Grady-Toole earns Eagle Scout rank
Kayla Grady-Toole, 18, is the first female to be officially awarded the Eagle Scout rank in the Brainerd lakes area and just one of two who has been selected for the honor,” said Aurora Burgstaler, Venture Crew adviser.
BRAINERD — The leadership of Venture Crew 2075 announced it officially awarded its first female Eagle Scout award April 30 at the Northland Arboretum.
“Kayla Grady-Toole, 18, is the first female to be officially awarded the Eagle Scout rank in the Brainerd lakes area and just one of two who has been selected for the honor,” said Aurora Burgstaler, Venture Crew adviser, in a news release.
Family and friends, several who are Eagle Scouts, gathered to honor her accomplishment.
Grady-Toole has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since females were permitted to join Scouts BSA in 2019. She has been a member of Troop 43 for girls, Venture Crew 2075 and the Brainerd Dispatch Explorer Post.
Eagle Scout is the highest honor the Scouts can present to a Scouts BSA member. In order to earn the Eagle Scout Award a scout must complete a rigorous set of requirements including leadership, merit badges, and service work. The scout also must demonstrate these through the completion of an Eagle Scout project, which must benefit an organization outside of scouting.
“For her Eagle Scout project Kayla worked with the Brainerd Noon Sertoma Club to design and build a new Light Display for the Clubs Winter Wonderland Light Show, which is held at the Arb every winter,” said Kim Erickson, who served as master of ceremonies at the Court of Honor, in the release.
“The new displays stands 18 feet tall by 15 feet wide and features a cat and dog wearing Santa hats. The project took approximately 111 hours to design, cut, bend, weld, paint and wire. This is the first new display the club has added in nearly five years. They are looking forward to adding it to the show this coming winter.”
Grady-Toole was presented her Eagle Scout medal by her mother Nicole Toole during the ceremony.
She was also presented the Good Citizen Award from the American Legion by past District Commander and Eagle Scout Paul Edwards. She was given an eagle statue that her grandmother Joy Toole painted for her as she had done for her stepdad, uncle and cousin, who all were presented with them during their Eagle Scout Courts of Honor.
“I joined Scouting because when I took part in the various activities with my stepdad I had a great deal of fun,” Grady-Toole stated. “I was a founding member of two units now as my scouting life progressed. I’ve gone through and put up with a lot of stuff over the years but I always kept moving forward and I am now here today. This means a lot to me to become an Eagle Scout. I’ve had a whole bunch of people before me in my family who have become Eagle Scouts and I am proud to be part of that group now. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my family and friends.”
Grady-Toole presented her mother, Nicole, and stepdad, Kenneth, with parents pins and her grandparents Bob and Laurie Turner and Joy Toole with grandparents pins. She also presented a mentor pin to Kim Erickson.
Grady-Toole is currently a senior at Brainerd High School and enrolled in the postsecondary enrollment options program at Central Lakes College. She is preparing to graduate, with honors, from both at the end of this term.