PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - 2019 was the first year girls could join Boy Scouts of America. In February of 2021, a new milestone was reached as the Boy Scouts of America announced their inaugural girl Eagle Scout class, the organization’s highest honor.
Joining that class in the month of March were five East Texas girls from Troop 101 G, an all-girls boy scout troop in the Palestine area. The members that received the award were Shian Trible, Aven Alexander, Haleigh Chapin, Reagan Sokolowski, and Sydney Veneris.
“That’s awesome that we were able to have that chance and opportunity to be able to receive an award equivalent to a boy,” Chapin said.
All five members were previously a part of Sea Scouts, an organization within Boy Scouts that has been co-ed since the 1970s, but doesn’t have the honor of the Eagle Scout Award. When the girls heard the announcement that they could join the other organization within Boy Scouts, they jumped at the opportunity and formed their own troop so they could earn the Eagle Scout Award.
“Girls have been in the Boy Scouts of America for all this time, so I think it is kind of odd that we are getting, you know,”Alexander said. “Some people don’t agree, and some people don’t support it when in reality, we have always been able to be in the program just not earn that specific award.”
Two years after breaking one barrier, these girls are breaking another by becoming the first girls to earn this award in Palestine. For Veneris, this accomplishment means even more because of her brother already being in the scouts.
“Just being able to get my Eagle and match up with him and just show that girls are able to do the same exact thing that boys are just made it extra special,” Veneris said.
These girls feel that they are proving to everyone that all things can be accomplished once a barrier is removed.
“They would say, ‘Why are you in Boy Scouts? It is meant for boys,’ so I said, ‘It is meant for girls, too,’ so we had to try and prove to everybody that, ‘Hey, girls can do what boys can do, too,” Trible said.
Troop 101 G wants to be a sign of encouragement to all girls who are wanting to join Boy Scouts and are trying to earn the Eagle Scout Award. They want them to know that they will fully back them with support.
“I think no matter what, there is always going to be people who support you and there is always going to be people who don’t, so just go for it,” Sokolowski said. “If you want to get your Eagl,e there is going to be people backing you 100 percent of the way. I know these girls definitely have supported me a lot through my journey, and so have my parents, so if you want it, go for it.”