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(KMOV.com) – Maggie Pennington, 17, jumped at the chance almost two years ago when the Boy Scouts program was rebranded as BSA Scouts and young women were first invited to join .

“I am very grateful for all the opportunities BSA Scouts have given me and highly recommend it to any family,” said Pennington.

Pennington said she and her sister were already involved in the screening program called “Venturing,” but looked forward to more opportunities to hike, camp and develop leadership skills. Eleven scouts from the Greater St. Louis Area Council are among the approximately 1,000 scouts in the first female Eagle Scout class. Their achievement was celebrated Sunday night on an online show that included a congratulatory note from CBS Evening News presenter Nora O’Donnell.

“I want to warmly congratulate the inaugural class of women Eagle Scouts,” said O’Donnell.

Maggie’s dad, Jon Pennington, said his daughter is perfect for BSA Scouts.

“I grew up in Scouting and participated in the mentoring program with Maggie and her other sister. And when the opportunity arose for her to get into Scouts BSA and earn her Eagle Scout, I thought it was a really good idea and was completely supported, ”he says.

One of the requirements to be an Eagle Scout is to complete a community service project. For hers, Maggie said she built a wooden bridge for kindergarten kids to use on the playground at her Kirkwood church. She also built 58 floating candle holders for a youth mission trip. Only 6% of Scouts will earn the rank of Eagle Scout and Maggie is among the first young women to achieve this feat.

“It hasn’t really sunk yet, I’m still in awe. It seems unreal,” said Pennington.

Individual ceremonies will be organized to mark the success of the eleven female eagle scouts locally.

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