After more than 100 years, the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts was announced this week, with a whopping 13 of the scouts coming from the Denver Area Council.
This is the first class of female scouts since Scouts BSA, formerly the Boy Scouts, began allowing girls into the program in 2019. Since then, 30,000 girls have joined and dozens have earned the Eagle Scout rank in only two years.
“It takes effort, commitment and grit to become an Eagle Scout,” said Denver Scout Executive Chuck Brasfield. “All of us at Denver Area Council salute the first class of female Eagle Scouts and look forward to the future Eagle Scouts to come over our next 100 years.”
Only 7% of scouts make it to Eagle Scout status. To reach the rank, scouts must go through Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star Scout and Life Scout, a process that typically takes eight years when beginning at age 10.
However, for these Denver girls, they saw the new opportunity to join Scouts BSA as a challenge to expedite their journeys.
All of the girls are between 16 and 18 years old and have collectively completed thousands of hours of volunteer service and dozens of community projects.
“Becoming an Eagle Scout represents finishing one chapter of your Scouting journey while beginning another,” said Mark Truax, chairman of the National Eagle Scout Association’s Denver Chapter. “I am honored and thrilled for this inaugural class.”
Here’s a look at the 13 Denver trailblazers who make up the Eagle Scout class:
Before Beatson joined Scouts BSA, she was already an active member. As her younger brother was a scout, Beatson participated whenever she could, including building her own Pinewood Derby car, touring the fire station and fundraising.
As a scout, she was a senior patrol leader of Troop 114G in Littleton, attended National Youth Leadership Training and joined the Order of the Arrow.
For her Eagle Project, Beatson designed and built a wooden greenhouse that doubles as a learning lab for her school, St. Mary’s Catholic School. She completed 212 service hours.
Christian is a high-achieving scout, having earned 103 Merit Badges out of a possible 137. Merit Badges honor scouts who perform exceptional skills or study in a wide variety of categories.
An avid outdoor enthusiast, Christian has camped for 60 nights since becoming a scout only two years ago.
Fort her Eagle Project, Christian renovated a garden at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch. She completed 158 service hours.
Leah Jo Maloney
Maloney is a trailblazer among trailblazers, becoming the first female to earn the Medal of Merit when she delivered emergency aid to a stranger who tore her ACL on a hike in 2019 in the Bahamas.
Maloney said scouting has taught her to “embrace the unexpected” in such situations.
She created mile markers at Waterton Canyon for her Eagle Project, which she was inspired to do because she is a cross country runner herself. Maloney completed 287 service hours.
Another career trailblazer, Letson has achieved dozens of leadership roles, recognitions and “First Female” positions during her time as a scout.
These include first Tahosa Lodge female to attend NLS, first female to lead the Lodge Banquet, only female on the National Leadership Seminar training team and Senior Patrol Leader at the 2019 National Youth Leadership Training.
For her Eagle Project, she created recognition plaques for her church. Letson completed 133 service hours.
A natural-born scout, Germain approached the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to help others, choosing to make 500 masks to be donated to Volunteers of America as her Eagle Project.
Germain said she chose this project to help “those most vulnerable and support (her) community.”
She has loved the travel opportunities she’s gotten from scouting, including going to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Garden of the Gods and World Scouting Jamboree. Germain completed 232 service hours.
Selzer joined scouting for the adventure, with her highlights being backpacking, camping, long rafting and canoeing trips. "I jump at any chance for high adventure," she said.
An owner of two rescue dogs, for her Eagle Project Selzer created an agility course for the animal shelter the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley. She renovated the training yard, replaced ground cover and built new equipment.
Selzer is looking forward to continuing her scout journey and watching the younger girls in her troop become Eagle Scouts. She completed 210 service hours.
Sigler was inspired to join scouting because she wanted to gain outdoor experience, learn how to survive in the wilderness and be prepared for any situation.
She achieved that and much more during her time as a scout, including attending the 2019 National Youth Leadership Training in Washington D.C.
For her Eagle Project, Sigler created a website called Never Alone that raised awareness for mental health issues and provided free training on how to recognize and respond to mental health crises. She completed 98 service hours.
O’Brien is a college freshman, currently studying computer science at the prestigious University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Throughout her scout journey, her favorite memories include swimming in the lake and hiking at summer camp.
O’Brien revitalized the landscaping of a local church, the First Presbyterian Church, for her Eagle Project.
Roselynn B., Nicole J., Aida H., Madison M. and Karolyn H. are all also Eagle Scouts from the Denver Area Council who preferred for their journeys to remain private.