Green Oaks Girl Scout's last project is gift for firefighters
With the end of her lifelong participation in Girl Scouts on the horizon, Nora Tucker was looking for an icing-on-the cake project last summer to earn a Gold Award, the organization's highest achievement.
A retired firefighter and family friend suggested she create baggo and giant Jenga games for on-duty firefighters.
"He said often these firefighters are very stressed out and this is a good way for them to have something fun to do," said Nora, a 17-year-old Libertyville High School senior who has been a member of Troop 40632 since she was in kindergarten.
On Friday, Nora and her mother, Eileen, delivered three sets of each game to Libertyville Fire Department headquarters, where one set will stay and the rest be delivered to two other stations.
"This is great for us, but more for her. She's doing something to benefit us," Deputy Fire Chief Mike Pakosta said.
Firefighters are on duty 24 hours each shift, and even when there is down time it's not all calm, Pakosta said. The department responds to about 4,000 calls per year.
"You're always anticipating, so things like this are great and will be put to good use," he added.
In May, Nora contacted local fire departments to see if they would be interested. Besides the three Libertyville locations, she made sets for fire stations in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Knollwood.
The sets were built with plywood and 2-by-4s. Dozens of little bags filled with plastic pellets were part of the project.
"I've been sitting at the sewing machine awhile," she joked.
Making the games took about 20 hours with volunteer help. Recruiting help is a key part of the process, as an example of leadership.
"I really wanted to earn my Gold Award because I thought it would be a great way to help the community," Nora said.
Nora will make a final report to the Scout council and face an interview before receiving a certificate and pin to mark the achievement.