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Girl Scouts’ 100th celebrated on Western Slope

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Western Slope 100th party, a set on Flickr.

From Marilyn Calhoun

Girl Scouts on the Western Slope celebrated the 100th anniversary in a big way! The event was held at the Army National Guard Armory in Grand Junction on March 24. About 316 girls participated, along with leaders and specially invited alumnae. Ten Girl Scout troops created displays featuring the 10 decades of Girl Scouting. The girls participated in activities that related to the decades, such as learning semaphore as in the 1910-1930s, learning to tie knots as part of the 1940s & 1950s, environmental and outdoor activities represented the 1960s & 1970s, and technological comparisons represented 1980-present. Girls had a craft station where they made a keepsake of the celebration. There was a wonderful historical display and a special alumnae area. Alumnae received a button that said “once upon a time, I was a Girl Scout,” and they added ribbons listing where they had been a Girl Scout. They also put pins in a map and with yarn connected all the places that they had been a Girl Scout. The afternoon ended with a songfest, and ice cream and birthday cake.

Volunteer Opportunity of The Week: Gold Award

Girl Scouts is all about taking action and making the world a better place – and the Gold Award is a perfect example of that. If you have earned higher awards or if you have helped a Girl Scout in your life earn one of her highest awards then we have the perfect volunteer opportunity for you: a Gold Award Committee Member!

We’re looking for volunteers who can help guide, mentor, and support Girl Scouts who are earning their highest award. This would include working one on one with girl’s to guide them through the application process as well as supporting them through their highest award journey. We’re also looking for committee members who would be interested in approving Gold Award projects and making sure that Gold Award projects meet the Girl Award Standards.

Committee members are needed across the state, but we’re particularly seeking volunteers who are located in the Southwest, Southeast, and Northern Colorado. To learn more about the Gold Award and how volunteers are involved in the process click here.  All positions are flexible and we’ll work with your location as well as your schedule!

For more information contact Kelly Burwell at vs.americorps@gscolorado.org or 970-530-1839

Volunteer survey now open

Last spring, many volunteers gave us invaluable information on a survey regarding support. Thank you all!

The survey identified three areas as the first priorities for us to look at to improve in our support to volunteers.  The three areas were:

  • Strengthening the existing service unit meeting structure and enhancing the meetings.
  • Providing something in addition to the service unit for those who can’t attend service unit meetings.
  •  Improving communication from council staff to volunteers, parents and girls.

Based on that input, we’ve enhanced our support to volunteers in the following ways:

  • A GSCO Service Unit Team Manual is in the final stages of development. We will offer Service Unit Team training at all the Springaganzas around the state in April and May.
  • Service unit position descriptions and forms have been reviewed and revised and more position descriptions are being developed.
  • We’ve added Virtual Service Unit meetings for volunteers who are unable to make it to an in-person meeting or who want additional information and time to ask questions with council staff from a variety of departments.  We have been holding at least 2 per month with access by computer and/or phone. These meetings are also recorded so you can listen to them at your convenience if you are unable to attend the scheduled virtual meeting.
  • Our new website with easier navigation and better functionality was launched in December.

Finding the best method(s) of communication is still a challenge, as half of the respondents requested information by email and half said no email! We know there is not a “one size” fits most.  We also want to continue improving in all areas so we are coming to you again for new ideas and suggestions for improvements to current methods or others that may be more effective.

Please take some time to complete this survey and give us your input. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Thanks for your time in helping to better serve you. And thanks for all your continued support in our 100th Anniversary Year – the Year of the Girl!

 

Live Blog: Girl Scouts’ Earth Hour Celebrations

Girl Scouts of Colorado will be holding two Earth Hour Celebrations, in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, this Saturday, March 31st, from 5 (Fort Collins)/5:30 (Colorado Springs)-9:30 p.m. You can participate in these events live via the links below. And while you are participating live, we encourage you to do your part in honoring the Earth / the environment and participating in your own Earth Hour activities from wherever you are in Colorado (or the world). Then share your activities and/or photos with those participating in the events in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs via the live blog.

Let’s show the world how Girl Scouts are at the forefront of environmental sustainability and can make a huge positive impact on the environment in just one evening! (It’s just one more way to celebrate our 100th anniversary too)

Links to the live events:

Early Girl Scout experience yields lifetime benefits

Girl Scouts of the USA was founded in the spring of 1912 with one leader and 18 girls. Today it has 3.2 million members; 2.3 million girls and more than 800,000 adult volunteers. Nearly one out of every two American women—there are an estimated 50 million living alumnae—have been Girl Scouts.

Last year, with the upcoming centenary of Girl Scouts of the USA in mind—the organization turned 100 years old on March 12—the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) decided to take a look at the organization’s long-term effects on its girl members. What GSRI found is the basis of a report just now being published, called Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study.

It’s good news: for us here at Girl Scouts of Colorado, for the girls and adults we work with and for the estimated 50 million American women who are former Girl Scouts. In a nutshell, compared with non-alumnae, Girl Scout alumnae feel better about themselves, are more active as mentors and community volunteers, vote more regularly, are better educated and enjoy higher household income. This was particularly true for women who’d been long-term Girl Scouts; those who were members for three or more years scored significantly higher in every area than alumnae who were members for a shorter time.

We see that in our current members while they’re still girls. Those who stay in long enough to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award—generally, seniors in high school—find themselves accomplishing things their ten- or eleven-year-old selves couldn’t even have imagined. (For a girl to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, by the way, is at least as hard as it is for a boy to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, and parents with children who have done both think it may be harder. The armed forces understand this: Gold Award recipients, just like Eagle Scouts, enter the service one grade higher in rank than other enlistees, having already proven themselves as leaders. If you’re an employer or college admissions officer, ask your female applicants about their Girl Scout experience. If you’re a Gold Award recipient, put it on your resume. This stuff matters.)

“Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout” – that’s me and millions of other alumnae. After reading the GSRI study, I immediately reflected on the inaugural dinner of the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber in the early 90s. LaRae Orullian, President of the Women’s Bank in Denver and former National President of Girl Scouts of the USA, was the keynote speaker. More than 400 women and a handful of men were present. LaRae asked those who were Girl Scouts to stand up. It would not be exaggerating to say that more than 90 percent of the room was on their feet! As I looked around it was an affirmation of what we know today and a very empowering experience. This was a group of confident women who knew they could do whatever they set out to do and accomplish their dreams. It started out with those words we all learned… “On my honor, I will try” …and look at where we are today!

When asked what they got out of their Girl Scout experience, one thing the alumnae frequently mentioned was confidence: the feeling that they could do whatever they set out to do. This is essential for anyone wanting to lead a successful life, women and men alike, but building and maintaining self-confidence is often more challenging for girls and women.

Girl Scouting is not the only connection to girls’ confidence and later-life success. That’s why in January we launched ToGetHerThere, the largest, boldest advocacy and fundraising cause campaign dedicated to girls’ leadership in our nation’s history. The goal of ToGetHerThere is to level the playing field in leadership opportunities for girls within a single generation. We need all the brainpower we can muster, and we need everyone—parents, corporations, nonprofits, government, and ordinary citizens—to support girls as they figure out what their goals are and stretch themselves to achieve them.

Girl Scouts is a big part of the answer. We’ve always known that, and now we have the numbers to prove it. You don’t have to wait a lifetime to see results, either. If a girl comes to us in the second grade, the odds are good she’s going to have a better and more successful third-grade year. If she stays the course through high school and earns her Gold Award, college—and the rest of her life—are going to be a whole different experience for her. Girl Scouting works.

Silver Award: Blankets, Books and Baby Needs

Submitted by Nancy Eaman
Broomfield

On March 15, members of Troop 2791 in Broomfield delivered over 50 blankets to A Precious Child, an organization whose mission is to make a positive impact in the lives of disadvantaged and displaced children by improving their quality of life. A month earlier, the Scouts had delivered over 40 blankets. . The Troop’s Silver Award involves fleece blankets, baby needs, and children’s books.

Pictured: (kneeling) Katie Ronan, Brianna Dzilvelis (standing) Casey Donohue, Katie Conn, Julie Conn, Megan Eaman, Katie Eaman, Amanda Marquez, Leader Nancy Eaman, and Keely Frost.

Parker Girl Scouts lead successful Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary event

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Girl Scout Troop 1292 of Parker wanted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in a big way. So they worked for several months to put together a Flash Mob for Girl Scouts of Colorado to celebrate this historic occasion. The dance for the Flash Mob was to the popular Girl Scout song IGNITE by Lifetime Girl Scout Member Melinda Caroll, which will be sung/danced to at many Girl Scout events over the coming year including the Rock the Mall National 100th Anniversary Sing-Along event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in June.

On Saturday, March 17th, in the midst of the exciting St. Patrick’s Day festivities in downtown Denver, more than 100 Colorado Girl Scouts, who were decked out in green and grinning from ear-to-ear, gathered in Writer’s Square on 16th Street Mall for the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary Flash Mob. Girl Scouts, leaders, families, friends and alumnae traveled from all over Colorado to be at the event. There were girls from Aurora, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Denver, Lakewood, Monument, Parker, Superior, Thornton and Westminster.

Here is a video the troop created from the events. Nice work Troop 1292!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fltYzDMRXCM?rel=0]

Pueblo community honors Girl Scout volunteer

Pueblo’s City-County Library District recently honored one of Girl Scouts’ outstanding volunteers, Amy Bissell. Amy was one of 24 Pueblo women honored with a 2012 Outstanding Woman Award.

Amy Bissell has been a Girl Scout for 41 years! One of her major accomplishments in Girl Scouts was being a Troop Leader for 30 years. She’s also served as a day camp director, trainer and president of Girl Scouts’ Board of Directors. Additionally Amy is an advisor for Girl Scout travel opportunities, most recently helping plan events to visit the birthplace of Girl Scouts, Savannah, Ga., this summer. Amy helped organize events for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary in 2012 too and currently serves on Girl Scouts of Colorado’s history committee.

Outside of Girl Scouts, Amy is involved in her church and was a member of the United Way Board of Directors and Colorado’s PTA. She also was a teacher in boarding school in Canada for three years.

For more information on this honor, view the Pueblo Chieftain article.

Do you have a Girl Scout story to share? Share it with us today on our website.

Did my Silver project fail?

Submitted by Hannah Clair
Pikes Peak area

Hi my name is Hannah and I just completed my Silver Award. From the very start I followed all the steps in the packet, everything was going great and I felt really confident. I made a few prototype beds for the National Mill Dog Rescue and had a few trial and error processes to go through. After I went through about four different types of beds I was ready to give up. I felt like nothing was working and that I wasn’t doing anything progressive.

My family and project advisors started to notice how frustrated I was getting. They helped me realize that even if something seems like it’s going nowhere, you still need to try your best and never give up. I ended up using all the money I earned for the beds and buying A LOT of much needed supplies for the rescue.

I don’t think that my project was a failure because I still helped the cause that I intended on helping. Also, I never gave up on myself and overcame a lot of obstacles. Even though my project didn’t exactly go the way I wanted it to, it still went well. So if you’re thinking about or are doing a Bronze, Silver or Gold award just remember that nothing will ever be a failure or waste of time unless you give up on yourself or the project

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