First Warren County girl in Cub Scouts: ‘You shouldn’t be scared to join’

A 10-year-old from Lebanon wants to be the first girl to become an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts and achieve the Gold Award, the equivalent top honor from the Girl Scouts of America.

Lillian Gray is already the the first girl Cub Scout in Warren County.

On Monday, she participated officially for the first time in a Cub Scout event, filling bags with food for needy children in the Lebanon School District Monday.

“I was just a little nervous,” she told WHIO-TV after learning she would be the only girl in the pack. “You shouldn’t be scared to join. Just do it.”

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In October, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors in Irving, Texas, unanimously voted to allow girls into its Cub Scout program.

"Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts," the Boy Scouts said in an Oct. 11 announcement.

Lillian’s parents are helping her straddle the gender line.

RELATED: Boy Scouts Warren County accepts first girl into program

Her father, Bill Gray, leads the local Boy Scout troop, while her mother, Beth Gray, leads Lillian’s Girl Scout troop. She plans to do both.

“It was really my dad who brought it up. He said, ‘Do you want to join Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts because they’re open,’ and I said, ‘Sure,’” Lillian said, adding that she looked forward to camping, shooting guns and learning archery — skills not taught to Girl Scouts.

Bill Gray, an Eagle Scout, said his troop’s Cub Scout Pack 618 is the only pilot group welcoming girls in Warren County.

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While she was previously unable to join, her father said Lillian had helped the troop build the We-Hin-Ah-Pay Trail at Camp Friedlander, a nearby Boy Scout camp, and watched her brother, John, 22, become an Eagle Scout, while enjoying all the outdoor adventures, skills and honors leading to the ultimate Boy Scout honor.

Except in pilot units like Pack 618, girls will not be allowed to join until September, Bill Gray said. Next January, Boy Scouts troops will be open to girls, Gray added.

Reactions to the WHIO story on Lillian’s gender-breaking action on the Warren County News Facebook page were mixed.

They ranged from “I say, ‘Go for it.’ Nurses use to just be female and surgeons were only male,” to “This is why I no longer suport any of the Scouts… Boy or Girl!”

MORE: Boy Scout units ready for gay leaders

Boy Scouts of America Chief Executive Mike Surbaugh expressed excitement at the coming change and encouraged everyone to talk about it.

"We're looking forward to a great adventure in 2018," BSA Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said in an interview after the announcement.

WHIO-TV Reporter Caroline Reinwald contributed to this report

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