”From all of the kids that we have talked to and all the parents that we've talked to, it's that safe space, right? They have troop leaders that have LGBT kids. A lot of us have gone through extra training, mental health awareness training ... so it truly is that safe space for these kids when they join." — Richel Newborg of Fort Worth, Texas, told Good Morning America.
In a groundbreaking move, a mother from Fort Worth, Texas, has taken the initiative to form a new Girl Scout troop dedicated to LGBTQ youth.
Richel Newborg, a former Girl Scout-turned-volunteer, noticed the need for activities specifically catered to transgender daughters and LGBTQ girls and teens. Inspired by the desire to provide a safe and accepting environment, Newborg collaborated with her daughters and other girls in the area to establish Troop 02777, known as the "Pride Crew."
This troop, which began during Pride Month, offers a unique space where LGBTQ girls and teenagers, from kindergarten to 12th grade, can participate in scouting activities that celebrate their identities.
Newborg's decision to create Troop 02777 was driven by her conversations with other parents seeking inclusive opportunities for their LGBTQ children. Some girls expressed concerns about whether Girl Scouts was accepting of the LGBTQ community.
By starting the Pride Crew as an informal group, Newborg allowed the girls themselves to shape the direction of the LGBTQ troop. This approach ensures that the troop is led by its members and serves as a reflection of their needs and interests.
Troop 02777 is a safe haven for LGBTQ youth, allowing any child to join without fear of judgment or exclusion. The troop leaders, many of whom have LGBTQ children, have undergone additional training, including mental health awareness, to create a supportive environment.
By prioritizing the emotional and physical safety of each member, Girl Scouts ensures that transgender girls who are recognized as such by their families and communities can participate in scouting activities.
The newly formed troop, along with the Pride Crew, has wasted no time in building a tight-knit and encouraging community. They hold regular meetings and have already participated in the LGBTQ SAVES Annual Youth Pride Picnic in Fort Worth.
The troop provides a safe space for LGBTQ girls and teens to share their experiences and find support from others who understand their unique journeys.
The establishment of Troop 02777 in North Texas exemplifies the Girl Scouts' commitment to inclusivity and empowerment for all girls. By recognizing the diverse identities within their organization and creating safe spaces, they set an inspiring example for other communities.
This groundbreaking initiative ensures that LGBTQ youth can fully embrace their authentic selves while participating in enriching activities and building lifelong friendships. Troop 02777 serves as a testament to the power of community and the positive impact that inclusive programs can have on the lives of LGBTQ youth.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.