Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle

Senior Becomes the First Female in Cedar Park to Earn Top Boy Scout Rank

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Photo Courtesy of Kate Pape

On Sept. 8, senior Kate Pape was given was recognized by the mayor of Cedar Park, Jim Penniman-Morin, for being the first female in the Cedar Park and Northshore district to earn the Eagle Scout rank. The mayor gave a speech at the Cedar Park City Hall and signed the award acknowledging the work she put in to achieve this goal in only three years, which is rarely done. “Scouts has made me more confident and comfortable when I’m in groups,” Pape said. “I am also more comfortable in taking the lead in the things that I do. It has also helped me with my independence, meaning I don’t mind doing things myself half the time.”

Penny Moreno, Reporter

She walks across the stage proudly with a big grin as the crowd cheers to celebrate her. Smiles greet her everywhere she goes as she walks around, a changed person from the accomplishment she achieved. 

On Sept. 8, senior Kate Pape was honored by the Cedar Park City Council for becoming the first female in Cedar Park and the Northshore district to earn an Eagle Scout rank. 

Earning the Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank or achievement possible in the Boy Scouts of America. Starting in 2019, the program started allowing females to earn the Eagle Scout rank, which is when Pape began the process. 

“It is kind of annoying that it took so long for females to be allowed to earn the rank,” Pape said. “But, females are able to join now and all of the younger generations have their chance to be able to do it and I think that’s awesome.”

Pape said she was inspired by her father and brother to become an Eagle Scout because they had completed this same achievement. Also, at a younger age she was able to follow her brother around while he was a Cub Scout. Just like her father and brother, she had to work herself up in ranks starting as a Cub Scout. 

“Growing up, starting in elementary school, my brother joined Cub Scouts, and this was before girls could join Cub Scouts,” Pape said. “I followed him around and it was pretty fun being able to do the same things, so being a Cub Scout was something I always wanted to do.”

To earn the Eagle Scout rank, a scout must go through a list of requirements that will ultimately lead them them reaching the rank. Pape had to complete requirements that included leadership training, survival skills, first aid and fitness testing. 

“Being an Eagle Scout means you are prepared for just about anything life throws at you in your daily life,” Pape said. “It also means that you are a trustworthy, kind and helpful citizen. I hope to gain more people’s trust and respect, and I also hope that I’ll be able to help more people in times of need since I am skilled in first aid.”

To become an Eagle Scout, a person must go through Scoutmaster conferences. Scoutmaster conferences include a scoutmaster conducting a one-on-one meeting with the scout, where they go over the steps to become an Eagle Scout, followed by a board review. The board review is when a three-to-four person group of board members from a scout’s troop committee ask questions about the candidate’s personal life and their Eagle project.

“Being an Eagle Scout means you are prepared for just about anything life throws at you in your daily life. It also means that you are a trustworthy, kind and helpful citizen. I hope to gain more people’s trust and respect, and I also hope that I’ll be able to help more people in times of need since I am skilled in first aid.”

— Kate Pape

“It’s a lot of hard work, but you get to do fun things along the way while working on the Eagle rank,” Pape said. “I worried that I might not get everything done before I turned 18 and became an adult in the troop, but the people that were helping me really did help with everything.”

For the required Eagle Scout project that all scouts must complete to receive Eagle Scout rank, a scout chooses a nonprofit organization that they are interested in. Pape reached out to the Central Texas SPCA, an animal shelter, and decided to help impact the community by making a butterfly garden and pollinator pergola. She was given the materials to make this project from local Home Depots. In the future, the shelter will plant flowers and plants around the pergola to attract pollinators in the environment. It took her two days to complete this project with her family and family.

Kate Pape at the pollinator pergola she created for her Eagle Scout project.

“I was the project manager,” Pape said. “I was in charge of leading people and telling them what to do but telling people what has to be done and how to do it to complete to pergola. In the end, I signed the pergola with a wood burner and it’s now labeled there as my project with my name and troop number.” 

Pape was given a proclamation and was recognized by the mayor of Cedar Park Jim Penniman-Morin, for her accomplishment. The mayor gave a speech at the Cedar Park City Hall congratulating Pape on earning the Eagle Scout rank. The mayor also signed the award acknowledging the work she put in to achieve this goal in only three years, which is rarely done.

“Scouts has made me more confident and comfortable when I’m in groups,” Pape said. “I am also more comfortable in taking the lead in the things that I do. It has also helped me with my independence, meaning I don’t mind doing things myself half the time.”