It is time to put on the green and blue and head to your local school for scout sign-up night.

Representatives of both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will be available from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday to sign up girls and boys for scouting for the upcoming school year.


It is time to put on the green and blue and head to your local school for scout sign-up night.

Representatives of both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will be available from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday to sign up girls and boys for scouting for the upcoming school year.

The sign-up differs somewhat from years past in that the schools did not let the scout representatives speak to students before Thursday’s sign-up.

However, the sign-up night will run as usual, Todd Wedel, scoutmaster of Troop 127, said.

Although the pre-event meetings with kids have been eliminated, Wedel said he thought the school district was gracious for letting the scouts use their buildings after hours and hoped for good turnouts.

“Our access to boys is limited, but we still want to get the word out that to the boys and their parents about the sign-up night,” Wedel said.

Last year, about 50 to 100 boys signed up for scouting through the Newton schools.

The goal is to increase that number by 20 to 30 scouts per unit or school, Wedel said.

The Girl Scout goal is 330 girls and 115 adults for Harvey County.

Parents can sign their children up or sign themselves up as volunteers the night of the event.

“No matter what your interests or area of expertise, we are sure to have a place for you,” Cat Poland, Girl Scouts of the Kansas Heartland communications manager said of the need for volunteers. “We also offer flexible options for volunteering, which don’t require a large time commitment. We are committed to creating a safe environment in Girl Scouting and require all volunteers to go through a background check.”

The cost for Boy Scouts is $20, which includes a subscription to Boy’s Life and a Boy Scout handbook. A year membership for Girl Scouts is $10 per year, and scholarships are available for dues, camp and Girl Scout accessories, such as badges and sashes. Individual troop dues may vary. For more information, call (316) 684-6531 or (888) 472-3683.

Children and adults of all ages can sign up to participate or volunteer with scouting, but the emphasis is placed on younger students, in order to get the boys and girls involved in the program from the beginning.

Wedel, who has been a scoutmaster for six years, said scouts can offer big benefits for kids.

“I think the biggest thing to see is how they can become accomplished as individuals,” he said. “It is amazing to watch a sixth grader who might be small and not had exposure to the adventures in the out of doors and as they stick with it, they grow confidence and discover who they are.”

Poland said girls can gain similar benefits from scouting.

“There are as many reasons to join Girl Scouts as there are things to do in scouting,” she said, but the main reason is that girls develop courage, confidence and character while having fun and forming lifelong friendships.”

Most Girl and Boy Scout troops or units will begin meeting on a regular basis after Labor Day, Wedel said.

Troop meeting times and places vary, but most groups meet about an hour once per week, Wedel said.