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Thornton teen becomes NH's first female Eagle Scout


March 03, 2021
THORNTON — The Daniel Webster Council is proud to announce that Valerie Ann Johnston of Thornton has become the first female Scout from New Hampshire to earn the rank of Eagle. With this achievement, Johnston, a member of Troop 58 in Campton/Thornton, has become one of America's first female Eagle Scouts.

Eagle Scout Valerie Johnston of Troop 58 said, "I am honored to have earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and I'm humbled to be the first woman to do so in New Hampshire. Being a part of Scouting has been a rewarding, life changing experience for me, from earning merit badges, to staffing Scouting's National Youth Leadership Training the past five years, attending the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience at Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve then staffing that course at Philmont Scout Ranch, all the way to my Eagle Scout project organizing and implementing a food and donation drive to benefit the New Hampshire Humane Society and better the lives of the animals at the shelter. During my Scouting journey, I have gained incredible leadership experience and have been able to learn skills and values that will serve me for the rest of my life. I'm grateful to the other Scouts and adult volunteers who have made my involvement so memorable and hope my positive experience will empower other young women to consider Scouting."

Daniel Webster Council Scout Executive Jay Garee added, "Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes incredible diligence, hard work and perseverance, and we are truly honored to recognize Valerie for this significant accomplishment. Along her journey to Eagle Scout, Valerie has shown tremendous character, while gaining new skills, learning to overcome obstacles and demonstrating leadership among her peers and in her community. These benefits are invaluable for everyone, and we are thrilled that they are now available to even more youth."

Young women have been part of Scouting for decades in co-ed programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), including Sea Scouts, Venturing, Exploring and STEM Scouts. The BSA expanded that legacy further in recent years by welcoming girls into Cub Scouts and then into Scouts BSA last February. Scouts BSA is the program for youth ages 11 to 17 previously known as Boy Scouts. Since then, tens of thousands of young women throughout New Hampshire and across the country have joined the organization's most iconic program with many, including Valerie, working their way toward the rank of Eagle Scout.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Scouting, which only about 6% of Scouts achieve on average. To earn it, an individual must take on leadership roles within their troop and their community; earn a minimum of 21 merit badges that cover a broad range of topics including first aid and safety, civics, business and the environment; and they must research, organize and complete a large community service project. In addition to gaining skills that last a lifetime, individuals who earn the esteemed Eagle Scout rank can reference it for academic, vocational, and military recognition, including scholarships and advanced enlistment grade.

The mission of the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. There has never been a better time to be a Scout! Visit www.nhscouting.org for more information.

Martin Lord & Osman
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