Trailblazing sisters reach Eagle Scout

The commissioners congratulated the Poindexter sisters for being the first female Eagle Scouts in the county, and in the Dogwood District. Front, from left, are mother DeAnn, Aubrey, Reagan, and father Jeff Poindexter; rear: Commissioner Mark Marion, Van Tucker, Chairman Bill Goins, Vice Chair Eddie Harris and Commissioner Larry Johnson.

The Surry County Board of Commissioners take a few minutes at the top of their meetings to acknowledge members of the community for excellence.

Eagle Scouts come to be recognized for the hard work and dedication that go into achieving that prestigious rank. Eagle Scout rank represents a milestone of accomplishment that is “recognized across the country and even the world,” states the official website of BSA Scouts.

This evening, there was something different about the new Eagle Scouts that set them apart from many of those who came before, Audrey and Reagan Poindexter are siblings – sisters in scouting who have achieved the highest rank, and with it the honor they deserve.

Proud parents DeAnn and Jeff Poindexter beamed as the commissioners read the proclamations and handed the ladies’ their commendations. Reagan and Audrey are trailblazers in the local scouting community as they are the first female Eagle Scouts in Surry County, and the entire Dogwood District.

An animal lover, Reagan put out collection boxes at several locations to collect pet food and supplies for the Surry County Animal Shelter as her community project required for the rank. With cash donations she also made 33 pet beds as part of her service project. Audrey constructed an 80 x 120-foot pollinator habitat and four benches at the sustainable agriculture building on the grounds of Surry Community College.

From a family that believes in scouting, the sisters join their brother Nolan, who reached Eagle in 2019. Reagan said scouting allows her a chance to do fun things outdoors such as sailing and archery. Big sister Audrey chimed in that she had the chance to rappel down Pilot Mountain as part of her climbing badge.

“Old Hickory Council and the Seven Rivers District wishes to congratulate Audrey and Reagan Poindexter on achieving the Eagle Scout Rank,” said Chris Lawson, executive for Seven Rivers District.

“The rank of Eagle Scout is an accomplishment which tells the world that an individual holds up to the highest values ​​in Citizenship, Service, and Devotion. An Eagle Scout is prepared to take on whatever challenges that will come and see it through to the end. ”

Chairman Bill Goins has fond memories of scouting and recalls as such when Eagle Scouts appear before the commissioners to receive their commendation. The connections made in scouting, and the lessons learned, he tells them, follow those scouts the rest of their life.

BSA national board chair, and former AT&T executive, Randall Stephenson knows something about leadership. In 2017 he said, “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization. It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls. ”

The Boy Scouts of America had a name change in 2019 following the inclusion of young ladies into the program for older youths, however despite some confusion, Scouts BSA only refers to the specific program for 11 to 17-year-olds that is now co- ed. The organization itself is still called Boy Scouts of America.

Some opposition was leveled from former scouts to allowing girls in, and the Girl Scouts of America were none too pleased with the new Scouts BSA moniker. They sued the Boy Scouts of America for using “scouts” in the new name. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled against them in 2021, “‘Boy Scouts’ is a brand, ‘Girl Scouts’ is a brand, but ‘Scouting’ alone is an activity,” he ruled.

BSA scouts saw a need to open their ranks, not only to combat declines in new membership, but also as a direct response to parents. In announcing the change, they said, “Families today are busier and more diverse than ever, and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing.”

Since the change, more than 31,000 girls have joined and there are more than 3,000 Girl Troops across the country. In this area there are currently two Girl Troops active: Troop 0539G at Flat Rock Baptist Church, and Troop 0529G at Dobson United Methodist Church – to which the Poindexters are members.

“The Boy Scouts of America has had a coed tradition in its Venturing and Explorer programs for decades and allowed females into Cub Scouts in 2018 and the BSA program in 2019, changing its name to BSA Scouts,” Lawson of the district office said. “This has allowed Scouting to become a true family adventure.

“Since that time Scouts BSA has chartered girl troops throughout the country and are now seeing girls achieve the Eagle Scout Rank. We congratulate Audrey, Reagan, and Girl Troop 529G for this outstanding achievement. ”

“It’s a great opportunity to make friends and have fun,” Audrey gave as her best summation of scouting. Archery, climbing, rowing, lifesaver skills, and sailing, certainly sound like fun, but more than that, she said scouting, “Can open up opportunities for you and help you gain respect.”

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