SPARTA, NJ- Becoming an Eagle Scout is already an enormous accomplishment.  And now a girl from Sparta is on track to make history as one of the first females to earn the rank of Eagle. 

Bridget Brady is one of seven Life Scouts in Troop 1150, sister troop of Boy Scout Troop 150, in “striking distance” of the top rank, according to assistant scout master Bob Brady.

Brady is asking for help from the community for her Eagle project.  She will be collecting donations for Project Boxes for the 24 SCARC group homes in Sussex County. Sussex County Association for Retarded Citizens or SCARC provides “respite, recreation and summer programs” for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

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For the Program Boxes Brady is asking for:

  • Colored Pencils,
  • Markers,
  • Crayons,
  • Coloring Books (color by number is a favorite),
  • Books (all reading levels and comics),
  • Craft Supplies,
  • Model Airplanes,
  • Trains,
  • Cars,
  • Sports Paraphernalia (New Jersey and New York teams),
  • Sports Equipment,
  • Sensory toys such as stress balls a fidget spinners,
  • Soft Toys (stuffed animals, books)
  • Video Games,
  • DVDs and CDs (children and adult shows, movies and music)
  • T-shirts and
  • Calendars.

Brady said she was inspired to focus her project on SCARC after having completed the Disabilities Merit badge. She said assistant scout master Deb Reidmiller mentored her on the badge and helped her make connections.  Brady said Reidmiller, having worked with special needs students, “has a lot of knowledge and was able to help with the project.”

Brady met Megan Mac Mullin, Chief Executive Officer of SCARC, Guardianship Services, Inc, learning about their mission helped her develop her Eagle project.

“I wanted to do a project that I felt made a difference,” Brady said. 

The collection boxes will be:

  • Pope John High School - August 29 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • C.O. Johnson Field in Byram - August 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sparta United Methodist Church - August 30 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Our Lady of the Lake - August 30  12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

There will be a “team of scouts and friends manning the boxes,” Brady said. 

In additional to the collection, Brady has raised more than $2,600 on her GoFundMe page that she will be using to purchase additional supplies.

The 15-year-old Pope John sophomore began as a Scout with Troop 1150 on February 1, 2019, “the first day girls were allowed to join.”  She is also a Girl Scout, plays soccer and is a member of her school’s robotics team. 

She said she wanted to join Troop 1150 after hearing her father’s stories about his experience as a boy scout, Order of the Arrow and summer camp, “His experience did not match up with mine,” as a girl scout. 

Brady did not just join the troop, she excelled.  She has earned more than 50 merit badges, completed National Youth Leadership Training and attended the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.  Brady has been inducted into the Scouting Honor Society- Order of the Arrow.

Brady is the first girl to be elected the Vice Chief of Lore or Woapalanne Lodge Number 43, encompassing all the seven northern counties in Patriots Path Council.

According to Bob Brady there are now 31 girls in the troop.  The Cub Scout Pack is co-ed, though each den is either comprised of girls or boys.  Troop 1150 is girls and Troop 150 is boys. 

With COVID-19 having canceled summer camp, the troop put together a week at Harmony Ridge Camp in Branchville.  There was initially concern from parents and the troop leaders that there may be friction between the two troops but “they are absolutely meshing well together,” Bob Brady said. “It’s remarkable.”

“I want other girls to know they will always be welcome to the troop,” Brady said.  “We are all going to try to be friends.”