For the past year every few months, Riverside-Brookfield High School student Angelina “Andie” Krug rose early, got dressed up, took the train downtown and walked into a high-rise Loop office building to attend a high-powered board meeting.
Since October of 2011, Krug, who is a senior at RBHS, has served as a member of the board of directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago Area and Northwest Indiana.
Krug, whose one-year term on the board ends Sept. 30, is one of six Girl Scouts who are chosen each year to serve on the board of a council that manages the affairs of 87,000 Girl Scouts in six Illinois and four Indiana counties.
She and the five other Girl Scouts on the board do not cast votes, but they represent the views and concerns of scouts to the 29 adults that make up the board, said Julie Somogyi, the director of integrated marketing and communication for the council.
At first it was a little scary for Krug to sit on a board filled with high-powered businesswomen.
“When I started on the board it was very intimidating,” Krug said.
But she began to feel more comfortable at the board table. She says that serving on the board has given her more confidence and focus.
“The experience has been really inspirational,” Krug said. “It’s made me definitely want to be more involved. I had no idea of what I wanted to do, but it kind of focused me, honestly, on being more successful. Being around these women, it’s like I want to be one of these women.”
One of the adult members of the Girl Scout board is Riverside resident Karen Layng, who also serves as a co-troop leader of Krug’s Troop 4590. Layng is a trial attorney and partner in the Chicago law firm of Vedder Price.
Layng has become a role model for Krug, who is now thinking about becoming a lawyer herself.
Layng has been equally impressed with Krug.
“Andie is an exceptional, polished and very well-spoken young lady,” Layng said. “She is prepared for meetings, comes with her own ideas and take, and questions that are always, I think, well prepared, spoken in a manner that is not only heart felt, but are, I think, strategic.”
Layng said that Krug has pushed the Girl Scouts to communicate with girls in more up-to-date ways, using Facebook and other 21st-century communication tools.
“She pushes us to think out of the box and has a youthful, technology sort of bent,” said Layng.
Krug was one of three girls in her troop who were finalists for a position on the board, the others being Shannon Layng and Danielle Zigulich. Krug said that Zigulich was especially helpful in helping her prepare for her interview with board members.
She joined Central School Troop 4590 as a Brownie when she was a first-grader there.
“I loved it from the start,” Krug said. “Everybody in my grade was in Girl Scouts. It was a crazy big group.”
The troop leaders are Layng, Cathy Louthen and Deborah Gardiner.
Thirteen girls, now all seniors in high school, remain. The girls in Troop 4540 now attend four different high schools, but remain close friends.
Many girls drop out of Girl Scouts when they are in middle school when Girl Scouts often is thought of as uncool or nerdy.
But Krug says that she was never really tempted to quit. For one thing, she believes it will give her a leg up in the college application process.
And she thinks about all the fun she has had.
Three years ago Troop 4590 went on a two-week summer trip to London and Paris. They stayed at a Girl Scout chalet in London and met scouts from all over.
The troop goes skiing once a year. They plant trees in Riverside, and they raise money by selling pop at Riverside’s summer cruise nights.
“[The girls] would argue that there’s nothing cooler than Girl Scouts, but you’ve got to get by the fact that in middle school you wear a vest and badges and a uniform,” said Layng.
Krug doesn’t have many badges on her vest, even though she has earned many through the years. She just hasn’t gotten around to sewing them on.
And while she has sold Girl Scout Cookies for a long time, she is not the best in her troop.
“There is no competition when Abby Louthen is in your troop,” said Krug. “She’d come back with like 500 boxes and be like, ‘Ah, no big deal.'”
Within the troop Krug is known for keeping everybody laughing.
“I enjoy her humor immensely,” Gardiner said. “She’s very witty and she keeps us all grounded.”
In addition to being a Girl Scout, Krug has served as the president of her class at RBHS for all four years. When she ran for class president as a freshman, she gave her speech in the form of a rap. A talented singer, as a sophomore she won the lead in the school musical, playing Dorothy in The Wiz. She was on the swim team for two years and has played water polo every year.
Troop 4590 has been an especially accomplished Girl Scout troop.
“Every girl in our troop is super involved,” Krug said.
Krug, like many other girls in her troop is working on her Gold Award, the Girl Scout equivalent to Eagle Scout.
And, she’s happy that she stayed with Girl Scouts.
“It’s definitely taught me commitment,” Krug says, “how to commit to something and follow through.”