Courtney Laird to become first girl to earn rank of Eagle Scout in Clay County

By Bruce Hope bruce@opcfla.com
Posted 9/2/20

FLEMING ISLAND – This year has been historic in many ways, and it will continue to be, as later this fall, the first girl to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in the history of the Black Creek …

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Courtney Laird to become first girl to earn rank of Eagle Scout in Clay County

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – This year has been historic in many ways, and it will continue to be, as later this fall, the first girl to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in the history of the Black Creek District.

Fifteen-year-old sophomore Courtney Laird of Troop 892, the Fire Breathing Turtles Patrol, will be among them. Laird has risen quickly through the scouting ranks.

“My troop is really hard-working,” she said. “From scout to first-class, that doesn’t have any time requirements, so you can just get that done if you do all the things it asks you to do. But then from Star to Eagle, that has a time requirement, so that’s what I’m working on right now. With Eagle, I still have a few more months until I can officially make it, but I’ve done all my projects, and I have all my Eagle merit badges.”

To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, 21 merit badges must be earned.

Laird says family life and cooking were two of the badges she enjoyed earning the most. The family life badge allowed her to become even closer to her family.

Two of the more difficult ones, she says, were physical fitness and economics merit badges. Those were both longer and took months to earn with continuous documentation.

Laird’s younger brother has been a Scout since he was younger, and as soon as girls could join the troop, she jumped at the chance.

Eagle Scout candidates must complete a capstone project to obtain the rank.

“I built a young adult library for the Quigley House,” said Laird. “I went to Ikea, and I bought a bookshelf, a table and two side tables. And then a chair, ottoman, and a rug. We had a lot of people donate us books from an Amazon wish list. We went to my backyard and built it all, and then we drove it to the Quigley House and set up the library. They really loved it, and it meant a lot to them.”

She was also able to donate $800 from the fundraising done during the course of her Eagle Scout project.

“The library was received with great honor,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Director of Sexual Assault Services for Quigley House. “Quigley house has always worked strongly towards gender equality, so the fact that Ms. Laird is the first Eagle Scout and chose Quigley House to do her project was an honor. We know that the youth that she specifically targeted, which were youth 12-years-old to 17-years-old, they are often a forgotten group at shelter. The fact that she targeted those youth, that she looked for literature that specifically focused on diversity and inclusion… it’s quite impressive.”

Rodriguez says Larid is a role model who is setting an example through her community service.

“She is extremely bright, and we hope to be able to work with her in the future,” she said.

Laird is excited to be able to achieve Eagle Scout designation. She is one of the first girl senior patrol leaders, and she has used that opportunity to hone her leadership skills.

She will graduate high school in 2023, and right now hopes to become a medical doctor.

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