Eagle Scout Isabella Hom is part of Troop 1707.

Eagle Scout Isabella Hom is part of Troop 1707.

Photo provided by Julie Hom

Student becomes first female Eagle Scout from Troy

Joins inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts

By: Jonathan Shead | Troy Times | Published March 10, 2021

 Troop 1707 Eagle Scout Isabella Hom plays the bugle during a national Scouts BSA broadcast. Hom was the sole bugler selected to play for the program.

Troop 1707 Eagle Scout Isabella Hom plays the bugle during a national Scouts BSA broadcast. Hom was the sole bugler selected to play for the program.

Photo provided by Julie Hom


TROY — For the past two years, female Boy Scouts like Isabella Hom, of Troop 1707 in Troy, have been proving that anything a Boy Scout can do, a girl can do too, even when it comes to reaching the organization’s highest rank, Eagle Scout.

She graduated from Troy High School in 2020 and now studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and is the first female in Troy to reach the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank. She will join 34 other young women as part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts.

The Boy Scouts of America began allowing young women and girls to join the program, now formally called Scouts BSA, on Feb. 1, 2019. Girls were afforded opportunities to join Boy Scouts co-ed programs before this, and Cub Scouts opened to girls in 2018.

Boy Scouts of America President and CEO Roger Mosby said only about 6% of troop members earn the rank of Eagle Scout. “We are honored to recognize Isabella and all of the trailblazing young women who earned their place in history as part of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts. These young women represent a variety of geographics and backgrounds, but amid their differences, this group is united forever by a rank synonymous with leadership, service and excellence, and valued by employers, universities and other respected institutions around the world.”

To earn Eagle Scout rank, Scouts must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges in a variety of categories, including first aid and safety; civics business and environmental engagement; and community service, which involves a large service-oriented project which caps the program.

Isabella, who completed all the Eagle Scout requirements in two short years since girls were welcomed into the program, said it was an honor to earn the rank. She wasn’t shy to acknowledge the work that went into it.

“It also represents a lot of hard work, because I was under a tight deadline to get to the inaugural class date.”

As allowing girls into scouting began in 2019, Hom’s mother and Troop 1707 Assistant Scoutmaster Julie Hom said the transition was natural for their family. Her son has also participated in and achieved Eagle Scout rank, and many other families they knew were involved.

“With many families, there’s been a long tradition of being involved with Boy Scouts, and the fact that they’ve opened it up to female youth is wonderful, because a lot of them have already been exposed to all the ideas and the monthly campouts,” Julie said about forming a linked boys and girls troop. “Adding girls into it is just another part of the wonderful mix in our troop.”

Having a boys troop already established — Troop 1707 formed in 1969 — and a brother on the inside are what allowed Isabella to understand and immerse herself into the scouting program so quickly, she said.

“Since I was one of the first female troop guides, I kind of got my ideas for what to do from my training and watching the boys troop. Some of my skills were very new, so I had to figure out how to use these skills and then teach it to other people as well, sometimes in a very short amount of time.”

Being one of the first of a new generation to achieve such a prestigious rank could certainly feel like a lot of weight to carry, but Julie said daughter Isabella has carried herself well.

“Whenever you’re the first in something, there’s a certain amount of a mantle you’re carrying in that you are the example and representative. I won’t say it’s a heavy weight, but you’re aware of it. You’re the first. You’re going to get that kind of attention,” she said. “I think Isabella has done that really well.

“She was picked to be the bugler on a national broadcast Scouts BSA did. They only had one bugler, and it was her. That could be a lot of pressure for some people, but she did it beautifully.”

Being a role model for other families feels great for the Hom family, and they hope young women can recognize the benefits and enjoyment scouting can bring.

“Both scouting in general, and achieving Eagle rank, they’re good opportunities to learn different skills,” Isabella said, adding that they may not be everyday skills, but ones that will help guide careers, further character development and allow girls to have fun together.

For more information, visit scouting.org.