Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is a huge accomplishment, one that takes years of preparation and projects. North Brooklyn is fortunate to be home to Brooklyn’s first female Eagle Scouts, Alison and Selina Zhang.
To earn the rank of Eagle, one must advance through the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life. Prospective Eagles are required to earn at least twenty-one merit badges and hold a leadership position for at least sixteen months. The cornerstone of the Eagle Scout process is the individual project that all prospective Eagles must complete.
Selina hosted a first aid fair for neighborhood families to learn basic first aid skills, which she says around 700 people attended. Alison hosted a workshop to address Stop Asian Hate, where participants learned how to be an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.”
Both girls earned over a hundred badges. Selina’s favorite to earn was shotgun-shooting, and Alison enjoyed camping.
Aside from activities, becoming an Eagle Scout means upholding certain values. “One of my biggest lessons I’ve learned from scouting is how to become a leader,” said Selina. “As a leader you’re not supposed to be bossy but rather a servant leader. You’re able to let others pick choices rather than assign them…so then they might be less interested in what they’re actually learning rather than giving them a choice and then they’re actually more engaged and excited to do so.”
“For me it must be teamwork because we had to work in a team to plan events, plan trips, plan meetings for the troops,” said Alison. “For camporee, you had to plan the meal, the camping place, the money, how much you had to spend, and what are we going to do there. So teamwork must be the lesson I learned the most through scouting.
The scouting age limit is eighteen, but the girls hope to stick with it as long as they can, perhaps even becoming troop leaders when they turn twenty-one. Outside of scouting, the girls are both active in school activities such as the varsity swim team and cheerleading. They both plan to attend college. Selina hopes to become a dentist, and Alison wants to become a math teacher.
Whatever they go on to do in life, both Alison and Selina are sure to be successful at it.