Though Boy Scouts of America has been in existence since 1910, it has been an exclusive male program that promotes character development and values-based leadership training.
In 2018, the program made some changes and began serving boys and girls through single-gender dens in the Cub Scout program. Then, in February 2019, the organization introduced a program, called Scouts, that allows both older boys and girls to join single-gender troops and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Emma Wright, a seventh grader at Oneonta Middle School, has taken the challenge since the changes took effect in February. Because Wright is the only female scout thus far in Blount County and the troops must be single-gender, she is considered a Lone Scout with a female advisor. In order to meet guidelines, there must be at least five females and a female advisor to be established as a troop.
Wright is no stranger to Boy Scouts. Her family is a scouting family. Her dad, Lamar, is an Eagle Master and her brother, Tyler, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Her father said she has been motivated by her brother’s involvement. Lamar said that even though she was not allowed to be in the scout program until recently, Emma was a constant figure as her brother participated and earned his merit badges.
What has been the reaction of people when they learn that Emma is working toward earning the Eagle Scout honor? Lamar said they have had nothing but positive reactions and people have been very supportive of Emma since she has started this journey.
Anyone wanting more information on becoming a Scout can contact Amanda Wright at 446-1131 or visit the website at 1bsa.org.