Boy Scouts celebrating first female Eagle Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are set to welcome the first class of female Eagle Scouts on Sunday evening after the program began accepting them in 2019.

Nearly 1,000 girls and young women are set to be part of the first class, according to The Associated Press. The rank requires at least 21 merit badges, but one of the girls set to achieve it, Isabella Tunney, has earned all 137.

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

Tunney grew up with an older brother in the Scouts and told the AP she had always longed to join, jumping at the opportunity when the organization opened to girls in 2018.

“When the Boy Scouts opened up to girls, I was so excited to get the opportunity to participate myself,” she said.

Official figures say about 6 percent of Scouts reach the rank.

“This is a powerful moment for these young women, for all Eagle Scouts, and for our nation,” Jenn Hancock, the BSA’s national chair for programs, told the AP. “People recognize Eagle Scouts as individuals of the highest caliber, and for the first time, that title isn’t limited by gender.”

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The occasion comes a year after the organization filed for bankruptcy protection, reeling from new state laws that suspend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits.

The BSA filed for bankruptcy as part of efforts to create a compensation fund for the tens of thousands of men who have made such allegations, according to the AP.

Tags Boy Scouts of America

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