Rotary Golf 2024

Wylie female Eagle Scouts blaze trail

by | May 3, 2023 | Latest

Two girls in Wylie are the first to earn Eagle Scout honors through the Boy Scouts of America.

Gracie Roper, 18, and Brei Hall, 14, are two members of an all-girls Boy Scout troop, Troop 1869, with a total of seven members. Both girls took different paths into Scouting, but they have joined prestigious company — around 2.5% of Eagle Scouts are women — by earning the highest possible honor.

Gracie said she first got into Scouting when she joined a Crew in 2017 never thinking about becoming an Eagle Scout. Crew members differ from traditional Scouts because they focus more on high adventure elements compared to progressing through merit badges.

“I really just wanted to have some fun with my friends,” Gracie said. “In 2020, we were like, ‘we should make our own troop so that way we could earn our Eagles.’ We dissolved the Crew into a troop and now we have girls earning Eagles.”

Brei first got into Scouting when she joined the newly formed Troop 1869 with Scoutmaster Ben Roper in 2020.

The pathway for Gracie, Brei and other girls hoping to become involved with Boy Scouts opened in 2017, when the national organization allowed women to join its ranks.

Brei Hall, left, and Gracie Roper in their scouting uniforms. The two are the first female Eagle Scouts in Wylie and are part of Troop 1869, an all-girl Boy Scout Troop.
Brei Hall, left, and Gracie Roper in their scouting uniforms. The two are the first female Eagle Scouts in Wylie and are part of Troop 1869, an all-girl Boy Scout Troop.

Gracie said she still has to correct people who assume she is a Girl Scout when she tells them she is in Scouting. 

“I tell them that it’s not Girl Scouts, I’m actually working toward my Eagle,” Gracie said.

Brei said Girl Scouts is fun, but being a Boy Scout opens opportunities for more adventurous activities.

“It is so much more fun to talk about it, explain what you do and explain all the cool opportunities you get to have,” Brei said. 

Additionally, she added that there are times some of the boys underestimate the capabilities of the girls at a campsite.

“You turn around and show them that you can do just as many cool, sportsy and adventurous things,” Brei said.

Gracie added that girls tend to be the best at shooting in archery or tying knots.

“We’ve won a few competitions against the boys,” Gracie said. “It’s pretty fun.”

For their projects, Gracie hosted a Pinewood Derby at the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas while Brei helped construct a bridge at the disc golf course at Oncor Park.

Gracie Roper hosted a Pinewood Derby at the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas for her Eagle Scout project.

Gracie said her project took premade cars for children to race, but there was also a component of teaching patients to make their own vehicles for the race that is a staple of Scouting. It was important to show them something they could do, she added.

“For some of the kids that could not build their own cars, we had extras so that they could still feel included,” Gracie said. “The point of it was to show them things they can do because a lot of kids at Scottish Rite are kind of limited physically. It was a creative outlet for some of them and a way to take a break from their day.”

Brei said the project had a personal connection for her because she has played disc golf at Oncor Park a few times, noting a potential safety hazard for errant discs.

“I noticed that when you throw it and it gets lost in the woods, there’s poison ivy there and it can be very difficult to go and retrieve your frisbee,” Brei said. “We put together a bridge that’s easy and accessible to walk across and you don’t have to worry about tripping and getting hurt. It also adds a really nice touch to the park.”

Brei Hall built a bridge at Oncor Disc Golf Park in Wylie to earn her Eagle Scout honors.

She added that the project took her a few months to complete, including gathering building materials and organizing a schedule. Gracie said the hardest part for her was organizing the project after she found the idea online.

“I contacted the development officer of Scottish Rite Hospital and she thought it was a great idea,” Gracie said. “We worked together for a couple of months and found the best way to make the cars. She also took me in and showed me the best spot to host it.”

On the day of the event, it was a “huge success,” said Gracie.

The project also fits in with a core tenet of Scouting, which is making a positive impact on the community while having fun along the way.

“Scouting is a fun activity; something that you can work for and that means so much at the end,” Brei said. “It can mean a lot to somebody or the community, and it instills a lot of traits you can use throughout your life.”

Gracie, who appeared on Good Morning Texas April 28, said that she and other Scouts are trying to prepare people to be successful.

“Scouting is not just camping and survival skills, it’s also budgeting, life skills, physical fitness and your mental health,” Gracie said. 

With two out of the seven Scouts earning Eagle Scout honors, the goal is to help the other girls in the troop reach their own Scouting goals, said Brei. Troop 1869 is also close-knit, often completing tasks and adventures together.

“One thing that I really enjoy is that we’re not just on a personal [quest], but that we’re all trying to earn it together,” Brei said. “Whenever we had our meetings, we went through all the different things together, got merit badges together and planned out camps together so we could progressively work toward this end goal.”

To support local journalism and articles such as this, subscribe to The Wylie News.

Subscribe RH Love

0 Comments

Order photos

Related News

Collin County no stranger to severe storms

Collin County no stranger to severe storms

The tornado that hit Copeville and other parts of Collin County in 2015 did extensive damage. File Art The Federal Emergency Management Agency predicts Collin County has a high risk of tornadoes this year, but that’s nothing new. For starters, more tornadoes have been...

read more
Community discusses disputed development

Community discusses disputed development

Volunteers of Communities & Creeks United hand out yard signs opposing a high density development between Parker and Murphy. Bob Wieland/C&S Media  There’s no longer any question as to who is building a densely packed housing community just west of Southfork...

read more
Police chief talks equipment, personnel requests

Police chief talks equipment, personnel requests

Police Chief Anthony Henderson provided an overview of the department’s proposed five-year plan and talked about staffing issues at a city council work session last week. The police department recently earned the Texas Police Chiefs Best Practices Accreditation, said...

read more
Indian dancers entertain, teach library crowd

Indian dancers entertain, teach library crowd

Tejas Dance students Shrujana Kumar and Mahi Devappa performing at Smith Library Thursday, March 14. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News Parents and children showed up at the Smith Public Library last week to watch and learn about classical Indian dance. ...

read more
Plan, prepare now for tornado season

Plan, prepare now for tornado season

This Farmersville mobile home landed on CR 697 due to straight line winds in eastern Collin County in 2019. Courtesy Farmersville FD The three-month Texas tornado “season” begins in April and a new analysis ranks Collin County near the top of the list of 100 most...

read more
Experts discuss fentanyl at WISD event

Experts discuss fentanyl at WISD event

Wylie Police Detective Joshua Rountree, right,shows parents what fentanyl looks like at last week’s seminar held at Burnett Junior High. Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News Wylie ISD families and community members learned of the dangers of fentanyl, vaping and social media...

read more
Mural will be preserved

Mural will be preserved

Artist Roger Nitz at the mural he painted in 2012 in downtown Wylie facing Olde City Park. The mural, located at 104 S. Ballard Ave., is painted on a building that will soon be razed.  Jeremy Hallock/The Wylie News The mural that has been welcoming visitors at the...

read more
House members helped by governor

House members helped by governor

Three Texas House members from Collin County apparently survived Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attempt to punish them for supporting his impeachment. Another has been forced into a GOP primary runoff with two Paxton-backed challengers. Paxton, who was acquitted by the...

read more
NASA engineer from Wylie wins prestigious award

NASA engineer from Wylie wins prestigious award

Nahum Alem received the Modern-Day Technology Leader Award at the 2024 BEYA STEM Digital Twin Experience (DTX) Conference held in Baltimore last month. Courtesy art An aerospace engineer from Wylie has won one of the industry’s most important honors in science,...

read more
Order photos