This week, we met up with Anika B. (’23), Reagan D. (’27), Vivian W. (’27), Daylin A. (’27), Cathrin M. (’28), and Amelie G. (’28), who make up the Sun Bear Patrol – the first-ever female troop within ISKL’s Scouting Program! Not to be confused with the Girl Scouts Program at ISKL, the Sun Bear Patrol is within Troop 818, under the Scouting Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program (originally an all-boys troop).
This is their story.
Anika: I was born in California, but I’ve lived all over the U.S., including Virginia, Illinois, and Rhode Island. I used to be in Girl Scouts when I was younger, but I would always attend my brothers’ Cub Scout meetings. I arrived at ISKL in Grade 7, and I’ve been here for almost five years. I love art, drawing especially. I want to become an art teacher when I graduate.
Reagan: I was born in Illinois and lived all over the U.S. until I was 10, then I moved to K.L. in 2019 (5th grade). I started Scouting BSA about two months ago. I like to teach my dog new things and watch Centaur World in my free time.
Vivian: I was born in Maryland, U.S.; I joined Scouting BSA when I was in Grade 4 as a Cub Scout in Webelos and did Scouts for four years, including this school year. I have lived in Maryland, South Korea, London, and Malaysia. I joined ISKL when I was in Grade 6. I like to do graphic design and make digital things such as collages and digital art.
Daylin: I was born in Nantucket, a small island in the U.S. Before joining ISKL in 2021, I lived in the U.S., Serbia, Burma, Hong Kong, and Cambodia. I joined the Scouting program recently this year as well. I like to draw, paint and do art in general, but I also like to design things like clothing.
Amelie: I was born in Shanghai, China, a beautiful place with pleasant temperatures. I came to ISKL when I was in Grade 4. I like to play basketball with my father and my younger brother when I have free time.
Cathrin: I was born in Qinghai, but I lived in beautiful Chongqing. My kindergarten and primary school were both in Chongqing. I then moved to Malaysia and joined ISKL in Grade 5. I am honored to come to this school.
What is the Sun Bear Patrol?
Anika: The Sun Bear Patrol is the first girl patrol in the BSA Troop 818. It was created to allow girls to
explore the BSA scouting program. Here, we learn from a wide variety of topics, ranging from first wilderness survival to business management. There are multiple patrols within Troop 818, although the Sun Bear is the only one so far with girls. We hope to have more girls join us on the adventure through scouting.
Reagan: Girl Scouts teaches a lot of entrepreneurship, and the BSA focuses mainly on survival skills. We wanted to join the BSA and learn the skills they teach, so our scout leaders made it possible. We have been on two campouts so far, one with just our patrol and one with the whole troop. We have learned many teamwork and survival skills, but we still have much more to learn.
Can you tell me more about why you joined the Scouting Program?
Amelie: This was my first time scouting and camping with a whole troop. When I was younger, my mother always took me to the park, set up a tent, and we’d spend the night there. Even though I am afraid of bugs, I still wanted to know what real camping feels like.
Anika: I really enjoy scouting, whether in the Girl Scouts or the BSA program. Although the Girl Scout troop I was in focused more on sales, communication, and community service, I’ve learned a lot from both. From what I experienced attending my brothers’ Cub Scout meetings, the BSA program focuses more on wilderness survival, practical skills, and building things. Since I’m approaching adulthood, I think it would be beneficial for me to learn these skills, plus I would be able to make new friends while I’m at it.
Cathrin: I joined the troop because I wanted to learn the skills they teach. My classmates and I learned a lot about going out into the wild and survival skills like tying knots and cooking.
How do you feel being the first group of girls to be a part of the Scouting Program?
Vivian: Since having girls in the Scouting BSA is relatively new; I find it exciting and fun! It feels great to be in this troop as the first girls’ group in the Southeast Asian Council! I was also in the first group of girls in London, and it gave me the motivation to be a spark of interest for other girls wanting to join.
Reagan: It’s pretty cool knowing that you were part of something that can set so many other people up for success. Girls are often known for selling cookies and making friendship bracelets, but Scouting BSA is just so much more than that.
What have you learned after joining the Scouts?
Daylin: In scouts, I have learned how to tie various knots, start a fire, chop wood, set up a tent, and cook outdoors! Especially when I’m scouting with my friends, everything is more fun.
Anika: I’ve learned how to tie knots, use a first aid kit, and cut firewood. I’ve even learned practical cooking skills in the few campouts that we’ve had already. For the last two campouts, I’ve been in charge of bringing the food and have already learned so much about cooking (mostly from my fellow Sun Bears).
What are your hopes for this Troop moving forward?
Vivian: I hope that more girls can join and learn as well; I also hope that many girls will be interested in scouting, and the girls already in this troop will learn more and carry on with their Scouting career throughout Middle and High School.
Reagan: I hope that we will have more female patrols, it’s such a fantastic experience and teaches so many life skills.
Do you have any words for girls who might be hesitant to join the Scouts?
Vivian: If you want to join, join! You will never know what will happen if you join, and that’s its beauty. There are so many great opportunities and people for you to meet. All the scouts are super welcoming and would love for you to join.
Reagan: Go for it, it’s really fun, and you can make many friends. You’ll learn a lot about the outdoors and teamwork. You’ll have great experiences, so don’t be scared because, in the end, we are all scouts.
Anika: I know that girls can feel really intimidated when joining the Scout Program (seeing as how the majority of the Scouts in our troop are boys), but I want anyone interested to know that the Sun Bear Patrol will always be here for you and that regardless of gender, a Scout is a Scout.
Who or what inspires you or has influenced you?
Vivian: My father inspires me because he was the one who influenced me to get into scouting BSA.
Anika: My dad and brothers have inspired me to join the BSA Program. Their enthusiasm for scouting has inspired me to work hard to become the best Scout I can be.
Reagan: My friend and fellow Sun Bear Vivian invited me to join. It looked enjoyable, and I’m so happy I joined.
Most memorable moment at ISKL?
Vivian: All of ISKL and how long I’ve been here has been a tremendous experience that has impacted my life so much – my friends, the HUGE campus, and more.
Daylin: Meeting my friends, they have been so lovely and kind, and I am very grateful for them.
Amelie: When I started sixth grade; it was so different and fun! I made new friends and met new teachers.
Reagan: When I met my friends. They have been so kind and funny, and I am grateful that I met them.
Cathrin: Joining the troop! I am honored to be a part of the Sun Bear Patrol and to meet the other girls.
Anika: The times I’ve spent hanging out with my friends and participating in the annual school plays.
What does “Be All You Are” mean to you?
Vivian: Be yourself and express ALL of you. The quirks, flaws, and strengths. Everything about you shouldn’t be suppressed or hidden.
Daylin: Be your complete self, don’t hide your flaws.
Amelie: Show your strength, the things you are good at, and your skills! Do not change yourself just because of other people!
Anika: Unapologetically being yourself. Despite what others think, we should be proud of who we are.
Cathrin: Express yourself, don’t change yourself for others, don’t hide your shortcomings.
Reagan: Just be you. Express who you are, and don’t hide or change yourself because some people think of you differently. Don’t be afraid to show that weird kid inside of you.
For any Middle or High School students interested in more information about joining Troop 818,
please contact Ms. Daisy Qian, Membership Coordinator, at [email protected].
Do you know a student, faculty, staff, or alumni with a story to tell? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.