Stuyvesant Town’s female Boy Scout looking to ‘Connect a Pet with a Vet’

Nov8 Sydney Ireland

Sydney Ireland

Since the Boy Scouts started allowing in younger girls ages 5-10 this September, 56,000 have joined. While this should be wonderful news, the Scouts have yet to recognize the contributions by girls who have already been in the program, albeit unofficially, for years. This means that Sydney Ireland, a Stuy Town resident and female Boy Scout who is currently close to completing her Eagle project, is expected by the Boy Scouts to start the program over in February, when girls will be allowed to officially join.

That said, Sydney is still fighting to have her work (over a decade’s worth) with the program recognized.

On Sunday, she will be involved with a Connect a Pet with a Vet project. Working with Bideawee pet adoption on 38th Street, just east of First Avenue, and veterans groups, including Backpacks for Life and 100 Memorial Run, Sydney will be raising money to cover the adoption costs for veterans. Donations can also be made online.

Bideawee is also hoping for donations of leashes, harnesses, dog and cat toys and clean towels. The Irelands’ family dog, Scout, came from Bideawee.

Letters to the editor, Feb. 15

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Don’t deny ST girl her Boy Scout status

The following is an open letter from State Senator Brad Hoylman to Randall L. Stephenson, National President of Boy Scouts of America, asking that Sydney Ireland, a Stuy Town teenager and Boy Scout for 11 years, have her status as a Scout formally recognized by the BSA. In December, Town & Village reported on Ireland’s fight, alongside her family, to have female members’ contributions recognized. The BSA has said it would start allowing girls to be members, but not until 2019.

Dear Mr. Stephenson:

I write to you as an Eagle Scout (Troop 70, Lewisburg, WV) and New York State Senator on behalf of my constituent, Sydney Ireland. A lifelong Boy Scouts participant, Sydney successfully advocated for the official inclusion of girls in Boy Scouts of America programs this year. However, because your organization does not plan to implement the new membership policy for two years, Sydney, who is now 16, will age out before she can officially join a troop.

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Boy Scout collects instruments to donate to local schools

Boy Scout Karl Kilb (center) sold homemade chocolates shaped like instruments at St. John the Evangelist Church on East 55th Street last November. (From left to right: Charles Greatrex, Jacob Tannen, Trevor Kilb, Karl Kilb, Calista Kilb, Christopher Gergis and Jed Chapin)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

When Boy Scout and LaGuardia High School student Karl Kilb had to come up with an idea for a service project to become an Eagle Scout, helping out young musicians seemed like the perfect fit. The 15-year-old sophomore is an instrumental music major at the performing arts school and plays piano, clarinet and saxophone.

“I wanted to do something to help the music community and wanted to do something that would reflect my interests in music so this combined those things really well,” he said

Recently, Kilb, an East Midtown resident, enlisted the help of his fellow members at Troop 414 at Immaculate Conception and together they collected 67 instruments that will be distributed at neighborhood schools.

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ST girl recognized as Boy Scout after 11 years of Scouting

Sydney Ireland speaks at the National Organization for Women convention in 2015. (Photos courtesy of Gary Ireland)

By Sabina Mollot

Since the age of four, Sydney Ireland knew that she wanted to be a Boy Scout. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t a boy. Her older brother Bryan was a Scout — later an Eagle Scout — and she wanted to be doing the things he was doing, from earning merit badges to ice climbing in Lake Placid.

Now 15, Sydney has been active in the Boy Scouts — albeit unofficially — for over a decade, and has been along with her family, pushing for the national organization to formally accept and recognize the contributions made by female members like herself. She first reached out to the organization via an op-ed in this newspaper. She’s since done a handful of interviews on the subject and recently even got the backing of NOW.

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Boy Scouts, it’s time to let girls in

The Boy Scouts of America is the greatest leadership training for our youth, and that is why the organization must allow girls to fully participate now! Fortunately, we have a Scout leader with a proven record and the courage to end discrimination. We applaud the efforts by Eagle Scout, Boy Scout President, former Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates, for his success in providing opportunities for women and in ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” policies for LGBT members of our United States armed forces. Dr. Gates’ legacy was further secured by his support to end the discriminatory ban against gay Scouts and adult leaders in the Boy Scouts.

Dr. Gates, there is still much more work that must be done to support our girls and young women in Scouting. In nearly all countries the programs are co-ed. Unfortunately, in the U.S., girls and young women are permitted into the Boy Scouts only in limited programs, and young women are completely forbidden to join Scout Troops. With membership in decline and girls and young women clamoring to join, we need to ensure that the Scouting in America serves all of our youth to grow into responsible leaders. As Scouts, we need to be the change that we want to see in the world.

As a female, it is unjust that I am barred from joining the Scout Troops in the US. The Boy Scouts is largely ignoring and discriminating against 50 percent of our youth in denying girls the opportunity to join and earn the Eagle rank, Scouting’s highest honor. Scouts, particularly Eagle Scouts, are highly sought after by colleges (58 percent of West Point Cadets were Boy Scouts and 16.3 percent are Eagles) and the most competitive employers. Without access to the training and Eagle rank, options for young women are limited.

We have co-authored and passed resolutions before the New York City Presbytery, the National Organization for Women and have support for inclusion from Scouts around the world, from Canada to South Africa.

I, Sydney, have joined the Canadian Scouts, Troop 80, out of London, Ontario, and have earned the highest award in my age group, the Chief Scout’s Award. I am so grateful to the Canadian Scouts and particularly my Scout Leader, Steve Lindsay, for working with me. We also appreciate the camaraderie of Troop 414 in Manhattan.

We now ask for your help to open up Scouting. Please go here and sign our petition asking the Scout leaders to end the discriminatory ban against young women and also post the petition on social media.

We are approaching nearly 5,000 supporters! We both hope young women (like me, Sydney) will be accepted as full members of the Scouts and eligible to earn the Eagle rank (like me, Bryan).

Contact us at: ScoutingLetMeIn@gmail.com

Yours in Scouting,

Sydney Ireland, ST
Chief’s Scout Recipient,
Venture Scout, Troop 80
London, Ontario, Canada

Bryan Ireland, ST
Eagle Scout, New York, New York

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Letters to the Editor, May 9

Blueway plan unnecessary and harmful

The so-called Blueway is shaping up to be a monstrosity. Could it be our Westway East? We should seriously question subsidizing and spending $770,000,000 to finance environmentally damaging work in and along the East River. Are our political leaders really proposing the phony solution to shoreline protection with man-made wetlands that will be washed away in the first half-Sandy?

Does it make sense to further subsidize Con Ed to do the work it was supposed to have done in the first place? The East River is in line to become one massive tax-supported destruction of a critical habitat with extraordinary national significance!

Evidence some of the segmented developments now proposed: the Diamond Sugar development, the Gowanus Canal plan, the Newtown Creek highrises, the Long Island City riverfront plans, the 38th Street/Big Alice replacement projects, and the continued push for the Solar 2 building.

We should see these plans for what they are: disaster capitalism. The so-called Blueway is just a piling on, put together by a planner who seems to have gotten caught short when Sandy hit and rushed out a half-thought out proposal that makes little sense.

Many of those projects would violate Clean Water Act goals and New York-specific federal court decisions designed to protect natural aquatic habitats by placing non-essential fills and/or structures in public waterways, and/or by siting non-water-dependent real estate development in near-shore waters.

We should oppose additional spending for building on, along and out into the East River not only to prevent adverse habitat and fisheries impacts, but to preserve views of open water, prevent unnecessary storm and hurricane damage, avoid the high construction and maintenance costs for anything built in and along the river, and uphold Clean Water Act requirements which discourage building non-water-dependent projects in the water.

What makes sense is for our politicians to demand a comprehensive federal review of all these projects taken together, and what effect they will have on a river habitat that is fighting back from centuries of pollution.

And, by the way, what is the social effect on a still-traumatized community not used to ten feet of water flowing up against our apartment buildings?

Andrew Lawrence, PCV

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