It was a first! Twelve young women were among the first to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in Palisades Troop 223. Not only were they the first in Pacific Palisades, but also among the first in the nation to receive the prestigious honor.
Troop 223 Scoutmaster Mike Lanning told Circling the News that this was the largest group of any Troop in the nation to date and included Ruby Carlson, Sophie Davidson, Ana-Sofia Fouquette, Sydney Maslow, Madeline Milam, Chloe Moshrefi, Jennifer Pitcher, Adelaide Saab, Lauren Seidel, Ashley Traboulsi, Avamehr Vaghaiwalla and Katherine Walker.
“These girls truly exemplify the Troop’s Vision of ‘Young People, leading skillfully, making good choices, serving others,’” Lanning said, noting that the girls joined two years older than usual (girls only became eligible in February 2019), “and they were immediately able to be trained to run all meetings, campouts, teach all skills and merit badges and completely run their Troop.
He said that they “prepared other girls by teaching swimming and lifesaving merit badges and then led 30 girls at weeklong Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, conducting a leadership course.”
After Emerald Bay, the Scouts went on “two weeks of High adventure in Alaska, scaling Denali, ocean kayaking and braving rain, wind and challenging backpacking,” Lanning said, noting that during the Covid-19 pandemic they continued to conduct meetings via Zoom, and in the summer of 2020 went on a 35-mile backpacking expedition in Yosemite National Park, “highlighted by summiting Half Dome.”
Service projects included: Carlson (Brentwood School), worked with the Giving Spirit and LAUSD students who identify as homeless; giving support to the Westside Food Bank were Davidson (Palisades High School) and Fouquette (Geffen Academy at UCLA); Maslow (Windward School) conducted a toy drive for Orthopaedic Institute for Children; and Milam (Crossroads School) organized food collection for Un Mundo de Amigos.
Moshrefi (Geffen Academy) assembled care packages for NICU families at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA; Pitcher (Taft High School) worked with Delaney’s Dog, a canine rescue; Saab (Palisades High School) collected more than 800 personal hygiene items for families in need at True Lasting Connections-Downey Unified School District; and Seidel (Marlborough School), spearheaded a product and letter campaign to Congressional representatives to address period poverty (menstrual supplies).
Traboulsi (Notre Dame High School) led hygiene products drive for Alexandria House; Vaghaiwalla (Marymount High School), worked with Salaam Baalak Trust, which is based in India and works with street children; and Walker (Oaks Christian High School) documented more than 2,000 veteran gravestones into Billion Graves database, so relatives can locate (through GPS) and view a photograph of a service member’s gravestone from anywhere in the world.
The girls gave a special thanks to 223G Scoutmaster Larry Kirven for his help and leadership.
Troop 223 has a nearly 60-year tradition in Pacific Palisades. It now has about 50 girls joining the over 2,000 young men who have enjoyed the out-of-doors, leadership and the increase in self-confidence and self-esteem through this program. This Troop has advanced more than 700 Scouts to the rank of Eagle, more than any other in the nation.
Girls interested in the Eagle Scout program should contact Christy Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org.