Fleming Island Teen Courtney Laird, Sets Sights on Honor of Eagle Scout

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – To earn the distinction of becoming an Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), a teen typically dedicates around 100 hours to a service project that benefits the community.

From 1912 until this year, the honor was only open to boys.

Courtney Laird

Now, for the first time in history, teen girls are able to pursue the distinction of becoming Eagle Scouts through the BSA.

One local teen with an ambition to become a member of the first-ever class of female Eagle Scouts has announced the completion of her Eagle Scout project.

Courtney Laird is a sophomore honors student and cheerleader at The Episcopal School of Jacksonville. She’s also a “Life Scout” with Troop 9892 in Fleming Island. On August 15, she completed her Eagle Scout project for The Quigley House, domestic violence and sexual assault center, serving the Clay County area in Northeast Florida. The organization’s mission is to provide advocacy and empowerment to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault along with community education to raise awareness.

Young woman presenting an $800 donation check to representatives from the Quigley House shelter
Check presentation

As part of her Eagle Scout project, Laird built a young adult library and reading area for the shelter, a task that began with three months of planning and fundraising. After raising more than $3,400 in donations for the project, she began working on the library, building a bookcase and filling it with more than 200 new books.

Literature was chosen to appeal to children ages 12-17, with a focus on diverse, entertaining, and award-winning books. The library also included a new rug, comfortable seating, tables, and reading lamps so children at the shelter can have a comforting place to sit, read, and do homework.

Young woman building a piece of furniture for a new young adult library at the Quigley House
Building furniture for Quigley House young adult library

“My hope is that this library will be a place of comfort and refuge during a stressful time in the residents’ lives,” Laird said. “It was such a tremendous honor to be able to bring the power of books to children living in transition.”

Laird completed the BSA’s week-long National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) program and has served as the senior patrol leader, troop guide, and outdoor ethics guide for her troop. She is also a member of the Youth Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2021 and a founding member of one of the first female Scouts BSA troops in Fleming Island.

She will be formally recognized with her Eagle Scout rank in November of this year.

Learn more about Quigley House at https://quigleyhouse.org.

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