Chesterton Girl Scout Sara Filipek has earned the highest honor in Girl
Scouting: the Gold Award, for her design of a concussion prevention program
for local coaches.
Among other things, Filipek--who has sustained a concussion
herself--organized with her physical therapist a concussion education and
management clinic attended by some 200 athletic coaches from Northwest
In addition, Filipek was instrumental in the installation of safety mats at
Westchester Intermediate School, hung from the gym’s concrete walls to
protect basketball players.
Filipek also authored a brochure on concussions to be linked to the websites
of the Trojan Basketball Club and the Northwest Indiana Soccer League. That
brochure--Concussion Awareness and Education--lists
the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome; provides a number of on-field
cognitive testing questions to be asked of potential concussion patients
immediately after the injury; and discusses the dangers of the cumulative
effects of repeated concussions.
“I feel the more people who are aware of concussion and proper concussion
management, the more likely the youth will be protected from the negative
consequences of mismanagement of these concussions,” Filipek wrote in her
final Gold Award report. “I cannot prevent concussions but I can continue to
be an advocate on the proper management of them when they happen.”
In March, Filipek joined the executive director of Girl Scouts of the USA,
Anna Maria, Chavez, for a leadership breakfast on Capitol Hill in
Washington, D.C., entitled “Minting Girl Scouts into the Next Century of
“As a Gold Award recipient, you have earned the highest achievement in Girl
Scouting, demonstrating extraordinary leadership through a remarkable
project that has made a sustainable impact in your community,” Chavez wrote
in a letter to Filipek after the leadership breakfast.