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Blacksburg High School student among first female Eagle Scouts

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A Blacksburg High School freshman has just landed the highest Scouts Boy Scouts of America rank - called the Eagle Scout. Jacqueline “Jack” Cooper is the first female in the Blue Ridge Mountains to receive it.

Cooper started training with BSA at just 10 years old with her brother, who was a member. But Cooper officially became a scout in February 2019, when BSA changed its name to Scouts BSA to include girls.

“I always felt a little left out because of course I was the sibling, and I was a female, and it was groups of boys. But since I was able to join as a true member, it felt more inclusive and I was putting in more work,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s troop became the first female troop in the Blue Ridge Mountains Council. Members meet weekly at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Blacksburg and virtually during the pandemic. As a member, Cooper led young scouts, earned merit badges and built a play kitchen for Blacksburg United Methodist Preschool.

“They needed more utilities outside, so they could have a program this spring with COVID requirements, so I started planning that, it took a lot of planning,” Cooper explained.

It’s Cooper’s hard work and dedication that led to the Eagle Scout Rank this year.

“I’ve always seen Eagle as something that really improves character and overall skill in everyday life. I also just really like the idea of having Eagle, like that’s something super exciting to me and not that many people get that in their life,” Cooper said.

“Earning Eagle Scout as part of the inaugural class really emphasizes how dedicated they had to be in the two years that they’ve been a scout because they joined scouts the first day that they were able to and has continued to progress through the ranks,” said Kristie Cooper, Jack’s mother and a Scouts BSA Troop Committee member.

Cooper hopes to attend MIT after high school and become an aerospace engineer.

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