‘Very exciting’: Teen is honored as La Jolla’s first female Eagle Scout

Cerise "CeCe" Campbell is honored Jan. 28 as La Jolla's first female Eagle Scout.
(Karyn Campbell)

La Jolla High School junior Cerise ‘CeCe’ Campbell, a founding member of the local girls troop, reaches the pinnacle of Scouts BSA.


After years of hiking and other adventures, Cerise “CeCe” Campbell reached a summit like no other local girl has, becoming the first female in La Jolla to obtain Scouts BSA’s highest rank — Eagle Scout.

CeCe, 17, a junior at La Jolla High School, was honored Jan. 28 at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor, attended by friends, family members and the Scouts of Troops 506B (boys) and 506G (girls).

Scouts BSA, formerly called the Boy Scouts, changed its name and opened its program to girls in February 2019, when Troop 506G formed in La Jolla. Fourteen girls are currently active with the troop.

The boys troop has had 118 boys become Eagle Scouts since 1967.

Troop 506G Scoutmaster Marnie Stransky, who doesn’t have a daughter but became the girls’ Scoutmaster as her son is in Troop 506B, said: “I just think the program is so valuable. It’s just amazing.”

To become an Eagle Scout, CeCe — like all other Scouts intent on that goal — had to work through different ranks with different skill requirements.

The requirements for boys and girls are the same, consisting of a mix of service hours and lessons on camping skills, ethics, “leave no trace” principles and more.

For her final Eagle project, CeCe chose to create a new display case and repaint a map for the Tecolote Nature Center in San Diego.

“My design was original and so it was hard to plan and properly execute it,” she said. “It was one of the hardest things I had to do to get Eagle.”

Stransky said CeCe, an original member of Troop 506G, exudes confidence and independence — traits gained from the program.

“She loves the hands-on learning,” Stransky said. “Every high-adventure event we would go on … she would always gravitate toward asking the adult leaders or the younger leaders, ‘How do I become a camp counselor or leader as well?’ She’s really enthusiastic.”

Troop 506G Scoutmaster Marnie Stransky congratulates CeCe Campbell on her Eagle Scout accomplishment.
(Karyn Campbell)

CeCe said becoming an Eagle Scout makes her feel “very proud. It’s very exciting.”

CeCe’s mother, Karyn Campbell, an assistant Scoutmaster, said she’s not surprised CeCe is La Jolla’s first female Eagle Scout.

“She hasn’t shied away from anything,” Karyn said. “On hikes up to 11,000-foot elevations with 45-pound backpacks … [CeCe is] running up the mountain. She just makes things look easy.”

Stransky said two other girls plan to make Eagle Scout by the end of the year (a Scout must achieve the rank before age 18).

“Every Scout is pretty much on their own journey in terms of pacing,” she said.

“The other girls [in the troop] now have someone to look up to.”

— New Eagle Scout CeCe Campbell

One of CeCe’s challenges as a founding troop member was not having an older Scout mentor to guide her to Eagle, Stransky said.

Not having a mentor left her in “this constant state of confusion,” CeCe said. “How am I supposed to go from not knowing anything” to working through the various ranks?

The lack of guidance made the Eagle rank seem “super far away,” she added. “It was very difficult to imagine with basically almost nothing to start with.”

But now that she’s an Eagle Scout, CeCe said she will focus on “training the younger girls to become Eagle if they want to be.”

“The other girls [in the troop] now have someone to look up to,” she said. Her advice to the younger girls — “challenge yourself.”

Another challenge for CeCe, she said, was learning how to be a leader during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Learning to lead and rank myself up while keeping the younger girls interested was very difficult because BSA Scouting is a very hands-on, in-person program and being online was new for everyone,” she said.

Before joining Troop 506G, CeCe had no Scouting experience. She signed up in 2019 when BSA opened to girls, drawn to the outdoor adventures it offered.

“I’m more outdoorsy and sporty and I’d heard about how [BSA members] go on all these high-adventure trips, and that sounded really fun,” she said. “And there’s nothing you really lose from joining.”

During the Court of Honor ceremony, the troop acknowledged “all the work [CeCe’s] done,” Stransky said. “She’s the first but not the last.”

Stranksy added that the boys of Troop 506B are “always willing to help the girls” and that the girls’ presence “doesn’t faze the boys whatsoever.”

La Jolla Troops 506G and 506B are open to children ages 11-17 and meet at 6:30 p.m. Mondays at La Jolla United Methodist Church, 6063 La Jolla Blvd. For more information, visit