Hailey Mecenas, Alexa Czarnecki achieve rank of Eagle Scout; Both are founding members of Elmhurst Scouts BSA Troop 117G

Elmhurst Scouts BSA Troop 117G recognized two more of its founding members for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank in Scouts BSA. On Aug. 20, Hailey Mecenas was presented the Eagle Scout badge at her Eagle Court of Honor; Hailey earned her Eagle rank at her board of review on Nov. 16, 2022. On Sept. 2, Alexa Czarnecki received her Eagle Scout badge at her Eagle Court of Honor; Alexa earned her Eagle rank at her board of review on June 7.

Scouts begin to include girls

When Scouts BSA allowed the inclusion of females in February 2019, Hailey and Alexa became two of the first founding members of the local troop. They started in Elmhurst Exploring Club 1, where they learned skills such as orienteering; overnight camping; menu planning and meal preparation for campouts; the use of various knots, safe use of a knife, ax and saw; plant, bug and wild animal identification; first aid and emergency response; boating and water safety; and money management.

Having learned these skills, Hailey and Alexa hit the ground running and advanced through the Scouts BSA ranks to Eagle in three and four years, respectively. Achieving Eagle is a task that can take up to eight years and must be completed before the scout’s 18th birthday.

One of the requirements for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is to plan and execute an Eagle Project. For Hailey’s Eagle Project, she designed and oversaw the construction and painting of a mural benefitting Glenbard East High School in Lombard. Hailey completed her project in 2022. Alexa designed and oversaw the construction and painting of a music-themed mural benefitting Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst. Following construction at Sandburg, the mural recently was hung in the music hallway.

On their paths to Eagle, Hailey earned 39 merit badges and Alexa earned 34. Individually, they participated in hundreds of scouting events, including campouts, canoe trips, bike treks, weekly meetings, and hikes.

Hailey served in leadership positions including Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader and Scribe; Alexa served in leadership positions including Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Quarter Master, Den Chief, Outdoor Ethics Guide and Venture Crew President.

Combined, Hailey and Alexa have more than 100 service hours. Hailey volunteered and worked at two BSA summer camps in Wisconsin overseeing waterfront activities and merit badges. Alexa has guided young scouts through rank advancement at Rainbow Scout Reservation in Morris, Ill. for two consecutive summers. Alexa also had the privilege of attending National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia in July. Both are in the Order of the Arrow – Scouts BSA honor society.

Adult leader weighs in

“Hailey and Alexa are two very determined young women. Watching them earn the rank of Eagle Scout has been remarkable,” said Vanessa Clohessy, Scoutmaster Emeritus for BSA Troop 117G. “It is an extraordinary achievement. Only about five percent of all scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout.”

Hailey graduated from Glenbard South High School and is in her first year at Michigan State University majoring in biology toward a career as a surgeon. Alexa is a senior at York High School and plans to attend college to study elementary education.

“Hailey and Alexa, together with the four previous female Eagle Scouts from Troop 117G serve as role models and an inspiration for the other scouts in the troop who are on the path to Eagle,” said Clohessy. “It was a joy, an honor, and a privilege to serve as a scoutmaster for the first, and so far, only girl troop in Elmhurst and surrounding suburbs.”

More about Troop 117G

Founded in February 2019, Troop 117G has girls from many communities, including Elmhurst, Villa Park, Lombard, Glen Ellyn and Wheaton. The troop has grown to 24 scouts and currently is led by Scoutmaster Heather Knight.

Troop 117G is the sister troop to longstanding Elmhurst Troop 117B (with more than 40 boys), led by Scoutmaster Greg Gley. Troop 117 (B and G) is a Three Fires Council unit affiliated with Christ United Methodist Church in Elmhurst and share the same parent committee led by committee chair John Fabry.  The committee strives to provide broad options for Scout families.  In addition to the Troops for the girls and the boys ages 10-17, the committee also oversees Venture Crew 711, led by Crew advisor Jim Clohessy, with 15 boys and girls ages 14-20 focused on high-adventure outings.  For more information on their programs, visit ElmhurstScouts.org.