Wylie female Eagle Scouts blaze trail
, 2023-05-03 12:00:40,
Two girls in Wylie are the first to earn Eagle Scout honors through the Boy Scouts of America.
Gracie Roper, 18, and Brei Hall, 14, are two members of an all-girls Boy Scout troop, Troop 1869, with a total of seven members. Both girls took different paths into Scouting, but they have joined prestigious company — around 2.5% of Eagle Scouts are women — by earning the highest possible honor.
Gracie said she first got into Scouting when she joined a Crew in 2017 never thinking about becoming an Eagle Scout. Crew members differ from traditional Scouts because they focus more on high adventure elements compared to progressing through merit badges.
“I really just wanted to have some fun with my friends,” Gracie said. “In 2020, we were like, ‘we should make our own troop so that way we could earn our Eagles.’ We dissolved the Crew into a troop and now we have girls earning Eagles.”
Brei first got into Scouting when she joined the newly formed Troop 1869 with Scoutmaster Ben Roper in 2020.
The pathway for Gracie, Brei and other girls hoping to become involved with Boy Scouts opened in 2017, when the national organization allowed women to join its ranks.
Gracie said she still has to correct people who assume she is a Girl Scout when she tells them she is in Scouting.
“I tell them that it’s not Girl Scouts, I’m actually working toward my Eagle,” Gracie said.
Brei said Girl Scouts is fun, but being a Boy Scout opens opportunities for more adventurous activities.
“It is so much more fun to talk about it, explain what you do and explain all the cool opportunities you get to have,” Brei said.
Additionally, she added that there are times some of the boys underestimate the capabilities of the girls at a campsite.
“You turn around and show them that you can do just as many cool, sportsy and adventurous things,” Brei said.
Gracie added that girls tend to be the best at shooting in archery or tying knots.
“We’ve won a few competitions against the boys,” Gracie said. “It’s pretty fun.”
For their projects, Gracie hosted a Pinewood Derby at the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas while Brei helped construct a bridge at the disc golf course at Oncor Park.
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