Nationally successful athlete, internationally awarded peacekeeper, and Scout –It’s hard to believe that Texas native Katie Hancock is just seventeen years old.
At the 2017 USASA National Championship, the girl placed third in the nation in her division for boardercross. Now, she’s earned a slot on Team Utah. She hopes to make it to the 2022 Olympics!
She was the only American to receive the Messenger of Peace Hero Award in 2016 and also the only female American teenager to ever receive it. (We’ll explain why she got the award later in this article.)
And, on top of everything, Katie skipped a grade just so she could join BSA’s Venturing a year early.
Yes, she’s that cool.
Here’s what Katie had to say during a 2017 National Jamboree interview about how Scouting’s helped her achieve these accomplishments and what she’s gained from it:
A Scouting Tale
It all started when Katie’s venturing crew decided to go on a camping trip together. However, after they learned that there was flooding going on in San Marcos, Texas, they changed their minds about the outing.
“So we put all our energy, time, and the funding that we had for that Scout trip,” said Katie. “And we put it into the river rescue event which was about 4,000 donations in a Uhaul trailer.”
She explained that it was beneficial to see the direct impact their donations made on families’ lives.
It was the service project that led to Katie’s nomination for the Messenger of Peace Award. The global award serves to recognize Scout heroes who find ways to establish peace in their community.
“About a year later, I got an email saying ‘You’re up for the Peace Hero Award presented by the King of Sweden and the Saudi Arabia royal family’,” said Katie. “So, this past Thanksgiving, I got to go spend in Saudi Arabia with the royal family and the king of Sweden.”
Without Scouting, Katie would not have gained this experience.
What Scouting Offers Her
Katie Hancock sees an attitude of good sportsmanship while doing boardercross. People congratulate one another and give her constructive criticism. She compared that to Scouting.
“To be in Scouting, it teaches you a lot of morals,” said Katie.
She explained that many people have the wrong idea about Scouting, and you can get whatever you want from it.
“It’s there to help you grow as a person,” said Katie. “And to help you make a difference in your life and the lives of others. And I don’t think you can find that kind of program anywhere else.”
Editor’s note: We previously indicated that Katie Hancock was striving to make the Olympics this year. She did not qualify this year but is hoping to make the 2022 Olympics.