Two years ago, the Boy Scouts of America made a significant change and opened the organization to females. History was made again on Scouting’s 111th birthday in February when almost 1,000 girls from across the nation were sworn in collectively as the first female Eagle Scouts.
16-year-old Arcadia resident Stella Lipson is part of the inaugural class and one of five trailblazers from Troop 3030 to earn Scouting’s top rank of Eagle.
Stella is one of the founding members of the all-female Troop 3030, which she helped start two years ago. She also has two older brothers who are Eagle Scouts out of Arcadia Troop 6.
One of the Eagle Scout rank requirements is to complete a service project that benefits the community. Stella chose to lead her troop in enhancing the children’s garden at the Nina Mason Pulliam Audubon Society on Central Ave. by building a bench, defining pathways and placing custom stepping stones on those pathways.
“I chose the Arizona Audubon Society because my grandfather loved birding and loved the society,” Stella said. “Going birding with him was a large part of my youth.”
“Stella has always been very goal-oriented. When the opportunity arose for her to accomplish something her brothers and grandfathers achieved, we knew it would be just a question of when,” Stella’s mom, Joan, said. “We are proud of Stella’s desire and drive to put herself in the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts.”
Stella said Scouts can earn the Eagle rank after they sit for their board of review, which determines the quality of the Scout’s experience and fulfillment of the rank requirements.
Scoutmaster Patty Heit explained that a Scout will officially become an Eagle after passing the board of review. They will then receive a certificate and card in recognition. Stella and her fellow Eagle Scouts will attend their Troop’s Court of Honor ceremony in May, where they will receive the Eagle patch, neckerchief and medal.
“It’s one of my proudest moments to see these girls earn their Eagle and be able to pin the medal on them,” Heit said. “It’s a moment they earned through hard work and determination that is theirs forever.”
Stella said that being in the Scouts has taught her about responsibility, time management, leadership, and one of her favorite things to learn was how to tie different knots.
Stella’s immediate goals include helping fellow Scouts rank up, learn new things and discover what they love.
“Scouting is not about just one person and their journey. It is about everyone. While each person has their own goals, we work together as a Troop to make sure that people can reach them,” she said.
In the future, Stella plans to attend college on the east coast.
“I would like to study some form of engineering and computer science,” Stella said. “It doesn’t matter to me where I end up going to college as long as I get to do what I love and be happy.”