Scouting is a True family affair. From left are Jacob True, Michael True, Lily True and Gail True. Submitted photo

Eagle Scout Lily True with members of the Scout BSA Troop 580 boys and girls. Submitted photo


Lily True of Peru officially became the first female Eagle Scout in the River Valley on July 13th when she passed her BSA Eagle Scout Board of Review.
She is also the fourth female to become BSA Eagle Scout in the state of Maine and the first for the Abnaki District of the Pine Tree Council. In doing so, she earned the 21 required merit badges and completed a large leadership project.

Trail to Eagle Scout
Lily’s trail to Eagle Scout has been exceptionally more difficult, given Covid 19 shutting down all in person meetings/activities for over a year. The biggest challenge was completing 20 nights of camping for her Camping merit badge. Thankfully, she had attended summer camp in 2019 and winter camp in February 2020 before the shutdown.
She also participated in virtual merit badge colleges from all over the United States to continue working on badges through the shutdown. All of her Eagle required merit badges were completed in person and she did not take advantage of the COVID exceptions that the BSA put out.
The other major challenge for Lily was that she was 15 when joining BSA with a time limit to complete all requirements before her 18th birthday on June 10th, 2022. Most Scouts join BSA when they are 11 years and have 7 years to get to Eagle.
Lily was focused and driven to finish her Eagle Scout badges and project.

Four flag retirement boxes
For her Eagle Scout project, Lily led a group of people to make four flag retirement boxes. She was inspired to make flag retirement boxes after attending a flag retirement ceremony at the Rumford American Legion and talking with Tricia Thurston at the Legion.
Lily knew Tricia because she had participated in many programs with the Rumford American in the past 10 years with Girl Scouts and Scout BSA, including Memorial Day parades, putting flags on graves at St. John’s Cemetery, the women’s veterans luncheon and the Four Chaplains Ceremony.
Prior to this project, people in the River Valley area could bring their old flags to the American Legion only when it was open for them to be put in a large cardboard box inside the building.
Lily wanted to create durable wooden boxes that could be put outside so people could drop off the flags at any time of the day. She also felt there should be more places available for drop offs of old flags and felt the transfer station would be a great place with high visibility and sought to get permission to put one there.
After speaking with others in the community, Lily decided to make another box for indoors at the Rumford VFW and one for the Dixfield American Legion to replace their outdoor plastic tote.
On the flag retirement boxes Lily included plastic holders that have flag etiquette information sheets to share with the public. One hundred copies of this sheet were distributed during the Memorial Day parade to promote her project.
Lily was able to raise the funds and materials to complete four boxes thanks to the generous donations of the Ware-Butler, Aubuchon Hardware, Marden’s, Sherwin Williams, Hannaford, Rumford VFW and Rumford American Legion.
She also thanks E&E awards of Dixfield for deeply discounting the plaques that are on the completed boxes and Amanda Kolln for wood burning the doors for the door slots. Lily’s dad cut all the wood for the project then Scout and adult volunteers assembled and painted the wood boxes.
On June 5th, a ceremony was held at the Rumford American Legion to a crowd of Legion members and Scout Troop 580 boys and girls to unveil the boxes.
The other boxes were delivered at the Rumford VFW, Mexico Transfer Station and Dixfield American Legion by June 6th.
Please take your old American flags to those four locations so the flags can be disposed of properly and respectfully.

Scouting a True family affair
Lily had participated with Cub Scout Troop 580 and later Boy Scout Troop 580 as a sibling with her Boy Scout brother, Jacob True.
Lily’s dad, Michael, was a Webelos assistant leader from 2010-2012 and then an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 580 for several years.
Lily’s mom, Gail True was the advancement person in the Cub Scout pack for three years and has been the advancement chair for Troop 580 for the last 10 years.

Lily’s scouting history
Lily went on many Boy Scout hikes, campouts at Camp Bomazeen and Camp Hinds, Scoutfest, Fun Pack weekends, a sleepover on the USS Salem, pack meetings and many more scout activities.
Lily also attended day camp at Camp Gustin in Sabattus in the Tot Lot group (for siblings of volunteers) starting at the age of 5.
By age 8, Lily learned archery, nature, crafts and how to shoot a BB gun while her family volunteered at the camp for 6 years. Because of all these experiences, she decided she would like to join Boy Scouts (and become an Eagle Scout like her brother) when the program opened to girls in February 2019.
For girls to participate, they would need a female Scoutmaster but could be a linked troop with a boy troop. Lily and several of her friends approached her mom and asked that she sign up as a Scoutmaster for them to start a troop.
Lily joined Scouts BSA in March 2019 when the Boy Scouts of America opened their Boy Scout program to girls for the first time.
Troop 580 girls started with five girls. Unfortunately, two girls dropped out after a few months due to their commitment to sports programs. Troop 580 girls share committee members with the boy troop and they meet at the Holy Savior on Mondays just as the boy troop does.
The three remaining girls have gone on many activities with the boy troop and some camping trips on their own. Two of the girls remaining (Lily and friend Jay Hutchins) had 10 years in the Girl Scouts before joining BSA.
The third girl, Virginia Owings, joined wanting to become an Eagle Scout as her dad Scott Owings is an Eagle Scout.
The girls have completed the same requirements to move up in ranks as the boys. There is no shortcuts or adjusted requirements for the girls.

History of girls in Boy Scouts of America
A short history of girls in Boy Scouts of America: Girls have been allowed to be part of special interest Explorer posts since 1969. The local post is the Mexico Police Explorers.
In 1971, young women were admitted to full membership in Exploring and the upper age limit for Explorers was raised to 21. February 1998, The old Exploring program was completely reorganized and split into two program categories.
All the career-oriented posts were moved to Learning for Life under the name Exploring, while the rest (including outdoor-oriented posts) became the new Venturing program. Sea Exploring was renamed Sea Scouting and placed under the Venturing program.
Girls 14-21 have been participating in Venturing , Sea Scouts and Explorers programs since the beginning of those programs. Those programs have their own awards programs.
On February 1, 2019, the Boy Scouts of America renamed its flagship program, Boy Scouts, to Scouts BSA to reflect its policy change allowing girls to join separate, gender-specific troops. Participating in the Scout BSA program now allowed girls to earn merit badges and Eagle Scout.

Outside of scouting
Besides being a Girl Scout for 13 years, with three years in Scout BSA, Lily is a member of the Mexico Congregational Church. She was in dance at Relatively Dance for 13 years and one year with Ms. Liz’s dance studio.
Lily played Dirigo youth softball for five years, was on stage with the Rumford Summer Library plays for 10 years, and has been in numerous productions at 49 Franklin St.
Lily graduated this past June from Dirigo High School and will be attending Southern Maine Community College in the fall.

Material courtesy of Gail True.

Lily True wears her sash as she stand besides one of the four flag retirement boxes made for her Eagle Scout project. Submitted photo

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: