Cedar Hill Student Becomes An Eagle Scout
Isabelle Walker grew up listening to stories about the Boy Scouts.
Now, she has some stories of her own to tell.
When the Boy Scouts of America opened up membership to girls in February of 2019, Isabelle immediately joined. Though she felt like a member already vicariously.
Not only did she join, she has now become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the BSA program. Since its inception in 1911, only 4% of Boy Scouts go on to earn the honor of Eagle Scout.
Isabelle, a junior at Cedar Hill’s Collegiate Academy high school, is among the very first females to earn this accolade. Her dad and his twin brother are both Eagle Scouts, and her great grandfather joined the BSA as an adult leader to help them reach that goal.
Her grandmother was a scout leader when Isabelle’s dad and uncle were in Cub Scouts.
And now, Isabelle’s mother is a den leader for younger sister Lily, while their dad has transitioned into an assistant scoutmaster for the female 520 Troop in Cedar Hill.
In other words, scouting plays a big role in the lives of the entire family, has for a long time, and likely will for even longer.
There are 3 young women achieving Eagle in Cedar Hill, that will be part of the inaugural class. Isabelle’s father says, “They each have done amazing things to start, build, recruit, train and mentor their troop. They’re having a joint Court of Honor January 23rd at the First United Methodist Church.”
Following In The Family’s Footsteps
“I grew up hearing amazing stories from my dad and my uncle, and I wanted to experience those amazing situations and be in an a program that could help me learn and grow,” Isabelle said.
Isabelle was a Girl Scout for a short time, claiming with a smile that, “Selling cookies was fun.”
She has also been a den chief for her brother for his Cub Scout experience. When she turned 14 Isabelle joined Venturing Crew 628 and 2018.
And, as soon as the opportunity became available to her, Isabelle joined the Boy Scouts on Feb. 2, 2019. Shortly after she began work on her Eagle Scout project, which was orchestrating the making of 100 ear savers for caretakers working at a group of assisted living facilities in her community.
Determined To Achieve Her Goal
“It took me one year and about eight months to get my Eagle Scout badge, and it was a time crunch because of how old I was first joining,” she said. “I was able to use things I did in Venturing to help meet the deadline. It was certainly a labor intensive and a singularly focused effort to accomplish it in the little time available.”
But she did it, and she believes that determination and fortitude will benefit her as she enters adulthood.
“I believe it will because in the process in getting my Eagle I have learned so much and I have grown as a person, and I believe that all the leadership training I have taken will help me to be a better leader for the rest of my life,” Isabelle said. “The organizational skills I have learned will help me navigate college and beyond.”
Isabelle said when she graduates from Cedar Hill Collegiate Academy she will receive 60 hours of college credit and will be receiving her associates degree, making her a junior at whatever college she attends. She wants to go to the University of North Texas or Texas A&M for the ROTC and nursing programs.
“Isabelle has been with us since the first inaugural class of Collegiate Academy. She has done well in the program and has become a proud member of the Collegiate Pathway family over the years,” Collegiate Academy Dean Benjamin Hairgrove said. “She is driven and determined. We are proud of her accomplishments and look forward to observing her bright future.”
Her long list of accolades and honors connected to scouting includes:
- A member of the Order of the Arrow and serving as Vice Chief of American Indian activities in the Takoda Chapter of the Mikanakawa Lodge.
- An inaugural member of the Valkyrie Patrol in Troop 520 G.
- Serving as a troop guide in her troop, and also when she staffs National Youth Leadership Training.
- Serving as either an assistant senior patrol leader or senior patrol leader throughout the first year and a half of her scouting adventure in BSA, part of which was during COVID-19 lockdown, forcing them to adapt to online virtual zoom meetings.
- Vice president for Venturing Crew 628.
As for what career lies ahead of her, that changes on a daily basis, she said with a chuckle. While completing the aviation merit badge she learned she loved to fly and was convinced she wanted to be a pilot. While mentoring youth at National Youth Leadership Training she found great satisfaction and discovered that she had a gift there, leading her to consider a job as a child life specialist.
Deciding On Her Future
“I am surprisingly good at first aid I have discovered, and for that reason I have considered nursing. I’ve earned my lifeguard certification following merit badges, which has given me a way to potentially earn money even now,” Isabelle said. “I learned through the veterans medics merit badge that I do not want to be a vet. Because of the paramilitary influence in scouts I have considered the military as an avenue of pursuing several of these professions.”
Then, she added, smiling “The final decision eludes me.”
But even as she looks forward to that future, which will in all likelihood be successful, Isabelle isn’t quite ready to leave her teenage years behind.
“It’s better to take it one step at a time and to take time to tell yourself you are doing a good job,” she said. “Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Planning for the future isn’t bad but leave some time to have fun and enjoy the present.”