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Enjoy a night of Colorado sporting fun by donating $20 to Girl Scouts Opportunity Grants Fund

There’s a great new incentive to donating to this year’s Family and Friends Giving Campaign, which benefits our Opportunity Grants fund!

If you are one of the first 250 donors who makes a donation of at least $20 starting last Friday, Sept. 6th, through our #STARTARYOT campaign, you will earn yourself two tickets to the preseason Colorado Avalanche hockey game against the Dallas Stars on Sept. 24th at 7 p.m.

What’s great about this year’s campaign is it is a peer to peer fundraising campaign. So you are encouraged to start a fundraising page and ask friends and family to make a donation (they are also eligible for the Avs tickets if they make a donation of $20+).

Last year Girl Scouts of Colorado awarded $145,495 in financial assistance through Opportunity Grants fund. These funds went to help girls go to camp, events, travel and pay for their dues and program materials as finances are never a reason a girl can’t be involved in Girl Scouts. These grants make a big difference! Just hear what some of these Opportunity Grants beneficiaries have gained through Girl Scouts:

“I had a great time at camp this year. I learned how to trot and lope for the first time during Rodeo Camp, which really boosted my self-esteem. I also worked on teamwork with my cabin mates.”

“I was never a Girl Scout because my family couldn’t afford it, and I couldn’t afford to have my daughter involved without a GSCO Opportunity Grant. I have 15 girls from Daisies to Ambassadors in my troop, and we’ve been able to purchase uniforms with our grant. I can’t tell you what a difference in self-esteem a uniform makes for girls. They have been so grateful for their experiences and taken pride in giving back to others with projects like conducting a toiletry drive for a homeless shelter. Girl Scouts has meant so much to my girls, I want to share it with more girls, so I am helping to recruit girls at schools who have never had Girl Scouts. These girls are jumping up and down with excitement and can’t wait to be Girl Scouts!”

“I am a single, stay-at-home mother of seven special needs, adopted children, each with unique qualities I cherish. Some of my children struggle more in life than others. Growing up, I have fond memories of being a Girl Scout, so it was important for me to give my girls the same positive experiences. I have two Cadettes, and they love Girl Scouts! After every meeting, they come home talking my ear off, and they have had more experiences than I could ever give them; and that is what makes me happy. I have a very tight income, and there is never much for extras, so if it was not for the GSCO Opportunity Grant, this would have never been possible for my girls. They have gained self-esteem, pride in themselves and their work, the ability to push themselves and the smiles of success! My daughter is moderately developmentally delayed, and it causes problems for her. At Girl Scouts, she has been able to be herself and be accepted, which is huge for her! Our Girl Scout experience has made me want to be a better person and spend more time with my children, so I have signed up to be the cookie manager for the troop this year. I think it will help all my children understand that even if you think you have a lot on your plate, there’s always room for the most important things, like Girl Scouts!”

Make a donation to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Opportunity Grants fund today through #STARTARYOT

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

Horseback riding in Colorado reference list

ATTENTION Girl Scouts of Colorado!  We’ve been compiling list of riding facilities and instructors throughout Colorado as a reference for Girl Scouts. Below is what we have so far. If you know of a place or instructor that would be good to have on list, please add them to this blog! Some will offer discounts to Girl Scouts or large groups, but anyone wanting to register with any listed groups will need to ask or confirm with that location since this offer sometimes changes. To keep the list from being too long, there are two websites included that are a general data base for CHA certified instructors and for trailriding facilities. We will continue to add to this as we get more information. HAPPY RIDING!

Riding facilities and liveries:

Some may offer scout discounts, some offer group discounts. . .groups registering will need to ask to clarify when they register or contact these facilities. Also, some are seasonal and not open in winter. 

Near Magic Sky Ranch

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch – Dan 17931 Red Feather Lakes Rd  Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545 (970) 224-1222

Beaver Meadows Ranch Resort – 100 Marmot Dr #1  Red Feather Laks, CO 80545
(970) 881-2450

Near Meadow Mountain Ranch

Sombrero Stables – Allenspark Livery  Allenspark village 303-747-2551  (ask about the Happy Trails patch)

Peaceful Valley Ranch – 475 Peaceful Valley Road  Lyons, CO  303-747-2881

Glacierview – may offer rides to public  303-459-0771

Sombrero Stables – Estes Park  Hwy 34 Estes Park, CO  970-586-4577 (year round riding)

Elkhorn Lodge – O’Dells Trail Rides 600 W Elkhorn Ave  Estes Park, CO 80517 (970) 402-1486

Near Tomahawk Ranch

Northfork Ranch – Karen  55395 U.S. 285  Shawnee, CO 80475 (303) 838-9873

Bear Mt Stables – 11778 Wonder Drive  Conifer, Colorado  80433

Bear Creek Lake Park Stable – 303-697-9666  P.O. Box 118, Morrison, CO. 80465  (303) 697-4799

Near Sky High Ranch

Historic Triple B Ranch  – 27640 Hwy 67  Woodland Park, Colorado 80866  Phone: (719) 687-8899    Toll Free: (877) 687-8899  Fax: (719) 687-8762  Email:  Website:

Academy Riding Stables-  4 El Paso Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO     (719) 633-5667


Colorado Riding Academy – offers the patch program for Daisies and Brownies  Office: 303 840 7105 / Cell: 303 243 1513  7062 Rafter Road, Franktown, Colorado  near Parker, CO

Quintessential Arabians/Camp Kit’N’Kaboodle 25935 Judge Orr Road Calhan, Colorado 80808 719-683-9043

Joanne – Milemakers – endurance riding  PO Box 282  Larkspur, CO 80118  (303) 249-7630

Equine 808 Horse Rescue – Colorado Offers summer program  Ellicott, CO (719) 213-9144 /

For lessons:

CHA Certified riding instructors –

For Trailrides:

CDGRA Colorado Dude Guest Ranch Association

Sombrero Riding Stables – locations statewide –

Dude Ranch Association –

Keystone Stables – West Keystone Keystone, CO 80435  /  800-354-4386  /

Gateway Canyons  43200 Hwy 141  Gateway, CO 81522   970.931.2458 /

Rim Rock Adventures 927 HWY 340 Fruita, Colorado 81521  970-858-9555 / 888-712-9555 /

C Lazy U Ranch 3640 Colorado 125  Granby, CO 80446 / (970) 887-3344 /

Elk Mountain Ranch PO Box 910  Buena Vista, Colorado / Toll Free: 1-800-432-8812 / Local Phone: (719) 539-4430 /

Glenwood Adventure Company / 723 Cooper Ave /Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 / 1-877-346-4536 or 970-945-7529 /

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch 2939 N. County Road 31D Loveland, Colorado USA 80538-9763 Toll Free: (877) 667-3999 / Office: (970) 667-3915 / Fax: (970) 635-9336 / Email:

Girl Scout Community Recruitment Event in Estes Park Sept. 14th

We invite the community to come join us in Estes Park on Saturday, Sept. 14th, for Milk & Cookies. This is an event where you can learn more on how you can support Girl Scouting of Colorado, including how girls can join and more about the critical need the organization has for volunteers. The event is free and will take place from 1-3 p.m. at the Historic Elkhorn Lodge on 600 W. Elkhorn Ave. Western Dairy Association has partnered with Girl Scouts of Colorado on this event and will have hands-on information stations and interactive games, which enable participants to learn and get excited about calcium, bone health and proper nutrition. There will also be tasty treats on-hand — Girl Scout Cookies and milk, yogurt and ice cream provided by Meadow Gold. More information on the event: Milk Cookies Estes Park. We hope to see you there!

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



Girl Scout Gold Award Project, “Protect Yourself”

25133josie teaching kick
25133josie teaching kick

Submitted by Josie Natrasevschi
Northern Colorado & Northeastern Colorado

1 out of 4 women are attacked while in college. This was the case for my sister as well as a statistic. I have been working on my Girl Scout Gold Award project, “Protect Yourself.” I teach young women to protect themselves with self-defense, travel in groups and watch out for each other. You go with a friend to a party and you leave with that friend. You have each other’s back and watch each other’s drink.

I addressed the issue of sexual assault in my project. This issue revolves around the practice of knowingly causing another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat. It is also one of the most prominent issues in the world being that every two minutes someone in the United States man or woman is sexually assaulted. My target audiences ranges from students of the age 14 to students to the age 17 due to the fact that those within the ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. After participants finish the class they gain basic self-defense skills as well as strategic thinking methods that will aid in surviving an assault.

Through participating in the project many find themselves with confidence, that previously they were lacking in. This project also provided information about sexual assault and what to watch out for when traveling alone or in a group so as to avoid being assaulted. The project will be sustained beyond my direct involvement by the teachers that I trained to teach the class. They will put the course in the classes they teach and will continue doing so long after I graduated.

Sexual assault is a global issue and is seen all over the world as shown by the startling statistics: “An estimated 150 million girls under 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone”( and in the multiple articles and news exposes that focus on the issue of sexual assault alone, a few of the more startling being “In a Global First, Global Data on Violence Against Women” by Dan Morrison of National Geographic , and “Egypt: Epidemic of Sexual Violence” by Human Rights Watch.

Throughout my project I encountered numerous set backs. Among all of my set backs the largest one was without doubt the numerous hardships me and my family went through last year. They ranged from a friend taking his own life to my grandmother passing away, with a few unfortunate additions in between. It was little more than a miracle that I was in fact able to overcome the emotional torrent that was my life but I did so with the help of my troop and my friends who encouraged me to continue to pursue my passions. Among my few passions this project resides and I relentlessly moved step by step foreword until I finally completed it.

In order to inspire others I took many different approaches. I first created a blog to address widespread issues and promote change. I then dove head first into teaching anyone I could, the skills that were imparted unto me by my instructor Chet Barnett who most generously donated his time to train me. I taught people at Fossil Ridge High School, Girls State in Gunnison CO, at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Boston to my group the Nightingales, at Brown University to my floor in the dorms, and lastly to the teachers at Fort Collins High School.

I learned that despite how daunting a task may seem it is possible to complete and improve it with enough hard work and dedication. That being said this project force fed me a dose of humility and surprised me by transforming my outlook on life. It made me look for the genuine good in people and to stop taking things so personally because I now realize that I don’t actually know what is going on in their lives and I have no place to judge them without first knowing the full and comprehensive story behind their actions.

Another thing I learned about myself was that I could do something special, that I could change the world. I am most proud of the fact that whoever is touched by this project will be more prepared to take on the world head on. They will be less hindered by the fears that come with living alone or walking the streets at night because of the information that they learned by taking the class. I have taught them to be safe and know that they are safer just by taking my class. I developed healthy relationships of trust and respect between myself and those I taught. I have learned how to teach, speak, and communicate effectively.

I also developed a deep connection to my community, locally and globally by teaching the class to those who live as close as Fort Collins and as far as China. I identified a community issue, sexual assault and decided to make a difference both locally and globally by developing a class and blogging. In doing so I ran into a couple of problems a major one being how to make my project sustainable but I solved that by resolving to train the teachers in my school the program. Throughout my project I felt empowered to make a difference in the world and I acted on that empowerment by educating as many as I could about sexual assault and self-defense.

I’d like to Thank Chet Barnett of: Krav Maga self-defense (2439 South College Ave Unit C2, Fort Collins, CO 80525) for training me in self-defense for my Girl Scout Gold Award project. Thank Mrs. Neal of Fossil Ridge High School for participating in my program with her class. A special shout out to Coach Conrad Crist Fort Collins High School who helped me complete my project.

I published an article about my project in the Fort Collins Coloradoan.


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25133teaching protect your face
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25133know your stance

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

Limited Shop Courier Service Now Available!

We’re listening to our volunteers and working to make changes to our systems to better support you!! In response to popular demand, the Girl Scouts of Colorado shop will now offer no-cost courier services for items purchased by email to our Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins Service Centers. Here’s the scoop on how you can take advantage of this opportunity:

1. Go to our online shop to pick out the items that you would like to purchase (if you choose to place your order on the website, shipping charges will apply). Please note that the online store may include merchandise that is not available through our local Colorado store, and must be purchased online. When our Retail Associate contacts you to collect payment (see step 3), she will verify that the items you selected are available for this service.
• To get a “feel” for the merchandise before ordering, you can also stop by the Colorado Springs or Ft. Collins Service Centers and check out uniform and program book samples.
2. Email with a list of the items that you would like to purchase and indicate to which service center you would like them delivered. Please include a contact number.
3. A GSCO Retail Associate will contact you to verify your order and collect your credit card payment.
4. Your order will be delivered to the service center listed in your email order. Once your order arrives, we will call to notify you that it is ready for pick up. Items will be delivered at least once every two weeks.

Volunteering for Girl Scouts Can Help You Land A Job

The following is a guest post from Alli Oswandel, longtime Girl Scout volunteer and current AmeriCorps member


Recently, I was hired for my dream job, a fourth grade teacher in Northern Colorado. A lucky break since the FWB jobs market dried up recently with the economy. I can honestly say I owe it to my time volunteering with Girl Scouts of Colorado. Over the past 5 years, I have had the rewarding experience of volunteering as a Day Camp Director. I’ve made an impact on 100s of girls’ lives offering experiences like archery and canoeing. During the last year as an AmeriCorps Member for Girl Scouts of Colorado I was able to support GSCO’s recruitment of new volunteers as well as offer programs for girls. Not only have I developed the skills for management, organization and enthusiasm to get me ready for my new classroom, but I have also created relationships and connections that led me to my new career.

Check out the article below, which is a study published this summer on the professional benefits of volunteerism. This proves what I always knew to be true – I spend my time volunteering to help others and I get the benefit of professional experience as icing on the cake. It’s a win-win! Do you know anyone looking for a job that could benefit from volunteering with Girl Scouts of Colorado? Send them our way; we’re always looking for great volunteers. You can learn more about volunteering on our website.

Volunteers More Likely to Land Jobs, Study Finds
Jun 18, 2013
First-ever federal research finds unemployed individuals who volunteer are 27% more likely to find work than non-volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A groundbreaking new report from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides the most compelling empirical evidence to date establishing an association between volunteering and employment.

The study, “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment: Does Volunteering Increase Odds of Finding a Job for the Out of Work?” finds that unemployed individuals who volunteer over the next year have 27 percent higher odds of being employed at the end of the year than non volunteers. The relationship between volunteering and employment holds stable regardless of a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, or job market conditions.

“Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we’ve never had solid research to back it up,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “This report shows a definitive relationship – volunteers are more likely to be employed a year later than non-volunteers. We know that volunteering can help job seekers develop skills and expand professional contacts, creating a positive impression that can make a big difference in a competitive job market.”

The federal agency used 10 years of data from the Census Bureau and analyzed a nationally representative sample of more than 70,000 individuals 16 years or older who were looking for work. The report examines their volunteer and employment status over two years to determine whether there was a relationship between volunteering and securing a job.

The report’s finding of a 27 percent increase in odds of employment was statistically significant. The association between volunteering and employment remained consistent across each year of the study period and varying unemployment rates, suggesting that volunteering may provide an advantage regardless of economic conditions. Importantly, the relationship was strongest among individuals without a high school diploma (51 percent increase in odds) and individuals who live in rural areas (55 percent increase in odds).

“This research suggests that people with limited skills or social connections – particularly those without a high school education – may see an extra benefit to volunteering as a way to open doors and level the playing field,” said Dr. Christopher Spera, director of evaluation and research at CNCS.

Prior research has shown that volunteering can increase a person’s social connections and professional contacts (social capital) and skills and experiences (human capital), two factors that are positively related to employment outcomes. In addition, some workers may see volunteering as a possible entry route into a new field or organization where they would like to work.

Promoting volunteer service as a pathway for employment and opportunity has been a priority of CNCS. The agency provides vital leadership and support to America’s voluntary sector through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Volunteer Generation Fund, and other programs. Last year, the agency engaged more than five million Americans in service to meet local needs and built the capacity of thousands of nonprofits to more effectively recruit and manage volunteers.

The connection between volunteering and employment has also been promoted by the Department of Labor, which issued policy guidance last year recognizing that volunteering can help expand opportunity for unemployed individuals by enabling them to develop and maintain skills, expand their network of contacts, and enhance their resumes. The guidance encouraged state workforce agencies to promote volunteering by individuals receiving unemployment compensation.

“This research has far-reaching implications for the volunteer sector, for workforce agencies, for policymakers, and for those who are out of work,” Spencer said. “We encourage nonprofits across the country to engage out-of-work Americans as volunteers, and to help them develop skills and contacts and take on leadership roles. For those who are out of work, consider volunteering as one part of your job search strategy. Visit to find volunteer opportunities in your area.”

September Statewide Service Unit Agenda and Virtual Meeting

The Statewide September Service Unit Agenda PDF is now available to download.

In case you missed the information from August, you may access the August Service Unit Agenda PDF, or the recorded YouTube video.

September’s statewide, virtual meeting will be on Wednesday, September 11 from 12:30-1pm. It will be posted to YouTube shortly after for anyone who misses it.

Sign up for a virtual meeting reminder here:

Join online meeting:

Join by Phone: Toll-free number: 866-232-8977  Participant code: 1799340851

Please also watch for the local version of your agenda and in-person service unit meetings for the most relevant information! Subscribe for regional e-newsletters with the most up-to-date events (sent on on the 15th of every month) here:

My first camp with Girl Scouts

Submitted by Scott Earley
Western Slope

I am new to Girl Scouts this year and this was my first time at camp. I really liked camp a lot! I have a REALLY great leader Miss Dena she took me to camp this year. The thing I liked best about camp was the songs. I learned lots of new songs that I shared with my family. The other thing I liked a lot was the ropes that go across the lake, I fell in the water and it was very funny. Thank you for letting me come to camp I had a lot of FUN!

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

Troop 548’s summer adventure funded by cookie sales


Submitted by Judy Moisey Asay

Troop 548 sold over 5,000 boxes of cookies this year and used the money to fund their summer trip. They voted to go rafting and explore southern Colorado by visiting the Sand Dunes and Zapata Falls.

The girls and moms rafted the Arkansas River with Arkansas River Tours and had a great time on the river in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Afterwards the troop headed for the Sand Dunes where they climbed High Dune, the 2nd highest dune in the park. We also went to the Visitor Center and watched the interpretive programs about the park. The troop attended an ice cream social at the campground center to finish off the evening.

The final morning, we hiked to Zapata Falls near the Sand Dunes Park. It was a very cold hike as we waded through the stream to get to the falls. The weather was great and the girls and moms had an awesome time. Who knows where we will go next??

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


Improving the Volunteer Experience at GSCO

We know that the staffing and structural changes discussed in previous posts are difficult changes both for our staff and volunteers. Despite the fact that many of these changes were motivated by our financial limitations, we are dedicated to using our retraction as a motivation to take a fresh look at our systems and processes and create a streamlined system that makes life easier for our volunteers.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce the following changes (effective immediately), designed to help empower our volunteers and help Girl Scouts of Colorado return to our grassroots origins. Our Program team has worked exceptionally hard to design and prepare these changes on a short timeline. I hope that you will agree that, although we know we have additional ground to cover, these changes are giant steps towards improving our support of our most valuable asset, volunteers.

With our new processes, you will find it easier to:

Complete most requests online
We are introducing a new online form tool, through Adobe Forms Central that provides a much improved experience with online forms. All of the new processes below utilize this advanced system and we will continue to update our old forms with this new software.

Set up & change signers on bank accounts
Whenever your group needs to open a new bank account or change the authorized signers, just submit the new Bank Account Authorization Request form online. As long as the new signers have completed the volunteer application process, you’ll receive an email with an authorization letter to take to the bank. We also made it easier to access the guidelines for managing group finances.

Help a girl find a troop
We have made some improvements to our interest form too. As a volunteer, you can send this link to anyone who needs help finding a troop – or you could even fill it out on their behalf, with permission of course. We have dedicated staff Recruitment Specialists and volunteers around the state who work with families to find and start troops for new Girl Scouts.

Plan a group money earning activity
Troop/Group Leaders are approved to coordinate group money earning activities. Written approval for each activity is no longer required. Just follow these group money earning guidelines and we’ll ask you to how it went on your Annual Troop Report next year. If you need help planning a money earning activity or have any questions about the guidelines, contact your Program Support Specialist.

Plan an overnight or extended trip
Volunteers who have taken the required travel training(s) are approved to coordinate overnight trips (1-2 nights, including sleepovers) and extended trips (3 or more nights). Written approval for each trip is no longer required, just submit a simple Overnight & Extended Trip Notification to let us know the basic trip details in case of an emergency situation. We trust that the Trip Advisor will follow the troop travel guidelines. Your Program Support Specialist is available to help if you have any questions or need some advice.

Note: If your overnight or extended trip is at a GSCO property, you don’t need to submit a notification because we’ll have your trip details in your site reservation.

Apply for an Opportunity Grant
Every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout! We have a new Opportunity Grant Application that can be submitted by a parent/guardian or troop volunteer online. Grants are awarded up to 80% and are available for:
• uniforms & books
• camp (day & overnight)
• Council-sponsored programs (events, series, travel)
• adult learning opportunities
• GSUSA destinations

An application is not needed for financial assistance for girl/adult memberships or volunteer background checks. Opportunity Grants are not available for troop-planned travel.

Receive Troop Sponsorship funds
A Troop Sponsorship is a monetary donation of $250 or more that is made payable to Girl Scouts of Colorado with the intention of being transferred to a specific troop/group, per the donor’s request. Internally we made some changes so we can process these requests quickly. If your group ever receives a donation of $250 or more, and the donor needs an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, submit the new Troop Sponsorship Notification online and have the check sent to the Denver Service Center with a note from the donor to designate the gift to your troop.

Your troop may accept monetary donations of any amount directly, but the donor will not receive an acknowledgement letter for their gift – that’s why we provide this service to troops!

Get the Best in Volunteer Training
First, we are removing the cost to volunteers for nearly all adult trainings and reducing the cost for the few that will retain a small fee.

We are also increasing the frequency of trainings. Specifically, Nuts and Bolts, our primary training for new volunteers will be offered at least weekly through our online training platform to help new troop leaders get started right away.

Finally, we are introducing new age-level trainings this fall to help you feel comfortable presenting programming for your specific age group(s).

Find Great Program Resources
We are releasing several new program materials that will help make program planning easier. The Service Unit Event Planning Guide (and program templates) will help you plan your event or camp! Program templates will also soon be online for you to use.