Sisters Grace and Olivia Meyer and their cousin Claire Meyer have always enjoyed camping and the outdoors. So when the chance came to be among the first girls to join Scouts BSA, they didn’t waste any time.
“I was always envious and I wanted to get those merit badges and those rank advancements,” said Claire. “So when my dad told me I had the opportunity I jumped at it and I knew I had to do it.”
All three were already on a camp out on the first day they joined, setting them on a journey to becoming Eagle Scouts.
Achieving Eagle Scout
Eagle is the highest rank for a scout, and is traditionally achieved before one turns 18. With a September birthday, Grace only had 20 months to earn her badges and complete her Eagle Project.
“I was granted an extension except in my head I knew everyone else does it before they turn 18 so I knew I didn’t want to need to use these months, I wanted it to be just an emergency,” she said. “So it was important to me to keep up a schedule.”
The one phrase Grace used to describe her scout experience was “action-packed” – weekends and free time were used to earn badges, lead troop outings, and plan her Eagle Project.
But with Olivia and Claire working at the same pace in solidarity, at least the three stayed busy together.
“I think that’s what made this a bit easier but also just more enjoyable,” said Olivia. “I mean because you’re going so quickly, I feel like sometimes we didn’t get the full scouting experience, but because we were all doing it together it still made it a lot of fun and we helped push each other to keep going and to really work for that Eagle Scout rank.”
When it came time to complete their Eagle Projects, Grace organized a blood drive with Versiti Blood Center, Claire held a food drive for DuPage Pads, and Olivia repainted and finished the floor at the Alive Center.
All three Meyers are among the first class of female Eagle Scouts in the nation, despite only about five percent of all scouts earning the rank.
Claire’s dad Scot Meyer serves as troop leader for Troop 100, the girls’ linked troop of boy scouts. It’s been rewarding to watch his daughter and nieces become young leaders.
“To have the trailblazers that we do, to have the nine girls that we started out with, that’s really who started the troop,” he said. “I provided the opportunity, they made it really happen.”
And the three Meyers hope they can help other girls blaze their own trails moving forward.
“I think that’s the best part of scouting,” said Olivia. “After everything that we went through being able to be in a leadership position now and looking back at all these younger girls who are in sixth and seventh grade, they’ve really looked up to us and they see us as role models in scouting. I think that’s great to be able to give back to them and help them achieve Eagle some day.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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