It was never just enough for 17-year old Amy Miseli. She had to do better. It wasn’t because she has an older brother who is an Eagle Scout. She wanted to be one too. Having won honors as a Venture Scout, she wanted more. Being part of a military family, she has high expectations of herself.
So, in 2017, when the Boy Scouts of America opened membership to girls, she was among the first in line, participating in the area’s first boot camp for girls. And in the coming months, that desire to earn the coveted Eagle rank will become a reality.
A Class of their own
Nationally, the Boy Scouts of America will celebrate its first class of female Eagle Scouts on February 8, 2021.
This date is not chosen at random. It will be the Boy Scouts of America’s 111th birthday.
About 8-10 girls are expected to be in the first class of female Eagle Scouts in the Pacific Harbors Council. Last year, 251 local Scouts earned the coveted Eagle Rank. Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Scouts BSA program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Since its inception in 1911, only four percent of Scouts have earned this rank after a lengthy review process. The Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2.5 million young people.
A Rigorous Program
Amy Miseli is a Lakes High School senior with a 3.9 GPA, the daughter of Col. And Mrs. Jason Miseli. Becoming an Eagle Scout has been a dream for her. In order to get to this point, she needed to earn 21 different merit badges. As a member of Tacoma Troop 216 G, she needed to work hard to advance from Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star and on to Life Scout. She needed to demonstrate camping skills, leadership, environmental responsibility, first aid, citizenship and family responsibility, among other qualities.
She needed to demonstrate that she was trustworthy, reverent and of good moral character. And she had to have outstanding community, scholastic and Scouting references. She is an accomplished high school athlete as a cross-country runner, wrestler and a member of the track team. She is also a Junior ROTC cadet. Troop 216 G is chartered by St. Mark’s Lutheran Church By The Narrows. Miseli says she is humbled to be a role model for other young women in Scouting.
“Being a Scout means doing meaningful work with a team that has a shared value system,” says Miseli. “Being a role model means setting the example for others and holding yourself accountable.”
Amy’s Eagle Project
Miseli just completed one of her last tasks before appearing in front of an Eagle Review Board; her Eagle Project. Eagle Scout service projects must benefit the local community. The Eagle candidates must demonstrate leadership as well as planning, budgeting and program development.
Miseli’s project was to renovate a playroom for the Tillicum Youth and Family Center, which provides tutoring, snacks, community meals, a healthy environment and strong sense of self to kids who would otherwise have nowhere to go after school and on the weekends. It supports the community of Tillicum – one of the poorest communities in the state.
Her project involved sanding bookcases, clearing out debris, painting, assembling of children’s toys, anchoring furniture and applying vinyl to the walls. She was helped on this project by other Scouts from her Scouts BSA Troop. In addition, Miseli raised nearly $600 to pay for project renovation materials such as paint, brushes and rollers. She acquired donations that included tables, a children’s teepee, carpeting, outlet covers and toys. Miseli’s Scoutmaster, Jeni Keister wrote of the project, “Amy’s project provides impact worthy of an Eagle Scout Project. It involved planning, development and leadership.”
“The effort, intentionality, and creativity that you put into the project shows how seriously you take in making the community a better place for others. I was also impressed by how you practiced delegation in your project with your team to be able to complete it in just two days,” said Andrew Kruse, project sponsor for the work that was done. “This renovation allows us to provide space for young children to have fun and receive care when we host community dinners, parenting seminars, and partnering with outside groups, such as Pierce College,” he said.
Eagle Projects Benefit Pierce County
Miseli’s project is one of more than two dozen since the beginning of the year in the local community. About 33 Scouts and adult volunteers contributed nearly 4,000 hours of volunteer time to create programs and projects that benefit the Tacoma area, all while observing social distancing and face mask requirements. Among some other recent Eagle projects that have benefitted the community include environmental restoration of local waterways, collection and volunteer efforts at local food banks, renovation of local playgrounds and beautification projects at local public parks.
“I am proud of the work Amy and her fellow Eagle candidates have done in the community this year,” said Karen Meier, Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Meier notes these projects have been completed with some degree of difficulty because of quarantine and lockdown issues. “Scouting is about building character and resolve in our young people, so they can become responsible adults and grow into community leaders. And they need to do this no matter what the challenges might be. Amy has some great local role models who are Eagle Scouts; people like former Governors Dan Evans and Gary Locke, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and certainly her parents who are both active in the local community,” said Meier.
Serving Her Country
As for her future plans, Amy is applying to the military academies and college ROTC programs. Her older brother, who is also an Eagle Scout, is attending West Point so there is an active competitive spirit. Her brother, Nate, has been supportive and encouraging. She is interested in the military as a career, following her father who is an active Army Colonel.
About The Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America
The Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America supports Scouting Units across the South Sound from Federal Way to Centralia and from the Washington Coast to the Cascade foothills. This includes, Cub Scouts, Venture Scouts, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts and Explorer Scouts. Nearly 4,000 young people participate in Scouting locally. The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. For more information on Scouting go to: beascout.org