Keilani Quayle soars as first girl at Rio to become an Eagle Scout


Quayle works to build backdrop for non-profit theater company, Royal Stage.

Anna Schmid

Junior Keliani Quayle is the first girl at Rio to become an Eagle Scout and one of the first in the nation to achieve scouting’s highest rank since Scouts BSA allowed girls to join in 2018. 

Quayle was one of the first Rio women to join Scouts. She joined Scouts in seventh grade. One of the main reasons Scouts allowed girls into troops is because little siblings would come to their siblings’ events, but would not be able to participate because they were girls.

After Quayle joined, she experienced some sexism from other people who were fellow scouts as well as other leaders. It took her a couple years to make friends with some of the other boys in the troop because they were suspicious of the girls. Once Quayle and some of the other girls had leadership positions in the troop, the boys talked to them because they had to, but only after Quayle confronted them. The boys would also make unnecessary jokes that would have underlying misogyny in them. After about two years she made other friends that were not just girls. Quayle feels there is less sexism now, but still some prejudice toward the girls. “I talked to the boys in charge and worked out the situation the best I could.”

As a Senior Patrol Leader, she works with other patrol leaders and parents to help oversee the 80 scouts in the troop. Quayle helps younger scouts develop more skills to move up the ranks. 

“I like being able to help the other scouts advance and want to help them go where they need and want to be,” said Quayle. “I help them get to higher ranks and it is so rewarding to see the progress they make.”

To achieve the Eagle rank, scouts must do a community service project, so Quayle made sets for an amateur theater company she is involved with. 

“Most people choose to do park benches,” she said. “I chose a reusable backdrop for the theater. I made three for a non-profit theater company called Royal Stage.”

Lightweight and easily moveable, Quayle’s backdrops look like a triangular prism with two doors on each side so that the scenes can be changed. 

 Despite a rough start to scouting, Quayle is glad she stuck with it. 

“I enjoy scouts because it gives me an outlet to be whoever I want to be,” she said. “And it creates unbreakable bonds with people who I wouldn’t have been friends with otherwise.”