Fayette County boasts first female Eagle Scout


Courtesy of Adeline Harper

Eagle Scout Adeline Harper shakes hands with an Eagle Scout Board of Review member. Harper, along with two fellow troopmates, was Fayette County’s first female scout to achieve the rank of Eagle.

In May of 2018, Boy Scouts of America expanded to include girls in the program. When this change came around, the BSA community was divided on the topic, with many arguing that the organization should remain solely for boys, per the name and origin of the group.

Adeline Harper sits with troop members Hailey Pecoraro and Jasmine Pecoraro. The three had their Eagle Board of Review meetings at the same time, and became Eagle Scouts together. (Courtesy of Adeline Harper)

Regardless, as girls entered the program within the last few years, they have made leaps and bounds in their scouting careers, making differences within their communities, and climbing the ranks, including that of the Eagle Scout. This is the highest rank a scout can achieve, and only four percent of scouts have achieved it since BSA’s inception in 1911. 

Recently, Fayette County announced its first female Eagle Scout, Adeline Harper, a junior at Starr’s Mill, who rose to the Eagle rank along with troopmates Hailey and Jasmine Pecoraro.

“I’m very happy and I feel very satisfied,” Harper said. “It’s a very big achievement for me, and I’m also super proud of the other two girls in my troop who got it because we all [did] at the exact same time.”

Harper got her start in scouting in 2019, but at the time there were limited opportunities for a girls’ troop nearby. She eventually found her way to Troop 212, the local troop where she advanced to the Eagle rank.

“Adeline is an incredible person,” Flint River scout executive Robert Johnson said. “She was before she was an Eagle Scout, but this accomplishment is significant, and it will make her a better person, and it will really help enhance her future.”

Completing a service project is a requirement for becoming an Eagle Scout, and for hers, Harper renovated the concrete playground patio at North Fayette Elementary. The patio was blackened and covered with molded pollen. Harper and a team of scouts came in and began to clean up, a process which included powerwashing the concrete, as well as giving it a bleach treatment. Then, they painted a huge, colorful map of the United States to beautify the space.

Adeline Harper and friends sit with their completed project. Harper’s project included refurbishing and upgrading the playground patio at North Fayette Elementary. (Courtesy of Adeline Harper)

“Once you’re an Eagle, you’re always an Eagle,” Harper said. “An Eagle Scout is like the role model, and once people find out you’re an Eagle Scout they’re going to pay attention to how you act and behave and present yourself.”

The Boy Scouts of America hold moral values to a high bar, as shown by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law that are recited at each meeting. These oaths set character expectations for the scouts, and holding true to them is not always easy. This challenge is magnified by the controversial change that allowed girls to join the program.

“You either get people who are like, ‘You belong in the kitchen,’ or you get people who are super accepting,” Harper said. “But even through the backlash, as much as we might want to lash out, we still have to be respectful and kind.”

As the history of women in scouting progresses, more will climb the ranks to Eagle. This will create opportunities for these women to impact the lives of its members and the communities in which they live.