Frannie Kitzmiller, a first-year criminology student and Morgantown native, made history Feb. 4 when she became one of the nation’s first woman Eagle Scouts – a prestigious achievement attained by some of the country’s most noteworthy figures. Kitzmiller is among hundreds of young women who will make up the inaugural class of women Eagle Scouts.
“I wanted to become an Eagle Scout to set a goal for younger girls,” Kitzmiller said. “I want them to know they can achieve it, too.”
WVU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed and President Gordon Gee, who served on her Eagle Scout board of review, were among those Thursday evening at the Erickson Alumni Center. Gee is also on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America
“Earning the rank of Eagle Scout takes hard work and perseverance, and we are honored to recognize Frannie for this significant accomplishment,” said Scott Hanson, Mountaineer Area Council’s scout executive and CEO. “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.”
Eagle Scout is the program’s highest rank, which only about 6% of Scouts achieve on average. To earn it, an individual has to take on leadership roles within their troop and their community; earn a minimum of 21 merit badges that cover a broad range of topics including first aid and safety, civics, business and the environment; and they must research, organize and complete a large community service project.
Kitzmiller partnered with Chestnut Ridge Park and Campground for a remodeling project at the park’s schoolhouse. Volunteers helped to complete the project which included a new, larger deck for the building with outdoor seating, as well as an outdoor classroom near the schoolhouse with a chalkboard.