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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.

Gold Award Girl Scout delivers featured speech at Women of Distinction Breakfast

Gold Award Girl Scout Kathleen Otto of Fort Collins was a featured speaker at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction Breakfast in Grand Junction.  She told the audience of Girl Scouts and supporters about her journey through Girl Scouts.

My last 12 years as a Girl Scout has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow, making me the person I am today. This morning, I’m thrilled to share my amazing experience in Girl Scouting with you.

I remember the first Girl Scout meeting I attended. I was in first grade and a new Brownie. My troop would meet in the library of my elementary school and I remember we would have tables lined up in a big “U” shape so we could all see one another. We spent time learning the Girl Scout Promise and Law—and at every troop meeting we would stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance and then the Promise and Law to remind ourselves of how to behave toward one another and our community every day. Of course, being 6-years-old, I did not yet realize what a remarkable family and community I had joined.

Being a Girl Scout helped me learn important business and people skills and one of the most well know skill building opportunities is, as you all probably know, selling cookies. The first thing I learned about selling cookies was to be charming! This tip works well when you are still a Brownie, but as you become older, it gets a little trickier. Once I reached middle and high school, selling cookies door-to-door required connections and loyal customers that had known me since I was a little Brownie. But, the best way to earn and sell cookies was always at a booth. I remember I was in 4th or 5th grade, it was January, and snowing. My friend and I stood at a cookie booth outside of Safeway for 30 minutes, which seemed like forever at that age.  Over 45 minutes passed and we thought to ourselves, “Why did we sign up for a two-hour booth?!” My friend and I were shivering in our boots and snow pants, we were so bored, and no one was coming to buy cookies. Eventually, I was so cold and tired that I decides to let out my pent-up energy, by singing and dancing.

My journey through Girl Scouts did not stop at cookie booths. During my Junior and Senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

The Gold Award gave me the opportunity to teach people about a topic that is very important to me – dyslexia. I wanted to educate both parents and teachers about dyslexia and how it impacts children in school settings. This is an important topic for me because I am dyslexic and without the teachers I had, who knew about dyslexia, my school experience would have been so much harder. Without the support system I had growing up, and the teachers I had I don’t think I would have graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA or would have been as prepared as I feel for college.  My Gold Award was a two-step process. First, I organized a viewing of the documentary “The Big Picture – Rethinking Dyslexia”, a story about of people who struggle with dyslexia, and their stories of how they overcame their disability. After the movie, I held a panel discussion with dyslexia experts, who included: a doctor, who specializes in diagnosing dyslexia; teacher, who works specifically with children with learning disabilities;  student and lifelong friend, who suffers from dyslexia; and representative from the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The panel discussion was eye opening for everyone who attended and gave people the chance to connect with others in the community, whom they might have never met without my project. Many parents with children who have dyslexia were able to come together and find understanding with each other and help each other find support for their children.

Step two of my project was to create a Little Free Library in my neighborhood to promote literacy among both adults and children. In all the books that are in the library, I put informational bookmarks provided by the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association in the hope that I could not only encourage people to read, more but also to continue educating people about dyslexia.

Through earning my Gold Award, I learned many skills required of a successful leader. I learned how to best communicate with my peers and adults, along with programing, public speaking, and marketing skills. I had tapped into each of these skills throughout my years as a Girl Scout and perfected them through earning my Gold Award.

These are the concrete skills that Girl Scouts has taught me, but it also opened doors to see the world. Last summer, I had the chance to go on one last trip with my Girl Scout troop and we decided to go to Europe. With the funds, we earned from the Girl Scout Cookie Program, along with our own money, we went on a 15-day trip across Europe. We went to amazing places and saw wonderful things. My favorite part of our trip was going to Adelboden, Switzerland, and visiting Our Chalet – one of five World Centers of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The beauty of Our Chalet and the town of Adelboden was incredibly stunning and peaceful. learning the history of how Our Chalet was founded was truly a learning experience and showed me that Girl Scouting really is an international sisterhood.

In addition to traveling around Europe, I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at Tomahawk Ranch, one of the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s summer camps. After being a camper almost every summer and then a counselor in training, becoming an official counselor at 18 just seemed like the natural next step in my relationship with Girl Scout Camp. Becoming a counselor, I could, make sure that younger girls had the best summer possible. I remember the Director of Tomahawk, Monica Gray, aka Obi Joe, told us during our training – “Camp is a safe place for girls to come and be themselves.” That is what camp was like for me as a child and that is what I wanted camp to be for girls today. Working at Tomahawk is like being in a totally different world. The Director Team at Tomahawk does such an amazing job at making camp a wonderful and amazing experience for every girl. 

One day, half-way into a two-week session, all of the counselors are living off of coffee at this point I thought to myself at lunch, “I knew someone would do it! I knew someone would dip the lettuce in the chocolate!” This might seem completely odd statement, so let me explain. 

For lunch, we were having fondue and there was a chocolate fountain for dessert, our chef spoiled us, with all the fixings you would expect – strawberries, pound cake, bananas, and more. But, these desserts were set on a bed of lettuce, and I thought to myself watch one of these girls dip the lettuce into the chocolate and eat it up. Sure enough, one of my girls came back to the table with chocolate covered lettuce, and everyone started laughing as she began to eat it! I can tell you now that chocolate and lettuce is not a good combo, but everyone laughed, smiled, and tried something new and surprising.

This is the point of Girl Scout Camp – it is random and funny and sometimes completely unexpected. But, no matter how unexpected things are, you’ll always be met with a welcoming smile. Camp is one of the safest places for girls to go where they can be themselves without being branded weird or different. Girl Scout Camp is a safe place for girls to grow and find out who they would like to be and all the amazing things that they are capable of.

Each of these stories describe what Girl Scouts has done for me. Girl Scouts has been the place for me where I can be myself and grow into a person that I didn’t know I could be. Girl Scouts is the reason I can stand before you and speak clearly and with confidence. Girl Scouts is the reason I know I will always have a home and a family no matter where I am. The skills that Girl Scouts has taught me, has given me the self-confidence to live on my own, to start my freshman year of college with only a little trepidation.

This year, I am a freshman at Colorado Mesa University. As of right now I am just starting my core education classes, but my plans are to go into the medical field as a nurse. Girl Scouts has shown me that I love people and enjoy helping my community. Girl Scouts has help teach me that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.

I want to remind you all the mission of Girl Scouts, “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” I stand before you this morning, a Girl Scout for over a decade and a woman with the courage, confidence, and character to continue becoming the best person I can be and make the world a little better every day.

Thank you all so much.

 

 

Get parade ready this Thanksgiving

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Mark your calendars! Girl Scouts will be once again be showcasing their leadership style at the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

No matter where you are, join Girl Scouts, R&B platinum-selling artist Andra Day, and rap superstar Common to stand up for something you believe in. When you spy the Girl Scout float, take to social media and share what you stand for using #GIRLagenda and #StandUpForSomething.

If you plan to be in New York City on Thanksgiving morning, use this list to make the most of the inspiring celebration. Let’s do this!

  1. Pick a viewing location.  A Girl Scout is always prepared! Our map will help you scope out the best views of the parade—don’t forget to get there early. For more parade tips, visit macys.com/social/parade. To watch with your fellow Girl Scout sisters, we will have special meet up locations on the WEST side of Central Park West and 75th Street and WEST side of 6th Avenue and 45th Street. 
  2. Bring your SWAPS. What better way to meet new Girl Scout friends than by making SWAPS (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) to trade at the parade? In case you didn’t know, SWAPS, an honored Girl Scout tradition, are small, girl-made tokens of friendship exchanged among Girl Scouts who meet while traveling. It’s so much fun! 
  3.  Visit Girl Scout Headquarters. After your parade adventure, take a stroll up to 37th Street and 5th Avenue to check out Girl Scouts of the USA’s national office at 420 5th Avenue. The building will be closed Thursday, but the Girl Scout sign out front is a great backdrop for a photo op. 
  4. Shop your favorite Girl Scout gear. Be one of the first to visit Girl Scout Central, our all-new store, and grab the latest Girl Scout gear or some gifts for your Girl Scout sisters back home—they’ll love it! The shop is located on the bottom floor of the national office and will be open on Black Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM.


Can’t join us in the city? That’s OK! Participate in these four ways from the comfort of your own home.

  1.  Tune in! The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC on Thursday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. across time zones.


  2.  Get creative. Take “I Spy” to the next level by coloring your findings and drawing in your favorite Girl Scout badges using the “Building a Better World” coloring sheet.
 
  3. Celebrate the Occasion. Don’t forget to visit the Girl Scout Shop to pick up your Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade photo or commemorative patches to remember the event. Plus, the all-new parade float ornament is the perfect way to showcase your Girl Scout pride all holiday season long. Quantities of these special-edition items are limited, so don’t miss out. 
  4. Give back to your Girl Scout sisters. This year has been especially difficult—between Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the wildfires ravaging California, many Girl Scouts across the United States have found themselves in challenging situations. This Thanksgiving, while sharing what you are grateful for, take a moment to donate to those in need. And don’t forget to save the date: Girl Scouts of the USA will be joining forces with Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council to host a special Facebook Live on November 28 with more ways to help.


Now that you’re ready to celebrate, don’t forget to follow along on FacebookTwitter,and Instagram on Thanksgiving Day to catch behind-the-scenes moments from the parade and so much more!

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twenty-five Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing take action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Meg Bleyle from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, worked to increase the bee population by teaching children about how people need and depend on bees.
  • Beth Bolon from Longmont hosted a workshop for sixth grade girls to help them improve their communication skills and bolster their confidence when interacting with others.
  • Cheyanne Bridges from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with the Pikes Peak Humane Society to support their animal medical fund by providing a sustainable source of donations from her school.
  • Tara Butler from Denver, Overland High School, created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens to educate them on how to use their smartphone and better understand the technology.
  • Kayleigh Cornell from Aurora, Grandview High School, started the Colorado Book Bank and collected more than 1,300 new and gently used books for students in a summer lunch program.
  • Victoria Delate from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, created a four-week self-defense course to give her fellow students the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual assault.
  • Emma Deutsch from Denver, Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, improved the cat rooms at the Denver Animal Shelter. By creating a more welcoming and colorful space, she encouraged more people to adopt cats.
  • Kamaryn Evans from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, worked to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and for the Crisis Center, which works to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention.
  • Rose Goodman from Boulder, Boulder High School, created a lesson plan, which meets common-core standards, to educate second grade students about the declining bee population and how they can help bees.
  • Elizabeth Hoelscher from Aurora, Grandview High School, partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage victims of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls.
  • Ashlin Hult from Niwot, Niwot High School, created a series of materials for middle-school girls to encourage healthy body image and increase self-esteem.
  • Zoi Johns from Golden, Lakewood High School, coordinated the installation of three 10,000-liter water filtration tanks in a school in rural Uganda.
  • Makayla Kocher from Monument, Colorado Springs Christian School, created an art program for nursing home residents.
  • Kayleigh Limbach from Niwot, Niwot High School, wrote aguidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academic future.
  • Alexis Montague from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, hosted a panel discussion so girls could learn more about career opportunities in STEM.
  • Sarah Ness from Centennial, Eaglecrest High School, hosted nearly two dozen after-school art therapy sessions to help kids at her school relieve and manage stress.
  • Gwyneth Ormes from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, organized a series of after-school workshops to teach elementary school girls Processing (a basic programming language), along with the foundational concepts of computer science.
  • Emma Parkhurst from Centennial, Littleton High School, revitalized The Lions Cupboard, a local clothing closet, to make the space more accessible for families in need.
  • Makala Roggenkamp from Arvada, Faith Christian Academy, partnered with Hope House and created book templates for children to develop a love of reading.
  • Abagail Sickinger from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to help high school students get a job. Topics included: resume writing, what to wear, conducting yourself during an interview, and how to answer interview questions.
  • Katrina Stroud from Boulder, Niwot High School, created an activity booklet for The Butterfly Pavilion to teach children about Monarch butterflies and bumble bees.
  • Grayson Thomas from Lyons, Lyons High School, designed a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM community for Lyons Middle/Senior High School.
  • Marieke van Erven from Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.
  • Melissa Wilson from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, developed several materials to educate people who can hear about how to interact with those who are deaf.
  • Inspired by her mother’s battle with cancer, Susan Wilson from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a media center for cancer patients undergoing treatment at Parker Adventist Hospital.

The Girl Scout Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”

About Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Girl Scouts march in Veterans Day parade

Girl Scouts of Colorado partnered with the Colorado Veteran’s Project to show veterans how much we appreciate their service by marching in the Denver Veterans Parade on Saturday, November 11, 2017. We believe that honoring our service members is one way we can say a big “thank you” to those who committed to serve their country. This year, we had record 150 registered participants sign up to march in the parade!

Our fearless leader Lucy, Girl Scout Senior, called out commands to the Cadette-level  flag bearers Brooke, Emily, Emma, Faith, Cailet, Ada, and Zandria. The color guard posted seven flags: the current USA flag, the Colorado State flag, Girl Scouts of Colorado flag, a 48-star flag to represent the period between WWII and the Korean War, a GSUSA flag, and a Brownie Flag, in addition to many personalized troop flags and banners. A huge thank you to the Honor Guard representatives from the Douglas County Sheriff and Arapahoe County Sheriff offices. Their team educated our color guard on flag etiquette for the parade. The Girl Scouts started on the sidelines to cheer the first half of the parade and set the mood with chants of “U. S. A!” Throughout the day we raised morale with rounds of “Make New Friends” and renditions of “Old Glory.” When we arrived at the review stand the Girl Scouts wowed the judges with a recitation of the Girl Scout Promise.

We also want to thank the GSCO History Committee! They provided authentic historical uniforms from 1939-1953, ensuring that our entry was historically accurate between the WWII and Korean War entries. The history committee is committed to educating the community on Girl Scout history and traditions. Consider working with them for your next event or to complete your Troop Excellence Patch.

Girl Scouts know the importance of teamwork and also partnered with Saluting America to deliver Tribute Cards to veterans. Each Tribute Card has a patriotic image, inspirational quote, and personal message from a Colorado-based school student. Our Girl Scouts delivered tributes to veterans observing and participating in the parade and festival. This was a great opportunity to facilitate a discussion about “who is a veteran?” Our girls realized that anyone can serve their country and the best way to learn if someone was a veteran is to simply ask!

Would your Girl Scouts like to march in a parade? Join us for the Olde Golden Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9! Your troop can select current or historical uniforms—and troop banners or wagon floats are encouraged! Sign-up before November 24 to get in on the fun: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d45aaac22abfe3-join

GSCO STEM events this fall

Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison

More than 200 Girl Scouts, friends, and family enjoyed Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge on Oct. 14, 2017. Girls met several badge requirements by doing hand-on activities with different STEM organizations and toured the fossils at Dinosaur Ridge. One of the best things about this event is that it is both a Girl Scout and a family event. While the event was geared towards Girl Scouts, there was something for everyone.

GSCO would like to thank the Molly Brown House, Western Interior Paleontological Seaway, National Park Service, Libby Talks, the Great Denver Gem, and Mineral Council and Women in Mining for providing great activities for our girls!

A BIG thank you also goes to GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist Toni Dondero for helping with registration! More than 70 percent of our participants paid through a walk-up registration, so Toni’s help was invaluable. A BIG thank you goes to Erin LaCount at Dinosaur Ridge and her amazing crew of volunteers that hosted a great event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering Day with the Society of Engineers at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden

More than 100 Girl Scout Juniors earned the first part of the new Robotics badge at Engineering Day hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden on Oct. 7. SWE students planned and taught the whole event. A favorite activity was asphalt cookies, yummy treats made of chocolate and oats by rolling the ingredients between waxed paper and canned goods which girls brought for the activity and later donated.

Girl Scouts also had fun at over 10 different STEM stations where they made binary bracelets, lava lamps, engineering machines, and towers, statistics (thanks to the use of Skittles), and how germs spread at the Oogie Boogie table. The activities were taught by some of the most active SWE students as the Colorado School of Mines’ SWE chapter is the largest in the nation. A big thank you goes out to Jenna Lucas, SWE’s Engineering Day Chair; Agata Dean, faculty advisor, and the members of SWE who hosted this great event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford Girls Fast Track Race, Fort Collins

80 Girl Scouts from Northern Colorado and the Front Range raced pine wood derby cars at the Ford Girls Fast Tracks race on Sept. 30 in Fort Collins. Girls made their own cars, fine-tuned their car’s design with the help of a Ford Engineer, and competed fiercely to win.

Ford generously sponsored the race and GSCO was one of eight councils nationwide that received a grant to host the event. Girls received a free car kit, t-shirt, food, and a special event patch. Check out the racing action in this video aired on Fox 31/KWGN-TV here . Two Ford engineers were onsite and counseled girls on ways to alter their cars to win. A favorite part of the race was seeing each girl’s car and the thought and creativity they put into each design. Another favorite part was seeing the proud smiles of the girls racing their cars!

A BIG thank you goes to Julie Gallagher, Gayle Richardson, Elise Barrios, Carol Griffin, and Amy Myers for being the GSCO Race Pit Crew! We’d also like to thank Ford and their team for a great race day.

Upcoming Events

Check out these fun GSCO Events! GSCO Staff are welcome to stop by these events to check out what our Girl Scouts are doing first-hand or enjoy our Girl Scout discount at these sports and entertainment events.

Nov. 18 – Project C.U.R.E., Denver. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (troops can choose 1 of 3 sessions). Cost: $6 per kit donated. Come learn about Project C.U.R.E. and pack a kit for donation. Fun activities and event patch included. Register here. This is our biggest event of the year, so GSCO staff members are welcome to stop by and check out what the girls are doing!

Dec. 2 – Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey, Westminster. 3:45 p.m. game start. Cost is $1+ teddy bear/stuffed animal to donate/person or $5/person without a teddy bear. Cheer on Metro State at they take on CU Hockey. Participants will toss their bears on the ice when Metro State scores their first goal. To register, please contact Victoria Fedorco atmsuvictoriaf@gmail.com  with contact info and number of tickets needed. She will follow-up with further instructions.

Dec. 8 – Disney on Ice, Denver. Cost: $17.75 + online fees. Disney on Ice presents “Follow Your Heart.” Post-performance Girl Scout clinic will highlight the Tech Crew and the special work they do to put on the show. Event patch included. Ticket information can be found here.

Outdoor Adventure Club weekend at Tomahawk Ranch: Single event registration is now open

Registration is now open for single event passes for a weekend at Tomahawk Ranch December 15- 17, 2017 with the Outdoor Adventure Club. At this event, girls will learn wilderness survival skills, practice outdoor cooking, tour the Tomahawk farm, and go mountain biking.

Registration closes December 1 and the fee is $100 for the weekend. To register or for more information, use this link: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2017/outdoor_adventure_cl_1805802475.html

Questions? Email Marissa Rooney at Marissa.Rooney@gscolorado.org

About the Outdoor Adventure Club

The Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) is GSCO staff-led program for older Girl Scouts offering monthly high adventure activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and skiing.  Passport sales for the OAC have closed, but girls can register for individual events with single passes. Single event passes for the OAC Explorers (6th grade) are $100/ girl, and single event passes for the OAC Trailblazers are $75/ girl. Sign up at the links below to be notified as soon as single event registration opens for a program:

For more information and to see a list of upcoming events: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/adventure

Volunteer View: November 2017

Grow your troop and you could win sweet prizes! Help us unleash the power in more G.I.R.L.s by pledging to add one or more new girls to your troop by March 1, 2018. Pledge takers who share how their troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda will be entered to win prizes, including the chance to be featured on GSUSA’s Facebook page!

The pledge closes November 15, 2017, so don’t wait!

Take the pledge

Camp sessions go live on Dec. 1

Get ready for another fun summer at Girl Scout Camp! Sessions go live on December 1, and camp registration opens on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.

Can’t wait for summer? Check out events coming up through the winter and spring at our camp properties »

New activities in the Volunteer Toolkit

Troops can use the Volunteer Toolkit to plan out their whole year and have a roster of all troop member information, accessible via computer or mobile device, as well as tools to facilitate communication between parents and troop leaders. VTK now allows you to access 18 activities, including a Get Outside option.

For Daisy, Brownie, and Junior troops, VTK comes with pre-populated plans for every meeting. All new STEM and outdoor program content is available!

For Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops, a fully customized year is available, allowing older girls to take charge of the planning, along with program curriculum under the Resources tab.

Learn more

Get ready for cookie season

Thank you for an amazing fall product program! Girls should deliver fall product items this week, and rewards will be delivered to service units during the week of November 27.

Is your troop ready for the 2018 Cookie Program? Make sure you have a completed ACH and a troop cookie manager with a signed TCM Agreement. New TCMs should start their background check process as soon as possible as they can take up to four weeks to finalize.

Troops that sold at least $350 in online sales during the Fall Product Program will be eligible to join the S’mores Club and can earn Pandora™ bracelets if they have a selling girl average of 300 packages during the cookie program.

New! Conflict Fluency training

Want to feel confident about handling conflict situations in your troop? Log on to our e-learning site to access our Conflict Fluency training. The class offers guided instruction on managing and resolving disagreements, and will equip you with how to handle issues as they arise.

Go to e-learning »

Get outdoors with OAC this winter

The Outdoor Adventure Club has two events opening up to single-event registration this month:

Sign up to be notified when single-event registrations open for OAC Explorers or OAC Trailblazers.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 18: Packing for Impact with Project C.U.R.E.
Girls will fill Kits for Kids, engage in fun activities with medical personnel and other Girl Scouts, and learn about children around the world that they will be helping.

Dec. 2: Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey
Everyone is encouraged a bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to toss on the ice when Metro State makes their first goal. Bears will be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Denver and Aurora.

Dec. 3: Sky High Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony & Brunch
Come to Sky High Ranch to help us celebrate our annual Tree Lighting. We’ll have a buffet, family photo ops, crafts, ornaments, hot drinks, and of course, goodies!

Dec. 10: Tomahawk Brunch at the Barnyard with Santa
Join us for brunch with Santa and meet his furry barnyard friends. Eat a delicious brunch buffet, savor sweets and lollies aplenty, take photos with Santa, and warm up fireside with hot cocoa and cider.

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

Mesa County Commissioners commend Girl Scout Troop 2214

Submitted by GSCO Team Lead Cindi Graves

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Mesa County Commissioners commend Girl Scout Troop 2214 for its devotion to the Girl Scout mission and values, and for earning the distinction of Bronze Award Girl Scout. The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve by completing a girl-led project to benefit the local community.

Charlotte A., Megan F., Braeleigh M., Preslee R., and Elizabeth S. have become Bronze Award Girl Scouts through recognizing a need for teens and tweens entering foster care and creating care packages filled with items to help with the difficult transition for youth entering foster care.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Girl Scout Troop 2214 for their innovative and compassionate effort to serve the youth in foster care in Mesa County.

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

Volunteers needed: Parade of Lights

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, Colorado’s largest holiday parade, is in Downtown Denver on December 1 and 2, 2017. We are currently looking for volunteers to participate as costumed characters, banner elves, and grandstand ambassadors. These volunteers (12-years-old and older) will be assigned to a unit and specific costume and face paint. The volunteers will march the two-mile parade route (under the supervision of a unit captain) in character while waiving at the thousands of locals who come to watch the parade each year.

Persons interested in participating in this year’s parade should go to www.denverparadeoflights.com and fill out an application as soon as possible. Positions are filling up quickly!

Recruit parents to help your Girl Scout troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

You know those parents who always step up, lend a hand, and bring the fun to your Girl Scout troop? Wouldn’t it be amazing if more followed their lead and signed up to volunteer? 

Girl Scout troop leader Richel Newborg is never short on volunteers, but not because she’s lucky—she puts in the effort to bring them into the fold. After reading her tried-and-true tips on Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog, The Trailhead, we knew we had to spread her wisdom throughout the Movement. Check out Richel’s advice in her own words below, follow her lead, and watch as your troop gets all the support you could ever need!

1. Set an expectation that everyone volunteers and we are in this together.

My first opportunity to let parents know I need their help is when new members join the group. We always welcome each new member and their family at the girls’ first troop meeting. I introduce key members of our troop leadership and I let parents know that they will be asked to volunteer for at least one thing. Usually I list in writing which things I know I’ll need help with and a brief description of what duties are involved. This way parents are free to select what interests them. 

Some of these jobs might be helping pack for the camping trip, cookie mom, bringing snacks, or cutting out pieces for SWAPS. Your troop will have different positions depending on how you expect your year to unfold, so customize your own list according to your needs. Let everyone know that by pitching in and helping even with a small task means no one is responsible for all the work and it balances out across the board. It’s an important lesson for the girls to learn too. 

A few jobs you might need filled in your troop are: 

  • troop treasurer
  • cookie volunteer
  • initial cookie check-out assistant
  • snack planning
  • carpool drivers
  • camping lead
  • SWAPS volunteer
  • recruitment supporter
  • community outreach
  • event planning (bridging ceremonies, holiday parties, Court of Awards, etc.) 
2. Use a family talent survey and require every family to fill one out.

This is a survey where parents are asked about their own Girl Scout background as well as what talents and tasks they may be able to help with. From this you can learn a lot about who’s on your team! When my girls’ parents completed their surveys, I quickly discovered we had tons of parents with camping gear and the skills to go with it. We also learned 10 parents were CPR certified and two worked in the medical field. Go through your roster and make sure every parent has responded, and remind non-responders that this is one way you can get to know them and learn how they all can support the troop. 

3. Plan a family event and then fit the job to the personality.

When you host a fun family event, you’ll quickly learn a lot about the parents in your troop. It’s true that some folks love to be in front of kids, some have great teaching skills, while others are terrified, and don’t know what to do. At our family events we make sure to have a mix of activities, games and team building-type activities that everyone participates in with their girls. 

This gives everyone an opportunity to have fun together and you’ll quickly know everyone’s personalities from how they participate. 

4. Ask parents personally for their help.

In the age of social media and email, avoid the mistake of asking for volunteers by a broadcast email. That approach almost never works and will only cause you frustration. It’s also important that you refrain from complaining publicly about a lack of volunteers in your troop. Honestly, nothing scares off helpers faster than someone that’s complaining!

Instead address parents in a small group or in a one-on-one conversation. Make sure you speak with a positive tone and avoid being confrontational. Campouts, BBQs, and events that are geared to be “mixers” are a perfect time to ask, because parents tend to be relaxed and not stressed about their other obligations. Don’t feel like you have to fill every role by the end of your first month of meetings. Some people may need to get to know you and your group before they step up. 

5. Once someone says yes, follow up and set them up for success.

As soon as you can, you’ll also want to contact the volunteer to give them all the information they need to be successful. You’ll also need to let them know if there is any training specific to their position that they will need to attend or complete such as a council background check. 

For instance a dad that wants to take the lead on camping trips needs to not only register as an adult and get a background check, he’ll also need to take your council’s required training. A mom who said she wants to help with cookies might need to attend an online training or come to a service unit meeting to get information on how a Girl Scout Cookie Program works. Since some of these trainings can be done online and some must be done in person, it’s important to provide them with this information. Check with your council for the best online resources, and to find out about in person trainings. 

6. Recognize the volunteer right away.

Once someone says they will help, make sure you thank them. I like to write a personal note and hand it to them at the next meeting. Also at the next troop meeting, in front of all the parents and girls, announce the new volunteer’s role. Then ask everyone to thank him or her for stepping up and helping support the troop. This makes the newcomer feel great about volunteering and makes it a bit tougher to back out! It also lets the girls know they have a team supporting their Girl Scout experience throughout the year! 

Follow these tips and keep a positive attitude and you’ll quickly learn that there are many parents that want to help!

Girl Scouts of Colorado