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PSHS freshman working to become 1st local female Eagle Scout

Plainfield South High School freshman Catherine Archer poses with food donated to Bags of Hope through a food drive she organized this summer to earn her Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Archer is in the final stages of earning the rank and if approved she will be the first girl in the local Rainbow Council to earn the highest rank in Boy Scouts.  Plainfield South High School freshman Catherine Archer is poised to become the first girl to earn the Eagle Scout rank in the local Rainbow Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

She will join a handful of other female Boy Scouts around the nation in the inaugural class of girl Eagle Scouts on February 8, 2021, if the Board of Review unanimously approves her application.

Archer also is likely one of the first girls in Illinois to earn the honor, said Daniel Stromberg, Rainbow Council District Director.

Archer joined the Boy Scouts in February 2019 when the traditionally all-male organization started approving girls for membership. Her brother has been a Boy Scout since he was in first grade and earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2017.

Catherine Archer, who is also a Girl Scout, joined the Boy Scouts to develop her leadership skills and because she thought it would be fun.

Eagle Scout applicants must earn 21 out of 136 merit badges.

They also must complete an approved service project and go before a Board of Review to earn the rank. Archer is expected to go before the review board between October 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021.

Archer organized a food drive for Bags of Hope and education campaign on local food insecurities in the community as her service project. Bags of Hope is a nonprofit that provides bags of food to District 202 families in need.

Her drive netted more than 8,000 pounds of the nonprofit which will feed more than 2,000 kids.

“The need for Bags of Hope was great during the pandemic,” Archer said. “My project filled that need.”

Archer encourages all girls to join the Boys Scouts because it is a great organization where girls can learn a lot, she said.

“For the girls who want to earn Eagle (Scout), you have got to be brave, be a pioneer, be willing to blaze a path,” Archer said.

“You just have to be strong and roll with the punches. Embrace your power.”

Catherine Archer has also earned her Silver Award in Girl Scouts and is working on earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is equivalent to the Eagle Scout rank.