Two M-A grads achieve rank of Eagle Scout
Scouting Troop 222 of Menlo Park hosted a National Eagle Court of Honor yesterday for two Scouts who have recently achieved the rank of Eagle, the highest and most distinguished rank of the BSA organization.
Ron Freeman from Troop 222 and Jayna Chua from Troop 4064 join just the six percent of Scouts completing the entire scouting journey and attaining Eagle rank.
To reach Eagle, a scout must progress through seven ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle), develop skills in 14 different subcategories including Aquatics, Outdoor Ethics, and Tools, hold leadership positions, and pass six Boards of Review. The Scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, 14 that are specifically required, such as Camping, First Aid, and Personal Management. In addition, the Scout must perform an Eagle service project that benefits a community organization.
“We are incredibly proud of these Eagle Scouts,” said Scoutmaster Kristine De Lisle. “They both were active in scouting at a challenging time in 2019 and 2020 when most campouts were canceled and meetings went virtual for a year, with further continued impacts into 2022. It was so much harder to complete requirements, but they both did it. Additionally, they provided an excellent example of persistence in the face of adversity to the rest of the troop. It has been such an honor to watch them mature into young adults. I know they will both make the world a better place.”
Ron Freeman is a fourth-generation Eagle Scout. Through the BSA program, he held the leadership positions of Troop Librarian and Webmaster. Earning the Electronics and Radio Merit Badges inspired Ron to become the electronics and machining technical lead on the Menlo-Atherton High School Robotics team, to embark on science fair projects that earned awards at the local, regional, and state level, and to earn an FCC Amateur Radio General Class License.
Working with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Ron’s Eagle Service Project organized and trained his neighborhood in disaster preparedness. Ron created an off-grid emergency ham radio shack, prepared and distributed training materials and FRS radios, trained elderly neighbors on Zoom technology, and held training and practice sessions.
Outside of scouting, Ron was awarded the 2022-23 Menlo-Atherton High School Faculty Departmental Award for Physical Science for his role as a physics tutor and teaching assistant. Ron graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School in June and will attend Caltech in the fall, where he will be studying electrical engineering and continue to volunteer in the community.
Jayna Chua joined Scouts in 2019, the first year the BSA organization admitted girls into the program. Although registered with Troop 4064, Jayna participated in Troop 222 for her advancement. Her leadership roles included Den Chief for Pack 565, Webmaster, and Patrol Leader at Camp Chawanakee, where she was awarded the Pioneer Hiker Award.
For her Eagle Service Project, Jayna designed and executed the construction of an educational trellis planter for the City of Menlo Park’s Library. It will be used as part of the educational programs offered by the library to support the children’s program and the seed lending library program. It also further enhances the aesthetic of the back patio for all to enjoy.
Jayna also graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School in June. She will attend the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, majoring in business and planning to minor in computer science and music. Outside of scouting, Jayna won awards and participated in orchestras playing piano and cello, recently completing a performance tour in southern Italy with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded the 2022-23 Menlo-Atherton Faculty Department Award for Music for her role as principal cellist and her leadership within the M-A community.
Serving Menlo Park since 1953, the nondenominational, adventure and community service focused Troop 222 welcomes all youth ages 11 to 17 to participate, learn, and grow as individuals, citizens, and leaders. The Troop has approximately 60 Scouts who principally attend schools in Menlo Park and neighboring areas. For more information, please visit the website.