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.

End of summer rollerblading fun

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

A few of the girls from Troop 70720 came out for a morning of some rollerblading. They did around five miles out on the bike trail. It was a beautiful morning and the girls skated their hearts out .

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Cassandra Sterns, Arvada, “Simply Technology”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, Simply Technology, I created and taught six technology classes for independently living seniors in Arvada, Colorado that helped them learn how to use their Android smartphone. Each class taught the attendees how to use different apps on smartphones such as messages, camera, email, and Internet. Knowing how to use technology is a huge part of today’s society, and not knowing how to use it often ostracized people, namely senior citizens.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award through a survey I had each of the members of my class take, and by the appreciation I received personally from the attendees. Many of the seniors approached me to tell me how helpful the class was and that they are no longer afraid to try new things on their phone. Additionally, my project was requested again, which showed that people thought it was helpful and successful enough that other people should take the class too.

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

My project is going to be sustained in two ways beyond my involvement. The first way that my project will be sustained is that the Jefferson County Public Library System will continue to hold classes that teach seniors about their smartphones. The second way is that I will have a website that can be accessed by anyone with the materials that I created for my classes and more cool tricks that I hope will encourage seniors to use their phones more often. The web address is https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/simply-technology.

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

I grew my Gold Award project from the original location at Stanley Lake Library to a second location, Brookdale Meridian Center in Boulder. The Brookdale Meridian Center is an independent living community for retired citizens (most are in the late 70s to 80s). At Brookdale Meridian, I taught a class to the residents and helped them to understand how their phones worked.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I could have a voice that people pay attention to in a crowd and that I didn’t need to be handed a microphone when I wanted to talk to a crowd. I have always had a quieter voice and it gets overpowered a lot in discussions and conversations. I struggled during the first few classes to get my voice heard, but by the end, I was able to captivate my audience with a louder voice.

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

Earning my Gold Award is going to impact my future because it allowed me to grow and learn more about myself. My project challenged me to overcome some of my reservedness and helped me to develop as a leader. In the future, I will be able to use the skills I learned during my Gold Award project to impact the world in other and hopefully, larger ways.

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

Earning your Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience because it proves that you have learned something applicable through the organization. Additionally, it shows you that you can be an empowered young woman all by yourself and you can take on some of the problems of the world. The Gold Award is important because it culminates all that you have learned as a Girl Scout and focuses it into one project that you can be passionate about the rest of your life.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I became a go-getter and a risk-taker. Taking on the project pushed me to pursue some of my own dreams and help the world around me; it enabled me to become purposeful. Additionally, putting myself up there in front of a group of people made me realize that taking risks aren’t so bad, in fact, my Gold Award made me more confident to put myself out there for people to see.

**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 can help children in crisis

The annual Teddy Bear Project begins again on September 1, 2019, and this year, the Child Rescue Foundation is also asking for donations of blankets.

Since 1999, Girl Scouts and other groups have participated in the annual Teddy Bear project, collecting new and gently loved plush animals to be given to children in crisis. More than 165,000 have been donated to date. The goal this year is to collect another 10,000.

The plush animals collected can be of any size, shape, color, creed, or religion. All will be given to make a difference in the life of a child.

Denver Safehouse alone serves more than 10,000 women and children each year. The Denver Police Department reports it responds to more than 6,000 domestic violence calls annually and in more than one-third of those cases there is a child in the home.

Girl Scouts can help by collecting new and gently loved plush animals or blankets, host a tag and sort party , and then deliver by November 16.

Learn more at http://cr-foundation.org/wordpress1/annual-calender/tbp-teddy-bear-project/ or email childrescue97984@aol.com.

 

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame patch workshops

Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to special workshops at the GSCO Grand Junction office to earn their Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame patch!  The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame patch workshop is Saturday, September 21, 2019. Daisies and Brownies are invited to a morning workshop from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors are invited to an afternoon workshop from 1 – 3 p.m. Register online now! https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2019/colorado_women_s_hal.html. Registration closes 9/12 OR when event is at capacity.

This patch program, which launched in January 2019, aims to provide girls across the state an opportunity to learn the stories of women who have shaped our state and the nation’s history with courage, leadership, intelligence, and creativity.  Supporters of the COWHF will lead girls through activities adapted from the online instructions and girls will receive their patch at the workshop. This is not a drop off event. All Girl Scouts must attend with a troop leader, parent, or guardian.

Questions? Email Community Partnerships Manager Aimee Artzer at aimee.artzer@gscolorado.org.

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Update from the GSCO Retail Shop: August 2019

The GSCO Retail Shop is fully stocked and ready for “Back to Girl Scouts” season!  Yay!! New items for the 2019- 2020 GSCO year include leader vests and insignia from GSUSA, very hot items which have gotten a lot of positive feedback. Troop leaders and volunteers now have something official to wear to show off their accomplishments with their girls! The shop also has other new swag from GSUSA, along with council’s own items. Better still, there is much more to come throughout the coming months. Of course, we have the new badges and requirements, along with all the earned awards and badges for each level.

Starting the week of September 2, 2019, shop hours will be:

  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

As always, https://www.girlscoutshop.com/COLORADO-COUNCIL is open 24/7. You can also contact the shop via email at retail@gscolorado.org or call (303)-607-4880.

Troop 74546’s Silver Award project

Submitted by Anna Boyle

Northern & Northeastern CO

Loveland

We are Troop 74546 in Loveland and for our Silver Award project, we painted inspirational quotes on bathroom stalls in bathrooms at an elementary school. We picked an elementary school that one of us went to and we made a presentation. In the presentation, we included how, what, when, and where we are painting. We presented to the PTA and the principal at Cottonwood Plains Elementary School. They allowed us to do it and we got to work. We went and got paint donated from a Home Depot store. We spent two days painting and making it perfect. We put a sealer on it and it was finished. The next day, the kids got to come in for Back to School Night and see our work. All of the teachers and students love the stalls and they were excited for the new year with newly painted stalls.

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

Update about new S’mores Club rewards

GSCO recently announced the 2019-2020 S’mores Club rewards would be a special hoodie and duffle bag, perfect for Girl Scout camping and travel, and we received a lot of positive responses!

Many people asked what colors the duffle bag and hoodie would be and what they would look like. We don’t have pictures of them to share just yet. But once we do, we certainly will! Do know that we are going with darker colors and durable fabrics, so both reward items will last through many Girl Scout adventures and many washings!

Along with the buzz around the new rewards, a few people also asked if Highest Awards charms for the bracelets that S’mores Club girls and adults earned in 2017 and 2018 would still be available. YES! Absolutely! To request a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award charm to complete girls’ S’mores Club bracelets, contact Girl Scouts of Colorado customer care by calling 1-877-404-5708 or email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

For more information about the S’mores Club, go to:
https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/cookies/s-mores-club.html

Keeping older Girl Scouts engaged: Tips and Tricks

There are so many things competing for girls’ attention and keeping older girls excited about Girl Scouts can be a challenge! Denine Dains of Westminster in the Metro Denver regions leads a troop of Seniors and Ambassadors, many of whom have been together since Daisies and Brownies. She offers this advice for keeping older girls engaged in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

  • Have the girls create a plan for the upcoming Girl Scout year. Invite caregivers to a meeting and have the girls present their ideas. This helps not only a girl to be engaged in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, but the entire family as well. Once caregivers and siblings know what their girl wants out of Girl Scouts, they can support her in her journey!
  • Determine a troop goal, such as a big trip. While the goal may seem lofty at first, break it down into pieces or years. For example, “This year, our troop will earn/save specified dollar amount to put towards goal. Next year, we will earn/save…”
  • Participate in leadership opportunities. Earn one of Girl Scouts’ Highest awards or the Leader in Action (LIA) Award, complete PA Training, host a day camp, etc. The more girls take the lead, the more likely they are to stay in Girl Scouts.

Do you have any tips, tricks, “life hacks,” etc. to share? We would love to hear them! Just email GSCO Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.

 

 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lauren Kettler, Thornton, “Popsicles of Positivity”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Popsicles of Positivity is a program that was created to help teach middle school-aged students about the need for kindness.  But, why is there a need for kindness?  One in seven students from K-12th grade are bullied, according to the http://antibullyinginstitute.org.  To defend these students from the threat of bullying, they need to learn kindness and perspective.  Popsicles of Positivity is a program that is designed to be a short activity that can be integrated into other programs.  The reason behind this theory is to help better fit into a class period or the time period of club or group.  While working on other programs, I have found that long programs have little effect on middle school-aged students, and they learn better when the subject matter is consolidated.  Through this program students will be focusing on dignity, bullying, self-kindness, and external kindness.  This program is a stepping stone to help students develop understanding and create habits of kindness.

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

I measured impact mainly through pre and post surveys to see how well each student understood the concept presented. After each presentation, I reworked Popsicles of Positivity to make the program better.

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

I have two confirmation letters from Immaculate Heart of Mary and Tomahawk Ranch saying that they will continue Popsicles of Positivity and implement the program into their curriculum. But, also the lessons in Popsicles of Positivity were created to make life long habits which will extend past the program into the student’s daily lives.

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

I was able to create a website that has all of my teaching outlines and other resources called https://popsicleofpositivity.weebly.com/. I have also been able to share my project with my service unit, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tomahawk Ranch, and Rocky Top Middle School.

What did you learn about yourself?

I am a perfectionist.  I had the assumption before my Gold Award that I wanted my work to be better than most people’s work.  But, the realization didn’t really hit me until I flat out didn’t want to do my Gold Award project anymore, because in my head it would not be good enough.  I was so hesitant to start and finish my project, because I felt like if I didn’t do it right the first time, then what was the point in trying at all?   After my first presentation to the Kindness Club at Rocky Top Middle School, I felt like even more of a failure, because to me what I was saying did not feel inspirational.  After speaking with my youth group, I felt dismayed that the middle school students were giving me blank stares the whole time.  https://popsicleofpositivity.weebly.com/  felt too simple to me and not good enough for anyone to actually use.  After looking at another girl’s Gold Award project in my troop, in my mind, mine did not seem like it was showing any significant signs of change. Explaining the idea of Popsicles of Positivity to friends did not sound inspirational enough.  In my mind I felt like if someone else were to do my project, they would have easily been able to do it in a week or two.  I was working in an environment that constantly made me feel like I was not good enough to earn my Gold Award. Ironically, I was going against the ideas that I was preaching to the students.  I was being such a hypocrite and I was acting in this way until I took a step back and asked for help.

It is extremely hard for me to ask for help.  I have always been the person with the answers and level-headed solutions.  But my own head was spinning so much that having an unbiased idea about my project and how to define success was extremely hard, almost impossible.  Sitting down and telling my mom all my struggles was tedious.  I came to the realization that I had so much misery connected with my project that even explaining my situation was difficult.  It took multiple days of thinking and processing my struggles to conclude that I was over critiquing myself.  But it took even longer to believe that my project was impacting other people’s lives.  Only after having talks with my Gold Award  Advisor and Tomahawk Ranch Camp Director Monica Gray, did I realize that my project could flourish into something grander than what my imagination could create.  They were both able to explain to me that any project or idea is a process, of course nothing will be perfect at first, but that is the beauty of imperfection.  The lack of perfection, the first time through shows how much we learn the second and third time through.  I know now that if my project did not affect anyone else, it at least changed me for the better.  It taught me that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be.

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

I have learned many skills through my Gold Award including risk-taking, understanding perfectionism, and perseverance. Each skill is very important to shape me in the future. Being able to explore new ideas while embracing the unknown. Understanding myself as I become an adult. And understand what it means to try and try again because that is more important than perfection.

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

I think sometimes people don’t take Girl Scouting seriously, people are very surprised when at the age of 18, I say that I am still in Girl Scouts. The most common response that I get is that “Isn’t Girl Scouts for little girls?” The common assumption is that Girl Scouts if for elementary-aged girls not for middle, high school, or adult aged women. As I grew up through Girl Scouting, I learned many skills and had a lot of experiences, yet none of my peers took the idea of Girl Scouts seriously. Once I started working on my Gold Award, the title of a Girl Scout gained some weight. I was now changing my community past selling cookies, I was able to work with students to make them better people, teach them how to be kind and trustworthy people. I hope that my small impact may change at least a few ideas of what Girl Scouting is and the true meaning of what we do.

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

The main skill that I learned through my Gold Award is risk-taking. Seeing that I am a perfectionist I constantly strive to make everything right the first time around. I get very nervous and disappointed when things don’t turn out how they are supposed to the first time around. So when my first presentation didn’t go how I wanted it to I wanted to quit right there. To me there was no point in trying again because the next presentation would end up the same way. I had to get over my fears of failure, take a risk, and try again. Without my decision to take risks, I would not have earned my Gold Award.

**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

Historical Girl Scout Collection

Former Girl Scout troop leader and passionate collector Jacklyn Beard donated her extensive collection of Girl Scout memorabilia to the Grand Junction Leadership Center. The collection includes antique dolls, books, bandanas, pins, towels, and more. Girl Scouts of Colorado is grateful she chose to share these unique finds with us. The bulk of the dolls will be on display in Grand Junction before heading to the Girl Scout History Center in Loveland. Historical donations can be made in your local Girl Scout office or by contacting Heidi Books at heidi.books@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scouts of Colorado