This week’s spotlight is also a member of the Inaugural Class for Female Eagle Scouts, Isabelle Guerra. Isabelle has enjoyed the scouting experience as a Girl Scout, Venturer and Scouts BSA and still found time to excel in her academics. She continues to leverage the skills she learned in scouting and applies them to her everyday life. Isabelle is currently studying English at Solano Community College, with plans to study pre-law at a UC in the future.
Are there other Scouting or Non-Scouting awards or recognitions you would like to mention?
I earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards and am completing the Gold Award currently. In Venture Scouts I earned the Venture, Discover, and Pathfinder awards, and I am working on the Summit Award. I received the Council level Venture Leadership Award in 2017. I got the President’s Volunteer Service Award in the last two years. In the 2020 North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon competition, I received 4 medals in my division: Gold medals for Essay and Speech, a Silver medal for Literature, and a Bronze medal for Overall Varsity Decathlete.
Tell us a little bit about you…
I live in Fairfield, CA and graduated high school from Vanden High. I am currently an English Major at Solano Community College, and eventually transfer to a UC for pre-law. I do not currently have a job, but I am a junior coach for my high school academic decathlon team. I am active though Scouts through my local Venture Crew, the GGAC VOA (Venturing Officers’ Association/council level of Venturing), I was inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 2019, and I am now a Committee Member in my BSA troop. I have also been a Level 1 archery instructor since I was 16. I have enjoyed introducing scouts to archery at camporees, day camps and special events. My brother is currently a Life Scout in Troop 8100. My mom has been supportive of scouting by holding leadership positions. My dad was briefly a Boy Scout when he lived on a military base in Germany. When my grandpa went through the program, he got to Life Scout. He was also inducted into the OA, got Brotherhood, and was on the ceremonial dance team at the time.
When and where do you earn your Eagle Scout?
It took me 22 months and by the time I finished, I was 18 when I earned my Eagle Scout rank. I am a part of Fairfield’s BSA Female Troop 8818 in the Golden Gate Area Council.
What did you do for your Eagle Project?
For my Eagle Project, I built a shade roof structure for the archery range at Yolo Sportsman Association in Davis. The archery range was just an open field with no trees or preexisting structures, so archers and people at the range were constantly exposed to the elements. My district has their camporees at Yolo Sportsman, and the establishment is a big supporter of Scouting. The new shade structure is visible to cars driving past the range, and the manager has told me that more people are using the range now.
Did you have a favorite merit badge(s)? Did any merit badges(s) lead to a hobby or profession?
My favorite merit badge was Public Speaking. I did competitions for speeches though academic decathlon and when I took the badge course at summer camp, I used it to help me prepare for the following competition season. It had more fun topics and requirements than I was used to, so I was able to train with more fun topics.
What does being an Eagle Scout mean to you? What does it mean to be a part of the Inaugural class of Female Eagle Scouts?
Being an Eagle Scout is very important to me since I grew up with my friends being in the program, and have had family members be in Scouts BSA. Since no one in my family have been Eagle Scouts, I am the first one to reach Eagle and it is something I am proud of. I graduated high school in 2020 so my graduating class will always remember our senior year due to COVID-19, and to say I completed my Eagle during a pandemic at the same time is incredible… and on top of all of that I am a part of the Inaugural Class for Female Eagles. It is surreal how much has happened, and I am very happy and proud to be a part of history.
There are 23 members of Golden Gate Area Council’s Inaugural class of Female Eagle Scouts. You can view all of them here.
Do you recall an experience or situation that being or becoming an Eagle Scout aided you in?
I technically wasn’t an Eagle yet since my Board of Review was the week or so after this event, but I had gone hiking with some friends and one of them got hurt while on the trail. If Scouting and the path to becoming an Eagle has taught me one thing it’s: always be prepared. My friend wasn’t seriously injured but had gotten a cut on his hand that was deep enough to start bleeding. Before my friends could react, I had pulled out my first aid kit and handed him a disinfectant and bandage. My friends were surprised to see me pull out a decently sized first aid kit, but a scout is always prepared.
What is the greatest personal asset you developed while earning your Eagle Scout or from being an Eagle in the greater community? How has this asset contributed towards personal fulfillment and success in your professional or personal life?
Honestly, since I joined the program at 16 and got Eagle at 18, I didn’t learn a lot of new personal skills. I had been a Girl Scout since the first grade, and a Venture Scout since the eighth grade. Those two groups along with school and school extracurriculars, I had already learned a lot of personal and leadership skills before joining BSA. Scouts BSA is another program that I participated in that allowed me to exercise and fine tune skills like public speaking, time management, and leadership. These personal skills have helped me in school and group settings to be more confident in myself. Something I exclusively learned how to do while earning my Eagle, was how to use a power drill and work on a ladder. It might not be a big deal for most people, but now I can use at least one power tool on my own and I think that’s great. I also have horrible balance, so being able to work while standing on a ladder and not fall is a big self-accomplishment in my opinion.
Do you have any advice for your fellow Eagles, or for those working towards becoming an Eagle? Or is there common advice that you think should be ignored?
Advice I have for future Eagles is to not be discouraged if things don’t go exactly according to plan on your build days. I had to alter my plans the day of my build day due to unforeseen issues, and I was upset. Something to remember is that your team, your troop, and your family will be with you so if you need help, ask for it.
If you could add a thirteenth point to the scout law, what would it be?
If I could add a thirteenth point to the scout law, it would be determination. I believe it is important for as scout to be determined in order to help them accomplish any goals they want. It is a drive to help keep scouts motivated.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
For females going through the program, don’t be discouraged if there are people that tell you a girl shouldn’t be in BSA. I was told that multiple times by different people while working on my Eagle, and I used that as inspiration to continue. For every time someone told me I shouldn’t/ couldn’t do it, it fueled an internal fire that told me to keep going.