SPRING HILL, Kan. (WDAF) — A Kansas girl is taking the Boy Scouts by storm, earning a record number of merit badges. She’s working on earning the highest honor in Girl Scouts, too.
Fewer than half of 1% of scouts throughout the U.S. have earned all merit badges. Rebecca McCreight is one of them.
“This is my merit badge sash,” Becca said. “I have 138 of them, which is all of them.”
In 2019, the Boy Scouts of America allowed girls to join the program. With Rebecca’s older brother’s record of 88 merit badges, she had some ground to cover before turning 18.
“What a normal scout might take up to eight years to do, took her about 23 months,” Rebecca’s dad and Scout Master David McCreight said.
He’s proud of his daughter for being part of the first class of female Eagle Scouts.
“Very excited for her, and she puts her mind to it, she can accomplish it,” McCreight said. “And I hope that would be an encouragement to all the females out there.”
The silver circles on Becca’s sash are “Eagle required” merit badges. Those lessons are based more on life skills, like cooking and personal finance.
“It takes a lot of work to get them all done,” Becca said.
Her favorite was stamp-collecting. That passion stuck, and turned into a hobby.
“Animal ones and ones from different countries (are) pretty cool,” Becca said.
These experiences also teach outdoor and leadership skills. As an Eagle Scout project, Becca built little desks for kids in need. One of the more challenging tasks was small-boat sailing. Becca got hypothermia.
“The sailboat tipped over, and the water was cold. So I ended up getting hypothermia because of the wind,” Becca said. “The water wasn’t too bad, but then I went to the ambulance and the ambulance helped me get my body temperature back to normal.”
Becca didn’t back down. On a calmer day, she got back out on the water to earn her badge.
She plans to attend Washburn University in the fall to study forensic chemistry. She picked up a few skills and a big interest while earning her crime-prevention and finger-printing badges.
She thanks her mom for the motivation and encourages other girls to get involved in scouting.
“Go out and do your hardest,” Becca said. “Nothing is out of reach.”
This weekend, Rebecca is off to West Virginia to teach Advanced Youth Leadership. It’s considered a great honor, as less than 100 scouts get asked to be instructors.