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St. Joseph County woman breaking barriers, earns Eagle Scout rank

Being ready for whatever life throws at you goes back to the BSA Motto, “Be Prepared.”
Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 12:26 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Boy Scouts of America, or BSA, welcomed the newest Eagle Scout into their ranks. Sarah Noble is one of the first young women from St. Joseph County (LaSalle Council BSA) to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

While Women have been involved in the scouting program for decades, they were only allowed to officially join Scouts BSA in 2019.

“It’s a little frustrating because girls can do anything anyone else can,” said Eagle Scout Sarah Noble.

Of all scouts who join the program, only 4% earn the rank of Eagle. While 60,000 Scouts achieved the rank of Eagle in 2020, only 1,500 were young women, and Sarah means to change that.

“Hopefully, by more girls getting their Eagle Scout ranking where everyone that says girls shouldn’t be doing this, hopefully, that opens their eyes to prove even if they think we shouldn’t, we still are,” said Noble.

To earn the rank of Eagle, one must earn at least 21 merit badges covering numerous topics and complete a service project that helps a school, church, or the local community. But what does earning the Eagle Scout rank mean to Sarah?

Noble continued, “It means a lot because I know from the little girls that are in my home troop that they’re looking up to me.”

For her service project, Sarah built the decking on a 54-foot-long bridge at Z.B. Falcons Conservation club, which was also the location of her Eagle Scout ceremony. It took her nearly five months to complete the project over the winter, and she worked through the elements to complete the bridge reconstruction.

However, Sarah went above and beyond the call of a Scout. She received the National Certificate of Meritorious Action for Bravery Award when she utilized her recently learned skills and helped a man who was having a seizure until paramedics arrived.

“I never expected to have to use my CPR certification. I knew it would be very helpful if I ever had to but let alone using it not even four days after I got my certification. It was an eye-opener that you really don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Being ready for whatever life throws at you goes back to the BSA Motto.

“Always be Prepared,” Sarah said with a smile.

The LaSalle Council BSA is one of the largest local youth organizations serving eight counties of Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan. The LaSalle Council provides character and leadership development to more than 4,000 youth and adult leaders based on the tenets found in the Scout Oath and Law.

The counties include St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaPorte, Starke, Marshall, Porter (IN), and parts of Berrien and Cass counties (MI).

“Not only has Sarah successfully completed all these steps, but she lives the Scout Oath and the Scout Law by encouraging others along the way, said Chuck Houin, District Chairman for the BSA LaSalle Council. “Today, we are honored to celebrate you. Congratulations, Sarah.”

Notable Eagle Scout recipients include President Gerald Ford, award-winning film director Steven Spielberg, Walmart Founder Sam Walton, and the first man to walk on the moon, Astronaut Neil Armstrong.

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