By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis teenager is among the first in the nation to reach a prestigious honor.

Isabella Tunney is now one of the first girls in Boy Scouts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

“I didn’t grow up as somebody who loved the outdoors,” Tunney said.

It may have come as a surprise for some when Tunney decided to join the Boy Scouts, but she had spent years watching her older brother go on scout trips and achieve his goals.

“I was able to see the ways in which the organization impacted my brother,” she said. “The leadership skills that he learned, the ways in which he always looked to help other people.”

Isabella Tunney (credit CBS)

The Boy Scouts started accepting girls in the program in 2018. Now, two years after joining, the organization recognized Tunney on Sunday in a virtual ceremony, as one of nearly 1,000 girls — including other Minnesotans – in the inaugural female Boy Scout class of Eagle Scouts.

“I’m just excited for a bigger chance for young girls to be able to hear my story,” Tunney said. “Just because boys have done something for years and years does not mean that girls can’t.”

Tunney didn’t just achieve the Eagle Scout status — she did so by earning all 137 merit badges. She said she is one of three girls to do so. She said getting to this moment required around-the-clock dedication, juggling school while filling the rest of her time working on earning badges and finding time for friends. She’s hoping to have a career in the STEM field someday. Surely, one of those badges has prepared her for that.

“It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment because I am done now, but my adventure as an Eagle Scout is not done at all,” she said. “In fact some would even say it’s just the beginning.”

In more than a century since the Boy Scouts began, fewer than 10% of scouts have achieved the Eagle Scout rank.

Kate Raddatz