GILLETT, P.A. (WENY) -- Abigail McKeever became the first female Eagle Scout in the Twin Tiers Saturday afternoon.  

For her Eagle Scout Service Project, McKeever wanted to go above and beyond in giving back to Ridgebury Community Park. She spent her childhood in the park, coming to annual events like Park Day and watching little league games with her family on the weekends. McKeever led the Park Day flag ceremonies growing up at the park over the years, which gave her the idea to put a new flagpole in the park.  

“She knew we needed a flagpole; she was always doing the flag ceremonies for us,” Kathy Jo Minnick, Ridgebury Township Community Park member, said. “The park community could not be more grateful to her for coming home and growing the park for us.”  

McKeever unveiled the 25-foot telescopic flagpole while being presented with her Eagle Awards. She felt it was necessary to use the project in showing thanks to first responders. She included a small memorial around the flagpole with benches to honor firefighters, veterans, EMS, and law enforcement.  

“This whole place was an act of service, and I wanted to pay back that service from when I was a little kid up till now,” Abigail said. “All the time and effort they put into me; to have a place to honor them and show respect.”  

Abigail's mom and scoutmaster, Mara, is very proud of her daughter. She was honored to be her mentor and see her give back to their community.  

“As a parent, you try to instill certain things like scholarship and leadership,” Mara said. Family first is one of our mottos, and to see her articulate all of that to me was an honor.  

More information about Abigail, Boy Scouts of America, and the Eagle Scouts program can be found online.