Celebrating the First Female Eagle Scouts

This inaugural group of young women are honored for their achievement.

Mar 24, 2021


Celebrating the First Female Eagle Scouts | This inaugural group of young women are honored for their achievement.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is an important milestone that very few scouts achieve. Many of America's leaders, including former presidents were Eagle Scouts and it has always been an exclusively male achievement until now.

In 2021, nearly 1,000 women became the first female Eagle Scouts. These trailblazers came from across the entire US from Alaska to Florida and even to Americans living abroad. The women collectively earned more than 30,000 merit badges and gave an estimated 130,000 hours of communal service.

Only around 6 percent of scouts attain the highest rank according to a press release from Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Eagle scouts are required to be leaders in their troop and their community as well as earn at least 21 merit badges that cover a range of topics including first aid and safety, civics, business, and the environment.

The scouts also have to run a community service project from research to fruition. All of these requirements have to be completed before the scout turns 18.

“Eagle Scout is a designation widely valued by universities, employers, and other respected institutions around the world, and we are honored to celebrate the hundreds of incredible young women who represent a truly historic class of recipients,” Roger Mosby, president and CEO of the Boy Scouts of America said in the press release.

“In earning this rank, young people gain new skills, learn to overcome obstacles, and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities. Scouting's benefits are invaluable, and we are elated that the opportunity to become an Eagle Scout is now available to even more youth — young men and young women alike,” he said.

Since girls could only officially join BSA in 2019, these new Eagle Scouts really had to work hard to meet all the requirements. BSA did allow a one-time extension for girls who joined at 16 or 17 and gave them 24 months to complete them according to CNN.

Mia Dawbin turned 18 in January 2021, but she knew she wanted to become an Eagle Scout because it ran in her family. Her father and uncles were Eagle Scouts, and her grandfather was a scoutmaster. But many people questioned why she chose to join this all-boys club.

“Not everyone is going to be super excited about everything that you want to accomplish in life, but you don't need to pay any mind to people who are telling you that you can't do something or that you shouldn't,” Dawbin told CNN.

Still, she persevered in her drive to become an Eagle Scout but earning badges and doing community service during the pandemic was difficult. Dawbin donated 201 care packages filled with masks and hand sanitizers to local homeless shelters.

Lauren Krimm, 19, from Maryland also said that she faced criticism from schoolmates who questioned why she would want to join BSA. But she didn't join Boy Scouts or become an Eagle Scout for the publicity of being first.

“I didn't do it so I could be on TV and I could get interviewed and go down in history. I did it because it's something I've always wanted to do, something that I knew I'd be proud of and that nobody can ever take away from me,” Krimm said.

“Every girl and boy who would use [the title] Eagle Scout worked hard for it. There is no difference, except for when we got to be able to do it.”

This class of very remarkable young women were honored in a virtual event on February 21, 2011 that celebrated their achievements, according to the press release, and called on young people everywhere to have a positive impact on their communities and on the nation.

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Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.