A woman who waged a 14-year court battle to be a Boy Scout leader says she's going to form her own troop now that the Scouts have lifted a ban against woman volunteers.
Catherine Pollard, 69, plans to organize her new troop in September in Milford, where about 1,000 children and adults already participate in scouting programs.The Milford Volunteer Fire Co. voted in April to sponsor a Boy Scout troop and will allow the group to meet at its headquarters.
"As soon as the word of mouth gets out, I don't expect it'll take long," Pollard said this week.
Pollard took legal action after her application for a leadership position was denied in 1974 and 1976.
She was rejected even though she had run a Milford troop from 1973 to 1975 when no men volunteered. The Scouts contended that a woman was not a good role model for young boys enrolled in Scouting.
Pollard successfully challenged the action before the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, but that ruling was later reversed in state courts. The state Supreme Court in July 1987 upheld a lower-court ruling that boys need the guidance of men "in the difficult process of maturing to adulthood."
But in February, the Boy Scouts of America did away with all gender restrictions on volunteer positions.