LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A milestone for the Boy Scouts of America Organization today as nearly 1,000 girls are being honored with the highest rank in the organization. Among those honored are a few members of a local troop. Trinity Beer, Victoria Sherman, Kristen Darbonne, and Emily Staggemeier, all a part of Scout BSA’s Troop 8 at the Westlake Methodist Church, are among the inaugural class of the first female Eagle Scouts.
“I wanted to prove to myself and prove to everybody else, that it was possible for a girl to become an Eagle Scout,” says Victoria Sherman.
Mike Beer, CEO and Scout Executive for Calcasieu Area Council Boy Scouts of America, and father to Trinity Beer says, being girls and among the first women Eagle Scouts in the history of the organization doesn’t make certification any easier.
“There’s a separate handbook for the young women and the men. The content is the same, the pictures are different because again, they want to see images of themselves in the material.”
These four girls were among the first to join the Scouts BSA program in 2018, Darbonne and Staggmeier were inspired by their brothers’ scouting journey. Though Beer explains, allowing girls to join the organization was consumer-driven.
“Yes, there is a Girls Scout program. Their program is different than the Boy Scouts of America, it’s different than Cub Scouts, as far as what the focus is and what the objectives are. Both are terrific programs, both have been around for over a hundred years, but they’re different.”
Beer explains it’s not an easy task. Of the 130 million youth that has been a part of the organization, he says a little over 2 million have earned the high rank.
“It’s a minimum requirement of 21 different merit badges, which are miniature college courses. And it ranges from something that’s as simple as completing a certain project, to something that takes over 3 months of documenting and budgeting and so forth.”
The girls also had to complete an Eagle Scout project, which consists of a service project benefitting the community. From Beer’s little free library to Sherman’s COVID-safe visiting box located at Stonebridge Place, the girls explained there were challenges they had to overcome.
“We did that. We’re Eagles now,” Darbonne says. “They can’t take that away from us and we’re among the first females that ever did that.”
Sunday night, they along with the entire inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts were honored by the organization in a virtual event.
The girls have yet to plan their cord of honor ceremony, something they’re looking forward to celebrating together. Though they say their journey doesn’t end here, they will be continuing to mentor young scouts, and can still earn more patches.
For more information about the Scouts BSA program, click HERE.