HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kimi Nelson is blazing a path for other young women.
The 15-year-old is in the nation’s inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, and she has the merit badges to prove she earned it.
“I have 46 currently,” she said.
Kimi needed 21 to qualify for scouting’s highest rank. She blew past that in her first year in scouting, earning 30. Then she just kept earning more.
“The scouting is fun but it’s also about learning to become a leader and learning different outdoor skills. As a part of learning those skills you would naturally rank up,” she said.
“I just decided to take that a little faster.”
Kimi joined the Scouts Boy Scouts of America on the first day girls were admitted in February 2019.
She was motivated by her father and brother, who both made Eagle Scout.
“I thought, ‘Now I actually get to do all the stuff that they get to do,’” she said.
The Mid-Pacific Institute sophomore joins Guam high school student Larissa Obeginski as the first two female Eagle Scouts to represent the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council.
Scout Executive Jesse Lopez said they worked hard for it, completing tasks that tested their minds and bodies.
“It requires them to live up to a higher standard,’ he said. “Who wouldn’t want that in a young individual?”
For her big community service project, Kimi coordinated the building of an 85-foot-long sidewalk at Tripler’s Fisher House.
“I decided to make it go all the way to the pergola. That way people in wheelchairs wouldn’t have to struggle as much,” she said.
She got the materials donated and recruited military builders to help with the construction.
“Seabees are a bit more knowledgeable about pouring concrete than scouts are,” she said.
Kimi’s favorite school subjects are English and math. She’s on Mid-Pac’s wrestling team and will join the judo team in the spring.
Even though she’s reached scouting’s highest peak she plans to continue until she ages out at 18.
“I learned all these things along the way, and now I have the ability to teach these things to other scouts,” she said.