwing trolls --- see eg the most recent comments from 'bystander' and 'bruck'  alongside their other comment --- erodes all of their credibility is hardly a playground retort.

I'm happy to engage with people but the local rightwing trolls are not. Caroline won't explain why she doesn't criticize the rightwing trolls. I'd look forward to her explanation of what comment she was referring to and how she thought it 'bullied' anyone but, frankly, there's little hope of a substantive response.

The obsessive creepiness of 'cjw' constatnly following me around and attacking me is just one example of rightwing trolls garbage posting with insults, abuse and personal attacks --- and that's on top of their standard racsim, misogyny, homophobie, xenophobia, etc...

Their bigotry and hatred is extremely impolite and I don't feel especially obligated to bend over backwards to be polite to them when pointing it out just because they predictably react with studied whining and crying and and behaving as if criticizing racism and bigotry is somehow worse than actual racism and bigotry.

Bystander wrote on October 18, 2017 at 9:10 am
Profile Picture

It is long overdue that the News-Gazette ban CallSaul for personal attacks.

BruckJr wrote on October 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Ban him?  Leonard PItts launches personal attacks regularly.  So too News Gazette regulars like Sundiata Cha-Jua and Ryan Jackson.  These are views that this newspaper chooses to project.  They are more likely to hire Saul than to ban him.