CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — While many kids use their down time to sit back, teenager Kate Pape used hers to get closer to meeting her goals. She was honored earlier this month for accomplishing one of them, becoming the first female Eagle Scout in her area.
“I never thought it would’ve been possible,” Pape said.
Pape was recently honored at a Cedar Park City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin, who is also an Eagle Scout. He marveled at how dedicated Pape must have been to earning her merits, as she did so in a fraction of the time it could take other scouts.
Her accomplishment comes just three years after Boy Scouts of America opened its Scouts BSA program to older girls. The previous year the organization opened its cub scout programs to younger girls.
“Most of us take closer to eight years to finish all the requirements, so it’s very impressive,” Penniman-Morin said.
Pape said she was excited when she first heard the scouts would be accepting girls into its organization. Her grandfather, father and brother were all scouts. She said it’s a feeling like no other to be helping young scouts rise in their ranks and learn leadership skills.
“Now I’m at troop meetings, signing off on requirements for other scouts. I see them grow, and it’s really cool,” Pape said.
Since accepting girls into its programs, it’s estimated that more than 31,000 girls have joined the Scouts BSA program. Darryl Agostinelli, the Northshore district committee chair for the organization, said Pape’s presence is likely to inspire other young ladies to consider scout life.
“Being one of the first, it takes a lot of bravery for her to do that,” Agostinelli said. “In many respects, she’s going to be an inspiring character for a lot of people.”