One of the first females to join when the BSA opened to females, Williams earned her Arrow of Light and then helped found Scouts BSA Troop 21 (Photo: Submitted)
A local trailblazer, Sycamore High School Freshman Emily Williams, became the first female in Cheatham County to receive Scouting’s highest award, Eagle Scout. She was awarded on December 15, 2022, and was finally able to celebrate on Saturday May 13, 2023. The ceremony was held at Brewer’s Chapel Church and attended by local dignitaries, her Scouting units, and the Thomasville community.
One of the first females to join when the BSA opened to females, Williams earned her Arrow of Light and then helped found Scouts BSA Troop 21. In the Troop, she has served in numerous leadership roles including Senior Patrol Leader. As the Troop bugler she also honors veterans by playing Memorial Day Taps at local cemeteries.
The busy young lady also proudly belongs to the Venture Crew 536, the Sycamore High War Eagle Marching Band, and numerous Sycamore High clubs and honor societies.
Throughout the years she has gone caving, rappelling, camping, hiking, canoeing, and backpacking while still earning 26 merit badges. Williams is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, staffed Winter Camp, and attended National Youth Leadership Training. She has been nominated for several awards including the American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year.
Williams' Eagle project surveyed the Brewer's Chapel Church Cemetery in Thomasville Community. She led a diverse team from APSU GIS, the County Historical Society, Tennessee Historical Commission, church members, and Troop 21. The project mapped 181 internments including 15 previously unknown graves and gave names back to five marked but unnamed graves. A digital report of the map, GPS coordinates, images, and head stone transcripts were recorded with the church, county, and Historical Commission. Williams stated, “when you learn the history of a cemetery it is fascinating drama!”
For her efforts, the Tennessee Historical Commission awarded Williams one of the five 2023 Certificates of Merit, State Representative Mary Littleton presented her with a House Resolution, and during the May County Commission meeting, the Commission surprised her with a Cheatham County Resolution and a medal from the Vietnam Veterans Association.
Williams said, “When I joined, I did not understand the wide variety of skills that Scouting would introduce me to, rappelling, sailing, or motorizing a boat. I learned to respond in an emergency and lead others. I became confident speaking with others I normally would not see daily. Through learning and living the Scout Oath and Law I learned a personal moral code, and that only I decide who I want to be.”