Lilianne Tullio is the first local girl to make Eagle Scout

 Lilly Tullio repeats the Eagle Charge from Alan Wolfson during her honor ceremony on May 10.

Lilly Tullio repeats the Eagle Charge from Alan Wolfson during her honor ceremony on May 10. COURTESY PHOTO

Lilly Tullio has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award offered by Scouting America.

Lilly Tullio has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award offered by Scouting America. COURTESY PHOTO

Lilly Tullio gives a presentation to Jaffrey Grade School fourth-graders as part of her Eagle Scout project.

Lilly Tullio gives a presentation to Jaffrey Grade School fourth-graders as part of her Eagle Scout project. COURTESY PHOTO—

 Evelyn Bossov, left, and Lilly Tullio build screech owl boxes.

Evelyn Bossov, left, and Lilly Tullio build screech owl boxes. COURTESY PHOTO

Lilly Tullio has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award offered by Scouting America.

Lilly Tullio has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award offered by Scouting America. COURTESY PHOTO

Lilly Tullio directs the painting of screech owl boxes with Jaffrey Grade School fourth-graders.

Lilly Tullio directs the painting of screech owl boxes with Jaffrey Grade School fourth-graders. COURTESY PHOTO

 Jesse Levesque and Lilly Tullio paint a screech owl box together.

Jesse Levesque and Lilly Tullio paint a screech owl box together. COURTESY PHOTO—

Screech owl boxes are ready for painting as part of Lilly Tullio’s Eagle Scout community service project.

Screech owl boxes are ready for painting as part of Lilly Tullio’s Eagle Scout community service project. COURTESY PHOTO—

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 06-13-2024 12:02 PM

Lilianne “Lilly” Weibel Tullio of Jaffrey is the first girl to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in the Monadnock district, for her work in combating the loss of screech owl habitat through education and the construction of nesting boxes.

Scouting America, formerly the Boy Scouts of America, started to allow female members in 2019, and Tullio is a member of Troop 33G of Jaffrey, which formed that same year as the girls’ troop. She has been a member of the troop since its founding.

Tullio said that being that founding member, she felt it was important to work her way to the highest award to serve as an example for the younger members of her troop.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Tullio said. “For the younger girls, I wanted to make sure I earned Eagle – because I want them to feel like they can do it, too. They could see what an Eagle project is, and what it entails, and work on one together. As one of the troop’s founding members, I hope it inspires other scouts to do the same.”

Eagle Scout is the highest rank offered through Scouting America, and only about 5% of Scouts achieve it. Scouts must work their way through seven ranks, earn at least 21 merit badges, perform leadership positions and complete a service project.

For her service project, Tullio organized and supervised a team of adults and Scouts from Troop 33B, the boys’ troop, and Troop 33G to construct 31 screech owl boxes. She worked with the fourth-grade class from Jaffrey Grade School, giving a presentation to help them learn about screech owls and their diminishing habitat, and each student was given a painted box to take home and hang up in their yard.

“I enjoy animals and the environment, and wanted to do something in the environmental sciences,” Tullio said.

At first, she considered building bat boxes, a project she has done before on her own, but said as she was researching, she came across the similar concept of owl boxes, “which I hadn’t even heard of before,” she admitted. She began researching which owls were native to New Hampshire and what issues might be facing them, and came across screech owls and the impacts of habitat loss.

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Tullio worked with Belletetes, which donated materials for the boxes, Jaffrey Grade School to coordinate the decorating of the boxes and Jaffrey Civic Center, which hosted the decoration sessions.

Tullio said one of the aspects of an Eagle Scout project is to demonstrate leadership, not only by conceiving of the service project, but directing often-younger Scouts or children during its execution. She said that many people came together to help, sometimes overwhelmingly. Directing her own troop and Troop 33B members, along with some of their family members and siblings, the volunteers built 31 boxes over two days, even though Tullio had initially planned for it to take multiple weeks.

“Throughout Scouting, there are a lot of things you do that teach you various skills – the Eagle project is about learning to step up and be a leader. The experience made me think a lot about our own [Scout] leaders, and how they do so much planning and coordinating to make events happen,” she said.

That’s a role Tullio is prepared now to step into herself, having signed up to be a leader for her own troop this summer with the expectation of continuing to assist at meetings and attend camp with her troop before heading to college in the fall.

Over her four years of Scouting, Tullio has demonstrated skills including knot-tying, outdoor cooking, fire-building, rock-climbing, first aid and map-reading. She has attended Camp Wanocksett in Jaffrey and Dublin for three years, and served as senior patrol leader of Troop 33G for three years and quartermaster for six months.

In the community, Tullio has been a volunteer at Kitty Rescue in Jaffrey, assisted in multiple roadside cleanups, participated in the Scouting for Food food drive and been a volunteer at TEAM Jaffrey’s Scarecrows on the Common. She has helped TEAM Jaffrey to plant flowers and assisted at a Red Cross blood drive. She attends classes three times a week at Elements Mixed Martial Arts of Keene, where she helps instruct the younger students.

Tullio graduated from Dublin School June 1, where she was an honor student and a co-captain of the school’s ultimate Frisbee and snowboarding teams. She also served on the school’s Judicial Board. Since she was 15, she has been active in the Dublin Lake Club, teaching children how to sail, and will be the sailing master at the Lake Club this summer. She plans to attend Oberlin College in Ohio in the fall, where she expects to major in environmental science, neuroscience or psychology.

Tullio received her Eagle Scout award in a Court of Honor held at the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge on May 10. Her brother and fellow Eagle Scout Oliver Tullio spoke about the significance of the award. Assistant Scoutmaster Linda Kot spoke about her four-plus years in Scouting, along with former committee chair Shannon Tremblay.

Assistant Scoutmaster Michelle Sisk spoke about Tullio from a leader’s perspective, and Scoutmaster Heather Weibel Tullio gave “A Mother’s Reflection.” Committee member Kathy Weibel read a commendation from Gov. Chris Sununu. Tullio was presented with an American flag which had been flown over the New Hampshire State House in her honor.

Troop 33G in Jaffrey welcomes local girls in grades six to 12 from Jaffrey, Rindge, Peterborough, New Ipswich and other local towns. For information, contact Packard at troop33girls@gmail.com