Oak Lawn girls going for Gold – Chicago Tribune

Sara Mason, a student at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, is collecting soccer gear for kids in need and making a video about good sportsmanship aimed at parents.

Elizabeth Travnik is starting a knitting club at her high school, Marist, in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community.

And Shelby Lerner, who attends Mother McAuley High School, also in Mount Greenwood, is creating a flip book that camp counselors can consult for ideas on songs, games and other activities.

The girls have been friends and members of the same Oak Lawn Girl Scout troop since first grade. Now the high school juniors have their sights set on earning the organization’s highest achievement, the Gold Award.

The pursuit is remarkable on two levels: Only 5 to 6 percent of Girl Scouts eligible nationwide end up earning the Gold each year, and even fewer do it while enrolled in the same troop as another honoree.

There are 54,000 girls across 245 communities involved in Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, said Julie Somogyi, vice president of member and mission engagement for that council. Of those, between 50 and 80 this year will earn the top honor, which requires them to demonstrate leadership and to benefit their community in some way, she said.

The Oak Lawn girls’ dedication and perseverance are a testimony to their personal drive and their leader’s positive influence, Somogyi said.