Girl Scout Lauren Auster, who will be a Lake Zurich High School senior, received the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is comparable to Eagle Scout honors for Boy Scouts.
Auster painted a set of three murals at the Lake Zurich Park and Recreation Department's Buffalo Creek Building this year. She was recognized by Lake Zurich Village President Suzanne Branding and the village board, Monday night.
"Lauren is a great Girl Scout. She's enthusiastic and a go getter," said Suzy Marshalla, her scout leader.
In a letter, Lauren wrote of how important it was for her to do something for children and to be a good influence for younger Girl Scouts.
Here is her story:
The murals stood out to me as a project I would like to address because of my own personal interests and the needs of the community. Initially, when I introduced a project to the Lake Zurich Park and Recreation Department, I had a different idea that involved art as well (painting a mural at a local park). I enjoy art and other recreational activities and my goal was to inspire others to beautify and become active in their community.
Instead, the Lake Zurich Park and Recreation Department proposed that I paint murals in the Buffalo Creek Building. This was a project they had discussed and I was happy to accept because I was looking forward to working on project that involved art, which is one of the things I am very passionate about. Furthermore, I became very excited about this project because of the influence it would have on children in my community. I have three little brothers, I give piano lessons to children, I work with several younger Girl Scouts at camp, and I truly enjoy helping younger children learn, grow, and have fun.
In my opinion, painting murals in a building that is used for pre-school and dance classes is one of the best ways to positively influence a community. As they always say, the children of today are the future of tomorrow. This project allowed me to influence children in a positive way that will promote learning and creativity.
Also, my project had an alternative purpose that I did not fully realize until I began painting. One day while I was working on the murals, several dance and pre-school classes were in session and a young girl I knew from Girl Scout Camp walked up to me. First, she admired the mural I was painting, but then she told me something that I will never forget. She told me that she wanted to be like me and paint murals for her own Gold Award. This statement struck me because, as a Girl Scout, I know that participation is very low once girls reach middle and high school. I was touched that I had inspired another girl to continue in scouting. Girl Scouts is very important to me and I believe that this project helped me show how scouts can impact their communities and the people around them.
Furthermore, I would like to thank the following people for their support and generous donations. The Lake Zurich Park and Recreation Department and Mr. Perkins were enthusiastic about my project and I enjoyed working with them. Also, I could not have finished the murals without the generous donations I received from Sherwin Williams, Home Depot, and several friends. My Girl Scout leader, Mrs. Suzy Marshalla, has guided me through Girl Scouts for many years and I appreciate all the hard work she has put towards helping with my project. Also, Mrs. Mangano, my Girl Scout advisor, was a big help guiding me through the Gold Award process. Finally, I would like to thank my mother and my boyfriend for painting with me almost every Sunday this school year. I appreciate all their hard work and especially their patience. Painting at the Buffalo Creek Building was an unforgettable experience and I hope that the children who attend classes there enjoy the murals as much as I enjoyed painting them.
Lauren Auster, Girl Scout