Today marks the day of recognition for the young ladies across the country who have worked to be members of this trailblazing group. Congratulations are certainly in order for all girls who have reached this goal and earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Only 7% of Scouts reach the rank of Eagle, but the young women of this class are all about exceeding the norm.
Since the Boy Scouts transitioned to Scouts, BSA and started allowing girls into the program, over 30,000 young ladies across the country have joined the ranks. From that 2019 starting point, the women included in the inaugural class have transitioned from Tenderfoot to Second Class, to First Class, to Star and Life Scout, and finally, to the coveted distinction of Eagle Scout. All in a two-year period!
“It takes effort, commitment and grit to become an Eagle Scout,” said Denver Area Council Scout Executive/CEO Chuck Brasfeild. “I’m proud of these trailblazers, this first class of female Eagle Scouts. All of us at Denver Area Council salute the first class of female Eagle Scouts and look forward to the future Eagle Scouts to come over our next 100 years!”
The typical Scout takes several years to begin working from the starting point, Tenderfoot (which is typically at 10 years old), to reach Eagle by the age of 18. However, the opportunity to be members of this initial group has motivated over a dozen girls from the Denver Area Council to expedite their journeys.
For many of these young women, COVID-19 was a hurdle that simply helped push them on. Several completed projects that were designed to fight the pandemic. Elizabeth Germain was one such Eagle Scout. She raised money and created 500 masks for donation to Volunteers of America. She said she did this to “[help] those most vulnerable and support [her] community.”
For fellow Eagle Leah Jo Maloney, there was no need for a pandemic to live the Scout Oath and help save lives. During a 2019 hike in St. Kits, Leah Jo earned the Medal of Merit for delivering emergency aid to a fellow hiker. During the hike, a woman fell and tore her ACL, in the middle of a jungle trail up a volcano. Jumping to the rescue, Leah Jo put her First Aid Merit Badge skills to use, administering first aid from her packed kit. She says Scouting taught her to “embrace the unexpected” and she “is so grateful to be a part of it.” Her poise and helpful actions made her the first female recipient of the Medal of Merit.
As noted by BoyScoutTrail, “The Merit Medal honors Scouts, Venturers and Scouters that have performed an act of meritorious service above and beyond what is normally expected of a youth or adult member of the Boy Scouts of America. This act should demonstrate exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.”
These two young women are only a small representation of the impressive accomplishments this Inaugural Class has contributed to the world and program.
“Becoming an Eagle Scout represents finishing one chapter of your Scouting journey while beginning another,” Said Mark Truax, chairman of the National Eagle Scout Association’s Denver Chapter. “I am honored and thrilled for this inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts. Welcome to the club.”
It is certainly exciting to look forward to how these young ladies, and those who follow in their footsteps, continue to make positive changes in the world as Eagles.