Zuzu Hartman honored as first female Eagle Scout in region

MUSCATINE, Iowa–A lover of the outdoors, Isabelle “Zuzu” Hartman always wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father, Michael Hartman, and join Boy Scouts. In 2019 when Scouting BSA allowed girls to participate for the first time, Zuzu and her friend Vanessa Calderon co-founded Troop 1127, with Zuzu’s father as their scoutmaster. As Zuzu helped get the troop up and running, she realized quickly she had a passion for scouting and wanted to get everything out of it that she could by working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. “I decided that I wanted to become an Eagle Scout pretty early on, she asserted. “Once I joined, I saw the amazing community scouting has and I really enjoyed completing requirements for the ranks–these two things helped motivate me to go for Eagle.”

Zuzu started scouting at the age of 16, giving her only about a year and a half to earn the rank of Eagle Scout before she turned 18. This required her to complete each of the lower scouting ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life) and all of the skill and time requirements that went with them as well as her final Eagle Scout project. “I had to stay motivated so I could finish on time,” Zuzu said: “However, I planned these time requirements out so I would be able to achieve Eagle. It took a lot of motivation and focus but it is still very possible.”

Overall, Zuzu found the process of working towards Eagle Scout rank very enjoyable and values all the skills and friendships she made along the way. She shared, “The achievement of Eagle is not the most important thing about this program–it is the memories and friendships created and these have truly changed me for the better.”

For her final Eagle Scout project, Zuzu opted to make 12 bat houses for Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge and Louisa and Muscatine County Conservation. After deciding against a larger group project because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zuzu considered it a good fit for her. “Our troop was contacted and asked to make a few for Port Louisa and I decided to make more and make it my project,” she explained. “I also am very passionate about our environment and the animals within it, so it was a perfect thing for me to do to help support bats, which are in great need of help.”

This fall, Zuzu received the rank of Eagle Scout, making her the first female Eagle Scout in the region. She takes great pride in her accomplishment and hopes that she will inspire younger girls to get involved in scouting too: “I am very excited and proud to be the first female Eagle Scout in the area. I am very glad to be able to show younger females that this is possible and that they do belong in this program. This program is amazing and every person deserves the chance to be in it and I am very glad to have helped pave the way for younger generations of female Eagle Scouts to come.”