16-year-old on track to make West Texas history

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas – It is certainly not easy becoming an Eagle Scout. It requires years of dedication, and the final project averages over a hundred hours to complete. In 2021, only 23 scouts have received their Eagle badge in West Texas, and 27 have completed their final projects. However, one applicant sets out to make history as the first female in West Texas to become an Eagle Scout.

Olivia Needham was inspired to join the program as soon as she was allowed to three years ago. The nationally recognized organization changed its rules back in 2018, allowing girls into their historically male-only program. The decision to expand the program makes it possible for Olivia and other aspiring girls to work toward earning their Eagle Scout Badge.

“I also wanted to be kind of a trailblazer for the other little girls in Lubbock and in the state of Texas because this is something that’s very new to all of us. And I wanted to kind of help show the way.

Needham has spent the past three years working hard to achieve the long list of required badges for the program. Not to mention planning and receiving approval for the final project. Needham spent the last six years performing at Moonlight Musicals Amphitheater. She said, during the summer, the high temperatures made it at times almost unbearable.

Board of directors for the Moonlight Musicals Amphitheater Dimitrie Pappas said Olivia approached the board months ago to plant trees along the backside of the Amphitheater. Pappas has known Olivia for years and said she’s a driven young lady.

“Olivia several years ago had the idea of planting a row of very fast-growing pine trees along the ridge. Which would basically make the sunset earlier right for us to provide some shade,” Pappas said. “So, it was really a test of her leadership skills and really a testament to the amount of work that she did to make this happen.”

Olivia worked for months on the project, filling out all the paperwork, fundraising, and coordinating dozens of volunteers to plant eight trees along the back row of the amphitheater. The project is currently being reviewed. She’s scheduled to meet with the board after the holidays. However, Olivia said she’s proud of what she’s been able to give back to her community.

“It took so much work. Most of my friends are volleyball players or basketball players. I’m out here hiking and doing merit badges,” Olivia said. “But in the end, it was all totally worth it.”

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News Highlights

Don't Miss

Event Calendar