Shaylah Barratt discovered Girl Scouts wasn’t for her in fifth grade and decided to quit.
“We didn’t do any of the camp-outs that the boys do,” said Barratt, who recently completed her freshman year at Noblesville High School.
The Boy Scouts of America officially began allowing girls to join in 2019. Barratt joined Troop 1920 in March 2019.
“Our troop goes camping once a month, which is different from Girl Scouts,” she said. “I like to go hiking.”
Barratt said she found more opportunities to lead than in Girls Scouts.
“In Scouting, we get to learn how to be a good leader,” Barratt said.
Since joining, Barratt has worked to get all the merit badges needed to qualify for Eagle Scout and is working on her project now.
“I only have one badge (personal management) to finish along with my Eagle project,” said Barratt, who is seeking to become one of the first female Eagle Scouts in Hamilton County. “I’m trying to get Eagle Scout by August or September.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, water fountains shut down at schools, so schools replaced water fountains with bottle-filling stations. Barratt discovered many students can’t get a drink at school because they don’t have water bottles. So, Barrett’s project is to provide reusable water bottles for students who need them. Barratt said she also is collecting lunch boxes to help children in need.
“We’re going to get healthy snacks to put in there,” she said. “My goal is to get 300 water bottles and 300 lunch boxes.”
So far, Barratt has collected 240 each of water bottles and lunch boxes.
Barratt’s project is assisted by Hinkle Creek Elementary teacher Kristina Trusty, who works with Fueled for School, a nonprofit that feeds students in need in Hamilton County. Fueled for School will distribute Barratt’s water bottles and lunch boxes.
“Fueled for School does weekly food service for kids, and I usually help out with getting snacks placed for those kids,” Barratt said.
Businesses that have contributed to Barratt’s project so far are Riverview Health, Noblesville United Methodist Preschool, Reggie’s Autoworks and Dr. Ryan Jay, DDS. Donations can be arranged by contacting Barratt at email@example.com.
Barratt said there are 14 girls in Troop 1920. It is linked with Troop 1910 with the boys.
Barratt’s mother, Shannon, said the boys and girls troops work independently of each other.
“Her troop is a linked troop, which means the boys and girls are together,” Shannon said. “The boys and girls meet, camp and do everything together. They do have separate leaders with a woman leading the girls and a man leading the boys.”
Barratt’s twin 11-year-old sister, Jenna, and brother, Philip, are in the linked troop. Her youngest brother, Spencer, is 10 and is a Cub Scout in Pack 129.
Shannon was a Girl Scout leader before becoming involved with Cub Scouts.
“I have been a den leader and the committee chair for Pack 211 in Noblesville,” she said. “I am now the advancement chair for Troops 1910 and 1920. My husband, Duane Barratt, was a Boy Scout but never made it to Eagle rank.”
Meet Shaylah Barrett
Hobbies: Tennis, Color Guard, playing violin, singing
Favorite TV Show: “Grey’s Anatomy,”
Favorite Subject: Biology
Ideal vacation spot: On the beach