Girl Scouts distribute Stay & Play sports lockers around Itasca

Eighth grade members of Itasca Girl Scout Troop 55191 recently won a Silver award by building and filling Stay & Play sports lockers, intended to help other kids enjoy sports and have fun at Itasca Park District facilities.

Donated and store-bought sports equipment fills the Stay & Play sports lockers distributed to the Itasca Park District and Franzen Intermediate School. Courtesy of Denise Gogola

The lockers, which are filled with donated and store-bought equipment, will be placed at the Itasca Park District and behind. Franzen Intermediate school in Itasca.

Under the guidance of Matt Alexander of the Itasca Park District, the Scouts developed a plan to design the lockers, shop for materials and build them. The idea of the lockers (two were constructed) is based on a trust-return policy - when borrowers are done playing with the equipment, they return it, so someone else can reap its rewards.

From left, Allison Gogola, Olivia Zablotny, Arianna Messick and Sophia Gurrola, all members of Girl Scout Troop 55191 from Itasca, work on their Stay & Play sports lockers, a project for which they won a Silver award. Courtesy of Denise Gogola

Some of the equipment was donated, while other items were purchased by the Girl Scouts through money they raised. They plan to check the boxes quarterly to see if any supplies need replacing, as they have plenty of backup equipment.

The girls also put together two mesh bags filled with water toys for the Itasca Waterpark and three nature backpacks loaded with things related to birds and bugs to be placed at the Springbrook Nature Center.

From left, Olivia Zablotny, 13; Arianna Messick, 14; Allison Gogola, 14; Lily Kent, 14; and Sophia Gurrola, 13, of Girl Scout Troop 55191 from Itasca display the award-winning Stay & Play sports lockers they created. Courtesy of Denise Gogola

“Building sports lockers means we are giving kids more opportunities to be more active and play sports and that makes me happy,” said Girl Scout Sophia Gurrola, 13.

“It was a great experience and I hope the community will enjoys our creations,” said Girl Scout Allison Gogola, 14.

The girls presented their final project and handed in all materials at an Itasca Park District board meeting and were awarded their Silver Award Pin.

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