Scout Boys Scouts of America Troop 580 boys and girls, kneeling from left are kneeling are Ed Packard and Joey Packard. Standing, from left, are Shane Smith, Richard Masterson, Jacob True, Richie Philbrick, Gail True, Lily True, Ayden Timberlake, Miles Smith and David Packard. Submitted photo

Lily True of Peru passed her Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Board of Review on July 13 officially becoming the first female Eagle Scout in the River Valley. She also is 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. True earned the 21 required merit badges and completed a large leadership project. She joined Scouts BSA in March 2019 when the Boy Scouts of America opened their Boy Scout program to girls for the first time, according to a news release from Gail True Scoutmaster of Troop 580 Girls.

True had participated with Cub Scout Troop 580 and later Boy Scout Troop 580 as a sibling with her Boy Scout brother Jacob True. Her dad Michael was a Webelos assistant leader from 2010 to 2012 and then an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 580 for several years. Her 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 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 8 years old, 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, Lily 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. Troop 580 girls started in March 2019 with five girls. Unfortunately two girls dropped out after a few months because of 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.

Lily True of Peru being told she was an Eagle Scout by Committee Chair Richie Philbrick of Mexico. Submitted photo

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 February 2020 before the shutdown. Lily 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 10, 2022. Most Scouts join BSA when they are 11 years old and have seven years to get to Eagle. Lily was focused and driven to finish her Eagle Scout badges and project.

For Lily’s Eagle Scout project she lead a group of people to make four flag retirement boxes. Lily 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 Thurston 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, women’s 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. Lily 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 Veterans of Foreign Wars 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 because of the donations of the following businesses: Ware-Butler, Aubuchon Hardware, Marden’s, Sherwin Williams, Hannaford, Rumford VFW and Rumford American Legion. E&E Awards of Dixfield helped by 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 5, a ceremony was held at the Rumford American legion to a crowd of legion members and Scout Troops 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 6. To have flags properly and respectfully disposed of, take old American flags to one of those four locations.

Besides being a Girl Scout for 13 years and 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, and she 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 June from Dirigo High School and plans to attend Southern Maine Community College in the fall.


Check out other upcoming area events!

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: