‘Girls can do the same things that boys can’: Girls become Eagle Scouts for 1st time in history


A number of girls are now the first females in the nation to reach the rank of Eagle Scout — an honor historically reserved for boys.

The young girls could only dream about it a few years ago, but ever since the Boy Scouts of America welcomed girls, it’s become a reality for many.

Abigail Winkelman, 14, of Austin, Texas, became an Eagle Scout on Oct. 2, 2020 — one day after the review boards’ window opened up for the Inaugural Class of female Eagle Scouts. She’s one of the first girls to join in the country, KTLA sister station KXAN in Austin reported.

She and all the other girls who earn the rank between Oct. 1 and Feb. 8 will be part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts.

It’s unclear how many girls will end up being part of the inaugural class, but more than a dozen across the nation are slated for the honor.

Abigail Winkelman stands with her proud father Don (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

“I’m just very glad that the Boy Scouts made this big jump because this is a big jump. Letting girls into their organization? That’s crazy…,” Winkelman said. “It means that the world is changing. It means that the world and America is evolving around the fact that girls can do the same things that boys can, and that girls are getting more opportunities.”

Winkelman earned this rank as a member of the Boy Scouts of America troop 5131 in Austin, Texas.

“I’m blown away. Yes, I set a goal but I don’t think I’ve ever set a goal this ambitious for myself so I’m just really proud of myself that I met my goal, and I planned, and I got help from all my friends and all my community,” Abby said.

Her father, Don Winkelman, is proud, but not just because of the Eagle Scout rank.

“Really proud to see her grow in her leadership throughout the process,” he said. “She’s always helped out the other girls, she’s always been one of the people who would sign up to be various leadership positions, whether it’s patrol leader or the senior patrol leader… and then seeing her lead the project.”

In the future, the 14-year-old hopes to pursue medical school, become a collegiate athlete and start a family one day.

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