WACO, Texas – Two years ago, Jillian Nemec joined Scouting BSA Troop 308-G with the goal only four percent of scouts have ever achieved – earning the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout.
For over 110 years, Eagle has been the benchmark for model scouts and its prestigious fraternity includes names like Neil Armstrong and former President Gerald Ford. In Central Texas, it’s no longer a fraternity – Nemec is the first female Eagle Scout in the area.
“It’s a little bit of a flex,” Nemec said of her historic achievement. “I think it’s an honor. It’s really cool.”
Just over two years ago, the feat was impossible. In February 2019, Boy Scouts of America started letting girls join the organization and re-branded as Scouting BSA.
Nemec grew up accompanying her brothers on camping trips when they were Cub Scouts, and has not regretted being a founding member of Waco’s first ever all-girl troop.
“I’m so glad I joined. It’s been a blast, man,” Nemec said. “Those girls are so sweet and so welcoming, and it’s just so fun.”
The biggest requirement for the rank is the Eagle Project – a service project planned, fundraised for and led by the scout to benefit his or her community.
Nemec led the troop in building sound walls and benches for the kids at the Talitha Koum Institute in Waco – showing off her newfound leadership skills.
“She’s grown. She’s grown so much,” says Elizabeth Nemec, Jillian’s mother. “I’ve seen her confidence and her leadership grow.”
By setting a new bar for girls in scouting, Nemec proves to be an inspiration for local girls looking to attain the prestigious rank.
“I hope that Jillian’s work in attaining Eagle will be a little bit of a catalyst for the other girls to complete their rank advancements,” says Troop 308-G Scoutmaster Melody Terrell.
Troop 308-G is looking to expand, and more information can be found here.