Welcome to GSCO Blog

 

Girl Scouts can do anything and everything they set their hearts and minds to! You’ll find it all here.  From members sharing their adventures to Highest Award honorees describing their projects and news from council, cookie updates, travel opportunities, volunteer tips and much, much more.

Don’t forget the GSCO Classifieds too! Looking for Girl Scout materials or have some to sell or share, browse the Classifieds. Have a service to offer or need an expert for your next troop meeting, place an ad.

Creating a Family Agreement

Submitted by GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist Allison Ellington

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

We’ve all heard the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a mother and a part of the GSUSA sisterhood, I couldn’t agree more. I love the fact that our Girl Scouts are around so many positive influences. I’ve noticed the troops that seem to function the best are the ones that have many different family members involved in helping with the troop. There are so many ways to get involved, but we’ve heard troop volunteers say that it’s hard to ask for help and some don’t know what to ask for. On the flip side, we’ve heard families tell us they want to help, but leaders never ask for it or don’t have something for the adults to do when they do offer. GSCO recommends a family meeting to start the year off on the right foot. There are some great details on how to have one of these meetings, who to include, and what to cover in our newly released Volunteer Essentials. A parent/guardian/family meeting, or a meeting of your friends-and-family network (as encouraged in many of the leadership Journeys), is a chance for you to get to know the families of the girls in your group. This is also a time to get a Family Agreement in writing. Below is a great example of one you can use with your troop, but feel free to customize it to your needs. If you have any questions about the family involvement meeting or creating a group agreement, please reach out to your volunteer support specialist. Don’t know who that is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Group Agreement Example

 

Girl Scouts invited to Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Exhibit, Special Presentation

Girl Scouts are invited to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame exhibit and a special presentation August 26, 2017 at the Museum of the West in Grand Junction. M.L. Hanson, CWHF founder, will present Grit & Grace: Great Colorado Women featuring stories of amazing Colorado women in the exhibit.

Girl Scouts can complete a self-guided tour and earn a special Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Girl Scout patch. More than 30 women in the exhibit are Girl Scout Women of Distinction, so come learn about how these amazing Girl Scouts influenced our great state and made history.

Date: Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017

Schedule:
• 2 p.m. – Grit & Grace presentation
• 3 p.m. – Special tour of the exhibit
• 4 p.m. – Lemonade reception

Registration: Interested Girl Scouts and their families can plan to attend Hanson’s presentation on the 26th. No pre-registration is needed.

Cost: Free

Hanson’s Grit & Grace presentation will introduce the inspiring stories of extraordinary women who have been inducted into the CWHF. Their groundbreaking accomplishments, many times overcoming difficult challenges, have been amazing and contributed to enhancing diverse fields of endeavor from the arts and culture and to science and technology. Hanson’s lecture begins at 2 p.m. at the Whitman Education Center, Museums of the West, directly followed at 3 p.m. by a special tour of the full exhibit, and a cookie and lemonade reception at 4 p.m.

“Women of Excellence: The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Collection” opened in June in Western Colorado and will run through Labor Day weekend. “Women of Excellence” is a one-of-a-kind presentation of women who are true heroes and shining examples of the potential of all women. Featuring such inductees as Golda Meir, Madeleine Albright, Judy Collins, Baby Doe Tabor, Temple Grandin, and even Chipeta, the exhibition of 152 inductee portraits and profiles honors women who have significantly impacted Colorado, our country, and the world.

About the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame:
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was created to recognize, honor, and preserve the contributions of trailblazing Colorado women. Both historical and contemporary women have shared foresight, vision, and accomplishment, but lacked a forum for recognition. Since 1985, the Hall has inducted 152 extraordinary women who have been outstanding in their field, elevated the status of women, helped open new frontiers for women, or inspired others by their example. Inductees include scientists, teachers, social activists, philanthropists, authors, business leaders, elected officials, and more. To learn more about inductees, 
visit: http://www.cogreatwomen.org/inductees/women-in-the-hall/

Volunteer Spotlight: Victoria Gigoux, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout volunteer?

Eight years

How long have you been a member of the MCC?

Three years

What inspired you to join MCC?

I was interested in staying connected and having a voice representing the Western Slope.

What have you learned through being a part of this committee?

I’ve learned that my voice does matter. I feel some of the things I have said and the subcommittees I have been a part of have helped shape the Girl Scout experience for both girls and volunteers.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other GSCO volunteers?

It’s a fulfilling way to keep your finger on the pulse of where GSCO is going and have a voice that might impact that direction

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a full-time-working, mother of three girls; all Girl Scouts. I’ve been married to my husband, Gerald, since 2001.  We live in Grand Junction with our kids, dog, turtle, hamster, chickens, and turkeys and we also board two horses.  Outside of this craziness, I lead two multi-level Girl Scout troops, totaling around 50 girls each year from K-9th. I am a member of the Mesa County Service Unit leadership team and help with the President’s Council , in addition to being on the MCC and a rep to the board.  Outside of Girl Scouts, I volunteer for my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, as Finance Advisor for our collegiate chapter at CU and as a Province Chair supporting all alumnae chapters in five states, including Colorado.  In my “free” time, I love to read, cook and travel.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

G.I.R.L. Stories: I am a go-getter and leader

Submitted by Katie H., G.I.R.L.  Media Star

Metro Denver

Northglenn

Girl Scouts inspires girls to become go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders.  Before I was a Girl Scout, I was painfully shy and meeting my troop was scary for me.  Slowly, I got more comfortable and made great friends.  During my first year, I didn’t want to sell Girl Scout Cookies, but now, in my seventh year, I’m one of the Top 100 Sellers in the state!  I set very high goals and do whatever it takes to reach them and preferably go higher than my original goal.  Girl Scouts has helped me become a go-getter through selling cookies.

Girl Scouts has also helped me become a leader.  That was very good for me because I eventually needed it. When I was 10-years-old, my mom, who has Type 1 Diabetes, fell out of bed, and I came to make sure she was okay.  She was having an insulin reaction.  My mom had always told us what to do, so I was prepared.  I called 911 because I knew panicking wouldn’t help.  When the paramedics arrived, I took my brother to his room and helped him calm down and feel safe.  It took leadership skills to calm a five-year-old boy, whose mother was sick.  In our world, it helps to have these qualities so we can follow the Girl Scout Law and make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts has definitely helped me be the person I am now.  I hope my story inspires you to become a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader, G.I.R.L. for short.  Girl Scouts has shaped me, and it can shape you too.

How has Girl Scouts helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, or leader)? Share your Girl Scout story and photos using the Share Your Stories form.

Woman of Distinction Barbara Winter wins Accolade Award

Barbara Winter, Executive Vice President at Ent Credit Union, won the Outstanding Business Woman in Southern Colorado Award, given by the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, at the annual Accolades Awards Ceremony in Colorado Springs. Barbara Winter is also a GSCO Woman of Distinction for the Pikes Peak region from 2013. Barbara was honored for her business acumen working with community partners, especially with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where Ent Credit Union has contributed to a major arts and entertainment building being erected on the west end of the campus. In addition to her working with the business community, Barbara also serves on the Discover Goodwill Colorado Springs board, serves on the board of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class at UCCS, and Board Member Emeritus with the Pikes Peak Council of Boy Scouts of America, along with numerous past board positions with nonprofits throughout the Pikes Peak Area.

Volunteer View: August 2017

Leadership Summits set this fall

Connect with other volunteers at our upcoming Leadership Summits, and take a variety of leadership development and enrichment classes for new and experienced leaders, such as: Girl Scout History and Traditions Wide Game; Volunteer Toolkit – New Journeys and Badges; Global Girl Scouting; Clique-Proofing Your Troop, as well as essential Program level 101’s – Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Older Girls; and GS 201 – Take it to the Next Level – Girl Led!

Classes will also be offered for older girls – Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors – and leaders of older girl troops. Sessions include Gold Award, Highest Awards & Take Action, Extended Trips, Money-Earning Opportunities for Older Girls, and more. Connect with other Girl Scouts in grades 6-12 at these exciting events! Participants will enjoy a catered lunch with a chance to share ideas with fellow leaders.

Follow the registration links below to sign up for Leadership Summits now, and find out more about classes offered at each event. We can’t wait to see you there!

*(Note: this location was originally scheduled in Fort Collins but has moved to Longmont)

Fall Product Program Begins Sept. 23

The Girl Scouts Fall Product Program is a great way for troops to earn start-up money for the year. All troops receive 13% of their magazine orders as troop proceeds, plus $1/item for nuts and chocolates. Don’t forget your Troop ACH form must be filed to participate.  Fall Program materials will be shipped directly to troops and trainings for fall sale service unit managers will be in early September.

Learn more: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/cookies/fall-sale.html

S’mores Club is back

The S’mores Club is back for girls and troops that rock both the Fall Product and the Girl Scout Cookie programs.

If a girl sells 15 items online during the 2017 Fall Product Program and 300 packages during the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program she will receive an exclusive Girl Scout designed sterling silver PANDORA bracelet with uniquely created charms and a personalized S’mores Club Avatar Patch.

If a troop has $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program, they will receive an exclusive booth selection during the 2018 Cookie Program. If they then also have a 300 package per girl selling average during the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program the troop fall sale manager and troop cookie manager will each receive an exclusive Girl Scout designed Sterling Silver PANDORA bracelet with uniquely created charms and a personalized S’mores Club Avatar Patch.

Get outdoors with GSCO

Outdoor Adventure Club single-event passes open 30 days prior to the event, if space is available. Register here: https://girlscoutsco.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App

Camp registration opens this upcoming year on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m., mark your calendar now!

Reserve properties up to 365 days in advance here. If your troop has not planned that far out, watch the GSCO Facebook page for last minute cancellations. Reserve a property herehttp://girlscoutsofcolorado.checkfront.com/reserve/

Equipment: You can also reserve limited equipment for your outing from the Denver office at this link: Reserve equipment: http://girlscoutsofcolorado.checkfront.com/reserve/

Reminders:

  • Girls bridging from Juniors to Cadettes or Cadettes to Seniors this summer have until Sept. 30 to submit online notification they have earned their Bronze or Silver Award.
  • Volunteer support specialists (VSS) are calling troop leaders through Sept. 15. VSS will be welcoming troops back for a new Girl Scout year. This is a wonderful time to update any troop information, ask questions, and get a lot of valuable information.
  • The Older Girl Advisory Board is recruiting new members (girls in grades 9-12 who provide feedback on projects including mentoring, program development, older girl engagement, and product sales). Applications are due Sept. 19. Apply today.
  • Find out more about travel with Girl Scouts and the Destinations program, attend this webinar.

Join Daisy’s Circle

Join Daisy’s Circle, Girl Scouts of Colorado’s monthly giving program, and get a $5 new member coupon to use at the Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop. Shop in person in Denver, by phone, or email.

Coupons are applied to in-stock merchandise only and cannot be transferred or copied.

This offer expires 10/15/2017, so join today!

It’s so easy to join! The bigger the circle, the bigger the impact!

Upcoming Events

Girl Scout Night with the Grand Junction Rockies
5 p.m. Aug. 27.  Girl Scouts in uniform get into the game free! Adults and other children can purchase tickets at the gate. Cheer on the Rockies as they take on the Orem Owlz. To help us set aside enough seats for our Girl Scout section, please let us know if you are interested here.

CU Football Scout Day – Boulder
12 p.m. Sept. 9.  Cost is $25/person. Girl Scouts get a special game patch. Cheer on the Buffs as they take on Texas State San Marcos. A portion of each ticket sold will be donated back to GSCO. Purchase tickets here and use promo code GIRLSCOUTS17.

Girl Scout Day with Colorado Rockies
6:10 p.m. Sept. 16. Tickets range from $16-$25. Come cheer on the Colorado Rockies as they take on the San Diego Padres! Girl Scouts get a fun event patch. A portion of each ticket sold through our GSCO promo code will be donated back to GSCO. The Rockies are having a great season, so tickets may go fast. Get yours today! Purchase tickets here and look for our GSCO promo code/link at the bottom of the page.

Gold Award Project: Entrepreneural development in Haiti Part Three

Submitted by Lilli T.

Mountain Communities

Breckenridge

Since last writing in regards to the progress on my Gold Award project, I have been in contact with several organizations in an effort to increase the sustainability of my Gold Award. My Gold Award focused on business education in Haiti and was a three-day business workshop for an 8th grade class on the western coast of Haiti. During the workshop the 15 students learned the five fundamental aspects of business through the design and production of a “little business.” The fundamentals that were focused on include: a business plan, loan, product design, advertising, and profit. After conducting this workshop in late May of this year, I have been in contact with 10 people who are connected with Haitian schools in hopes of extending the impact of my curriculum to multiple Haitian schools. I hope to either train people currently in Haiti or return to Haiti in the future to continue the use and development of the “Ti Biznis” program.

Policy changes for reserving GSCO properties

Due to the feedback we have received from a number of our troops and Girl Scout groups, as well as the high demand for property reservations that we currently have, a number of new policies will be implemented, effective August 15, 2017.  These policies are as follows:

  1. Service Units / troops / GS groups running a camp will need to reserve the entire property
  2. Service Units / troops / GS groups may not release any buildings/sites if they are running a camp and have the entire property reserved (see policy #1)
  3. Changes / transfers must be submitted 60 days prior to any reservation for all reservations
  4. Deposits are only transferred to a new reservation (may not roll to an existing reservation), and must be requested 60 days before the reservation
  5. Deposits may only be transferred to a new reservation once
  6. A 20% deposit is retained for any changes or cancellations requested less than 60 days before a reservation

What qualifies as a service unit/troop/GS group running a camp?

Any camp in which the host troop or service unit will be collecting a registration fee per girl, adult or troop falls under this category.  This includes money earning events for troops, or events in which multiple troops will be attending and pay a fee to attend the camp.  If a small group of troops is planning a trip to one of our properties, and no fees are collected, or groups are paying only for their facility, food service, or activities will not fall under this policy.

Why must service units/troops who are running a camp reserve the full property?

This policy allows for service units/troops to use shared spaces for programming, without affecting other troops/Girl Scout groups on property and their schedules.

What if I do not get the number of registrations that I need to pay for the full property?

We encourage service units or host troops to plan their camps around these policies as much as possible.  This may include:

  • Make the registration deadline for troops and/or girls no later than 60 days before their property reservation.
  • Decide the fees that will be charged per troop or group in order to make a successful camp
    • What is minimum amount of money that will need to be collected in order to pay for the full property reservation?
    • What additional fees will need to be covered, including food service, activities, and supplies?
    • What is the minimum number of registrations needed to run the camp?
  • If you need assistance deciding the amount that your service unit or troop should charge for registrations, please contact your volunteer support specialist.

What if not all sites or buildings are available for the dates that I would like to run a camp?

If not all sites are not available, service units or GS groups will need to find another date to run their camp.  Property reservations open 365 days in advance, and are first come, first served.  We recommend to groups who will be running a camp to plan as far in advance as possible.

Why do changes and transfers need to be requested 60 days before the reservation?

When a reservation is cancelled, or sites are released on short notice, it is difficult to reserve that site to another troop or GS group.  This often leaves our properties or sites unused, and does not show accurate availability to troops who are looking for available sites.  We want to provide all Girl Scouts the same opportunity to stay at one of our properties.

Why can’t I transfer my deposit to an existing reservation?

We want to discourage the use of our property reservation system as a way for troops or GS groups to hold a number of different dates while they decide which dates would work best for them.  To be a sister to every Girl Scout, please make a reservation  only if you believe your troop or GS group will be able to stay on the property at that time. If the troop’s plans change, please email the Property and Outdoor Program Administrator at property.reservations@gscolorado.org to change to a different date that will work for your troop, no later than 60 days before your reservation date.

If you have additional questions or comments, please contact the Property and Outdoor Program Administrator at property.reservations@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Emma Parkhurst, Centennial, “Serving students and families in need at Littleton High School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I revitalized a clothing closet in the basement of my high school (The Lions Cupboard) and helped create a space where students from my high school and a local elementary school were able to come in and obtain clothing and other necessary items. I started by cleaning out the cupboard and gathering all items that were not usable. I brought home clothing that had stains or spots and washed it. Then, I met with the social worker at a local elementary school in order to involve their population of students and families that could benefit. A clothing drive was carried out in my neighborhood and I acquired many summer clothing and hygiene items such as shorts, swim suits, sunscreen, and towels. Then, in late May of 2017, I hosted an open house in the cupboard for families to come in and shop for clothing for summer.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

Throughout this project, approximately eight families used the cupboard on a regular basis. During the open house that I hosted, two families came in and collected clothing items for the summer. I did not feel that I should inventory what each family took out, so that I could remain sensitive to the families coming in and create the most comfortable shopping experience for them.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

I plan to have The Lions Cupboard become the responsibility of Littleton High School’s NHS program. I have created a brief manual explaining all of the necessary steps in keeping The Lions Cupboard functional. I have spoken with the incoming officers of NHS and they have agreed to uphold this manual and follow all of the steps to keep The Lions Cupboard going and improve it as the years continue.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

There are communities all over the United States that cannot always provide everything that they need for their families. By publishing my project on the National Honor Society website, middle and high school students from all over the country will be able to read exactly what I did to restore and upkeep The Lions Cupboard at my school in the NHS project database. This could help other students start similar programs at their own schools and create a wider national impact.

What did you learn about yourself?

From this project, I learned that to make a change or a difference in the world, you can start in your own community. You do not have to go on an international mission trip, or try to organize a group to send funds to impoverished individuals in Africa. I started in my own high school, and from there I gathered a larger community that included a local elementary school as well as my own neighborhood. I am optimistic that my project will continue to grow over the years and help many more families.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

This project allowed me to become more empathetic, to set goals yet remain flexible, be able to take charge of something, communicate well with adults and my peers, realize that I needed help, lead a group of people to accomplish something, and understand the impact of my own actions. All of these qualities have allowed me to grow as a person and leader, and will help me become the best possible version of myself in the future.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I feel that earning the Gold Award was a good way to pull together everything that I have learned in Girl Scouts over the past 12 years.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

My Gold Award helped me become more aware of issues that start in my own community, and allowed me to come up with a plan to help solve them. I was an innovator by involving many National Honor Society and International Baccalaureate students at my high school, and turned my project into an ongoing service at the school.

I also furthered my leadership skills. I was able to really put myself in the shoes of families that would be using The Lions Cupboard. I had to think about their privacy, and what I would want if I were in their place. Empathy is essential for a leader, and helped me grow because leaders have to understand the feelings of those around them, and act for the best of those individuals to create a healthy environment.

Another essential aspect of this project were goals. I knew what I wanted, and set that as a goal for the cupboard. However, things did not go completely as planned and I had to adjust my vision many times. Leaders always need a direction to go in, and something to work towards to accomplish, but flexibility is key because things do not always work out as hoped. A leader also has to be able to take charge when needed, and lead others through the task at hand which is something that I was able to do throughout my project. Being able to get my ideas across is something that I have struggled with at times, but this project allowed me to work on it and better my leadership in that particular aspect. I also had to understand that I needed a lot of help. Mr. Hahn, Mr. Amonson, and all of the wonderful NHS members who volunteered to help me made this project possible. A good leader understands that things do not circulate completely around them, and the help of others is usually essential for success. I also understood the impact of my actions on the families in need, high school, elementary school, NHS, and the future of this project. This project impacted all of those groups, and hopefully set the cupboard up for a long span of success and growth.

All of these things that I learned from completing this project, allowed me to grow as a leader, and will continue to help me develop leadership skills far into my future.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Girl Scouts alumnae tour to India

Submitted by Kayden Manning, Relationship Manager, EF Tours For Girl Scouts

Namaste from EF Tours for Girl Scouts!

We are thrilled to announce a new Girl Scouts Alumnae Tour to India in 2018! Come and experience the best that India has to offer with your sisters in scouting from across the country.

Reminisce, reunite, and make new friends on this unique trip. We are inviting Lifetime Girl Scouts and alumnae to take a special tour of India with us! We’ll connect with scouts from around the globe at Sangam WAGGGS Centre, marvel at the Taj Majal, and experience the rich and diverse culture of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.

If you are interested and would like to inquire for more information on this incredible opportunity, please reach out to EF Tours for Girl Scouts directly at 800-457-9023 or contact us online and we will be happy to provide you with further information.

We hope to see you soon!

 

Girl Scouts of Colorado