Oak Ridge’s first girl Eagle Scout
named a “Scout of the Year”
Haley Snyder, the first female in Oak Ridge to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, was honored Feb. 24 as one of four Scouts of the Year chosen by the Great Smoky Mountain Council of Scouts BSA.
All four students – two males and two females – were recognized at a dinner at the Knoxville Convention Center and were featured in interviews with reporter Don Dare on WATE-TV.
A graduate of Oak Ridge High School, Snyder also has an associate of science degree from Roane State Community College through its Middle College program. She is majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has an internship lined up for the fall at an International Paper facility in Rome, Ga.
Snyder was a member of Scouts BSA Troop 42G, a troop of 11 girls sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge. Her Eagle Scout project was to expand the church’s community garden by building fenced-in garden plots beside the church’s education building, which houses the Early Head Start of Anderson County program.
The new garden, called the Welcome Garden, consists of seven garden beds, each 4 feet by 16 feet, and a chain link fence surrounding it. The new garden produces fresh vegetables distributed through the church’s monthly drive-thru Welcome Table meal-and-groceries program. It also offers learning opportunities for students in the Early Head Start program, which provides family-centered services for low-income families with young children.
On Jan. 19, when WATE-TV cameraman Dave Wignall was filming Dare’s interview with Snyder in the church’s parlor, Dare asked her if she thought of herself as a “trailblazer.”
She replied that she hadn’t thought of herself as a trailblazer but she was proud and surprised when a seven-year-old girl in her neighborhood who was aware of Snyder’s accomplishment told her, “Haley, I just joined Cub Scouts. I want to be just like you!”
Asked by Dare what she would say to girls rising in the scouting ranks, Haley replied, “Don’t be afraid to push yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you are doing isn’t going to be worth it in the long run because I promise it is.”
Snyder and Dare then walked to the Welcome Garden that she built on the church campus as her Eagle Scout project. Wignall filmed the second segment of the Dare interview with her in the garden.
When Dare asked her about her other Scout-related activities and opportunities to strengthen her leadership skills, she stated that last summer she was a ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, where she interacted with many BSA Scout troops as they began their 10- to 12-day backpacking trips. She trained and shadowed the groups on the trail for the first three days of their treks; every four days over the summer, she trained a new group.
Other students honored as Scout of the Year in the BSA district were Carson Whitehead, a star football player with the Powell Panthers, which won the state championship in the team’s division; Jayden Bryant, Venturer of the Year, and Aissata Ly, STEM Scout of the Year.
To see the WATE-TV video of the Dare interview with Snyder, click on this link:
Here is Haley’s… – Great Smoky Mountain Council, Boy Scouts
Haley Snyder, Oak Ridge’s first female Eagle Scout and one of four Scouts of the Year honored by the Great Smoky Mountain Council of Scouts BSA, was interviewed by Don Dare of WATE-TV at First Presbyterian Church where she built a vegetable garden for her Eagle Scout project.