Lay becomes first female Eagle Scout in district

Lay becomes first female Eagle Scout in district

Image Credit: Submitted

Rebekah Lay became Killbuck District’s first female Eagle Scout on Nov. 9, and on Jan. 7, she received her last award in her youth BSA Scouting career of Eagle Scout as a member of BSA Troop 4068G.

Only 6% of Scouts make it to Eagle, and Lay had just two years and 32 days to do so. She chose an Eagle service project named Phoenix Project, after her patrol, of which she is the original founding member. Her project was to tear down an amphitheater at a local church and rebuild and modernize it to make it an official chapel by including a 12-foot cross she constructed and permanently embedded. In addition to benches with a wheelchair pad and a 40-foot brick pathway that’s wheelchair friendly, she landscaped to create a low-maintenance structure.

“Find something you might want to do and look for every way you can learn about it,” she said when asked about choosing an Eagle Scout project. “Then do it.”

Lay, the daughter of Robert and Sherry Lay and a senior at Wooster High School, spoke of many opportunities she was able to experience because of BSA including an eight-week flight program through the Air Force JROTC, Aim High, an initiative to increase aviators to meet a demand for pilots. She won the scholarship and spent her past summer at Ellington AFB learning to fly and almost finishing her private pilot license. She is continuing to finish up her last hours of solos to finish her last part of her FAA exam.

In Scouting, Lay has served her Scout troop as patrol leader, bugler, senior patrol leader and troop guide. She also was Wooster High School band’s trumpet section leader and featured soloist.

She recalled flying her first cross country solo in the same week she soloed at her first football game. “One solo in the air and one on the ground,” she said.

After graduating from WHS, Lay will travel to New Mexico to do a 60- to 80-mile backpacking trip.

“Scouting gives many opportunities you normally wouldn’t get,” she said when asked what advice she would give other future Scouts. “Take advantage of everything offered, even if it’s not something you normally would like. Work hard but have fun. There are amazing people to help guide you along the way.”

Lay plans to join an Eagle Scout Club at whatever college she ends up choosing to continue to give back to those in Scouting. She plans to study criminal justice/criminology and languages to help her pursue a career with the FBI or other three-letter law-enforcement agencies.