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.

Summer Heat Fire Camp Taster Event July 25

Girl Scouts of Colorado is partnering with the Colorado Springs Fire Department on an exciting camp offering for Summer 2019. At Summer Heat Fire Camp, female firefighters volunteer their time to teach girls firefighting and leadership skills. Girls wear real firefighting gear while learning and working through a series of fire related challenges. Other activities may include; an aerial ladder climb, search and rescue techniques, vehicle extrication, and working with hose lines while suited up in protective firefighting gear and breathing apparatus. The highlight of the week is a live fire exercise where the Summer Heat participants will extinguish a real propane fire! There is no physical requirement to participate in this camp and all Girl Scouts are welcome.

Are you interested in learning more? Girl Scouts can attend a one day event this summer where they will practice and learn a sampling of the skills and activities that will take place at the 2019 camp!

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Sign up now for for the Summer Heat Taster on Wednesday, July 25, 9 a.m – 5 p.m. at the Colorado Springs Fire Department Tower!

  • This event is open to Cadette girls going into 8th grade in Fall 2018, Seniors and Ambassadors. Troops can attend together, but girls will register individually. Additional adults for supervision are not required at this event, but if interested can register as a volunteer.

 

  • Event registration closes on July 17, 2018. On July 18, 2018 all participants will be sent an email with more information and required forms & waivers to bring to the event with them at that time. Girls will not be allowed to stay for the program if they do not arrive with the waiver completed.

More information and registration here: 

http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/summer_heat_fire_cam.html

Questions?  anna.danila@gscolorado.org

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Help needed: Constructing a solitary bee hotel at Denver Botanic Gardens-Chatfield Farms

Submitted by Philip Cuka

Metro Denver

Littleton

Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms (DBG-CF) in South Littleton is interested in having a solitary bee hotel on site.  The hotel would serve as a nesting location for a variety of solitary bees, and other pollinators, which are needed for the variety of flowers and vegetables in the area.  The hotel will also serve as an educational piece for raising public awareness about the important role of pollinators in the food chain, and threats to their livelihood.

In late summer/fall 2018, the DBG-CF staff is planning to hold a volunteer event for creating individual solitary bee houses.  The houses will then be placed in the solitary bee hotel.  The event will be similar to last Fall’s event at Waterton Canyon (https://denverwatertap.org/2017/08/07/naturegoers-abuzz-new-bee-hotel/), and is being directed by some of the same members.

For this year’s event, the DBG-CF staff is looking for a Girl Scout or troop to assist with the construction of the bee hotel.  A design has already been decided on, and materials are being gathered by several groups.  The Girl Scout/troop would will have the opportunity to (learn to) use a variety of hand tools in the construction of the hotel.  No experience is necessary.  The construction of the hotel is currently planned for late July/early August.

For more information, please contact Philip Cuka at SolitaryBeeBandB@yahoo.com.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Volunteer View: June 2018

Then. Now. Always.

Girl Scouts: preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure.

Check out our incredible new PSA ,”Lifetime of Leadership,” which celebrates notable Girl Scout alums and their amazing accomplishments and is narrated by Girl Scout alum, Queen Latifah.The incredible women featured in the video – including U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Susan Collins, Melinda Gates, Dolores Huerta, and Tyra Banks – serve as role models for today’s girls and young women, and they powerfully reflect the impact Girl Scouts have and what they are truly made of.

Please share it on your social media channels to show how @girlscouts and @gscolo have been taking the lead for more than a century.  Show it to your girls at a troop kick off – it’s truly inspiring! Be sure to use #becauseofGirlScouts when sharing your Girl Scout story.

Learn more

Volunteer Toolkit Access

Attention Troop Leaders: If you want to save any information from your 2017-18 year plan, or if you have started planning for your next troop year, please download and save or print all information (meeting plans, meeting or activity notes, badges/Journeys earned, attendance records) no later than Thursday, June 28.

The Volunteer Toolkit will automatically archive all information stored in the toolkit on July 1, but any year plans for the upcoming Girl Scout year will not be saved. It’s best to download and save or print all information that you want to keep.

You will not be able to access any tabs in your Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) from Friday, June 29 through Friday, July 13. During the same time period, all volunteers and family members will still have access to myGS, Member Profile, to renew memberships and update member information.

If you have any questions, please contact your Volunteer Support Specialist.

OGAB (Older Girl Advisory Board): Applications now open

We are seeking Seniors or Ambassadors interested in joining OGAB for the 2018-19 membership year. OGAB members have the opportunity to provide direct feedback of current and future programming, participate in leadership and development workshops and serve as the voice for Girl Scouts across Colorado.

Interested applicants can find more information and link to the application on the Older Girl Advisory Board section of our website. Questions? Contact Emily Speck, emily.speck@gscolorado.org 303-607-4811.

Learn more

Kick off fall with the Older Girl Journey Weekend

Strengthen your outdoor skills and ignite your passion for environmental stewardship at the 2018 Older Girl Outdoor Journey Weekend at Sky High Ranch on Sept. 21-23, 2018.

Girls will complete Outdoor Journey components* through a weekend full of incredible activities, such as night hikes, preparing for backcountry camping, creating outdoor art, and camping outdoors. All girls will be participating in the Outdoor Journey but will complete specific badge work depending on their program level.
Cost: $90/ girl, $50/ PA who are volunteering, $40/adult.

Register today before spots fill up!

*Girls should plan to complete their Take Action project on their own outside of Journey Weekend.

Outdoor Programs

Session highlights, see our camp website for more information! 

OAC 2018-2019 passports opened May 21.

Do you know of some families or troops who are still interested in camp? We still have some available spots!

Join the MCC at Leadership Summits this fall

When it’s time to return to troop in the fall, please join the Membership Connection Committee (MCC) at a Leadership Summit or Super Saturday Training. For more information please visit lasted blog post. 

eLearning Enrichment

Want to feel confident about handling conflict situations in your troop? Log-in to our online learning site to access our Conflict Fluency training. The class offers guided instruction on managing and resolving disagreements, along with a workbook that you can download, that offers a variety of situations and multiple solutions to equip you with how to handle issues as they arise.

Want to make managing troop funds easier? Cheddar Up partnered with Girl Scouts of Colorado to create a custom collecting platform, and a class to show you how to use it! The platform helps troops move money collecting online, and you can use it for troop dues, payment for field trips, or to collect payment for troop special events. Having an online payment option makes the task of collecting payment significantly easier and more secure for troop leaders. Plus, there’s a built-in tool to send out payment reminders!

Go to our eLearning site today and check out the Cheddar Up Financial Literacy in a Digital World training video. Be sure to also take a look at the troop budgeting spreadsheets, found in the “resources” section of the course!

Questions about GSCO eLearning or the Volunteer Toolkit? Please contact Shannon Weaver, Adult Experience Manager.

Upcoming Events

June 30 – No Man’s Land Film Festival, Grand Junction. 
Cost: $15 Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited to the No Man’s Land Film Festival at the Avalon Theater in Grand Junction, June 30. The festival features films about women athletes and adventurers. A panel discussion is planned before the film screenings.

July 27-29 – Girl Scout Days at Elitch Gardens, Denver.
Join us for our annual weekend at the park for our best Girl Scout ticket price. Cost is $25.99/person.

August 26 – Scout Day with the Colorado Rockies, Denver
Cost: Tickets range in price depending on seat location. Come cheer on the Rockies as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Girl Scouts can participate in a pre-game parade and get a special event patch. Last year tickets sold out before the game, so get your tickets early this year here and use promo code GS2018. A portion of ticket sales will be donated back to GSCO.

Want event details delivered to your inbox weekly? Sign up for the Events email at gscoblog.org.

 

 

Service Unit 747 summer camp

Submitted by Lily Barkau

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Service Unit 747 will be holding its first-ever service unit camp this summer from August 3-5, 2018 at Meadow Mountain Ranch in Allenspark. Registration is open to Brownies and older, but if you have a Daisy troop that is interested, please contact us for more information. Registration information is on the flyer above.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Volunteer Toolkit access

Troop Leaders ***Please Note*** If you want to save any information from your 2017-18 year plan, or if you have started planning for your next troop year, please download and save or print all information (meeting plans, meeting or activity notes, badges/journeys earned, attendance records) no later than Thursday, June 28, 2018. The Volunteer Toolkit will automatically archive all information stored in the toolkit on July 1, but any year plans for the upcoming Girl Scout year will not be saved. It’s best to download and save or print all information that you want to keep.
You will not be able to access any tabs in your Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) from Friday, June 29 through Friday, July 13.

During the same time period, all volunteers and family members will still have access to myGS, Member Profile, to renew memberships, and update member information.

If you have any questions, please contact your volunteer support specialist. Don’t know who that is? Please email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

 

Join the MCC at Leadership Summits in the fall

Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Membership Connection Committee (MCC) would like to wish each and every Girl Scout volunteer a happy summer break – maybe the summer brings a chance to recharge your troop leader battery by hanging out at the pool or doing a few fun activities. Or, maybe this is the year for the big camping trip or European adventure. No matter your journey, enjoy it!

When it’s time to return to troop in the fall, please join the MCC at a Leadership Summit or Super Saturday Training. Leadership Summits provide a fantastic opportunity for newer volunteers to learn the ropes from more experienced volunteers. Or, if you’ve been a volunteer for a while, plan to come to share your knowledge with others and get some new ideas. It’s all about networking… Everyone kicks off the new year with the excitement gained by spending time with your peers whether you’ve been a volunteer for 10 years or 10 days!

The MCC will be at all Leadership Summits and select other training events to conduct Voices 2018 while surveying members on a range of topics designed to provide feedback to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors and senior council leadership. Your feedback is valued and important, please plan to stop by and visit with us and express your opinion!

Interested in learning more?  Search the GSCO Blog for “MCC” or visit us online at http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html.  You can also contact the MCC Chair, Caroline Cornell at gsco.mcc@gscolorado.org for additional information.

 

Using your Cookie Credits is easier than you think

The 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program is in the books and now it is time to celebrate all of your hard work and dedication! One of the best ways to do that is with Cookie Credits. There are so many exciting ways to use Cookie Credits, including:

  • GSCO troop or service unit trip, event, or activity with a per girl fee
  • GSCO sponsored or hosted event or activity
  • EF Tours
  • Girl Scout destinations
  • Highest Awards materials and fees
  • Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop (in-person or via phone). If the item you are looking for is not currently in stock, ask a retail associate if the item can be ordered.
  • Volunteer-run day camps or events with a per girl cost
  • GSCO summer camp (Important Note: In accordance with IRS guidelines, you cannot use Cookie Credits to attend Girl Scout camps in other states/councils.)

Troops and girls can be reimbursed for these activities using the Cookie Credit Reimbursement Form. When redeeming the credits use the Credit Redemption Form for Camp.

Cookie Credits may NOT be used to pay for/renew membership, pay fees to outside vendors for individual girls, purchase items that the Girl Scout shop does not carry or cannot order, or pay for travel expenses for adults or those not related to Girl Scouts of Colorado.

For questions about what Cookie Credits can be used for, please contact: financial.followup@gscolorado.org

Can I use Cookie Credits to attend a Girl Scouts of Colorado-sponsored or hosted event/activity?

Yes, as long as there is a per girl cost.

Can I use Cookie Credits to host an event for Girl Scouts?

No. For money earning/troop budgeting questions, refer to Volunteer Essentials. You can also email financial.followup@gscolorado.org

Can troops use Cookie Credits to reimburse adults?

No. For money earning/troop budgeting questions, refer to Volunteer Essentials. You can also email financial.followup@gscolorado.org

Can Juliettes use Cookie Credits to reimburse adults?

No.

How can I find out how much I have in Cookie Credits?

You can verify the amount remaining on your cookie card by going to www.mercury-gift.com

I was previously told that I could use Cookie Credits to renew membership, so why is GSCO making this change? 

This change was made in 2016 to come into compliance with IRS regulations. Those regulations do not allow girls, volunteers, or others to pay for their membership with Cookie Credits.

Can troops pool their cookie credits together to pursue a troop activity? 

Yes, with the full consent of the girls in the troop, a troop may pool their Cookie Credits for reimbursement for a Girl Scout related cost that complies with the guidelines above.

Take Girl Scouts’ #gsoutdoors Challenge! Week 3: Embrace adventure

From Girl Scouts of the USA

In celebration of National Great Outdoors Month, Girl Scouts is excited to host four weeks of exciting outdoor challenges in June. Follow along, have fun, then make sure to share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #gsoutdoors for a chance to win an awesome prize from the North Face!

You know what makes almost any activity more fun? Taking it outside! Enjoying the great outdoors can be done in so many ways—there’s no right or wrong as long as you’re enjoying yourself and respecting your neighbors. The point is to get outside, breathe that fresh air, and have fun with friends and family. To participate in this week’s challenge, pick one of the activities below!

June 16-22:

Take a chance.
Pull out that summer bucket list and start crossing outdoor adventures off it! Plan a camping trip, hike that tough trail you’ve doubted you could conquer, visit the national park you’ve been dreaming of… There’s no better time than the present! 

Make a splash.
Curious about kayaking, whitewater rafting, or surfing? Sign up for a lesson and see how far the current carries you! 

Learn a survival skill.
Girl Scouts are always prepared! So why not learn a new skill that could benefit you for a lifetime? Learn how to start a campfire in a pinch, take a first-aid class, or connect with community experts to improve your outdoor skills so you’re ready for the unexpected. 

Don’t forget to share pics of your adventure on Instagram with the hashtag #gsoutdoors! You could win BIG! 

For more great times, check out all the Outdoor badges you can earn as a Girl Scout! 

***

To power the next generation of women who push boundaries and move mountains, The North Face has recently teamed up with Girl Scouts of the USA to inspire girls to challenge themselves, learn about the natural world, and continue the Girl Scout tradition of having life-changing outdoor experiences. 

Through our multiyear collaboration, The North Face will support the development of 12 new Outdoor Adventure badges, with programming ranging from mountaineering and climbing to backpacking, hiking, and trail running. These 12 new Girl Scout badges, which will roll out over the next two years, will teach girls in virtually every U.S. zip code about the benefits of outdoor exploration. Learn more about this exciting collaboration.

G.I.R.L. Stories: Run for Cake

Submitted by Maria C.

Metro Denver

Arvada

I started a 5k road race four years ago called Run for Cake for my Silver Award. Since then, the race has exploded and many people have learned more about the specific needs that are supported by Community Table, previously known as Arvada Community Food Bank. The race supports a small elementary school nearby through the registration fee. We work alongside Community Table’s backpack program. The program supplies kids with food on the weekends in discrete ways. The registration fee is a box of cake mix, candles, and frosting, as well as $5. All is collected and I buy many, many “birthday bags” and donate all the supplies to Community Table. From there, Community Table drops off the donations at Kullerstrand Elementary  to give to students. Each student is called up to the office over morning announcements, receives a birthday bag, and gets their picture taken with the principal. A “birthday bag” consists of a box of cake mix, candles, and frosting. Every kid deserves cake.

I am a G.I.R.L.!

Go-getter: My troop leader Sheryl Blish has been one of the most influential women in my life. She has constantly encouraged me to become versed in everything that comes up in my life. You traveled on a road trip with your family this summer? Where? What places did you go? She never asked, but the way she phrased her questions implored you to want to look on a map, do some research, and figure out where you went. Not only has she pushed us in our knowledge and care for others, but she has also constantly encouraged us to physically go get our dreams. I personally believe that even though she is a very busy women, she never stops dreaming.

Innovator: My troop leaders have always encouraged us to think outside the box! Can’t find that missing tent peg? You’re smart and very intelligent, but you’re also young and a dreamer. Think something up. Look at what’s around you. Maybe you can find something in the camping supplies or a pointy stick that will make it work for the night. Maybe we even have an extra because as Girl Scouts we are always prepared.

Risk-taker: For one of our bridging ceremonies, our troop voted to ride zip lines. That was kind of intense for those of us who do not love heights. The dynamic duo of both Judy Curtis and Sheryl Blish gave us a balance of tough love and kind words. They helped so many of us, especially me, conquer our fears with such audacious boldness we couldn’t help but get excited. They have taught us when it’s appropriate to look back to see if you can help someone out and when to look forward to improve those around you as well as yourself.

Leader: I have become the person I am today mostly through the weekly Girl Scout meeting our troop held. Each week a different girl would be in charge of leading a meeting. She would show up 15 minutes before all the other girls and meet with the head troop leader Sweet Sweet Sheryl Blish. She would give us a good and thorough run-down of what the meeting needed to accomplish. We had a notecard and her sitting next to us but other than that, it was our job to run the whole shebang smoothly while maintaining control of the room. As we proceed to get older she would let us have more and more freedom until we almost did not need her for the meeting at all. But by that time we realized we had become such great friends with our troop leaders we wanted them to be there.
My troop leaders are the best women around.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Troop Trek campout at Fetcher Ranch

Submitted by Nancy Mucklow

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

Troop Trek 2018 included 48 Girl Scouts from many Colorado troops and a herd of cows at the Fetcher Ranch near Steamboat Lake! We camped, cooked, and earned a few badges along the way! With perfect weather, we tried new ways of cooking, made survival shelters, hiked with friends, and celebrated a weekend of camping the Girl Scout way!

Girls from Junior, Cadette, and Senior/Ambassador troops in four different regions gathered to camp together, make new Girl Scout friends, and learn new skills. From building survival shelters to Dutch oven cooking, to lashing and outdoor skills, troops of girls also learned a bit about ranching and how beef cows fit into the food chain.

Innovators and Risk-Takers, all of the girls were part of a Pick 4 Dessert Competition where they picked from various ingredients and had one hour to create a delicious dish to be judged and shared. From Dirt Cake to Blueberry Cobbler to ooey-gooey s’mores, all of the dishes were a big hit!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Girl Scouts of Colorado