Eagle Scout in a Skirt (Sometimes)

Anabelle Sartain is Park Cities troop’s first to achieve top rank

As steadfast as ever in the classic khaki button-down and a sash decorated with merit badge patches, the Park Cities christened its newest Eagle Scout. 

But, unlike previous Eagle candidates before her, this Highland Park High School senior did it in a skirt. 

Anabelle Sartain’s path to becoming the community’s first female Eagle Scout was, fittingly, just as unique as the accomplishment itself. A founding member of the first all-girl group in the Park Cities, Troop 72G, Anabelle completed in just three and a half years what typically takes eight and what most Scouts never achieve at all. 

Anabelle first joined the Boy Scouts of America in May of 2019, mere months after the organization began allowing girls and young women to enroll. As the oldest in the troop, she was pressed into leadership.

“Because it is youth-led, it was difficult to be thrown into it without as much experience as other Scouts, but my Scoutmaster was really good about letting me figure out the best ways to lead,” she said. 

Using her experience from her tenure as the president of her Adventure Crew, Anabelle began to climb the seven ranks with the added burden of leading a troop in an organization still unaccustomed to seeing Scouts in skirts beat them at knot-tying and navigation competitions.  

“It’s been really empowering,” she said. “I have so much respect for all the girls who have been here since the beginning. We have gone through a lot of ups and downs, and they have all been so determined.” 

After campouts, merit badges, rank requirements, and overseeing the construction of a greenhouse for Victor H. Hexter Elementary School, Anabelle stood in front of her family, friends, and troop that has more than doubled in size since its founding to receive the highest honor in the journey of a young Scout.

I had the joy of attending the Dec. 14 Court of Honor ceremony not only as a reporter but as a close friend who watched her grow into her role as a Scout. Anabelle’s ambition and resilience have been a wonder to witness. When others her age were sleeping in on the weekends, Anabelle was waking up with the sun to cross another item off her lengthy list. I remember Anabelle rushing into events or rehearsals, having just returned from a campout, all without missing a beat. 

Trailblazing the way for more young female Scouts, Anabelle’s determination stands as an inspiration to her troop members, some as young as fifth grade, as she passes them the torch that she helped light just years ago. 

Thanks to her foundational commitment to her improvement and the well-being and longevity of her troop, Anabelle was the first Eagle, but she will certainly not be the last.

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Juliet Allan

Highland Park High School junior Juliet Allan loves to write and sing.

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