BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Haley Henderson, of Bossier City, made history on March 2 when she became the first female Eagle Scout in northwest Louisiana.
Henderson is among hundreds of girls who make up the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts.
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize Haley Henderson for this significant accomplishment,” said Jeff Brasher, Scout executive and CEO of the NORWELA Council. “Along the journey to Eagle Scout, young people gain new skills, learn to overcome obstacles, and demonstrate leadership among their peers and in their communities. These benefits are invaluable for everyone, and we are thrilled that they are now available to even more youth.”
Girls have been a part of Eagle Scouts for decades now in various co-ed programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America, including Sea Scouts, Venturing, Exploring, and STEM Scouts. Just in recent years, BSA started welcoming girls into Cub Scouts, then into Scouts BSA in February of 2020. Scouts BSA is for kids ages 11 to 17 and was previously known as Boy Scouts.
Since girls were welcomed, thousands in Louisiana and across the country have joined and are working their way towards the rank of Eagle Scout.
The NORWELA Council says Henderson grew up in a Scout family and has been involved since she was young. As a Girl Scout, she earned her Bronze Award and later spent a year as part of American Heritage Girls. After 8th grade, she joined BSA’s Venturing program and served a crew vice-president and later president. She was chosen to serve in the NORWELA Council Venturing Officers Association (VOA) as a vice-president of communications. In 2019, Henderson was recognized with the Venturing Leadership Award and served as the VOA president from June to December of 2020.
Henderson was also a founding member of of Troop 100-G in Bossier City; it was chartered by Asbury United Methodist Church. Henderson has served in a number of leadership roles in the troop, and in 2019 was elected into Scouting’s National Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow (OA).
In 2020, Henderson was elected by her peers as the chief of the local OA Lodge, making her the first female chief in the OA Southern Region-Section 2, which covers nine Scout Councils across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Henderson also attended the 2019 World Scout Jamboree as part of a Venturing Crew made up of young people from seven different states. In 2020, Henderson attended the week-long BSA National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE), and in 2021 will serve on staff for the NAYLE Course at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
The NORWELA Council says outside of Scouting, Henderson is active at school and church. She’s involved in archery, the National Junior Honors Society, and Beta Club. At church, Henderson belongs to the youth group and has supported the Katy Build Project, which builds homes for deserving veterans in the Shreveport-Bossier area.
Only about 6% of Scouts achieve Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank possible. To earn it, a person must:
- Take on leadership roles within their troop and community
- Earn a minimum of 21 merit badges that cover a broad range of topics
- Research, organize, and complete a large community service project