Webster girl becomes town’s first female Eagle Scout, amid significant changes in Scouting

Girl to become Webster’s first female Eagle Scout, amid time of change for scouting

Girl to become Webster's first female Eagle Scout, amid time of change for scouting

WEBSTER, N.Y. — In a landmark achievement for the local scouting community, a girl from Webster is on the cusp of making history as the town’s first female Eagle Scout. This significant milestone comes just a day after the Boy Scouts of America announced its rebranding to Scouting America, a move that reflects the organization’s evolving focus on inclusivity.

For Eliza Drum, the journey to becoming an Eagle Scout has been about more than just a title or a badge; it’s been about service and making a tangible difference in her community. Growing up with scouting in her veins, thanks to her brother’s involvement — “I’ve basically been in it my whole entire life” — she joined the Scouts when the organization opened its doors to girls in 2019. Since then, she’s embarked on a mission to contribute positively to her community, culminating in an Eagle Scout project that involved building benches, birdhouses, and bat houses for Kiwanis Park.

Eliza’s project not only enhanced the park but also embodied the scouting spirit of service and improvement, earning praise from Kiwanis Park President Jane Murray. Murray highlighted the symbiotic relationship between the Scouts and the park, especially during the annual Camp Smile for visually impaired individuals, showcasing how service projects like Eliza’s promote mutual support and community betterment.

The shift to Scouting America signals a new chapter for the organization, emerging from financial turmoil and a determination to be more inclusive. Despite the decline in membership from its peak in 1972, the inclusion of over 176,000 girls and young women in the ranks is a source of pride for members like Eliza. She appreciates the change, feeling that it more accurately represents the inclusive nature of the current scouting experience.

“I think girls can do whatever boys can do. Maybe even more,” she said.

“I’m glad they did that so it’s more of a general thing than just Boy Scouts of America, because girls are in it too. For a while they referred to it as Scouts BSA. But changing it, I think, was a good decision.

Eliza’s Eagle Scout badge ceremony is Thursday. She will be the first female Eagle Scout in Webster and in her troop.

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