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Hundreds of girls earned Eagle Scout honors in first year of eligibility

Girls in Boy Scouts of America
Posted at 1:35 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 14:46:32-05

The Boy Scouts of America celebrated a major milestone late last month with a virtual event honoring the nearly 1,000 girls and young women who are the first females to attain the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.

The event, held virtually on Feb. 8, was entitled "Be The Change" and featured the stories of dozens of girls who had earned the honor. It also featured several female guest speakers, including broadcast journalist Norah O'Donnell.

Astronauts, admirals, U.S. senators and one president — Gerald Ford — are among the scouts who earned the award in past decades.

The Boy Scouts of America began accepting girls as Cub Scouts in 2018. Older girls were admitted into the flagship scouting program in 2019.

"In earning the rank of Eagle Scout, young people gain new skills, learn to overcome obstacles, and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities," BSA said in a statement to CNN. "These benefits are invaluable, and we are elated that they are now available to both young men and young women."

Among the first new Eagle Scouts is 16-year-old Isabella Tunney of Minneapolis, who accomplished the rare feat of earning all 137 merit badges.

“The quarantine helped a lot,” she told the Associated Press. “I had a lot of time to spare.”

For her Eagle Scout public service project, Tunney organized a drive to collect essentials for families being assisted by a homeless shelter.