CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — She spent seven years as a Girl Scout, but in February of 2019, 18-year-old Rebecca Simpson decided to take her scouting in a different direction.
"Being part of the Boy Scouts was something I always wanted to do to go camping with my brother," she said.
The Ray High School senior has taken it to the highest level.
Over the past three years, Simpson has completed the requirements to become an Eagle Scout — the first female to ever do that in the 103 year history of the 17-county Boy Scouts South Texas Council.
“It’s really exciting," she said. "It’s also a lot to take in. I didn’t expect to be first honestly."
Simpson accomplished the feat by doing lots of camping — but also community service. Her big project was painting a mural in the playroom at Circles of Care for children in need of foster care and adoption to enjoy.
To make sure she didn't get too stressed balancing her scouting with class work and her leadership role with her school's NJROTC, Simpson says she had plenty of support.
“My parents were a tremendous help to me throughout all of this," she said. "And then especially my scout leaders at Troop 20 in Portland."
Simpson's mother says she'll likely tear-up when her daughter is officially named an Eagle Scout at a ceremony that hasn't been scheduled yet.
"She worked really hard for it," Laura Simpson said. "It’s not an easy thing to accomplish. There are even some boys who don’t accomplish it. It’s quite an achievement, and I’m very proud of her.”
The field director for the South Texas Council is also complimentary of the work Simpson put in to become an Eagle Scout.
“I know she’s an avid go-getter," James Rangel said. "It’s a great accomplishment for her."
And now Simpson will head off to college in the fall with a significant distinction next to her name and a message for other scouts who are climbing the ranks.
“I’d say good luck and to just continue scouting, because it’s not hard," she said. "It’s just really fun, and it’s a great place to be."