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My Girl Scouts Silver Award Project Journey

By Silje Hayes, Troop 1269, Littleton

The Girl Scout Silver Award, one of the highest awards a Girl Scout can earn. These are words many young Girl Scouts hear and often imagine achieving. A few years back my troop went from about twelve girls to four in about a month. We were all just about to start our Silver Award project. All of the sudden, the project was all on the remaining four of us. We didn’t always get along, but we always tried to make it fun. I discovered that I am very good at procrastinating, not the best thing to realize! But, I also learned that when I put everything I’ve got into something, it will turn out awesome. That’s what happened with the bench my troop made for our group Silver Award project. It involved a lot of phone calls, shopping trips, paperwork and Saturday afternoons. We made it as a memorial for a teacher who worked for one of our community’s preschools. Eventually after a lot of hard work we finished, and it was definitely worth it.

CEO Corner: Building Girl Scout Confidence

I got a phone call this weekend from a friend whose daughter is in my son’s 6th grade class. She says her daughter worries a lot about if she is liked by the other kids, especially the boys. She wants to wear makeup and clothes that my friend doesn’t think are age appropriate. That got me thinking about how hard it has to be a kid these days, especially a girl. How women and girls are shown in the media, especially on reality TV shows, has such a powerful impact on how we treat each other. In fact, a recent study by the Girl Scout Research Institute found that tween and teen girls who regularly watch reality TV “accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance.”

That’s why Girl Scouts of Colorado is ramping up our focus on giving girls the confidence and tools they need to navigate those tricky situations they move through every day – programs like Power Up, to help them understand and defuse bullying situations, and Fight Like A Girl Scout, to help them recognize and act when they’re threatened. It’s why we’re involved with efforts recently like The Colorado Clothesline Project, addressing issues of violence against girls and women. (View photos and video from this event.) And why we’re planning a Feb. 23rd viewing of the film Miss. Representation , which explores how the media influences perceptions – and misperceptions – of women.

As we ramp up these efforts, we’re looking to our community to support us by volunteering for one of these programs and/or making a donation to help offset the costs of providing them. To learn more about how you can volunteer for or donate, visit Girl Scouts of Colorado’s website.

We’d also like to ask you to show your support by weighing in on a “healthy media” poll put together by the Geena Davis Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Healthy MEdia Commission. This poll will hopefully get lawmakers and the entertainment industry thinking about just how much influence they have on building women leadership in this country.

It’s sad that girls like my friend’s daughter feel so much pressure when they are so young. Girl Scouts is all about helping girls to see that their value isn’t in what they wear, what others think of them or the girl drama. Join me and Girl Scouts of Colorado in helping our girls grow up to be strong, brave, capable leaders.

Colorado Springs Girl Scouts take on City Hall

From “Proud Troop Leader” Monica Hobbs

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To earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award, one of the highest awards in Girl Scouts, 5th grade Junior Troop 1947 of Steele Elementary in Colorado Springs, aimed to get a crosswalk at a dangerous intersection near their school. Neighbors had tried for years and suggested maybe the city would listen to Girl Scouts.

The four members – Kalyana, Alexa, Chloe and Lauren – divided up the responsibilities – school, neighborhood, city and media – and when a city traffic engineer gave them a flat out “no,” it didn’t stop them. They researched safe options and built a support team of neighbors and experts; made a PowerPoint presentation of their findings and a video of the intersection and got the support of their neighborhood association board and school; they collected signatures on a petition and even found funding with a grant. Alexa Huesgen Hobbs said,”It was so exciting to see how everyone wanted to help us – most of the things we found out just by talking to people.”

Their advisors told them to take it to the citizen’s forum at City Hall, but first meet one-on-one with a couple key City Council members. (In fact, one of the City Council people they worked with was Jan Martin, a former Girl Scout and Girl Scout Woman of Distinction, who are women leaders in the community.) To create buzz and generate support on the day of the presentation the troop placed signs at the dangerous intersection, invited neighbors to attend and contacted the local media. The media story ran as the second story on the 5 o’clock news and lead at 10 and was front page on the local paper’s website, being picked up by other internet news sources to include MSNBC (this story includes a link to the video the troop created about the intersection). The next day the newspaper story ran big in print on the third page! Chloe Hilby said,”It felt awesome trying to help the community.”

The troop was able to get support from the City Council in these ways. The Council not only gave the Girl Scouts a “yes,” but praised them for their well prepared and thorough presentation, and, most importantly, for not taking “no” for an answer.  They wanted young people to know that they really can make a difference. (View video of the troop’s presentation to the City Council) Kalyana Gallagher said, “It was a great experience and super fun! I learned teamwork, responsibility and safety, for sure.” Lauren Sutz added, “I learned that it is more important to help the community than yourself. When you help the community you are helping yourself.”

Did I mention these girls are 10 years old?

 

Girl Scouts of the USA also covered this story on their blog

The Prides and Joys of being a Girl Scout Volunteer and Troop Leader!

Written by Troops 4130 and 2013 Leader, Christina Burke

The girls in Girl Scout Troops 4130 and 2013 have worked hard in their first year of Girl Scouting! As Girl Scout Daisies (with the exception of Mikayla, who is a second year Girl Scout Brownie), they sold cookies and made a terrific donation to the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver. During their Daisy Journey activities, they earned several awards.

The girls also went to Disney Princess on Ice, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, did a World Thinking Day activity and much more! As Brownies, they have participated in the Postcard Exchange with many troops, the Fall Product Sales where they made a substantial amount of funds for their troop and Girl Scouts. Our troop is now working on Legacy Badges and additional Journey awards.

Being a volunteer and Troop Leader for these girls has been an inspiration to me. I have learned to be more patient and nurturing. I am also learning the values of the Girl Scout Journeys with my co-leader, Erika. I hope to volunteer for many years to come and look forward to watching ours girls become the very best they can be.

Troop 2013 Leaders Erika Beeman/Christina Burke. Brownies: Mikayla. Addie, Sara, Lexi, Hailey and Angie.
Addie welcomes her sister Bella into Daisies!
The girls bridge into Brownies!

 

Brownie Troop 2013

Girl Scouts hope to break cycle of violence against women & girls

According to a National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

In 2008, Colorado domestic violence agency staff and volunteers answered 46,780 crisis intervention calls, a 20% increase from 2007.

According to 2008 Liz Claiborne research study, one in four “tween” say dating violence is a serious problem for their age.

85,000 rapes were reported in Colorado in 2010, yet an estimated 60% of rapes go unreported.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is going to be part of an important project that starts this Saturday, Oct. 29th.

We are collaborating with MidChix & MadHens, a social enterprise promoting the well-being of women & girls, on the Colorado Clothesline Project.

This event will bring together hundreds of girls (6th grade and older) and women throughout the community to create a compelling T-Shirt art exhibit acknowledging the existence and effects of widespread violence against women and girls in our society, along with efforts to break that cycle via education and empowerment of our generation as well as the next.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John’s Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., Denver. (A program on domestic violence will be given by the Center on Domestic Violence at the University of Colorado Denver from 10-10:45 a.m.)

The hundreds of completed shirts will be part of a public art display in the South Gaylord Street neighborhood in Wash Park from Nov. 4th-6th. A public unveiling of the display will take place on Nov. 4th from 5-8 p.m. at Brushstrokes Gallery, 1059 South Gaylord Street, Denver.

This isn’t the first time Colorado Girl Scouts have been part of this important conversation in our community. View the public service announcement one of our Colorado Springs Girl Scouts (also a Generation Wow! Girl Scout), Rebecca Nelson, created on this subject for TESSA to earn her the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award, this last spring.

For more information on the Colorado Clothesline event, including how you can participate, visit our website.

Stop by your Service Center open house

Girl Scouts of Colorado is hosting Open House Events at the Girl Scouts Service Centers around the state. Come learn about resources available for you, meet your Membership Manager, learn more about the Journeys and Girl’s Guide, taste the new Girl Scout Cookie, Savannah Smiles, and checkout the sample incentives for the Cookie Program.

Pueblo, Denver and Fort Collins open houses are the weekend of Oct. 29 and Colorado Springs is Monday, Oct. 31. View the flier for more details.

Nearly 100 stop by for Grand Junction Service Center open house

Girl Scouts of Colorado is hosting Open House Events at the Girl Scouts Service Centers around the state. Come learn about resources available for you, meet your Membership Manager, learn more about the Journeys and Girl’s Guide and taste the new Girl Scout Cookie, Savannah Smiles.

The Grand Junction Service Center open house on Oct. 1 attracted close to 100 people who came to meet staff and check out the grand re-opening of the remodeled shop.

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