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Hygiene Troop’s book drive a huge success

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Submitted by Rebecca Wilson
Longmont

Our amazing Brownies and Juniors in Troop 72081 love to work with younger troops and especially enjoy making a difference in our community. When we heard about “Colorado Reads: The Early Literacy Initiative” we knew we wanted to participate! We teamed up with Troops 70710 and 72558 to take action!

The goal of “Colorado Reads” is to help educate the next generation of leaders about the importance of literacy through peer mentoring and girl-led Take Action service. Our Girl Scouts determined that they would hold a read-in with the Daisies from Troop 70710, and our Brownies wrote, illustrated and read a story to them. Our Juniors also read to the Daisies and then we helped them get ready for an ice cream snack that included a gummy “bookworm!”

The girls also decided to hold a book drive to benefit an organization in our community, which was one of the challenges of the Program. From mid-March thru April, our Troops collected books by placing collection bins in our elementary school, the church where we hold our meetings, and by going through our own personal libraries. We also received a large contribution of books from Firestone Troop 778. Our girls chose the Wild Plum Center in Longmont to be our partner. After contacting Wild Plum, we learned that they service more than 300 families in the community with in –home services, as well as 100s of children in their preschool programs.

Our initial goal was to collect 300 new and gently used books so that every family would receive a book that they could keep. We were thrilled to end our collection with over 600 books, more than twice our original goal! Not only was Wild Plum able to provide a book to each family, but the children in their preschools were also able to choose a book to take home. On May 1, some of our Girl Scouts were able to participate in the book delivery to the Wild Plum Center, as seen in the photograph. The children were so excited to see all the wonderful books and our Girl Scouts were proud of their accomplishments and happy to be able to share their good fortune with the Wild Plum Center.

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

Countries and Cultures day camp takes girls to new, intriguing places

Submitted by Daffodil
Bear Creek Lake Park

Countries and Cultures, Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood

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This week Day Camp brought us to many new and intriguing places. Countries and Cultures week at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood gave campers the unique chance to travel the world and learn about new costumes and cultures. The week began with a brainstorm session as girls talked about where they would enjoy traveling. Destinations that the girls were able to visit included parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Polynesian Islands.

Girls were immersed in these new places through food, music, and crafts. Snack time brought a chance for girls taste cheese from around Europe, and also featured an English-style tea party. Lunch was another creative way that campers experienced new places. Units prepared everything from a hearty poutine to Asian stir fry. Lunch was a fun and interactive experience for the girls every day this week.

Along with food, campers delighted in creating arts and crafts from different countries and cultures. Campers made sarongs, Chinese lanterns, African drums, Mexican piñatas, and so much more. For two days this week camp had the pleasure of hosting Sara, a foreign exchange student from Spain. Sara is a Girl Guide back home and jumped at the chance to be a part of Girl Scouts on her visit to Colorado. It was a learning opportunity for both Sara and campers to talk about the differences in our culture, and we loved having her around.

The week ended with a global buffet followed by interactive presentations from each unit. The buffet featured the classic all American hot dog, an eclectic fruit salad, a hearty helping of paella, and delicious dumplings. Presentations were presented camp wide and taught us about the culture of Kenya, China, and deaf culture. Girls walked away from camp with new knowledge and a new excitement for learning about our world.

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

Another Great 3-Day Camp

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There’s 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it so the annual problem for Magic Sky Ranch is finding a good way to spend it!

In our 3 day sessions we really wanted to make it the best 3 day camp ever. To do that we wanted to give the girls a chance to get creative and experience new things!

Campers got to practice their archery skills with their counselors as well as making pet rocks with our arts and crafts specialist. They got to reach new heights and learn how to set and achieve their own goals on the climb wall and with the low ropes team building exercises with the challenge adventure specialists, and our dance and drama specialist taught campers to be creative and silly and helped them gain confidence while having fun doing improv! Our nature and science specialist had many options for the girls to choose from: laws of motion with bottle rockets, taxonomy with jelly beans, states of matter and ice cream, reflection and light with giant bubbles and polymers with gak. All the activities are very hands on and interactive to make it easier to take in more of the information and still have fun! Campers were given the opportunity to appreciate nature with their hike to the lake and they were given many opportunities for independence and responsibility! We all do kapers (chores) at Magic Sky Ranch to help keep our camp Girl Scout tidy and this allows campers to learn about responsibility and helping out! Whether its choosing bedtime or what to wear for the weather or how to spend their rest time the campers and figuring out how to be independent and be themselves!

We ended our Phineas and Ferb-tastic session with a roller coaster inator invention hour where the campers were given various supplies and freedom to invent whatever their hearts desired while working with their unit! At the end of this session all the campers took a lot of happy memories with them and some life long skills like teamwork, independence and responsibility!

 

Thanks for sharing time at camp, and check out the pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/sets/72157634705445737/

Glenwood Springs area Jamboree a great time

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Submitted by Virginia Brown
Glenwood Springs

Twenty Girl Scouts along with 10 mothers attended the Glenwood Springs Service Unit Jamboree July 12-14th at the Jackson Ranch in Glenwood Springs. One of the girls came from Silt, while another girl came from Basalt to attend the event. Girls pitched tents, cooked outside, worked on various badges (artist, cooking, GS Ways) caught tadpoles, frogs, and toads!

Louise Jackson and other volunteers had actually started with weeklong day camps over 50 years ago. The tradition of Girl Scout events at the ranch continues with today’s girls and moms attending the Jamboree. A special part of each years event includes Louise coming down to the camp area, with her daughter Sandy Jackson. This year, Louise and Sandy also brought Sandy’s sister Patty to visit with the girls about Girl Scout history in not only the Glenwood Springs area, but all over the world. Patty shared stories of traveling to various World Centers, news of the new World Center in Africa; along with tales of canoeing in the Boundary Waters of the Great Lakes as girls themselves. Patty volunteers with the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians for both the Gold Award Committee and the WAGGGS.

Sandy shared about attending what was then called SOS – Scouts on Survival. SOS sounded like a version of today’s reality TV but just for Girl Scouts. Sandy and other Girl Scouts were dropped off on an island with a tea bag, two sugar cubes and a piece of rope. Needless to say, today’s Girl Scouts were enthralled with the chat and are all looking forward to attending their own destinations!

Girls worked on various badges, tying knots, building tarp tents and obstacle courses, making homemade ice cream, painting wonderful pictures to share (they used feathers as paint brushes!), learning about GS Ways and helping with kapers around camp. They even worked on some community service projects on the ranch.

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

 

2014 Outdoor Program Changes

Girl Scouts of Colorado is announcing the following changes in our outdoor program offerings for 2014 in response to high costs and low use, as well as a council-wide effort to create a leaner, financially-strong organization.

– GSCO will train volunteers to run day camps in their communities and promote these programs in the camp catalog, but we will not offer council-sponsored day camps.
– GSCO will offer some vendor-provided horseback riding opportunities at overnight camps, but our statewide council horse program is being suspended. We would need to increase horse program fees or subsidies an additional 20 to 50 percent to make this program viable. GSCO does not have the resources presently to cover this financial loss.
– Magic Sky Ranch will be open from May 15 to September 15 for overnight summer camp and other use, but closed the rest of the year. The Old Lodge and tent spaces will be open year round.
– Meadow Mountain Ranch will be open for troop camping and group rental only from May 15 to September 15, with no council-sponsored programming on property.
– Kiwa Korral, Lazy Acres, and Sky High Ranch will be open for troop camping and group rental only from May 15 to September 15, but closed the rest of the year.
– At this time, there are no scheduled changes to operations at Tomahawk Ranch, Hamp Hut, Twisted Pine or Pawnee Lodge.

These decisions are difficult, as camp properties are so close the hearts of those who have made lasting memories at camp. GSCO is committed to offering the best value and Leadership Experience for girls at our overnight programs next summer at Magic Sky Ranch and Tomahawk Ranch.

As for the future of the camp properties, we are presently compiling data on usage, demand, program costs maintenance/upkeep costs and customer market research to analyze how much camp property our council can maintain and support on a lean budget. While we have already undertaken some creative solutions to try to increase our property revenue by extending property rentals to Girl Scout family, friends and other groups, this takes time. Girl Scouts of Colorado’s camps are our most highly subsidized programs, with camper fees covering less than 50 percent of the program and property expenses. No decisions have been made on the future of our camp properties at this time, but we do know that we own more property than our membership uses and our property maintenance and upkeep costs are exorbitant, especially considering the low percentage of our membership who use them. We know we need to devote less resources to property and more resources to serving our members in the ways that they are participating in Girl Scouting.

GSCO is developing an Outdoor Programs advisory committee of staff, volunteers, and Senior-aged Girl Scouts and above who will help develop more outdoor volunteer trainings and offerings. We look forward to first offering training on Volunteer Day Camps at the upcoming Springaganza in 2014.

Please direct any questions or suggestions you have to Betsy Till, Outdoor Programs Director at betsy.till@gscolorado.org.

More Camp Fun – in just 3 Days

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Our first 3-day session of the season was packed full of fun with the theme of “Best 3-Day Camp Ever!”  Cabins brainstormed the first night to come up with creative names based on the theme, and at campfire we welcomed: “Pinky the Chihuahua” “The Shooting Stars”  “The Unbustables” “Isabella’s Biggest Fans” “The Milkyway-inators” “The Fireside Girls” and “The Platypi”.

The days were filled with fun at “Major Monogram’s Designs” (arts & crafts), “Doofenshmirtz Goes Good” (nature & science), “Ferb & the Ferbettes” (dance & drama), “Isabella and the Fireside Girls Team Time” (climb wall or team building), “Take Aim with Phineas” (archery), “Perry Goes Back to Nature” (a hike), and “Candance & Stacy Time” (unit/quiet time).  Even s’mores were enjoyed with the “Original Girl Scout-inator” – watching “The Golden Eaglet” – a 1918 film about Girl Scouts. The camp session wrapped up with an all camp “Roller Coaster & Inator Invention Hour” where each unit created quite the creative contraptions and then showed them off to everyone.

Thanks to all the families, campers, staff and volunteers for supporting the “Best 3-Day Camp Ever!” July 14-16 at Magic Sky Ranch. 

For pictures, check here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/sets/72157634668944558/

Girl Power camp focuses on being strong

Submitted by Daffodil D
Interlocken Park, Broomfield

Denver Day Camp was all about a key foundation of Girl Scouts this week: Girl Power!

Camp was focused on what it means to be a strong woman in today’s society and featured many activities that empowered campers and staff alike.

Campers had the chance to talk about what it means to be a young girl with their counselors and peers. They also took time to focus on the character traits of a strong woman and looked for those traits in themselves and their peers. One group dedicated an entire morning to “spa day” in which campers had a relaxing time getting facials, pampering each other, and talking about the importance of taking care of their bodies.

Another group spent time doing “affirmation boxes,” in which they decorated shoe boxes and used them like mail boxes to deliver compliments to each other.

Day camp also had three exciting speakers visit this week. The first was Dr. Cathy Skokan, a professor of Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines. Cathy told her story as a woman in the science world and campers were amazed to hear that Cathy was the first woman to receive her PHD from the School of Mines. Cathy has also been a lifelong Girl Scout and was thrilled to share this part of her life with campers. She ended her presentation with an activity that showed the girls what the earth looked like before all of the continents split. Campers enjoyed hearing her story and asking her questions about our wonderful earth.

The next guest was Abby Hickman. Abby is an Admissions Counselor from the Colorado School of Mines who specializes in woman’s education. Abby talked to the girls about the possibility of using science in our world. She then had girls participate in a bridge-building activity that taught girls how to use problem-solving skills and how science is fun for all ages. Campers enjoyed having Abby at camp and learned a lot about team work and creativity.

The final guest was Bree Zeigler, a martial artist who taught girls the basics of self-defense. Bree talked to campers about the importance of knowing self-defense, about how to be confident when facing a new situation, and left girls feeling empowered. Girls got to take an hour session with Bree and walked away with new tactics and a new sense of self-confidence. This week certainly was all about the girls!

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

 

Magic Sky Ranch – Session 4 Adventures

What a fun week it has been at Magic Sky Ranch!
There were very hot and sunny days, and the week finished with a long refreshing rain storm to send campers back to their families.
Here are just some of the adventures:
Several of the units had some girls enjoy the optional horseback ride at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch. Everyone had a great time visiting Arts and Crafts and creating many fun things to take home. Everyone had a chance to try their hand at archery, as well as enjoying High Ropes or Climb Wall as a new climbing adventure. Much fun stickiness was had with several units also creating GAK, as well as stretching their improve skills at Dance and Drama. The Disney themed All Camp was a big hit, and while the rain and thunder/lightning chased away all the “Green Moose” (watermelons) before we could look for them, everyone enjoyed a dance party with the watermelon instead. And of course –sillyness and songs abound at both the opening and closing campfires.

You can find the Session 4 pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/sets/72157634581945391/

Thanks to all the staff, parent volunteers, kitchen, site, and campers and their families for being a part of another great week of adventures at Magic Sky Ranch!

Magic Sky Ranch 2013 Staff

Hundreds enjoy Girl Scouts Healthy Living Expo

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View more photos from the event

Hundreds of Girl Scouts and their families and friends joined Girl Scouts of Colorado for our Healthy Living Expo at the DaVita World Headquarters in Denver on Wednesday evening, July 10. The event was sponsored by DaVita, ZisBoomBah, Anthem, Waterpik, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, Delta Dental, Sports Authority and Big 5 Sporting Goods.

Participants discovered more about healthy living through hands-on activities in a fun carnival setting. Activity booths included information about nutrition, exercise, strong bones, heart health, self-esteem, fitness and more. There were also prizes given away, including iPods and restaurant gift cards. Booths and activity stations were courtesy of Girl Scouts of Colorado and our community partners, including ZisBoomBah, Live Well Colorado, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, DaVita, United States Olympic Committee, Mary Lee Chin – Dietician, BYOU “Be Your Own You!” Magazine, Juice Plus+, MELT Bath & Skincare, and Body & Brain Holistic Yoga.

Recognition was also given to Girl Scouts who had completed Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Live Healthy, Lead Healthy Challenge during the past year.

Posted by Amanda Kalina, PR Director with Girl Scouts of Colorado, with help from Rachelle Trujillo, Chief Marketing Officer with Girl Scouts of Colorado, and Sloan Gonzales, Program Support Specialist with Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts help with Black Forest Fire relief

From Terri Dayton

Yesterday Troop 4333 of Monument held a “yard sale” for all the victims of the Black Forest Fire.

They organized and advertised to receive donations of any sort from household items, kitchen items, animal supplies, furniture, pictures, toys, games, books and clothes. They received items throughout the weekend, receiving a gym full of stuff.

They sorted as best they could, then the people came and came and came. The victims of the Black Forest Fire could come and pick up what they needed and whatever they wanted from all of the donated items. They were amazing in their gratitude toward the girls, and the support that these girls did for their community was amazing and overwhelming to me. Some people came for one or two items, some for loads of stuff. One person I met cried as she picked up a quilt that was exactly like the one she had on her bed when her house burned down.  I met another person that just wanted a robe and a laundry basket. How simple was that?

Troop 4333 also worked with the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary for pet supplies. They brought stuff from crates, soft and hard shelled to food, bedding and blankets.

While they still have some stuff left over from the donation/giveaway (as there is still quite a need) they did an amazing job working with their Principal, Mr. Wedel, and their community in the organization and execution of this wonderful out pouring of love and support.

I overheard one person thank a Girl Scout for doing this. The child looked her right in the eye and said “This is just what we do, you don’t have to thank us. We did it for you.”

I love this troop!!!

Posted by Amanda Kalina, PR Director, Girl Scouts of Colorado