Senior Victoria Tricoles Earns Boy Scout Eagle Rank
Posted on 05/04/2021
There aren’t many students who can say that they’ve been in both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, but St. Thomas Aquinas High School senior Victoria Tricoles is one of them. A lifelong Girl Scout, Victoria decided to also join the Boy Scouts in March of 2019, with less than two years until her 18th birthday, and become a founding member of the all-female Troop 777. Her decision was inspired by the experiences that she had had on Boy Scout family camping trips with her brothers as well as her desire to participate in activities like hiking, snowtubing, skiing, archery, riflery, and lifesaving. Of the many merit badges that she earned in her two years as a Boy Scout, her favorite was lifesaving, which corresponds with her desire to one day become a nurse. It wasn’t without its challenges, however. To earn the badge, among other tests, she had to lift a 10-pound bowling ball from the bottom of a 10-foot lake, starting both headfirst and feet first. Retrieving the bowling ball headfirst was a snap, but feet first took her over 50 tries. When she was about to give up, a bit of advice from her dad helped her to prevail.

The physical challenges were not the only ones. Victoria recalls the awkward feeling of being one of the only girl troops at the predominantly male Boy Scout summer camp. There were also many people who doubted the girls’ abilities to keep up and even made them feel downright unwelcome. But she stuck it out and, in the end, proved herself by keeping up with both the boys and the girls from the other troops. She was inducted into the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society for the Boy Scouts of America, based on her exemplification of the Scout Oath and Law in her daily life. And in less than two years, she moved up through the scouting ranks and earned Eagle just before reaching the cutoff age. For her project, she returned to her roots at Assumption Catholic School in Perth Amboy to lead the installation of a Friendship Bench. “At ACS, there are people who come from all around, including NY, and some don’t even speak English coming into the school. I had observed that there were some students who seemed left out, and I wanted to do something help everyone feel like they belonged.” She received the donation of the bench from Lowe’s and worked with volunteers to help build and paint it in the school colors yellow and blue. There were many obstacles, not least of which weather, and the bench wound up having to be repainted several times. It was a particular challenge with less than a month until she would turn 18. But she got the project done on time and then set out to inform each grade about what it was, using different presentation strategies for each grade from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th.

Now that she’s turned 18, Victoria is working towards her Gold Award in Girl Scouts and as a Boy Scout has been “promoted” to Assistant Scout Master, still attending meetings and working with newer scouts to help them move up the ranks. “In the beginning I was just trying out and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. But after giving it a try, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”