LOWER MAKEFIELD >> Sarah Elizabeth Hogan soared into history on May 16 as one of the nation’s first female Eagle Scouts.
Hogan, who earned the award earlier this year, was officially presented with the badge during a Court of Honor hosted by the Yardley-Makefield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6393 and attended by U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Rep. Perry Warren and Lower Makefield Supervisor Dan Grenier.
Hogan is a member of the Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts officially inducted on Feb. 8. She is one of seven female Eagle Scouts from the Washington Crossing Council and the first from Bucks County and Yardley.
“This is a powerful moment for these young women, for all Eagle Scouts and for our nation,” said Jenn Hancock, national chair for programs at the Boy Scouts of America of the inaugural class of 974 female Eagle Scouts from across the nation. “People recognize Eagle Scouts as individuals of the highest caliber, and for the first time, that title isn’t limited by gender.”
Since joining the BSA at the age of 13 with the newly formed Troop 99G, in just two and a half short years Hogan has risen through the ranks to Eagle, Scouting’s highest award and rank, led her troop as patrol leader and instructor and amassed 44 merit badges and numerous camping and scouting awards.
“I haven’t seen another Scout who puts others before themselves like you have,” Troop 99 Scoutmaster Michael Marschean told Hogan. “Sarah’s values are self-evident. The example you set is worth more than any words I could say. When I look at Sarah I see character, leadership, citizenship. I see a true Eagle. It’s not what she does, it’s who she is. I see a beginning rather than an ending. I can’t wait to see what you do next.”
Her scouting journey began when her twin brother, Chris, joined Cub Scouts in the first grade. After her mother, Jenn, became a Den leader, she would join in the activities.
“I always wanted to join scouting for myself, and made a conscious decision to join a Venturing Club when I was eligible at age 14. To my surprise, the BSA gave the option for girls to join their Scouting program when I was 13. I was the first Scout who joined Troop 99G on their opening night in Feb. 2019.”
Over the next 16 months, she quickly rose thorough the ranks from Scout, to Tenderfoot, to Second Class, to First Class, Star and Life. She capped it off by earning the Eagle on Feb. 8, making her the first female in Bucks County to earn the award.
For her Eagle project, Hogan built a potting bench for the garden at the Tyler State Park Nature and Discovery Center. She used re-purposed wood and materials to build the bench with much of the wood coming from her neighbor’s cedar fence and shipping pallets.
The bench, she said, is designed to be ergonomic and movable. It is being used to store gardening pots and supplies and as a working table to re-pot plants.
“Scouting has given me opportunities and new experiences,” said Hogan. “Camping trips gave me experiences with climbing, boating and even encounters with bears. I worked very hard to complete all the requirements for my Eagle Scout rank to join the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, along with helping to build a new Troop for female Scouts along the way.”
Sarah’s brother, Chris, also an Eagle Scout, served as master of ceremonies for the Court of Honor. Her mentor and Scoutmaster, Angela Flannery, presented Sarah with the Eagle Rank Medal. And her parents, Jenn and Ken Hogan, were given the honor of pinning her with her Eagle Scout badge and presenting her with the Eagle Scout neckerchief.
“You deserve much credit for earning Scouting’s highest honor,” Flannery told Hogan. “Wear your award with humility ever mindful that the Eagle Scout is being looked up to as an example. Let the Scout Oath and the Scout Law be your guide for today and in the future .... This award is not being given to you. It’s not a gift or a participation award. You set goals, you sacrificed and you did the work necessary to achieve that goal. This is a moment you should never forget.”
Hogan then presented pins to her mother and Flannery as a token expression of sentiment and thanks for playing a key role in her Scouting journey.
Leaders of the Washington Crossing Council, including Magne Gundersen, Scout Executive and CEO; Lew Mohr, vice chair of the Tamanend District; and Bill Pitts, also from the Tamanend District; made special presentations to Hogan.
The Eagle Charge and Promise was delivered by Ed Oleynick, also an Eagle Scout. Gus Cales of the Marine Corps League Patriot Detachment 1230, led the presentation of colors. Heather Salhanick presented a certificate to Hogan from VFW Post 6393. And Robert Krajci of Troop 210 delivered the invocation.
Congressman Fitzpatrick, himself an Eagle Scout, praised Hogan on her achievement, calling her a trailblazer, a pioneer and a leader. He presented Hogan with a flag flown over the US Capitol and announced that he would be reading Hogan’s name into the Congressional Record.
“This is a big, big moment. Historic,” said Fitzpatrick. “Sarah is not only the first female Eagle Scout from Bucks County, but she’s part of an inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts this year, which will undoubtedly go down in American history.”
State Rep. Perry Warren delivered a proclamation to Sarah from the state House of Representatives and praised Hogan on being Bucks County’s first female Eagle Scout.
“As the father of three young women, I love to see barriers broken,” said Warren. “This would not have been possible a generation ago or just a few years ago. Congratulations for breaking that barrier. We here in Bucks County and Lower Makefield are tremendously proud of you.”
“Your accomplishment is extraordinary,” added Beth Marshall, who represented State Senator Steve Santarsiero at the Court of Honor. She presented Hogan with a citation from the State Senate honoring her on the achievement and with a flag flown over the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
And Lower Makefield Supervisor Dan Grenier thanked Hogan for “being a great leader” and for setting an outstanding example for young girls, like his own daughter, to follow.
Sarah is in her first year at the Bucks County Technical High School. She is a top student at the school and enrolled in its dental program.
Sarah is planning to attend a dental college to either become a hygienist, but also setting her sights on possibly becoming a dentist. She will make that decision as her education moves forward. As Sarah would say, “one step at a time.”