Valley Teens Set to Soar as One of the Nation’s First Female Eagle Scout

It has been amazing experience for us all as we welcome all youth into our Scouting programs. With those changes also comes the opportunity to make some history. Girls all across the council are making history this month as they sit for their Eagle Boards of Review and upon passing are set to become one of the nation’s first female Eagle Scouts – a prestigious achievement attained by some of the country’s most noteworthy figures. The Pinnacle Peak District was pleased to have their first two female Eagle candidates, Victoria Rader and Tori Shuman of Troop 3030 sit for their Boards of Review earlier this month.

Tori and Tori are among hundreds of young women from in and outside the Grand Canyon Council who will make up the Inaugural Class of female Eagle Scouts.

“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize them for their significant accomplishment,” said Andy Price. “Along the journey to Eagle Scout, young people gain new skills, learn to overcome obstacles and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities. 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 Arizona and across the country have joined the organization’s most iconic program with many working their way toward the rank of Eagle Scout.

Their Scoutmaster, Patty Heit shared her experience working with these two wonderful young ladies.

“I have known Tori Shuman and Victoria Rader since joining Troop 30 in 2014. They were friendly, fun and loved the outdoors like their older brothers and all the scouts in the troop for boys. Over the years they grew in their scouting adventure through Crew 2030 and then in 2019 became founders of Scout BSA Troop 3030 taking on youth leadership as Senior Patrol Leader and Troop Guide. Tori and Victoria hit the ground running by planning, delegating, demonstrating, and guiding the Troop in a trail to first class. They have camped nonstop for the last two years, planning fun adventures that resulted in most of our troop participating. As new young ladies joined our Troop, they were front and center to meet the new scouts and tell them about all the adventures we offer.”

Eagle Scout is the program’s highest rank, which only about 6% of Scouts achieve on average. To earn it, an individual has to 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. Patty continued by sharing their experience in adapting given the state of the world around them.

“When COVID hit in March they both hit challenges in planning their projects. They had to put a lot of different planning into their projects. By asking all the right questions and taking feedback they were both able to create a safe work environment and complete their projects. Tori’s and Victoria’s leadership styles, organizational skills and friendly demeaners have influenced our younger scouts who are now our current leadership. We are on our third SPL, and to watch the mentoring each SPL gets from the previous makes me very proud knowing it came from these two outstanding young ladies.”

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.

We hope you will join us in congratulating these Scouts and all Scouts who continue their journey ever closer to earning their Eagle Rank and beyond.