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.
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.
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.