When COVID-19 started to spread around the country in 2020, shuttering business, schools and life as Americans knew it, Faith Carino started to worry.

At the time, Carino, a veteran Girl Scout, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts of the USA and was well on her way to becoming an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. She already spent a year working toward her Eagle Scout rank and the finish line was in sight. But with the country in lockdown Carino feared her chance would slip away.

"There were definitely, definitely moments where I was not sure if it was going to happen," Carino said.

Within Boy Scouts only 8% of scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank and fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts earned the Gold Award. Finding someone with both achievements is rare, especially since Boy Scouts only started allowing girls to join the organization in Feb. 2019.

Carino dedicated herself to Girl Scouts since she was 7 years old. She worked her way to the highest tier of achievement within the organization after she created a clothing lending program for her school's band to help students who could not afford to buy new recital outfits.

A month after girls were allowed into Boy Scouts, Carino joined a local troop but she did not expect to stay involved until she started bonding with fellow members.

"Getting to hang out with the other scouts and cooking and camping out there is kind of what started to pique my interest in it," Carino said.

Carino decided to pursue the Eagle Scout rank, but with the pandemic looming, she worried how she would complete the required 20 nights of camping.

Thanks to video chat technology, she earned her badge by leading a virtual trip for younger campers.

"My scoutmaster felt more confident about giving me these nights I needed because I had to put in so much effort on the forefront in order to plan them and make sure that we had things to do and I taught a lot of our boy scouts," Carino said.

Carino's Scoutmaster, Audrey Hammond, said Carino did not shy away from the challenge even with COVID-19.

"She's just so driven and so incredible," Hammond said. "If she wants to do something, she will do it."

After two years, Carino made her way to the top of Boy Scouts. She passed her Eagle Bboard review Saturday. Once the paperwork is finalized she will be the first person in the Pikes Peak Region to earn both the Eagle Scout rank and the Girl Scout Gold Award, Hammond said.

For Carino the chance of a bright future does not end there.

Carino earned her associates degree at 17 because she was able to excel through her homeschooling curriculum. Then she entered her junior year of college at UCCS with her sights set on a masters degree, her mother, Shannon Carino said.

Faith Carino hopes to motivate younger scouts with her upcoming position as a camp director with the Boy Scouts at Camp Laramie Peak in Wyoming.

"Even when it's difficult — push through," Carino said, "I'm really grateful that I did."

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