Northwest Ohio teen, Ashtyn Wiyrick, became one of the nation’s first female Eagle Scouts on February 2, and the first in Black Swamp Area Council to achieve the rank. The 19-year old is among hundreds of young women who will make up the Inaugural Class of female Eagle Scouts.
Two years ago, Senior District Executive, Erika Dutcher, visited the Wiyrick’s home with the news that Scouts BSA was officially open to girls, and a female Troop, 29G, was forming in nearby Edgerton.
“My favorite memory in Scouting is when Erika told me that I could,” she said.
Ashtyn comes from a family of Eagle Scouts as older brothers, Justin, and Zach, earned the rank with Troop 669 in West Unity. Ashtyn’s mother, Tonya, couldn’t be more pleased that now, all three of her children have earned the rank of Eagle. “Mom was all smiles when the review board announced Ashtyn was awarded the prestigious achievement,” said Dutcher.
Because Ashtyn was 17 when she joined Troop 29G, she was on a 24-month time clock before she would be ineligible to be a youth in Scouts. Normally, Scouts must complete requirements prior to age 18, but the shortest path is 21 months. Ashtyn kept her focus on the timeline to make sure she earned each rank along the journey on time, to be finished within the 24 months.
The culmination of the journey is the completion of a rigorous experience in project management called the Eagle project. It is important that this community service project be completed by a team, and not by the Scout alone. This provides the opportunity to lead and learn from bumps and failures along the way.
Ashtyn’s community service project involved designing and building three trash receptacles to be placed at the Iron Horse River Trail in Montpelier.
Young women have been part of Scouting for decades in co-ed programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), including Sea Scouts, Venturing, Exploring and STEM Scouts. The BSA expanded further in recent years by welcoming girls into Cub Scouts and then into Scouts BSA in February 2019. Scouts BSA is the program for youth ages 11 to 17 previously known as Boy Scouts.
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize Ashtyn for this significant accomplishment,” said Marc Kogan, Black Swamp Area Council, CEO.
Eagle Scout is the program’s highest rank, which only about 6% of Scouts achieve on average. In addition to the large community service project, an individual has to take on leadership roles within their troop and their community and earn a minimum of 21 merit badges that cover a broad range of topics including first aid and safety, civics, business and the environment.