In the less than two months I have covered Johns Creek, I have already witnessed the City Council officially recognize four Eagle Scouts.
While the hard work these young men contribute to the improvement of their community is commendable, these recognitions happen so routinely that the Herald typically does not cover each Eagle Scout individually.
The members of the Johns Creek City Council , on the other hand, always take the time to read each scout’s accomplishments, pose for a photo with his family and gift each scout a copy of the book “Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America’s Eagle Scouts” by Alvin Townley.
By the attention the council gives to each individual scout, it is clear to me that the Eagle Scouts are a source of pride to the City of Johns Creek.
At the latest council meeting it got me thinking, where are the Girl Scouts?
I was a Girl Scout myself in elementary school, and I have fond memories of attending summer camps, learning to build campfires and learning the songs that go with them, and of course, I couldn’t forget the business savvy I gained by going door to door selling Thin Mints and Tagalongs.
Although by the time I entered high school I had left the Girl Scouts to pursue other interests, I had friends who stuck with the program and earned a Gold Award.
The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve, and the rough equivalent of earning an Eagle Scout designation. Both honors take years to achieve and require a service project. Both Gold Award recipients and Eagle Scouts are rare. About 4 percent of Boy Scouts and 5 percent of Girl Scouts achieve the highest recognition.
Sitting in the meeting, I wondered if the council gave the same attention to each Gold Award recipient.
But a search through the meeting archives found only three instances of a Gold Award recipient being honored, one from 2017 and two from 2015. For comparison, searching the same database found more than 20 agenda items related to Eagle Scouts just since January 2017.
Is it possible that there just aren’t any Gold Award recipients from Johns Creek? It seems unlikely.
According to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta there were 35 Gold Award recipients from Fulton County in 2018 and 36 in 2017. Fulton County is
a big place. Not all of those girls were from Johns Creek, but odds are some of
These young women include Alexis Merlette, who raised money to build a home for women who were the victims of human trafficking, Sarah Kucia, who built gardens in senior living communities and Sanjana Duvvur who taught music to at-risk elementary school children.
I think the lack of recognition for the Girl Scouts is likely an oversight, or a result of a lack of communication between the city and the troop leaders. I am not accusing the council of intentionally choosing to prioritize the accomplishments of the city’s young men over its young women.
But if Johns Creek truly wants to “Be the Exception” it should recognize outstanding leadership and service by its young citizens, regardless of their gender and whether through the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or another organization.
Personally, I want to recognize all the young women and young men who have selflessly donated their time to try and make their community a better place.