In the earliest days
of the Cubbing program, women were allowed only limited participation.
They were not allowed to register with the BSA. They could not hold the
role of Cubmaster, Committee member, or Commissioner. Those positions were
reserved for registered men only.
Since 1930 however,
women have gained full participation in the program. This process has been
gradual, but continual. It wasn't until 1976, forty-six years after the
initiation of 'Cubbing,' that women were finally granted the ability to
serve as Cubmasters, assistant Cubmasters, and all commissioner positions.
They were also authorized that year to participate in Cub Scout Trainer
and Scouter Wood Badge courses to which women had been previously denied
Here are some of the
major developments in the evolution of the role of women in the Cub
served "unofficially" on mother's committees and dinner committees and
assisted the Boy Scout Den Chief who ran the den meeting.
mothers could register with BSA, but registration was optional.
Registration for den mothers became mandatory. The position of den
mother was well established and an essential part of the Cub Scout
participated in the training sessions of the Second Philmont Cub Scout
1960 The 1st
den mothers conference was held. Forty women chosen from across the
nation met under the leadership of the Cub Scout Division, Feb. 18-19 in
the BSA national office, New Jersey.
mothers conference at Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey, March
Parsons Pratt becomes the first woman professional Scouter as the
curator of museums for the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM. She
was born in Connecticut in 1915. She went to college for the first time
at age 50 after which she began her 10 year career with the BSA. Eleanor
died on July 6, 1998 after a lengthy and wonderful life of 83 years.
title of den mother was officially changed to den leader to include both
male and female leaders of dens.
The den leader coach position
was created to give Cub Scout packs a leader and coordinator of den
leaders. Women or men were allowed to register as den leader coaches.
leader coach conferences at Augustus House and Schiff Scout Reservation
in New Jersey to establish training curriculum.
The first women were named to
the national Cub Scout Committee: LaVern W. Parmley and Elizabeth C.
Reneker. A study was conducted by BSA on the subject of "Awards for
Award for women was introduced for use at the council level.
Elizabeth Augustus Knight, Marjorie Meriweather Post, and Ann W. Nally
were the first "Fawns" of record. In 1971, 382 Silver Fawn awards were
presented. During the next 2 years, 1,634 Silver Fawn awards were
presented. In 1974, BSA discontinued their use after presenting 439
awards in the first 6 months of that year.
first standardized den leader coach conference was held at Schiff Scout
Reservation on May 6-7. Thirty-six women participated with the staff of
the Cub Scout Division including Bob Untch, Marlin Sieg, and Ed Hesser.
The faculty included Janice Butcher, Joyce Port, and Ann W. Nally,
chaired by Solveig Wald Horn. This conference was a forerunner of many
regional training events.
national Executive Board voted to allow women to serve as institutional
representatives, Cub Scout roundtable commissioners, Cub Scout unit
commissioners, unit chairmen, and unit committee members, den leaders,
assistant den leaders, and den leader coaches.
The first women appointed to
the national Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America were Elizabeth
Augustus Knight and LaVern W. Parmley.
Women were appointed to
regional and area Cub Scouting positions.
Silver Beaver Award replaced the Silver Fawn; women and men now receive
first Silver Antelopes awarded to women were awarded to LaVern W.
Parmley and Ann W. Nally
First Silver Buffalo awarded to a woman was awarded to LaVern W. Parmley.
The first couple to receive
the Silver Antelope award from the Northeast Region were John C. Horn
(1967) and Solveig Wald Horn (1976). A second couple received the same
awards later from the Western Region: Laurie Dievendorf (1980) and
Robert W. Dievendorf (1981).
Positions for women were
expanded. Added to the list were Cubmaster, assistant Cubmaster, and all
Women were authorized to
participate in Cub Scout Training Wood Badge courses and Scouter Wood
were active in the planning and operation of the 50th anniversary
program of Cub Scouting. Over 50 percent of the national Cub Scout
Committees project committees for the Golden Jubilee celebration were
made up of women and Cub Scouters from various parts of the nation.
first woman to serve on the Boy Scouts of America National Court of
Honor was Ann W. Nally.
position of Chief Scout Executive and BSA President are still the domain
of men, but its only a matter of time! Many women are holding top level
professional positions within the BSA. On the volunteer side, there are
more registered women in all levels of Cub Scouting than men. In some
Packs, the lack of male participation has become problematic. Many units
now focus on ways to attract more men during their annual membership
....and the pendulum
continues to swing!