If you haven’t heard Boy Scouts now allows girls to join. I had a conversation with two Boy Scout Leaders who mentioned if a girl earned the Eagle and Gold Awards (by being a member of both institutions); she would then become the first Golden Eagle. This got me thinking that makes no sense at all. I started thinking of Girl Scourings rich 106-year history. Juliette Gordon Lowe and Sir Baden Powell were good friends which is how America got Scouting. Sir Baden Powell and his wife started Boy Scouts in Europe with the help of Juliette Gordon Lowe. This means that there are a lot of similarities between what each group does. Each institution scouting groups follow each other in class and development which is how you get the following: Daisy/Lion & Tiger, Brownie/Wolf & Bear, Junior/Webelos. When you move past fifth grade that is where the difference comes. In Girl Scouts, you become a Cadette, Seniors & Ambassadors. Boy Scouts you earn the following levels Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. By the time a young woman or man finishes scouts, one hopes they have attained the highest levels and awards.
Is it possible to earn a Golden Eagle? History states Girl Scouts have earned the Golden Eagle. The Gold award is the highest award a young lady can earn in scouting the exact equivalent of the Eagle award. When the award was first introduced and earned in 1916 it was called the Golden Eagle of Merit. The name has gone through six changes since its inception. Which brings me to my next question, why did we change the name? Since 1912 an Eagle has always been an eagle. Is the change because at the time women were the underdogs and discredited for what they bring to the table? Were the qualifications not as strict. The founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Lowe, said, “The five requirements for winning the Golden Eaglet are character, health, handicraft, happiness and service, and that others will expect to find in our Golden Eaglet a perfect specimen of girlhood: mentally, morally, and physically.” It can take one -two years to earn the Gold Award. A girl must complete a series of projects by doing Journeys. She must investigate and choose a platform, to either assist or offer a change too. This project must impact the community. Why do we as Girl Scouts still have to prove how non-inferior our work and contributions are. We go camping, learn how to start campfires and set up camp rounds. We learn safety, first aid, and horseback riding. We travel all over the world learning how to pilot space crafts and fighter planes, travel to India and immerse ourselves in the culture. In Costa Rica, we learn how to live off the land and change the global warming footprint. Giving girls skill they can use in their everyday lives.
Why have an Eagle when you can have a Golden Eagle? Sounds a lot more important than a plain Eagle in my book would want a Golden Eagle over a plain one any day. Was there a debate between the two institutions? Does Golden Eagle sound more prestigious than Eagle? So as women, we had to dumb ourselves down to plain gold as to not offend our brother counterparts. Thus, bringing about the fact that we always must explain how prestigious the Gold Award truly is. As a Scout Alumna, I only finished with my Silver Award, but I made sure my daughter got her Gold Award. It was a lot of hard work sweat and tears, but I look up to her for all her hard work. She is my hero. I would like to see if a girl in Boy Scouts earns an Eagle, I want her to know she could have the Gold Award which is the Golden Eagle of Merit and learn just as much if not more than the boys she worked with. Scouting is an institution to help girls and Boys grow strong. Just remember boys will always grow strong and sometimes we need to focus on making our girls strong also. Girl Scouts helps build girls of Character Courage, and Confidence to make the world a better place
Golden Eagle, tried and true, meritous and strong
Golden Eagle, bleeding heart standing tall, but all alone
Golden Eagle, beloved and coveted takes flight, dives, and falls
Golden Eagle, lost its wings, a change begins
Golden Eagle, rises out of the ashes Gold forevermore but always an Eagle