Huntley Girl Scouts honor veterans
By Jeanie Mayer For The Courier-News August 7, 2011 7:18PM
Girl Scouts from Troop 828 of Huntley (from left) Emily McCaskey, Claire Lenihan, Hailey Gaspari, Delaney Hajek, McKenzie Krich, Autumn Kenney, Lexi Sukfa, Katelyn Territo, Paige DiNardo and Kayla Romero, all age 11, have spent three years mapping the Huntley Cemetery highlighting veterans' graves so American flags can be placed on them each Memorial Day without any being missed. August 1, 2011 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 2, 2011 4:26PM
HUNTLEY — Mention of the Girl Scouts organization often elicits warm thoughts of campfires and delightful confectionery treats.
But today’s Girl Scouts are about much more than selling cookies and singing songs around the campfire.
Proof of this was evidenced at a recent Huntley Village Board meeting when Girl Scout Troop 828 presented the village with a map of the Huntley Cemetery, detailing the final resting places of every veteran interred there. The map also detailed in which war each veteran served and their dates of service. Veterans are buried in 146 of the 225 grave sites at the cemetery.
Girl Scout Troop leader Carolyn Krich said the project was a labor that took the girls nearly three years to complete. She said it took a total of 25 hours just to walk the rows of graves compiling the data.
“The Girl Scouts place American flags on the headstones of veterans each Memorial Day,” Krich said. “We have never had a way of knowing which headstones might have been overlooked. By having this map, we feel confident no veteran will ever be missed.”
Krich’s 11-year-old daughter, McKenzie, has been in Scouting for the past six years. She is a junior-level Scout and was a part of the project that earned the girls their Bronze Award.
“I helped with walking around the cemetery finding the veterans’ graves. If they weren’t already on our list, we would add them,” McKenzie said.
“We did this so the families will know their veterans are appreciated in some way and to show respect for the cemetery.”
Service projects such as the cemetery map are part of the overall Girl Scout program, but the girls also use their energy to have fun.
Right now, the troop is busy collecting empty pop cans as a fundraiser to earn money for an overnight camping trip. McKenzie said she enjoys the Scouts and hopes to be a part of it throughout high school.
“It’s fun to see friends and work together as a team to get things done,” she said.
Not only did the girls present the map to the village and cemetery boards, they also have received requests from the American Legion Hall and the Huntley Historical Society for copies of these important records.
“This has been a wonderful project for the girls,” Krich said. “I am very proud of them and their hard work.”