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Southern Colorado Town Halls Rescheduled

The Southern CO Town Hall meeting originally set for March 8 to discuss outdoor properties has been rescheduled. In response to volunteer feedback, there will now be two meetings. Although all properties will be discussed at both meetings, there will be a specific focus for each, based on the region in which the meeting is held. Below are the details about each meeting.

April 6, 3-4:30 – Colorado Springs Regional Office (5353 N. Union Blvd, Ste 101, Colorado Springs), Focus: Hamp Hut and Sky High Ranch
April 13, 3-4:30 – Pueblo Regional Office (21 Montebello, Pueblo), Focus: Lazy Acres

Strong delegate pool to represent Colorado at National Convention

conventionGirl Scouts of Colorado is pleased to announce our distinguished and diverse team of delegates who will represent our council at the 2014 Girl Scout National Convention, this October 16-19, in Salt Lake City. Joining CEO Stephanie Foote, Board Chair-Elect Michelle Rose-Hughes and MCC Chair Jennifer Colosimo are:

Adults:
Nancy Mucklow, Mountain Communities, Steamboat Springs
Laura Clark, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs
MaryAnn Roldan, Pueblo and Southeast Colorado, Pueblo
Teagan Boda, Pueblo and Southeast Colorado, Pueblo West
Sarah Braucht, Mountain Communities, Eagle
Susan Baker, MCC, Northern & Northeastern Colorado, Fort Collins
Nancy Sanders, MCC, Western Slope, Ouray
Kelli St. Clergy, MCC, Metro Denver, Lakewood
Rae Ann Dougherty, MCC, Metro Denver, Golden
Bonnie Ledet, MCC, Northern & Northeastern Colorado, Yuma

Girls:
Isabella Colosimo, Metro Denver, Golden
Jordan Wilson, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs
Chiara Degenhardt, Western Slope, Ouray

Alternates:
Aymee Comas-Diaz, Metro Denver, Aurora
Theresa Redinger, Metro Denver, Littleton
Bette Carlson, Mountain Communities, Steamboat Springs
Jodi Downen, Northern & Northeastern Colorado, Merino
Leina Hutchinson, Northern & Northeastern Colorado, Fort Collins
Laura Clark, Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs
Jenni Golbuff, girl, Northern & Northeastern Colorado, Fort Collins
Marla DeJohn, MCC, Northern & Northeastern Colorado, Greeley
Inga Henderson, MCC, Metro Denver, Westminster

The convention will reunite alumnae and invigorate a global movement of girls, women, and men around the theme, “Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World.” Delegates carry the responsibility for determining the direction of Girl Scouting throughout the country, as well as sharing insights and reasoning for decisions made at the national level with members throughout the Girl Scouts of Colorado. In addition, delegates serve as a critical link in sharing and helping implement the ideas, direction, and decisions learned or made at the National Council Convention, which convenes every three years. Being a national delegate is one of the most rewarding and potentially influential roles a volunteer can take on.

A volunteer and staff team put careful consideration into selecting the delegates based on geographic diversity; a mix of adult volunteers, girls and Membership Connection Committee members; quality of application; Girl Scout and convention experience; and adherence to application deadline.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is sending a dynamic group of girls to the Girl Scout Leadership Institute at the convention. The application deadline has past, and our girl team will be announced in May.

You don’t have to be a delegate to get in on the connection, learning and fun of this gathering of thousands of Girl Scouts from around the country. Learn more http://convention.girlscouts.org/the-2014-national-council-session53rd-convention/

April Statewide Service Unit Meeting Agenda & Program Spotlight

(View this agenda as a PDF: April SU Agenda)

April 2014 Service Unit Agenda

Council Updates

New and Improved Annual Troop/Group Report: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/annual-troop-report
We hope you had a wonderful year of Girl Scouting!  Thank you for taking the time to tell us a little about it.

  • Who needs to submit an Annual Troop/Group Report?  ​Every Girl Scout group with a bank account (troops, service units, day camps, special event committees, etc.) is required to submit this report each year. If your group does not have a bank account, please submit a report to let us know how many volunteer hours were contributed and evaluate council support.
  • When is the Annual Troop/Group Report due?  This report is due within 30 days of your last activity of the year, or by August 1st, whichever occurs first. Troops: This report is required in order to participate in the next Fall Sale and Cookie Program. Disbanding groups: A final report reflecting a $0 balance is required within 30 days of your last activity.
  • How can you prepare to submit the report? We have put together a simple one-page list of the information you’ll need to complete the form online through the link above. If you have this information available, you should be able to complete the report in about 10 minutes!

Early Bird (Membership Re-registration):  begins May 1 through August 1st.  The Early Bird gets the incentive! Find out more here.

Reminders

Camp Early Bird Pricing Ends April 30th: Pay your balance before April 30 at 11:59 p.m. for best pricing.

Troop Excellence Patch: Earning the Troop Excellence Patch is a great way to ensure a successful year as a troop!  When your group has completed all 10 elements, fill out a short form on the website. We’ll send you a free patch for each girl! http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/troop-excellence

Statewide Programs and Events

Ban Bossy Campaign: http://girlscouts.org/banbossy
We are proud to partner with LeanIn.Org to bring you Ban Bossy, a public service campaign that helps girls flex their leadership muscles (and have fun doing it)—something we’ve been doing at Girl Scouts for more than a century. Go to http://girlscouts.org/banbossy/ to download a troop activity. You can also download these great leadership tips:

Sky Sox Bridging Event and Sleepover: Come join fellow girls & their families as we bridge, watch a great baseball game, and pitch our tents and sleep on the field – May 16. www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/events/2124

Belize Trip 2015: Find out more about this upcoming trip here. *If agreement for payments is made by the last day of March you can save up to $200 in a discount. Contact  Jody Claire at 719-433-8489 or girlscoutjody@gmail.com

Woman’s Week at Camp: Want to be a camper again? Come to Meadow Mountain Ranch and enjoy the camp experience without the girls! Click here for more details

Highest Awards Celebrations: See the GSCO blog for more about the girls who have earned these special achievements: http://gscoblog.wordpress.com/category/girl-scouts-in-action/

Friends and family are invited to attend the following celebrations. Please RSVP for all events online: girlscoutsofcolorado.org/highest-awards-rsvp

  • Ft. Collins, April 25: Bronze, Silver and Gold Recognition, RSVP before April 11
  • Highlands Ranch, April 29: Silver and Gold Recognition (Bronze encouraged to attend), RSVP before April 15
  • Boulder, May 4: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Bridging Celebration, RSVP before April 29
  • Colorado Springs, May 29: Bronze, Silver and Gold Recognition, RSVP before May 22

April Program Spotlight – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Girls push boundaries, test limits, and look at the world around them with inquisitive eyes. They’re natural scientists! Girl Scouts introduces girls of every age to STEM experiences relevant to everyday life. Whether they’re discovering how a car’s engine runs, how to manage finances, or exploring careers in STEM fields, girls are fast-forwarding into the future.
Girl Scouts’ approach to STEM is unique because:

  • STEM experiences are framed within the context of leadership: As girls participate in Girl Scouting, they develop leadership skills to make the world a better place. Research shows girls are more interested in STEM careers when they know how their work can help others.
  • The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls through the three Girl Scout processes of: girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning.
    • Girl-led: Even when a girl has an interest in STEM, she might find that boys take the lead in a school environment due to unspoken assumptions about gender roles. Girl Scouts offers a safe, supportive place for girls to seek challenges. The girl-led process encourages girls to decide which topics they want to explore and how they want to go about it.
    • Learning by doing: Research shows that, particularly with STEM, youth need to be hands-on, active learners. The learning-by-doing process encourages this approach. In addition, Girl Scouts’ learning-by-doing process involves a reflection step that asks girls to think about how a given activity worked and what they would do differently in the future—a key skill in scientific testing and conducting experiments.
    • Cooperative learning: In general, girls prefer a collaborative leadership style, rather than the traditional, top-down, “command and control” approach. The cooperative learning process gives girls the opportunity to develop leadership and STEM skills in a way that might feel most comfortable.

STEM Partners and Anytime Activities/Field Trip Ideas

  • FabFems are women from a broad range of professions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They are passionate, collaborative, and work to make the world a better place. Many girls have similar interests but aren’t connected to adults who exemplify the STEM career pathway. This is where you come in. Create a FabFems profile to expand girls’ career options, dispel stereotypes and spark their interests – just by being you.
  • Brainiacs Learning Lab provides LEGO® based education to children in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Using technology such as computerized and publishing software, laptops and trademarked LEGO® programs such as MINDSTORMS®, Brainiacs Learning Lab provides students with a fun, creative and engaging environment for sustainable learning tied to Girl Scout programming.
  • Brownie Journey Day – Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch in Aurora: Dip into the wonderful world of water as you fulfill requirements for the “WOW:  Wonders of Water” Journey. Contact Joy at the Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch in Aurora, 303-739-2428, or jethomps@auroragov.org, for more details or to schedule your troop.
  • Daisy Between Earth and Sky Journey Day – Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch in Aurora: Celebrate the earth while completing your “Between Earth and Sky” Journey.  Contact Joy at the Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch in Aurora, 303-739-2428, or jethomps@auroragov.org, for more details or to schedule your troop.
  • Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum Opportunities
    • Aviation Exploration: Tour of the museum with introduction to theory and aircraft propulsion. Includes access to cockpits of select aircraft.
    • Flight Adventure: In addition to the Aviation Exploration tour, learn basic functions of aircraft instruments and control systems and apply that learning using a computer flight simulator.
    • Flight Engineer: In addition to the Aviation Exploration tour, learn basic aerodynamics and aircraft control surfaces by constructing and test flying a model aircraft.
    • Project Pilot: A team challenge! Attend an aviation ground school to learn basic flight planning and navigation. Test your skill by flying your planned mission using a computer flight simulator. Includes a museum tour.

Note: These opportunities can be tailored to meet Girl Scout Journey or badge requirements for the specific age level of girls attending (especially for Junior: aMUSE and Cadette: Breathe). For details and to schedule a program, contact the Museum Education Department at 303-360-5360 x116

  • Learn Robotics with Sphero – Orbotix, a company located in downtown Boulder, wants to work with Girl Scouts and their parents interested in learning how to program using Sphero robots. Sphero is a robotic ball gaming system and has several levels of programming – from beginner to expert. The class is about an hour and half long, and open to Girl Scouts of any age.  Girls need no programming experience. This workshop can help girls earn their Digital Arts or Creative Play badge. To set up a time for your troop to experience Sphero robotics, contact Adam Williams, awilliams@orbotix.com, 970-817-1644 Check out ways to play with Sphero! www.gosphero.com, http://vimeo.com/85937250
  • The Plains Conservation Center – The Plains Conservation Center has great year round programming for Girl Scouts, including badge workshops and yurt overnights.  Check out http://www.plainscenter.org/group-programs/scout-programs/ for more information.
  • Learn about Archaeology and Indian Rock Art – The Colorado Archaeological Society (CAS) has developed a program to help children at third and fourth grade levels learn about the people that have lived near Denver for thousands of years. For information or to schedule a presentation for your troop, please contact Betsy Weitkamp at 303-722-1656 or elaw@q.com
  • Helicopter Aviation Tour – Interested in learning about aviation or becoming a pilot? Former Girl Scout, Ronnie Johnson – a helicopter flight instructor with Front Range Helicopters – has offered to provide free tours of the airport and information about how to become a pilot to interested Girl Scouts and troops! The flight school is located at the Loveland/Fort Collins Airport, and Ronnie can setup a personal tour for up to 12 girls at a time. If interested, please contact Ronnie directly at ronnieheligirl@gmail.com.
  • STEM Connector: Look here for a list of all things STEM.
  • NCWIT National Center for Women & Technology: Look here for information about increasing the presence of women working in various technology careers.
  • eCybermission: Look here for information about the web-based competition the United States Army has set up for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders on STEM subjects.
  • NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Look here for information for K-12 students on the website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Sparkfun Electronics: Will work with Girl Scouts-https://learn.sparkfun.com
  • OhHeckYeah: Get ready! This summer – June & July, 2014 – Champa Street in Denver, from 14th Street to the 16th Street Mall, will be transformed into a street arcade like you’ve never seen. This isn’t your father’s old-school arcade. Powered through a combination of the Denver Theatre District’s LED screens, building projections, street art, social media and a website, this immersive arcade is going to be a gaming experience for all! Learn more here- http://ohheckyeah.com/about
  • Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative was launched last month, and to-date almost 45,000 have taken the pledge! In the near future, MWM plans to offer an online platform to provide STEM professionals with tools to become effective mentors and to connect with girl-serving youth organizations.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Region 8: is launching an Earth Day poster contest in conjunction with the 2014 EPA Earth Day theme of climate change. All posters will be displayed, and the winners will be announced, at an event on Monday, April 28, from 12:00 to 1:00pm at the EPA Region 8 Regional Office in Denver, CO.   Theme of the Poster Contest:  To enter the poster contest, represent the climate change impacts in your area on a poster using the art medium of your choice (drawing, painting, photograph, fiber, mixed media, etc.).

Contest Guidelines:

  • Only one entry per student
  • Entries must not be more than 18×24 inches
  • include your name, email address, phone number and street address on the back of each entry
  • Elementary, middle, and high school student are eligible to participate
  • Posters can be in color or black and white, use any type of art medium (paint, pencil, photos, fiber … etc.)
  • 1st-3rd place winners in each track will receive a certificate, and students will have the opportunity to visit the EPA Regional Office in Denver, CO
  • All winners will have their artwork displayed in the EPA Region 8 Conference Center
  • All entries are due April 15th, winners will be announced on Earth Day
  • Event will be held in the EPA Region 8 conference center to view all the posters and celebrate the winners – Monday, April 28, from 12:00 to 1:00pm
  • mail your entries to: Wendy Dew, Outreach and Education Coordinator, MC OC, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80470

Fun STEM Print and Play Activities

 

GSCO Events: girlscoutsofcolorado/activities

  • April 5: Junior Digital Photographer Badge at the Microsoft Store
  • April 5 and April 12: Cool Science in Colorado Springs
  • April 12: Girl Scout Discovery Day in Pueblo
  • April 12: Brownie Computer Expert Badge at the Microsoft Store
  • April 19: Girl Scout Day at NCAR:
  • April 19: Daisy Violet Petal Day at the Microsoft Store
  • April 25 – April 27: Keystone Science Camp
  • April 26: I Sense Nature with CSU Environmental Learning Center
  • April 26: Navigating Explorer with CSU Environmental Learning Center
  • April 26: Cadettes Digital Movie Madness at the Microsoft Store
  • May 6: Girls in STEM Day at Red Rocks Community College

GSCO Curriculum Templates

  • Lighten Up – The Science of Light and Optics (can be adapted for Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes) Kits with all the supplies you need are available for checkout! This makes a great service unit event!
  • Imagine Engineering (for Seniors and Ambassadors)
  • Imagine Your STEM Future (for Seniors and Ambassadors) – contact council staff for a copy of the volunteer and girl handbooks
  • Cool Science (for Daisies and Brownies)
  • STEM Series based on the Get Moving! and Breathe Journeys (for Juniors and Cadettes)
  • Be the Video Game Developer (online program)

GSUSA Tech Merchandise http://www.girlscoutshop.com/FOR-THE-TECH-SAVVY?utm_campaign=Tech_Product&utm_medium=web&utm_source=Tech_Product_Corporate_Banner

Girl Scout Research Institute
This portfolio explores how girls use online and offline technologies to navigate their personal, social, and academic lives and the varying degrees of skill, guidance, and protection they have in using these technologies.

Little Free Library for Nepali refugees

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Submitted by Tanya Horning
Denver

Our magnificent seven were immediately drawn to the education category for their Bronze Award effort. Their idea started as tutoring younger children in need. However, after a field trip to see the film Girl Rising, which highlights the journeys of 9 girls around the globe, and brainstorming who could use their help, the girls came to realize that a large population of English Language Learners (ELL) existed in Glendale and Aurora.

Each girl interviewed people in their lives who speak English as a second language or who work with ELLs and learned that many of them acquired language skills through books and media. Seeing a Little Free Library near our meeting place, the idea to create a lending library for English Language Learners came alive. What is a Little Free Library? It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book and bring back another book to share. This philosophy made the project prime for sustainability as the box could remain stocked as long as people are leaving a book when they take one. With a connection to a community of Nepali refugees and a friendly monster theme, the troop designed and constructed a Little Free Library for the congregation of Naya Life Community Church in Aurora this past Sunday. During their planning conversations with the church, the girls learned what type of books would be most useful for adults learning English as well as the youth who are learning English at school. They collected an assortment of picture and early chapter books in addition to young adult classics. Many in the congregation are also seeking US Citizenship, so with a generous donation from Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, the library includes citizenship kits with resources to study for the exam. The folks at Naya Life were really appreciative of their work. Great job Troop 4373

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

Using Cookie Credits/Volume Discounts for Summer Camp

Now that the Cookie Program has concluded, we know that there is a lot of excitement out there on how cookie credits and cookie volume discounts will be applied towards summer camp.

Cookie Volume Discounts: Beginning by the Week of March 24, girls who have qualified for these discounts based on the number of packages sold will see these discounts being applied to their accounts. Once applied, an email will be sent to the camper’s family. As a reminder the discounts are:

  • 500 to 999 packages=5% discount
  • 1,000 to 1,499 packages=10% discount
  • 1,500 to 1,999 packages=15% discount
  • 2000+ packages=20% discount

NOTE: These are the ONLY discounts that can be combined with another discount.

Cookie Credits

If you told us on your camp app you are using cookie credits: Also beginning by the Week of March 24, these credits will begin to be applied to accounts. Once the funds are applied, the camper’s family will receive an email notification.

If your cookie credits go onto your cookie card: If a girl did not mention she is paying in cookie credits on her application, then it is up to her family to use the cookie credit card they receive in mid-April to make their balance payment.

NEW AS OF 4/23/14: To use your cookie card, please call customer support at 877-404-5708, M-F, 8:30am-5:30pm to make your payment over the phone.

 

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Early Bird Prices end April 30 at 11:59 p.m., and it is the responsibility of the family to make their payment prior to that date in order to take advantage of Early Bird Pricing.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Nicole Burkhalter, Westminster/Broomfield, “Teen Drinking and Driving Awareness”

senior

Nicole Burkhalter
Westminster/Broomfield
Arvada West High School
Teen Drinking and Driving Awareness

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I put together an assembly for the junior and senior classes at my high school to educate them on the dangers of drinking and driving. I also created lesson plans as a follow-up to the assembly which allowed students to use impairment goggles as a simulation for being drunk.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I chose this project because I had attended a program at the Anschutz Center titled Preventing Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth. I learned so much about the dangers of drinking and driving and I realized that many teenagers don’t understand the consequences.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My project reached more people than I thought it would. I educated the students and staff at my school on drinking and driving, but I also included texting and driving. Since my project, the number of accidents around my school related to texting and driving has decreased.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I gained stronger communication skills through my project. I felt more comfortable talking to complete strangers to ask for help on my project and I was able to stand in front of more than 800 people to educate them on the consequences of deciding to drink and drive.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will remember the lives I touched most from my Gold Award project. During my assembly, there was not one dry eye in the audience. I truly feel like I made a much bigger impact in everyone’s lives than I ever thought I could.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

It will help in public speaking and organization. It took a lot of skills to organize such an event with a lot of people involved, and I think those skills will become very handy as I continue into college and my future career as a nurse.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I think it’s an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I was able to prove that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I’ve never took on such an important leadership role until now, and I now I know that I can make a difference if I set my mind to it. All of the little leadership roles I took on through camps and rendezvous definitely prepared me for my Gold Award and being able to advocate for myself.

Girls brave cold to earn Bronze Award with Pi = Pie Fun Run/Walk

Submitted by Melissa Hinton
Monument

To earn Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn, three 4th grade Juniors from Troop 43107 in Monument planned the Pi = Pie Fun Run/Walk that took place in Palmer Lake on 3/15/2014 (the day after Pi Day). The fun run/walk was 3.14 miles long and at the end everyone got a piece of pie.

Kaitlyn, Sarah and Zoe met every week for 6 months to plan this event. They created a budget, wrote business letters soliciting local businesses for donations to cover the cost of the event, filled out the special event permit application, applied for event insurance, set up an online registration page, designed a flier and visited local businesses to display the flier, ordered race numbers, designed bracelets for the give-away and baked pies.

When registration in February was slow, the girls brain-stormed additional ways to get the word out and decided to participate in their school math and science fair with a pie experiment and hand out fliers. They also contacted local running clubs and requested that the Pi=Pie Fun Run/Walk event information be posted on their websites.

The day of the event the temperature was 38 degrees with a wind chill of 22. Of the 71 people registered for the event 61 people came. The girls were out in the cold for 3 hours while they set up the event, ran it and then cleaned up afterwards.

This event raised $835 to purchase healthy snacks for the Snack-Pack Program at the Tri-Lakes Cares Food Pantry. The Snack-Pack Program provides supplemental snacks for the weekend for children who are at risk of not having enough to eat.

Zoe, Kaitlyn and Sarah earned Bronze Award with courage, confidence, and character by making a real difference in the lives of the children who rely on the Snack Pack Program to have enough to eat and by making the world a better place (with pie :).

–Melissa Hinton, Troop Leader (Troop 3107)

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

Steamboat Troop 4595 delivers to Hometown Heroes – animal shelter volunteers

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Submitted by Cricket Hawkins
Steamboat Springs

Girl Scout Troop 14595 collected 25 Hometown Hero boxes to be delivered to the often forgotten volunteers of the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter & Routt County Humane Society. The girls also had the opportunity to take a tour of the animal shelter after hours! They learned how the shelter operates, what an Animal Control Officer does, and had many questions answered. It all culminated with playtime with the kitties and presenting the Hometown Hero boxes. After learning about the shelter, many of the girls are excited to return with their families to help walk dogs and play with the cats.

 

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

Small electronics recycling to help gorilla habitat

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Submitted by Leora DiGiacinto
Castle Rock

As the leader for a Junior troop here in Castle Rock, it makes me proud to see a bunch of girls get excited about something new they’ve learned and follow through with actually doing something and making a difference.

Last spring, as a reward for a fantastic cookie-selling season, we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for a Wild Nights Overnight Experience. During our tour, we learned about some of the problems that the primates all over the world are experiencing due to human interference with their habitats. Among other things, we learned about the gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This seemed to really resonate with the girls since they are at that age where small electronics are becoming a more important part of their life.

We decided that this could make a great Bronze Award project since we could help to raise awareness of a problem that most people would never really think about. We all know why we need to recycle paper and create less waste in general. But would more people be more willing to recycle their electronics if they really understood the root of the problem?

After coming up with a plan (which was familiar to these girls who had already done a donation drive, collecting over 1,200 stuffed animals for the Loving Hugs program, when they were 1st grade Daisies), we forged ahead with contacting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Eco-Cell and numerous stores to get our collection started.

This week at school, the girls will be presenting their research in front of the entire school to bring in more donations. Below is their article that they will be presenting:

Did you know every time you buy a new cell phone you are contributing to the deforestation of the habitat of the endangered eastern lowland gorilla?

Columbite-tantalite – coltan for short – is a mineral that goes inside our electronics. It is a necessary part of creating the capacitors that control the current flow inside small circuit boards.

Coltan is found mostly in the Congo. In the Congo, miners are destroying the habitat of the endangered eastern lowland gorilla in order to get more of this metallic ore. They are even mining inside the national parks in the area. In Kahuzi Biega National Park, the gorilla population has been cut nearly in half, from 258 to 130! In 1994, it was thought that there were around 17,000 gorillas left in the world. Today, there are fewer than 8,000.

My 5th grade Girl Scout troop went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for a special overnight experience. We saw the primates and learned about how the gorilla population is declining because of the coltan mining. We thought about how many phones all of our families have. Then we thought about how many phones just the people we know might have. We realized that we could help the zoo help the gorillas by setting up a recycling program.

Our troop leader found a company called Eco-Cell that could help us with exactly what we needed. They recycle and also refurbish old equipment for use in developing markets where they don’t get a new phone every year like we do here. They can also be reused in hospitals for use by patients needing cell phones for emergency 911 calls.

As Girl Scouts, we try to be friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, use resources wisely and make the world a better place. (It’s in our Girl Scout Law!) We hope that by encouraging this kind of recycling the gorilla population will grow bigger, stronger and healthier.

We have almost a dozen donation boxes set up and will be collecting through the end of March before bringing our donations to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in April.

If you would like more information on specific locations or dates, please contact me. I’d love to spread the word further than just Castle Rock. (We have one box located in Parker and one up in Denver.) My cell phone is 303 819 9918. We would appreciate any additional help you could give us in spreading the word about not just our recycling program, but more importantly the message of why it is important to recycle your electronics. Thank you!

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. <a href=”http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/share“> You can share your Girl Scout moments too.