Constantine Rock Climbing Outdoors
Photo courtesy of Andrea Constantine
Constantine Rock Climbing Outdoors Photo courtesy of Andrea Constantine

A Trailblazer, On and Off the Beaten Path

Andrea Constantine named one of first female Eagle Scouts in area

It all started in kindergarten. 

That’s when senior Andrea Constantine joined her local Girl Scout troop, but hated how there “wasn’t enough grit” for her. She wanted more time in nature.

Constantine with a few of her fellow Girl Scouts while she was six.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Constantine

In 2019, after hearing that Boy Scouts was going coed, she joined and founded her all-female troop. Her peers who started the troop with her eventually dwindled out, but Constantine stayed, her love for nature motivating her to keep going. 

“When I first joined, I felt super out of place. All these guys would always look at us, and me and my little group were so scared of everyone. Over time though, we got a lot more comfortable,” Constantine said.  

She pushed past that discomfort, and she recently became one of the first female Eagle Scouts in Illinois. 

Becoming an Eagle Scout is very challenging. Nationally, only six percent of scouts make it to Eagle Scout. The top ranking requires gaining 21 different merit badges, yet Constantine earned 35. 

I wanted to show the guys like hey, a girl can do this too. My gender makes no difference.

— Andrea Constantine

In order to become an Eagle Scout, a Scout must create a project that gives back to the community. Constantine built a split cedar fence that was 100 feet long for her local forest preserve, the Open Lands, and was the first female Boy Scout to work with them.

“Her service project was at one of her favorite local forest preserves that she walks in almost every day. It was awesome to see how she brought the community into her space by building the fence,” senior Sophia Zar said. 

Her love of nature pushed her to build a fence to protect the wildlife in her area, and her love of nature shines outside of Boy Scouts as well. She camps once a month, even if it is below zero degrees outside and there is snow on the ground.

“I like going out there when no one else is around. It’s peaceful,” Constantine said. 

Boys Scout of America opened to women in 2019. About 20% of Scouts are female.

Eagle Scouts
By the Numbers
By the Numbers

6: The percent of Scouts who earn Eagle Scout rank.

21: The minimum number of badges needed to qualify for Eagle Scout.

11: The youngest age a member has earned Eagle Scout rank.

2020: The year the first woman earned Eagle Scout rank.

4-6: Years on average it takes to earn Eagle rank.


Help Getting Eagle Scout
During her board of review to become an Eagle Scout, one of the members of the council told Constantine that “just because you are a female we can’t just give it to you. This time, you are going to actually have to work for it.”

“I didn’t even mention that I was a female the whole board of review. I did more work than a lot of people to earn this title, and for them to assume it was easier because I was a female was kind of annoying,” Constantine said. “A few times, boys in other troops would say things like “This is an all boys thing, let it be” or things like ‘You shouldn’t be here.’

“I wanted to show the guys like hey, a girl can do this too. My gender makes no difference.”

In the summer, Constantine is a counselor  in Northern Wisconsin for a sleep-away camp where she helps younger Boy Scouts earn badges. At her camp, there are rangers who make giant fires that burn dead foliage. Every two years, they pick two people to help with the fires, and Constantine was one of the first females to be chosen. 

Constantine standing in front of her 100-foot fence she built for her project with her friends
Photo Courtesy of Andrea Constantine

“It was something I wanted to do because it was an all boys sort of thing. I wanted to just show other people that a girl can do this too,” Constantine said.  

Constantine plans on continuing to be involved with nature in college while pursuing Environmental Science.

“Andrea is such a hardworking person. She had been so excited about her Eagle project for the longest time, and she was so positive when it came to building it. I am so proud of all she has done, and I’m so excited that she has become the first female Eagle Scout in Illinois,” senior Ella Burns said.

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    Trish storinoFeb 15, 2024 at 10:24 am

    Excellent article! Very well written and super interesting!