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Senior Annie Groebner Inducted Into Nation's First Group of Female Eagle Scouts

Scouting has been part of Vis Senior Annie Groebner's life for as long as she can remember. As a young girl, she was constantly accompanying her two older brothers to their scouting events--selling wreaths and popcorn, attending service projects and weekly meetings, and going to Scouts summer camp. "I loved being a sister of a scout and did a great amount of the activities but never got the recognition," Annie said.

All of that changed when Scouts began accepting females in 2019, and now Annie is in the nation's inaugural group of female Eagle Scouts. "I was thrilled that it was now my turn to actually participate as a scout and earn the recognition for my achievements," she said.

This year marks the first year females will have earned the Eagle Scout Award, which is the highest rank in the Scouts program. On average, it takes a scout four years to achieve this award. Annie and her fellow female Eagle Scouts accomplished it in just two.

This was no small feat. To become an Eagle Scout, Annie had to advance through all 7 ranks of Scouts, earn 21 merit badges, and plan, execute and lead others in an extensive Eagle Scout service project--all prior to turning 18. Only 4% of Scouts earn the Eagle Scout distinction. Annie's scoutmaster estimated that about 1,000 young women across the nation will be in this first group.

"I feel very excited to be a part of this great change that has occurred for girls like me," Annie said. "The scouting family has always been a very helpful, caring and generous group of people. Those same people have been very welcoming to me and excited to see me accomplish my goals."

Annie said the community service opportunities at Vis helped her in her journey as well. "Oftentimes scouts are not able to advance to the next rank because they haven't completed their service hours. This was never a problem for me as Visitation has a variety of service opportunities available," she said.

Annie's Eagle Scout service project was to enhance the south courtyard at Mendota Elementary School. The project included making a Little Free Library, installing two bird houses, building two raised flower beds, and clearing out existing flower beds. "During the process I met with the Principal and garden committee multiple times," she said. "We discussed their vision for the space and then I came up with a plan that included a budget and timeline."

Annie then gathered the supplies and people needed to complete the project, and they got to work. "It was a great success and I learned a lot throughout the whole process," she said.

Annie said this project gave her experiences and leadership skills that will help her in her future endeavors. She plans to attend Gustavus Adolphus College in the fall and is considering a major in Business Management.

"I am proud to say that I completed all my goals but it doesn't end here," Annie said. "As an Eagle Scout I plan on giving back to my troop and helping other kids attain their goals. I still attend weekly meetings and will attend summer camp this summer with my troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. I can't wait to go back!"

Annie's mom, Mary Rose Turner, is a 1984 Vis grad who is proud to now have three Eagle Scouts. "She wears her Scout Mom shirt with pride!" said Annie.

Congratulations to Annie on this amazing achievement. She makes us so #visproud!