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Member of Scappoose's Troop 294 is set to join first cohort of female Eagle Scouts

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Samantha Howarth stands in front of the Little Free Library she built and installed at Miller Park in Scappoose.Samantha Howarth, a scout with Scappoose's Scouts BSA Troop 294, is on her way to becoming an Eagle Scout as part of the first cohort of girls to reach the highest rank in Scouting.

Howarth built and installed a mini library at Miller Park as her Eagle Scout Service Project.

With help from fellow scouts and her family, Howarth built the library, painted it and stenciled on quotes about reading. She searched online for quotes about books and chose ones that resonated. Some of the quotes are from favorite authors, like Neil Gaiman ("A book is a dream you hold in your hands") and Stephen King ("Books are a uniquely portable magic"). After consulting with city staff, Howarth installed the mini library last week in Miller Park.

An avid reader with a well-stocked library in her own room, Howarth said she "wanted to share (her) love of reading."

Howarth's original Eagle Scout Service Project has one of the many plans that COVID-19 put a stop to.

"I had to change real fast so I could get it done in time," Howarth said. PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Samantha Howarth, right, and her brother Nick Howarth, left, install Samantha's little library in Miller Park in Scappoose.

Just a year and a half ago, Troop 294 awarded merit badges to girls, including Howarth, for the first time in the troop's history. The all-girls troop was officially organized just a few months earlier, in February 2019, working alongside with the all-boys troop that has been in Scappoose for half a century. Boy Scouts of America began developing the program for girls in 2017.

Typically, Scouts must complete their Eagle Scout requirements before they turn 18. The requirements for an Eagle Scout can take at least a couple of years, so BSA offered a short extension for girls who had less than two years between when girls' troops were officially recognized and their 18th birthday.


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