YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — In the midst of the pandemic, where most social activities are drastically cut back, some local Boy Scouts are about to make history.
Two female teenagers will soon officially reach the highest rank in the organization.
Clint Hammett, chief executive officer of Colonial Virginia Council of Boy Scouts of America, says the York County teens joined Troop 205 two years ago.
“This is a very historic day for us,” said Hammett. “We have two of our finest — the first-ever in our council’s history — to achieve the rank of Eagle.”
Seventeen-year-old Siam Stolz is a senior at Tabb High School. She says she needed 21 badges to make Eagle. She earned 24, just to be sure.
Nineteen-year-old Maura Helmerson attended Grafton High School, then moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, about a year ago. And while there, she stayed in touch with the troop while completing Eagle requirements by commuting and online.
They both joined Troop 205 as soon as the national organization opened membership to girls.
“Once I heard in [February 2019], I could join, says Maura Helmerson, “I hopped right on that (ship) and was ready to set sail.”
But, why did they want to be a Boy Scout?
“When I was little, I did join Girl Scouts. It wasn’t really for me,” Siam said.
And her brother was also already a member. “They did all these adventurous stuff.”
So, how did the boys treat them when they found out they wanted to join?
“I got a little skepticism,” said Maura.”‘Oh, you’re a girl and you’re gonna go outside and be rough and tough?’ And I’m like ‘oh yeah. I’m gonna be rough and tough. Watch me be a leader and learn all these skills.’ And they eventually noticed the fact, like Siam was saying earlier, that, we can do this.”
For Eagle projects, Siam built little libraries.
“I put one in my community, my own neighborhood, and I put one at a laundromat in a low-income family area.”
Maura built and hung two bat boxes.
“They help both the community and the bats find a home,” she said.
She says she put them in a safe place in Sherwood Forest Park where bats “can feed on insects and help the community with less mosquitos.”
Hammett says both Siam and Maura completed all Eagle requirements in less than two years.
“These ladies have worked extremely hard and will be recognized in the inaugural class, come February of 2021,” Hammett said.
Hammett says scout troops all over the Virginia Peninsula have been busy during the pandemic, hosting mainly outdoor, fun, educational and safe events.
And, yes, they are accepting new members, girls included. Parents wanting to enroll their children can contact the Colonial Virginia Boy Scout Council at 757-595-3356.
For more information, visit Boy Scouts of America Colonial Virginia Council online.
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