Junior Isabella Tunney grew up admiring her older brother as he went on Boy Scout trips and worked toward his Eagle Scout ranking. When Boy Scouts started accepting older girls to their flagship scouting program in 2019, Isabella jumped at the opportunity and this weekend, she became one of the first female Eagle Scouts in the nation.
Nearly 1,000 young women in the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts were honored in a virtual celebration on Sunday, February 21, 2021. The Boy Scouts say about 6% of all scouts attain Eagle rank.
“I’m just excited for a bigger chance for young girls to be able to hear my story,” Tunney said in an interview with WCCO. “Just because boys have done something for years and years does not mean that girls can’t.”
Isabella, like many of the other young women attaining Eagle rank, worked intensively to amass the needed merit badges within two years. A minimum of 21 badges are required to attain Eagle but Tunney earned all 137, in subjects ranging from welding to white-water rafting to bugling. For her Eagle Scout public service project, she organized a drive to collect essentials for families being assisted by a homeless shelter.
“It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment because I am done now, but my adventure as an Eagle Scout is not done at all,” she said. “In fact some would even say it’s just the beginning.”