Jackson Sisters Earn Girl Scouts' Top Honor

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Two Payson sisters, Lisa Jackson, 18 and Tina Jackson, 16, will be presented the top honors young women in Girl Scouts can earn this week.

"Fewer than one percent of all the girls in Girl Scouts get this award," said Diane Jackson, neighborhood manager for the Payson Girl Scout organization.

The young ladies will each be given Gold Awards, Girl Scouting's equivalent of Boy Scouting's Eagle Award.

The only other young woman to win the Gold Award was Alexandra Evans, who was the first in Payson to receive it. Evans was presented her award by former Payson Mayor Ray Schum.

The awards were presented at a bridging ceremony on May 27 at the cafeteria of Payson Elementary School. Mayor Ken Murphy presented the Jackson sisters with their awards.

To apply for participation in the award program, the young women had to document their leadership skills, community service, complete the Girl Scout Challenge -- a detailed, life planning exercise addressing health, career, family etc., over a various period of years -- and acquire four interest patches associated with their Gold Award project.

The applicants must also go through an interview before they are given permission to pursue their award project.

If given the go-ahead, they must devote a minimum of 50 hours of work on the project, Diane said. A photographic record of the steps involved must be made. Then the Gold Award consultant reviews it and submits the project record to the state council.

Once the council reviews the work, it then conducts another interview with the applicant.

"The questions are tough," Diane said.

Lisa's project took 78 hours total, with 65 of those the time she put into it. Tina's project involved 128 hours, and of those, she devoted 80 hours.

Lisa refurbished 45 music stands for the Payson High School music department, cleaning and painting them, plus restoring the Longhorn logo on each stand.

She also painted two double doors, putting a music mural on one side and a music decoupage on the interior.

Tina painted 1,000 square feet of slump block at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Both girls had help with the projects, which is allowed under the rules of the program, Diane said.

Lisa and Tina were born in upstate New York, but grew up in Payson. Lisa has been in Girl Scouts for 13 years and Tina has been a participant for 12 years.

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