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.

Register now for Broomfield/Westminster day camps

Submitted by Rebecca Lankford

Metro Denver

Broomfield

Cadette Troop 63572 is hosting two day camps this summer as part of their leadership progression. Why two camps? The troop has 17 active Girl Scouts who all have big goals so lots of things we do are big!

The two primary outcomes chosen for these camps are confidence and courage. The campers will work together through some traditional scouting activities like songs and games, and challenge themselves while learning new skills.

Buttercup Bootcamp will be at East Interlocken Park in Broomfield from June 26 – 30, 2017 and She’s Crafty will be at the Westminster campus of Front Range Community College July 17 – 21, 2017. Information and how to register can be found at: https://scoutingforfun.com/

Each camp is $175 and is completely volunteer-run. Our troop has held many successful events and the girls are excited to work with younger girls at these fun camps.

Interested in volunteering or helping as a PA or PAI? Info is available on the camp website! The number of campers we can have will be dependent on the number of adult volunteers.

Contact us at camplikeagirlscout@gmail.com with questions.

40963104_girl_scout_day_camps

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

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Victoria Fedorco, Aurora, “Caring Cots for Senior Pets”

Victoria Fedorco

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was manufacturing and providing raised PVC pipe pet beds to help senior pets be more comfortable in shelters as they await adoption.  I decided to make these type of beds because they are beneficial to pets and shelters in that: the elevated design allows the dog’s weight to be evenly distributed and keep them off any cold, hard floor. They worked great for both dogs and cats. The light, durable nature of these beds also allows them to be easily placed outdoors as well. They were durable and can last for a long time.

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

The way I measured my impact was when I helped people and their families realize that there are challenges that exist when owning a senior pet, they asked questions and wanted to help me with my project.  I witnessed their understanding that leaving these animals in a shelter, for whatever reason, that there are factors that can hinder the senior pet’s quality of life. Specifically, I saw that I had impacted Troop 550 the most in that: they are going to work towards their own Gold Award Projects and work to make a difference in their community.

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

My project is sustainable in that these beds can be easily built and are already in use by the shelter I worked with. In addition, I have provided a master copy of instructions for the shelter to use when building new beds for themselves along with sharing that list with others, spreading the word of “Caring Cots” further. My project will also be sustained beyond my involvement by a signed letter of commitment by Andrew Brooks, the Lead Volunteer Coordinator at the Adams County Animal Shelter in Commerce City.

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

I have created a Powerpoint presentation/tutorial that has a materials list and step-by-step instructions on the construction of these beds along with a some pictures to go along with it. I have posted a link to the powerpoint on my Facebook page to spread my project through this social media platform. The same link has been posted to my Pinterest page, available for all the view. Both of these pages have been created as a Gold Award Project.

What did you learn about yourself?

What I learned about myself is the level of determination and focus that I have. “Caring Cots” has helped me improve my leadership skills by having me organize an entire workshop and overnight for my building team. This allowed me to really get a sense of being in charge and having to instruct others. This project has also helped me improve my public speaking skills; I’ve started to feel more comfortable talking in front of a group of people about my project and my opinions.

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

By earning my Gold Award I have cemented my name in the Gold Award Hall of Fame and proven to myself that I am capable of doing amazing things to give back to my community. This project will also be on my resume, which will help me get into college and get the job I’m looking for. I also think this project will impact my future in that I will be an example to other girls working on their own Gold Awards.

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

I’ve earned my Bronze and Silver Award previously and getting my Gold Award was a huge goal for me. I absolutely love everything about Girls Scouts and I feel that earning my Gold Award was the perfect way to show my love and appreciation for this organization. I feel extremely honored to be a recipient of the Gold Award and I feel that my Girl Scout experience has made me a Girl Scout for life.

**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 awarded Mary Jo Jacobs, M.D. Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund

Kayla Kaufman Samantha Williams

Two more Girl Scouts in the Mountain Communities region are headed to Girl Scouts of Colorado summer camp after receiving the Mary Jo Jacobs, M.D. Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund. Samantha of Glenwood Springs will attend Sky High Animal Adventures at Sky High Ranch in June. Kayla of New Castle will go to Tomahawk TriWizard at Tomahawk Ranch in July.

“I am so excited to go to the TriWizard Camp this summer. I can’t wait to have fun with friends, learn new things, and learn to be more independent,” Kayla wrote.

“I am so excited to go to camp and learn as much as I can about the animals! I’ve never spent that much time away, and it will be so fun to meet new friends,” Samantha wrote.

Mary Jo’s four children established the scholarship in December 2014 to honor their mother’s extraordinary legacy. As an 8-year-old girl growing up in 1937, Mary Jo wanted a new pair of roller skates. She wanted them more than anything in world— until she learned her Brownie troop was going to be able to go to summer camp. Mary Jo had to make a choice: spend the $8 she had worked so hard to earn on roller skates or Girl Scout camp? For Mary Jo, the decision was simple. She was going to Girl Scout camp. Mary Jo’s mother walked her to the local Girl Scout office, so she could be the first to register. A reporter for the Artesia Daily Press in New Mexico even wrote a story about Mary Jo and her decision.

After returning home from camp, Mary Jo continued to participate in Girl Scout activities, including going to camp. Eventually, she became a doctor and worked tirelessly to serve the people of Eagle and Garfield Counties, Colorado.

The Mary Jo Jacobs, M.D. Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund provides Girl Scouts from Eagle and Garfield counties in Colorado with a scholarship so they can experience the learning opportunities, joy, and camaraderie of attending Girl Scout Camp. “Our hope is that that many girls will have the same positive experience, education and adventure that mom had through her involvement in Girl Scouting and her opportunity to attend Girl Scout camp,” said Dr. Patricia VanDevander, daughter of Dr. Mary Jo Jacobs.

Registration for Girl Scout Camp is now underway on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org. For summer 2017, girls can attend overnight camp sessions at Sky High Ranch near Manitou Lake and Woodland Park or perennial favorite Tomahawk Ranch near Bailey, southwest of Denver. Activities include archery, backpacking, photography, and rock climbing. Overnight camp runs from 3 to 12 days for girls ages 6 and up.  Girl Scouts of Colorado will continue to offer day camping adventures throughout the state. The summer camp schedule is live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website (girlscoutsofcolorado.org). Girl Scout summer camp programs are open to all girls throughout Colorado, whether they’re in a troop or not, and new campers get a 10-percent discount.

Girl Scouts has been helping girls shine for more than 100 years. Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to serve more than 22,000 girls across the state with the help and support of 10,000 adult members! Learn more how you can be part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by visiting girlscoutsofcolorado.org, calling 1-877-404-5708, or emailing inquiry@gscolorado.org.

 

 

Brownies explore water and life in Africa

Submitted by Cindy Opong

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Daisy/Brownie Troop 43483 learned about water and life in rural Africa as part of the Brownie Wonders of Water Journey. Guest speakers Jim and Carol Nussbaumer, who work with the non-profit Marion Medical Mission, talked about the daily life of women and girls in Malawi. Videos and photos of the poor water conditions and their consequences (health issues, distance to water sources, lack of education, etc.) were shared.

Girls enjoyed trying on the traditional fabric “chitengi,” which women wear in Malawi. Then, they discovered how difficult it is to lift and carry a bucket of water on your head! They had fun with a relay race carrying a half-full bucket and gained an appreciation of the clean, convenient water they have in their own homes.

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Juliet Spitz, Boulder, “Why Love One and Hurt the Other?”

Juliet Spitz

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

When I went vegan after learning the conditions animals are forced to endure for human use, I knew I wanted to focus my Gold Award project on educating others to inspire them to take action on this issue as well. I created a lesson for young adults to inform them of the conditions animals are forced to endure in factory farms, animal entertainment industries, and animal testing laboratories and provide them with alternatives to supporting these industries. In my lesson, I introduced the audience to the concept of speciesism (discrimination against other species), and I raised thought-provoking questions to encourage the contemplation of why our society values certain species (such as dogs and cats) above others. I presented my lesson to over 80 teenagers and young adults from various groups and clubs. I then posted a video of one of my presentations on YouTube and it is on AnimalActionNetwork.org, and has been shared on multiple Facebook pages.

I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to transition to a diet with fewer animal products, so the second component of my project was creating an email list that anyone can sign up for to receive one vegan recipe per week for eight consecutive weeks to make incorporating more plant-based meals into one’s life easier.

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

At the end of each of my presentations, before answering questions from my audience, I asked them one question: “What actions, if any, will you now implement in your lives to help animals?” I was happy to hear a range of answers, from “I will eat less meat” to “I will look for the cruelty-free symbol on body care products.”

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

A video of one of my presentations is posted on YouTube, the homepage of AnimalActionNetwork.org, and numerous Facebook pages. Not only can people continue to view this video in the future, but I hope that the audience members of my presentation will continue to share the information that they learned and inspire others to take action.

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

I have contacted 27 different vegan, vegetarian, and animal rights organizations with a description of my project along with a link to my YouTube video of my presentation. These organizations are all over the nation and world, ranging from Hawaii to Singapore to the Netherlands. Although I didn’t ask for a reply, nine organizations have sent me a response to say that they were glad I had done this project.

What did you learn about yourself?

I honestly didn’t expect to learn much about myself over the course of this project, but I did learn that if I have enough passion for something, I can convince myself to do almost anything that I would normally be too afraid to do. As someone that is normally petrified in front of a crowd, I was surprised that I wanted to pursue a project that required public speaking. Throughout my project, I continually reminded myself of my end goal: to inspire others to better the lives of animals. This simple reminder was enough to encourage me to follow through with my project, even when it was uncomfortable.

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

With the confidence, public speaking skills, and knowledge that passion can be a strong motivator, I know I will continue to be an activist for causes I believe in. I know that I have the ability to put together and follow through with a large project and that one person really can make a difference.

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

Since I became a Girl Scout eight years ago, everything that I’ve done through Girl Scouts has been with my troop— that is, until I pursued my Gold Award. The activities that I had done with my troop, while fun and fulfilling, weren’t necessarily what I would have chosen to do on my own. In addition, when completing a project as a part of a group, I felt less of a responsibility to complete as much of the project, since I felt that the responsibility could be shared among the group members. Completing my Gold Award gave me the opportunity to pursue an issue that I personally had a passion for and that I had full responsibility for.

**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 Scout Gold Award Project: Rebecca Kopacz, Colorado Springs, “I am…”

Rebecca Kopacz

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

As young girls mature into teens, they are very vulnerable to the impacts of social media, culture views, TV, magazines, and peers. Elementary and middle school aged girls can become more susceptible to the impact of negative views on a girl’s unique qualities. Therefore, early introduction to positive self-worth is crucial. For my Girl Scout Gold Award, I hosted a six-week weekly workshop to strengthen positive body image in 5th and 6th grade girls. During this workshop, I worked to prevent a lowered self-esteem and teach girls that they can be accepted for who they are.

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

Each week had an individual theme pertaining to the overall topic of positive self-esteem. Throughout the weeks, I noticed the girls became a lot more comfortable speaking their mind. I noticed a major change in the girls, during the fourth week, “Counter Negative Media Messages.” The girls each had their own opinion and were not afraid to share it.

Each week, I had the girls fill out a journal with questions pertaining to the weekly topic. During the first week, I asked the question, “What words best describe you.” Their responses weren’t very deep and usually consisted of words like, “funny,” “nice,” or “lazy.” During the sixth week, I asked the same question and their responses were, “strong,” “fierce,” and “beautiful.” The change in the girls and how they viewed themselves was a major difference between the six weeks and I feel that I have contributed to their positive growth.

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

The workshops were attended by my project adviser and also by the guidance counselor from the elementary school where I held the workshops. In the future, the guidance counselor plans to host the workshops as an after school club. In this way the project will be sustained in my local community. I wrote a manual that included research, snack ideas, instructions for introducing the topics, activities/games, and journal pages for each workshop. By doing this, other people will be able to recreate the workshops and make a difference in their community.

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

I created a website for national and global exposure for my project. It can be accessed at: iamgoldaward.com. On this website, I wrote about my project and the impact it made on my community. I also emailed three elementary school principals, assistant principals, and counselors in two other districts regarding my project. I gave then all a manual and the information about my club and got responses saying they would keep the information in hopes of expanding the club.

What did you learn about yourself?

I was able to research, plan, and execute a project that I feel very passionate about. I gained more knowledge on the subject of positive self-esteem and body image. I developed decision making and people skills by coordinating the workshops with girls, parents, my project adviser, and school officials. I feel that through this project I learned that I am capable of setting achievable goals and working toward reaching them.

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

I learned that I am capable of setting and reaching goals and that I am able to lead a large project. I feel that these new skills will be beneficial in college as well as future careers. Low self-image can lead to very serious issues; therefore, we should be encouraging the young girls in our world. Through what I learned in this project, I will continue to advocate on the importance of positive self-esteem.

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

I have learned so much through this project, not only about the importance of positive self-worth, but about my capabilities as a young member of the community. I am proud of my accomplishments and feel that my project has and will continue to make a difference. I designed my project on a cause I have learned about through Girl Scouts and have utilized the skills I learned along the way. This project has given me the confidence to be a positive young adult who leads by example and I will continue to strive to be a positive role model like the Girl Scouts before me.

**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

Teachers chosen as Hometown Heroes

Submitted by Cindy Opong

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Daisy/Brownie Troop 43483 in Colorado Springs was excited to deliver Hometown Hero cookies to the teachers and support staff at Evans International Elementary School (EIES), where they attend and hold weekly meetings. This troop of 18 girls sold over 5,800 packages of cookies and collected enough donations to give 161 packages to the staff.

The girls chose the school staff because “they keep us safe,” “they are kind,” “they teach us,” and “they love us.” This decision followed the girls’ completion of the Brownie Quest Journey where they took action to address safety concerns in their school community.

The troop presented their cookie donation to an appreciative EIES staff on 3/17/17.

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

ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2017

40962780_haydenettes_senior_fs_0033 40963104_girl_scouts_colorado

Submitted by Kelly Vogtner

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

All Girl Scouts are invited to attend the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2017, April 7 – 8, at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

This event will feature 24 teams of 16 women competing in synchronized figure skating, from around the world. It is sanctioned by the International Skating Union, and hosted by U.S. Figure Skating. The United States hosts it only every 3-4 years.

The Opening Ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 7, immediately followed by the Short Program Competition. Denver Synchronicity, pre-juvenile team, a local team of 15 girls, ages 7-13, from the Denver FSC will be performing in the Opening Ceremony.

The Free Skate / Championship event will be on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 5:45 p.m., where the World Champion is crowned.

Team USA 1, the Haydenettes, from Boston, are the reigning World Bronze Medalists. Two athletes on this team grew up training in the Denver area.

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

 

Girl empowerment event

Submitted by Heather Gardner, GS Troop 675 Leader

Metro Denver

Broomfield

Cadette and Ambassador Troop 675 is hosting a girl empowerment event called “Perfectly Imperfect, Perfectly You” on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 5 – 9 p.m. at Good News Community Church in Broomfield. Last year, we held a similar overnight event with Amelia Earhart as our guest speaker. This year, we plan to have another special guest speaker, possibly from 9News. This event is meant for 5-8th graders, and will cover several topics including body and self image, identity, and confidence. These are real struggles girls at this age face, and it’s our hope this event has a very positive impact on them. Registration is now available, and limited to the first 80 girls and 10 adults. This is our third time hosting an event similar to this, and it always fills up fast. Hope to see your Troop there!

Registration: https://perfectly-imperfect-perfectly-you-event.cheddarup.com

NOTE: Photos are from last year’s event.

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

Girl Scouts of Colorado