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Girl Scouts introduces 30 new badges to power girl leadership

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts releases new badges in environmental stewardship, space science, robotics, and more to help girls create positive change in their communities—and beyond.

Today, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) rolled out 30 new badges and 2 new Journeys (available now!) exclusively for girls ages 5–18—enhancing the time tested, one-of-a-kind leadership experience that has prepared countless women and girls to excel in life. The new programming will prepare girls to address some of society’s most pressing needs through hands-on learning in cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, computer science, and space exploration. 

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:

  • Think Like a Programmer Journey, funded by Raytheon and providing a strong foundation in computational thinking and the framework for Girl Scouts’ first ever national Cyber Challenge, coming in 2019. The programming will prepare girls to pursue careers in fields such as cybersecurity, computer science, and robotics. Learn more.
  • Environmental Stewardship badges, funded by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project and expanding on GSUSA’s current Environmental Stewardship badge offerings. Girls in grades K–12 are encouraged to prepare for outdoor experiences and take action on environmental issues they care about. Although Girl Scouts have been advocating for the environment since the organization’s founding 106 years ago, the new badges are the first to specifically mobilize girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and take the lead to protect the natural world. Learn more.
  • Robotics badges that teach girls how to program, design, and showcase robots, completing the suite of Robotics badges that GSUSA introduced for girls in grades K–5 last year. Now, every Girl Scout can develop robotics skills and earn badges while she’s at it! Learn more.
  • The College Knowledge badge for Girl Scouts in grades 11 and 12—the first badge dedicated to college exploration. By showing girls how to research the admissions process, financial aid, and other key factors, our College Knowledge badge meets a specific need and addresses the life skills girls have told us they’re interested in—and that many don’t find support for outside Girl Scouts. Learn more.
  • Think Like an Engineer Journey, which helps girls understand how engineers address and solve problems. As with all Girl Scout Leadership Journeys, girls complete hands-on activities and use their newly honed skills to take action on a problem in their community. Learn more.

Girls in grades K–5 can now earn badges in:

  • Cybersecurity. Funded by Palo Alto Networks, our new Cybersecurity badges introduce girls to age-appropriate online safety and privacy principles, how the internet works, and spotting and investigating cybercrime. Learn more.
  • Space Science. Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute, these badges let girls channel their inner NASA scientist as they learn about objects in space and how astronomers conduct investigations. Learn more.
  • Mechanical Engineering. Girl Scout Juniors—girls in grades 4 and 5—design paddle boats, cranes, and balloon-powered cars; and learn about buoyancy, potential and kinetic energy, machines, and jet propulsion. Following last year’s introduction of Mechanical Engineering badges for girls in grades K–3, the addition of these badges means that ALL Girl Scouts in elementary school now have access to hands-on engineering experiences. Learn more.

Enhancing Girl Scouts’ proven girl-led programming, these new badges and Journeys will set girls up for a lifetime of leadership and success, and prepare them to take action to make the world a better—including greener and more equitable—place for us all.

Today’s youth are increasingly vocal about the change they want to see—and Girl Scouts are the best equipped with the skills needed to make a real impact. In fact, girls who participate in Girl Scouting are more than twice as likelyto exhibit community problem-solving skills than girls who don’t (57 percent versus 28 percent). The important soft skills like confidence and perseverance that Girl Scouts promotes, coupled with the hard skills linked with our standout, 21st-century programming definitely set Girl Scouts apart.

There’s just no doubt about it: Girl Scouts is the single BEST place for girls. Delivering a one-of-a-kind leadership development program (and the largest in the world for girls!), Girl Scouts provides girls with unlimited girl-led adventures found nowhere else. Troops are forming now—join Girl Scouts today. 

GSUSA works with top organizations and specialists in fields that interest today’s girls. These entities advise us and collaborate with us to develop cutting-edge programming for girls. Recent content collaborators include Code.org, the Cyber Innovation Center, robotics educator and author Kathy Ceceri, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Museum of Science in Boston, and Design Squad Global. Girl Scouts themselves also rigorously tested select new program offerings, including the Think Like a Programmer activities and Space Science and Cybersecurity badges announced last year and available for girls nationwide to earn.

Volunteer View: July 2018

You’re more than a Girl Scout. You’re a G.I.R.L.

We believe there’s no such thing as too much. That there’s no excuse for making excuses. Our strength doesn’t come from how much we can lift, but from how often we can lift ourselves back up. We are everyday optimists. Adventure seekers. Problem solvers. We are girls, troop leaders, mentors, advocates, parents, Girl Scouts. We are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader). We will not stop. In fact, we’re just getting started. If your troop is able to host a recruitment event in your area, please contact your VSS.

Renew today 

Outdoor Adventure Club

Passports for the 2018-2019 Outdoor Adventure Club season are available through August 8. Purchase your older Girl Scout’s passport now to attend year-round high adventure events across the state.

Learn more

Outdoor Programs

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

This event is open to Cadette girls going into 8th grade in fall 2018 and 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.

Register today

Inside Scoop: Coming summer 2019, a week long summer heat fire camp! Want more than the taster? A full week of fun activities such as: 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.

Highest Awards

All girls who have bridged to Cadettes or Seniors have until Sept. 30 to notify GSCO they have earned their Bronze or Silver Award, respectively. Fill out the online Bronze or Silver Award notification form to let us know that your girls have earned a highest award.

Gold Award rubrics

Girl Scouts of Colorado is thrilled to publish new Gold Award rubrics for girls around the state to use to make their Gold Award journey successful and rewarding. The document includes a rubric for initial proposal approval and final approval, so girls can understand exactly what is expected of them throughout their Gold Award journey.

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 you can download, which offers a variety of situations and solutions 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.

Leadership Summits and Super Saturday events

Networking opportunities, a variety of volunteer training, and enrichment classes will be offered for new and experienced leaders, along with classes for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Get energized for the new membership year by meeting other volunteers and enhancing your skills by taking classes that support your experience as a volunteer!

Volunteers are welcome to register and attend any of the Leadership Summits and Super Saturday training events.

Leadership Summits
Aug. 25: Colorado Springs
Sept. 8: Loveland
Sept. 29: Denver
Registration and full details coming soon!

Super Saturdays
Sept. 29: Durango
Oct. 13: La Junta
Oct. 20: Grand Junction
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!

Older Girl Journey Weekend

Ready for some outdoor fun?! Older Girl Journey Weekend is September 21-23 at Sky High Ranch. Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors will strengthen their outdoor skills and ignite their passion for environmental stewardship as they earn components of the new Outdoor Journey. Cost is $90/girl and $40/adult chaperone. There are a  limited number of Program Aide (must have completed internship) spots at $50/girl. This is a drop-off event, registered adults will be expected to assist in supervision of girls.

Register today before spots fill up!

Apply for the Older Girl Advisory Board

Looking for a way to grow your leadership skills? Older Girl Advisory Board (OGAB) applications are open! OGAB members play an integral role in the enrichment of girl experience across Colorado through planning retreats and monthly virtual meetings with council staff. Check out what graduating Seniors Bailey and Emma said about their experience in OGAB, then apply with two references are due by September 18.

Safety Checkpoints updated

The 2018 Safety Activity Checkpoints are now available on our website. Please check this resource before planning activities with your girls. Read more about changes this year on the blog.

Upcoming events

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.

Aug. 4 – Girl Scout Night with Colorado Switchbacks Soccer, Colorado Springs.  Girl Scouts, friends, and family can enjoy discounted tickets and cheer on the Switchbacks as they take on the OKC Energy.

Aug. 12 – Girl Scout Night with the Grand Junction Rockies Baseball, Grand Junction. Cheer on the Grand Junction Rockies as they take on the Helena Brewers! Registration information is coming soon!

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.

Gold Award Girl Scout Zoi Johns named VFW Colorado Scout of the Year

Gold Award Girl Scout Zoi Johns of Golden was honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as the Colorado Scout of the Year in June 2018. VFW recognizes the impact scouting has on not only the nation but the world. Zoi told Girl Scouts of Colorado, “Thank you for being a part of my story and my success. THIS is why we do what we do.”

Learn more about Zoi’s Gold Award project on GSCO blog: http://gscoblog.org/2017/10/girl-scout-gold-award-project-zoi-johns-golden-project-waterwise/

Colorado Outdoor Adventure Day Camp

Submitted by Marcia Roe

Metro Denver

Westminster

July 9-13, 2018, 55 girls attended Colorado Outdoor Adventure Day Camp sponsored by Troop 61359 at Barr Lake State Park for Brownies and Juniors. Although it was hot, girls and adult attendees had a great time. We had amazing times being brave, being kind, having courage, exploring and developing deep roots in friendship and scouting, and gaining wings to soar to new adventures. Adventures included archery, fishing, boating, hiking, learning about Colorado wildlife and plants, and outdoor cooking. We even had an added bonus of visiting friends involved with Girl Guides in the UK coming to teach us songs and letter boxing .

Barr Lake State Park rangers and volunteers were amazing at helping this camp run so smoothly. Their Eagle Express and vast knowledge helped us so very much. Each day girls received snacks that were donated from different Colorado companies/donors. Thank you to Bobo’s, Chipotle, MM Local Foods, and Celestial Seasonings. Thank you to everyone who donated their time and resources to make this week a success.

We will see you again for more adventures next year, July 8-12, 2019.

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

Summer is the time to get outdoors

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Some of the Girl Scouts from Troop 70720 have been doing several hikes this summer in preparation for their first 14er in August! Last week, they hiked Maxwell Natural Area, 4.04 miles round trip with a moderate climb!

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

Safety Activity Checkpoints: New rules impacting girl travel

Attention Girl Scout volunteers and families: Safety Activity Checkpoints has been updated. The revised version is available on our website at www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org under “Forms,” or click here to go directly to the guidebook. This resource provides instructions and recommendations for girls and adults to stay safe while participating in various activities.

Two new guidelines to be aware of regarding travel with girls are:

Transportation

Uber, Lyft, Curb, and similar ridesharing companies are not permitted to transport girls because the safety, credibility, and insurance of the drivers is far more difficult to qualify than that of traditional or well-known charter and rental companies. Complete auto insurance coverage is often not available or not sufficient for the majority of rideshare drivers. (SAC, Page 10)

Overnight Accommodations

The use of Airbnb and other private rentals is not permitted. The safety, credibility, and insurance requirements of private rentals are difficult to qualify compared to traditional commercial properties. For these reasons, the guideline is to stay away from private rentals such as Airbnb, VRBO, Flipkey, Romana, Homeaway, VayStays, Tripping, Wimdu, and Couchsurfing. (SAC, Page 11)

Read pages one-three in Safety Activity Checkpoints, to see which activities are included in the guide. It’s a good way to get ideas about different options for your troop or group. Once you decide what you are going to do, you can then consult the relevant section, and share the instructions with the other adults and the girls in your group before planning and engaging in the activity. For an overview of general safety rules for all Girl Scouts activities, review pages 4-15 in SAC.

Girl Scout Night with the Colorado Switchbacks Soccer

Join us for Girl Scout Night with the Colorado Switchbacks Soccer on August 4, 2018! Cheer on the Switchbacks as they take on the Oklahoma City Energy. All Girl Scouts attending will receive a special event patch. Enjoy discounted tickets and get ready for a fun night! All Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited!

The game will start at 5 p.m. and will be hosted at Weidner Field in Colorado Springs. Cost is $12 a person and tickets can be purchased at https://goo.gl/Z6Sc3e. The ticket deadline is Monday, July 30.

Questions? Please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org. We hope to see you there!

GE Johnson’s Careers in Construction Day for Cadettes and Seniors

Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors are invited to Careers in Construction Day hosted by GE Johnson on Saturday, September 29, 2018 in Colorado Springs. Construction Day covers a broad range of construction careers from building to project management to sustainability and more! Come learn from GE Johnson’s experts. Try your hand at building and make a little free library you can place in your neighborhood. Cadettes can earn requirements towards the “Woodworking” badge. The GE Johnson team will also host a behind-the-scenes construction tour of the U.S. Olympic Museum.

Cost is $10/ Girl Scout Cadette/Senior. Registration can be found at https://goo.gl/9Y4evs and the registration deadline is September 14. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Girls will want to bring a sack lunch and refillable water bottle and wear closed toe shoes (no sandals or flip flops, please). The event will be hosted at GE Johnson’s Logistics Facility in Colorado Springs and the U.S. Olympic Museum construction site. Participants will need transportation from GE Johnson’s Logistics Facility to the US Olympic Museum.

Questions? Please email Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scout Juniors create NICU Care Kits

All 14 Girl Scout Juniors of Troop 1631 from Highlands Ranch recently completed their biggest girl-led project yet! Many of the girls were in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) as babies, or have overcome some sort of medical challenge, so when completing the “Agent of Change” Journey, they wanted to do something to help children and families in the NICU at UCHealth. During the Journey, the girls talked about ways that they could make a difference individually, but with the help of their community, they could make an even bigger impact.

The project started with the intent of helping babies, and the girls invited a labor and delivery nurse to a meeting to talk with them about what happens when a baby is in NICU and what parents might experience.  Afterwards, the girls decided they wanted to make NICU Care Kits with the hopes of providing comfort to the parents, so they could focus on caring for their babies, and this nurse served as a consultant through the process.  The girls broke into three committees. One group was in charge of researching hospitals, and working with staff to coordinate logistics.  Another group researched items a parent might need and made suggestions on what should be included in the kits.  The third brainstormed ways to fund this project and obtain the items.

Once they narrowed down logistics, they delegated items for each girl to be responsible and were challenged to go out to the community and let others know what they were doing and ask for donations. Many businesses respectfully declined, but the girls were persistent and 85% of the items in the kits were donated.  This included pillows, toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss, shampoo/conditioner, preemie clothes, snack bars, note pads (so parents could journal the experience), and a few other comfort items.  The girls even found someone to knit and donate preemie hats.  They also chose to use a portion of their cookie money to purchase items they felt they were missing from the kits and still needed.  In the end, the girls assembled 20 NICU Care Kits, and had about 30 more partial kits of extras.

In alignment of the “Agent of Change” Journey, not only were the girls able to get their community involved, but they also learned more about the community. For example, some of the snack bars were donated by Don’t Go Nuts, a local company that produces snacks that are completely nut-free, from the moment the ingredients are grown until they are produced in the facility.  They learned that this company was founded by a 14-year-old girl, not much older than them. Because she had life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies, she wanted wholesome snacks that you didn’t have to fear were contaminated.  This was relatable to the girls, and an opportunity for them to see another girl not much older or different from them making a difference.

The girls began this project in November 2017, but between research and planning, participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and other troop events, they completed it when the kits were delivered to UCHealth on June 20, 2018. The girls have already received thank you letters from parents who received their kits.

Hello, 

I have a baby in the NICU in Denver. I received the sweetest care package from Junior Girl Scout Troop 1631 out of Highlands Ranch. It was amazingly thoughtful and practical. Thought you should know about the awesome work they’re doing. 

I’m also staying at the Ronald McDonald House Aurora while my baby is in the NICU. Every time we see the Girl Scouts on the volunteer list we get excited. They are always great dinners that you can tell the girls were helping to create ( not just adults doing it all). The troops I know about serving us dinner are Troop 2246 and Troop 3687. There was another and I’m sorry I don’t know what troop they were with. They made kabobs that were cooked to perfection. 

I just wanted to reach out so you can tell them we really do appreciate all they have done for us during this time. 

Sincerely, 

Annie and JD (and baby Joey)

Hello,

I received the sweetest care package today from your Girl Scout group and I just wanted to say thanks. I wasn’t able to meet the girls because I was holding my baby, but I was truly blessed by their effort and thoughtfulness. It really made my day. Please let them know that I’m so thankful they were here today, and to keep caring for others. 

Thank you!

Krisangela

 

Openings for Urban Trails Day Camp July 30 – Aug. 3

Submitted by Tiffany Stone

Metro Denver

Denver

There are still TWO more ADULT VOLUNTEER openings for the Urban Trail service unit’s upcoming day camp!

Details:
Urban Trails Day Camp
Cherry Creek State Park
July 30 – August 3, 2018

Perks:
A 90% DISCOUNT for your girl to go to this day camp. The whole week of camp will cost around $20!
Frappacinos galore
Canoeing
Awesome Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors to hang with all week
Free hat
Lessons and activities already planned
AMAZING PA helpers and AMAZING adults to work with

The Catch?:
You need to volunteer the entire week. It is a 830 a.m. – 3: 30 p.m. commitment.
You will need to bring your own lunch, as all campers do.
This camp is for Brownies/Juniors and PA’s/PAI’s (no Daisies for this camp)

IF you are interested in having your girl come to this camp with you as a volunteer, please contact me ASAP at (303) 204-4675 or urbantrailsdenver@gmail.com. This offer must close on July 16!

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