Kelly Clarkson honored one of the first female Eagle Scouts with a big surprise.
The talk show host featured Victoria Rader on her program. The Arizona native made herstory this month by reaching the highest rank in Scouts BSA. The 110-year-old organization, formerly known as Boy Scouts of America, rebranded last year after allowing girls to join.
Rader joined in February 2019 and quickly worked up the ranks, inspired by her male family members who had also been part of the formerly boys-only group. Only 4 percent of scouts make it to Eagle, which requires the attainment of at least 21 merit badges in addition to a community service project and board approval.
“Scouting was really important to me because it was always a program that I loved,” Rader told Clarkson. “I watched my father, my brother, and my grandfather all go through the program, and they did so many amazing outdoor activities and they learned so much about leadership and communication and they practice a lot of community service, while they had a bunch of fun on the side with hiking and camping and canoeing and all these great activities.”
Clarkson, who said Rader was an inspiration to her and her daughter, liked the Eagle’s post on social media and then gifted her with $1,000, “just for being rad,” courtesy of the Pilot pen company.
In recent years, Scouts BSA has made moves toward more inclusion. In addition to allowing female troops, the organization also opened its doors to gay scouts and eased its ban on gay leaders, although religious exemptions for certain troops keep open the possibility of discrimination.
Watch Clarkson and Rader's exchange on KellyClarksonShow.com.