Thursday, November 2, 2017, Girl Scouts of Colorado honored the 2017 inductees into the esteemed Women of Distinction program on the Western Slope during a breakfast at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. A group of nearly 275 gathered at the event, which raised more than $20,000 for local Girl Scout programs.
This year’s honorees were:
Carma Brown, Personal Lines Manager, Home Loan Insurance
Sue Conry, Director, Hilltop Home Care
Stacey Mascarenas, Community Development Director, Family Health West
These extraordinary women were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Susan Alvillar, Woman of Distinction 2015, and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. They are shining examples of corporate, civic and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for our female leaders of tomorrow.
The morning’s featured speakers included Gold Award Girl Scout Katie Otto and Silver Award Girl Scout Anela Cronk, who shared their stories of growth and leadership through Girl Scouting. Paula Reece, Woman of Distinction 2016, was this year’s event chair and Betsy Bair, Woman of Distinction 2014, was the event emcee.
The Women of Distinction program began on the Western Slope in 2013. Including this year’s honorees, Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized 12 other women on the Western Slope with this honor.
Thank you to our Gold Presenting Sponsor: USBank and Silver Presenting Sponsor: Chevron and FCI Constructors, Inc, and to our Media Sponsor: Townsquare Media.
The GSCO History Center is located in Loveland. We have a dedicated group of volunteers who meet every Tuesday and give tours by appointment. Due to the popularity of troop visits, we have decided to dedicate the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month starting January 13, 2018 for troops to set up appointments for a visit. We are also available by appointment during the week while school is out.
We have several programs for troops, including working on the “Playing the Past” badge, “Girl Scout Way” badge, and GSCO Centennial patch. Each program can also include trying on vintage uniforms, as well as a scavenger hunt to find items in the unique areas of the center.
Whichever activity troops choose, please plan on a one and half to two-hour visits. We will be scheduling one visit in the morning and one in the afternoon. Common start times are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., but we are flexible with start and end times as we understand that some troops travel from around the state.
At the History Center, girls and adults will get to see many different vintage items ranging from uniforms and books to camping equipment, jewelry, and cameras. We have more than 600 uniforms and at least that many books dating back to the early days of Girl Scouting. All the items at the History Center belong to Girl Scouts of Colorado. Many have been donated by individuals around the state over the course of many decades.
Our committee works hard to preserve and protect our Girl Scout history as well as making sure that today’s Girl Scouts have a place to experience what Girl Scouting in the past was all about.
We offer out-based programs and loan uniforms for local parades and events. We only ask that we get pictures of your group in uniform and that they get back to us in a timely manner. Out-based programs include Books in a Bag. These bags are specific to grade level or topic and include vintage books and a program for their use. Contact us for more information. We also have a vintage fashion show complete with uniforms and a script. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment or arrange for an out based program or uniforms to be sent to your area.
Don’t have a troop, but would still like to visit? Please send us an email and come join us on a Tuesday work day. There’s always something to do and we can provide on-site training if you’d like to help out for a bit.
I recently had an amazing Girl Scout experience that I want to share. I knew that going to National Convention as a delegate would be exciting, but I had no idea that it would change the way I look at Girl Scouting. I have returned from Ohio more motivated than ever before, and want to encourage you to share my energy. Even more importantly, I want to convince all Girl Scouts to attend a National Convention themselves.
I am a Mountain Communities Trainer and also teach the Program Aid course. I am a strong advocate of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and enjoy opportunities to teach others. I’ve worked with so many talented Girl Scouts, but I was blown away by the girls chosen as national delegates. The girl delegates were active in giving opinions on our voting topics. They were thoughtful, insightful, passionate, and persuasive. However, when the discussion topic of how to get more girls into Girl Scouting and keep them, they were incredible. These young women had talked with other girls and shared their stories. They had concerns about diversity, funding, and leadership. They expressed that while many girls are tired of Journeys, others really like them. They presented original ideas that made everyone in the room think, “Wow, why aren’t we doing that?”
I want to encourage all of you to return to your troops and let the girls take the reins. It takes a bit of encouragement to get them on the leadership path, but I’ve seen what can happen when they succeed. I can only hope that my daughter becomes half as successful and amazing as the young women chosen to represent their councils.
I had a meeting with my friend and mentor, Nancy Mucklow, who encouraged me to apply to be a delegate. She wants to plan some big Girl Scout travel, and I virtually doubled her list. Did you know that there is a petition to name the bridge over the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge? When I told my troop about a chance to participate in their bridging ceremony, their eyes lit up and I think they started their packing list in their heads. I was unaware that Girl Scouts has a camp in Minnesota that does Boundary Waters canoe trips, and the cost is so low it’s staggering. You can go as a large group, an individual, or even a family. I was thrilled to find out that this high adventure trip is affordable and am starting to look at dates. I hope that I can encourage others to join me. I also learned a great deal more about the different world centers and Nancy is starting our travel plans for 2019 – I can’t wait!
The Hall of Experiences was just amazing. I learned information that I never realized existed. It had activities for the girls, from crafts, to the local science museum, to NASA. We were especially impressed with one gentleman at the NASA booth. Not only did he tell us about current science and demonstrate thrilling technology, he gave out important advice about high school and college classes to focus on and emphasized the importance of earning your Gold Award before applying for colleges. My favorite part of our conversation though, was about his daughter’s troop that he leads. We talked with our first colleges, and the advisors there taught my daughter the important questions she should be asking. They talked to her, not me. They asked her the important questions and helped her narrow down her scattered thoughts. I’m grateful for their approach in helping my daughter start her college search.
The breakout sessions were so informative and fun. My daughter attended the girl only yoga and self-defense class. She was very excited to prove herself to the self-defense instructor. She was told to hit the instructor if attacked. When the instructor snuck up on my daughters back and grabbed her hand, my daughter turned and hit her. The instructor was so thrilled that it was caught on video and she posed together yelling YEAH! While she was beating up adults, I attended a bullying seminar. While this was not normally not my thing, I was extremely impressed and inspired. The speaker had a different way of looking at the topic, and I can’t wait to share what I learned.
The inspirational speakers and videos were simply phenomenal. Coming from a family of gymnasts, hearing Gabby Douglas speak was thrilling. Chelsea Clinton was a joy and we just loved her discussion with the Young Women of Distinction about their Gold Awards. The psychologist that spoke was simply amazing. I am still discussing her theories with my daughter. However, in my opinion, the best speaker of the Convention was our very own CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. The way she could engage every person in the audience, regardless of their age was so wonderful. She loved getting all of us to stand up, dance and celebrate Girl Scouting together. If her speaking skills weren’t enough, she also took the time to talk with anyone who wanted her ear and smile for hundreds of selfies. If you have never heard amazing woman speak, I encourage you to seek her out.
The point that I want to stress is that National Convention is just so much more than just a convention. It’s a lifetime experience. I met people who have been attending National Convention since the 80’s. I was inspired by one woman who brings her granddaughters to every National Convention. I find this idea compelling and hope to someday be able to follow in this woman’s footsteps. Did I forget to talk about SWAPS? Just imagine bringing 250 swaps representing our great state and trading with Girl Scouts from around the country – and the world!
When I returned from convention, I was simply exhausted. There were so many fun and interesting things going on that we averaged about five and a half hours of sleep a night. The most amazing part of the convention started after I got home and got a real eight hours of sleep. I have ideas. I have plans. I am motivated. I see how my local troop and my volunteer efforts fit into Girl Scouts around the country. I want to see Girl Scouts of Colorado become a leader in our amazing national organization. I want to see more Girl Scouts, young and old, attend national conventions and come home as inspired as me. I want you to join me at the next national convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida!
Gold Award Girl Scout Emma Albertoni of Arvada was a featured speaker at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction Thin Mint Dinners in both Denver and Colorado Springs. She told the audience of Girl Scouts and supporters how Girl Scouts helped her find her voice.
As a 2017 Gold Award recipient and winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence, I am excited to share not only the work I have done through Girl Scouts, but the work that Girl Scouts has done for me.
I started Girl Scouts in first grade – a whopping 12 years ago. I joined Troop 1721 of Arvada, which met in the teacher’s lounge at my elementary school. All 17 girls in that troop would run around playing games, make a mess on the table doing crafts, and discuss cookie season with mouths full of snacks. I went to camps in the summer, learning a lot about myself along the way. After a rainy mother-daughter camp experience, I learned my mom and I are more of a “spa-day and hotel” kind of campers than the “soggy sneaker and cold tent” kind of campers. I remember how I sold cookies, setting goals for the number of packages that I wanted to sell, and making posters for our booth– all while strategizing how placing cookie packages in the ROYGBV order would make our booth look enticing to customers. I remember making very… unique… outfits for World Thinking Day on my troop leader’s sewing machines, hoping that we didn’t mess up with the limited fabric we had. But the ‘fun’ things were not all that I did in all my years of Girl Scouts. Of course, I sold cookies, earned badges, and went to camp, especially when I was younger. But, these ‘fun’ things helped me later on, and I have come to realize the magic of Girl Scouts is how the things you do impact you on a deeper level.
My Girl Scout experience evolved as I got older and my troop began working on our Highest Awards. So you can understand the scale of each award, I’ll compare them to a body of water. First, the Bronze Award. Think Lake Michigan. For the Bronze Award, my troop paired up to do a “Charity Convention.” Each pair picked and researched a charity. We made posters, so our guests could learn about each one, what to donate, and how to donate. Next up, the Silver Award, which is like the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike other girls, my troop and I had difficulty coming to an agreement over what our project should be, so to appease everyone, I split off and did my project on my own. To earn my Silver Award, I collected more than 150 old t-shirts and upcycled them into bags. I gave these bags to an organization that was providing sanitary supplies to homeless women so it would be more private. I also gave some to a food bank in Arvada, and one in San Diego.
Last, but definitely not least (in any sense of the word), was the Gold Award. My Pacific Ocean. The Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouting. It requires you to find an issue in your community and develop a solution. The Gold Award must be sustainable, connected nationally and globally, show leadership, and educate the public. Daunting, right? Ideas came and went, but nothing panned out. I finally found my project by looking at my own life. I was 16- years-old, buying my first car, looking at college tuition, and working a summer job. I was dealing with larger sums of money than ever before and I realized, I didn’t know anything about using it wisely. Talking with my parents about credit scores, loans, and budgeting made me wonder, where did they learn it all?
My project began by researching financial education in Colorado. I found fiscal topics are “woven” into K-12 classes, but the curriculum does not teach the students how to apply this knowledge. I discovered, through surveys and interviews, students didn’t even realize these principles were being taught. Since students weren’t learning the practical application, they would just leave the information behind. I didn’t believe this was right. Everyone needs to understand how to be responsible with their money, and that was not being addressed in Jefferson County schools.
I started by meeting with the principal and Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) teacher at Ralston Valley High School. The FCS class covered some financial literacy topics. But, it was an elective course taught to only 30 students/year. The teacher allowed me to create a new unit on financial safety online. It included PowerPoints, videos, discussions, and quizzes about things like identity theft, hacking, and password security. The teacher is now teaching my unit every year. I didn’t stop there. I proposed to the JeffCo School Board to make financial literacy a required class. The school board is now taking a closer look at how financial literacy is taught. Finally, I began working with Colorado legislators, including State Representative Lang Sias. They are interested in providing guidelines for educators on teaching financial literacy, as well as hosting a Financial Literacy day at the state capitol.
Finally, my brother and I started Down With Dough, a 501(C)(3) organization that seeks to inspire and advance knowledge of financial literacy through supporting, sharing, and improving education. Down With Dough will continue to partner with legislators, as well as other sponsors in order to one day see the improvement we need in education surrounding financial literacy. We have received tax exemption status, and are now looking for donors to help us fund curriculum development and further our work.
As I now look back, I see that Girl Scouts taught me skills that I never would have learned elsewhere. The magic of Girl Scouts is how the things you learn when you’re younger amidst all the fun, build on each other until you can accomplish a Pacific Ocean sized goal. The crafts we made in the teacher’s lounge helped me find individuality and creativity. The camps taught me how to make friends, be confident, take risks, and work as a team. I learned leadership through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which included getting myself out of my comfort zone to sell a product by developing marketing strategies. The Cookie Program also taught me how to be a go-getter by setting small goals in order to achieve a large goal. And, sewing outfits taught me how to solve problems and be an innovator. All these qualities I learned through the fun of Girl Scouts, and they all helped me get to where I am today.
Before Girl Scouts, I was very shy. In fact, I was talking with my troop leader the other day. We joked about how out of the five girls still in our troop at graduation, no one would’ve guessed it would be me standing here today. But, Girl Scouts brought me out of my shell. I was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. I met amazing young men and women from all across the country who are doing great things for their communities, just like I am. They taught me about different subjects like nonprofit classification, grant writing, and each other’s passions. I was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Scout of the Year Award, where I stood in awe as veterans stood and applauded my hard work and dedication. I stood in front of Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps and Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett with a confidence I would not have had, had I not been a Girl Scout. Because of Girl Scouts, I had the drive, passion, and confidence to audition for the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, where I am now a Classical Violin Performance major. I look forward to going through school, into my career field, and my future with Down with Dough with passion and leadership skills to be successful. Girl Scouts gave me a safe place to speak my mind and share ideas – it gave me the opportunity to find my voice.
This summer, the fourth year of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch brought together new and returning friends from nine different states to the Colorado high country. Women’s Week is open to any women/ladies/girls who are at least 18 years of age, who may or may not be Girl Scouts presently, or who may or may not ever have attended camp at any time anywhere. In other words, come one, come all – – – the more the merrier!
The best part about Women’s Week (WW for short) is that the sky is truly the limit! There is no preplanned program or schedule, except as determined by the menus and meals. More about food a little later! If you would like to do a particular thing, just make a request and we’ll try to see that it happens. If you would like to offer a special activity or program, just hang up a sign saying where and when it will happen, and bring with you the tools or materials to share with others.
There is plenty of time in our three-night/four-day event to rest and relax, explore, visit, sing, laugh, cook, sleep, read, hike, etc. Do you like to get up early in the morning? Coffee is always on its way before breakfast and a few of us enjoy the still morning solitude to listen to the birds, feel the breeze, and watch the sun come up over the hills. Like to stay up late? Campfires are always on the agenda, so we can give you “a place where people gather to make friends of all kinds,” and then we can help you “sing your way home at the close of the day.”
Women’s Week usually begins with a Big Circle Tour of MMR, which will take you to see most of what’s on the property for your further exploration. Up to the east past the C.I.T. house under restoration at this time, maybe up as far as Vista Spur to see the panorama of peaks that tower over us, back across by “The Shelf,” out to the Back Meadow, and around through the fire break along the back trail and over to Pinecrest where the Memorial Unit Shelter is under construction. The new steel buildings are going to be built by the agency from https://greatwesternbuildings.com/Steel_buildings/aviation, give them a visit if you need their services.
Cooking is a big part of Women’s Week, and the patrol assigned to be chefs will have guidance from Susan Baker and her growing-up girls to offer a delicious variety of cuisine, carefully planned to allow for dietary needs as well as experimentation. We’ve done bean-hole cooking, stick cooking, reflector oven baking, and dutch oven offerings. We’ve cooked on charcoal, open fires, or propane stoves, depending on the preference of the cooks or the (hopefully not!) fire restrictions. We once made rhubarb jam in the main camp kitchen to share with everyone. No, Women’s Week food is not always like regular camp food, as we’ve included a chili cook-off, stir fry to die for, fresh fruits and veggies prepared many different ways, and special surprises along the way. Ever made a “Fluffernutter?” or a “Darn Good/Dough Boy”? Do you have special culinary requests you’d like to see us try?
So, here are some highlights from summer 2017 at Women’s Week: A climb up Meadow Mountain. Crafts of bark painting, Morse-Code beading, monkey fists, tile mosaics. Yang or Taijiguan style of Tai-Chi in the mornings to relax the body and soul. “Tajer Tales” and “The Thirteen Clocks.” Sunrise hike to Vista Spur. Self-guided Nature Trail. A bog explore to see “the tufas” in the lower meadow. Service projects to help with fire mitigation and stripping logs for the new unit shelter at Pinecrest.
Summer of 2018 will feature a special dedication ceremony for the new Pinecrest Memorial Unit Shelter. Completion of this project will allow for more complete use of this larger more remote unit on the southern boundary of the camp. Contact Penny Roberts if you’d like to be involved in creating a memorial to special people who helped bring you personally through Girl Scouting to be the woman you are today.
So, dates are set for the fifth Women’s Week for the summer of 2018. MARK YOUR CALENDAR, SAVE THE DATES, OR REGISTER RIGHT NOW! Monday, July 23 (first meal is lunch) through Thursday, July 26 (last meal is champagne brunch).Cost is $180 for the entire event or $60 for any daily increments including three meals. Contact the very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts, PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517, email@example.com by phone at (970) 586 1775.
It’s great when moms and daughters and granddaughters come, or when MMR camp staff alums make connections with previous campers from decades ago, or when friends who never got to go to camp ever can join this wonderful experience. It’s great when we take time out, get away, unwind, unplug, or just generally recreate ourselves. We take good care of each other and come away with peace and satisfaction that comes from just being outdoors. At camp, where life is more real. Hope to see you then.
Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, visited Denver on the morning of Thursday, October 19, 2017. Before meeting with girls, volunteers, and supporters, she stopped by 9News (KUSA-TV) to talk with TaRhonda Thomas about why Girl Scouts is the BEST leadership organization for girls. Here is the link to the interview: http://www.9news.com/life/girl-scouts-introduce-new-stem-focused-badges/484535809
A lifelong Girl Scout herself and former rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sylvia has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, including founder, president, and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics. A fierce advocate for education, Sylvia has also worked as a strategic consultant to national organizations that strive to improve outcomes with America’s rising generation of youth, as well as a national advocate for STEM education.
I joined Girl Scouts as a snaggle-toothed second grade Brownie (which was the age at which Girl Scouting began, back in the olden days of the early ‘60’s). I’m not aware of any burning desire to be a Girl Scout. At the time, there were few after-school activities and perhaps, my mother was glad to have me participate in one of them. But, oh what a difference it made in my life! Girl Scouting provided consistency and a safe place from a chaotic home life. We moved a fair amount and I could always count on Girl Scouts to provide me an opportunity for new friends and adventures. And soon after I relocated to Colorado with my husband and children, signing up as a Girl Scout allowed me to make friends quickly. After nearly 30 years in Colorado, my friends are mostly Girl Scouts, with whom I gather, meet and greet, and travel. Retiring from the staff of the former Mile Hi Legacy Council ten years ago, I continue to lunch with my former colleagues. Now, who else can claim such a long-lived, inspiring network of former co-workers as friends?
I was retired, however, not willing to be left out of the loop of Girl Scout doings, hence my interest in the Membership Connection Committee (MCC). What’s kept me involved with the MCC for the last 10 years? Kept in the loop, indeed, with an understanding of the current direction and efforts of Girl Scouts in Colorado. Able to make a small contribution on matters of governance and membership. Meeting other Girl Scouts, girls and adults, with a responsibility to inspire, educate, and support. My term will soon come to an end and I hope I’ll be welcomed back after the required hiatus.
I’ve served as a troop leader, trainer, service unit manager, event organizer, and now board member in my nearly 50 years of Girl Scouting. I’m a Lifetime Member of GSUSA. I currently support two troops and continue to train in leadership and outdoor skills. Serving as an MCC member gives me a great deal of satisfaction since it allows me to share my skills and opinions in ways that influence the future of our organization and our members. I have two sons [“huge, handsome and handy”, former Boy Scouts and “Girl Scout boys (until they became too distracting at Girl Scout events)”] and had, at one time, 26,000 ‘daughters’. A terrific experience that enriched my world, provided me with adventures (around the state, the USA and the world) and made me a better person, trying to live by the Promise and Law. Through my mentoring of young Girl Scouts, I know I’ve made a difference and that feels good.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, Girl Scouts of Colorado honored the 2017 Pikes Peak Women of Distinction during the Thin Mint Dinner at The Antlers – A Wyndham Hotel. The 2017 Women of Distinction are:
Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director, Palmer Land Trust
Noreen Landis-Tyson, President and CEO, CPCD…giving children a head start
Donna Nelson, Spirit of the Springs Program Coordinator, City of Colorado Springs
Susan Loo Pattee, CEO and Founder, Colorado Springs Materials Development, LLC
Beth Hall Roalstad, Executive Director, Homeward Pikes Peak
Brenda Smith, Co-Owner, Garden of the Gods Collection
A group of nearly 200 gathered at the event which was chaired by Lindy Conter, Community Volunteer, Woman of Distinction ’13 and Barbara Winter, Executive Vice President, Ent Credit Union, Woman of Distinction ’13. The honorees were selected by a committee of their peers and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. They are examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for female leaders of tomorrow.
The evening’s speakers included Pamela Shockley-Zalabak, Ph.D. and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Emma Albertoni, recipient of Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence.
Since 1997 Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized more than 500 women across the state with this honor. More than $2 million has been raised since 1997 by Women of Distinction for Girl Scout programs.
Bronze Presenting Sponsors include El Pomar Foundation and Ent Credit Union. The Trefoil Sponsor was Newmont Mining.
For more information on the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction program, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/wodpp or contact Debbie Swanson at 719-304-8322 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the last warm Sunday of the summer of 2017, Girl Scouts in Steamboat Springs presented Nancy Mucklow with the “Thanks” badge. Nominated by Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors chair-elect Rae Ann Dougherty, Nancy did not expect the overwhelming number of endorsements that also supported the honor. Ms. Dougherty was unable to attend, but provided the following statement for the ceremony:
“Because of Nancy’s spirited devotion, Girl Scouts of Colorado is fortunate to have a strong and growing base of active Girl Scouts of all ages in Steamboat Springs, a key area of our Mountain Communities region! Not only does she share and invite girls from all over the state to participate in Steamboat events, her energy routinely spills out into other geographic areas throughout the state with a VERY positive impact. Without Nancy’s dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and energy, I believe we would not have as strong, dynamic, and vibrant Girl Scout Program in Steamboat Springs. Even with her male dominated family, she shepherds many girls, as well as adult volunteers, through the program.”
Edna “Skipper” Hollis led Girl Scout Troop 362 during my growing-up years. Who knew she would still be leading us, as adults, 60 years later?
Troop 362 was a big troop with three different age-groups. I was in the middle. That was nearly 60 years ago. And, we’ve kept in touch all those years… reuniting the last Saturday of every July at Skipper’s rustic cabin on the shores of Lake Eldora. She left this place on Thanksgiving 2016 at 104 ½ years old. As we gather at the cabin for one last time, we reminisce and bask in her love. She was a remarkable woman whom I deeply loved and admired.
Her energy was limitless. Even though she was nearing 50 back then, she taught us to: swim, canoe, hike, snowshoe, mountain climb, toboggan, ice skate, and chop ice from a deeply encrusted mountain spring. We learned to dip our buckets in the cold, clear water for drinking and bathing. She filled our days and nights with songs, swimming, cooking on a wood-burning stove, wildflower hikes, bird walks, campfires, and scary stories that went “boo” in the night.
She demonstrated kindness, compassion, unconditional love, and even taught us to “date young men.” To this day, my best date was the one she arranged for us (and chaperoned) with Air Force Academy Cadets. She showed us nature in its authentic purity, tender beauty, raw power, and rugged grandeur…all the while keeping us safe and secure.
More than anyone I’ve known, she trusted the goodness and abundance of life. Knowing that nature is God-made-manifest, she revealed a natural world, full of miracles that live forever in my heart and imagination.
Because of her, I remember to pause and drink in a sparkling dew drop, or inhale the scent of a soft, pink rose. I hug trees, speak to crickets, and sing duets with meadowlarks. I stand tall when lightning splits the clouds and thunder rolls. And all the while, I feel her presence, sense of wonder, and joy; as I take in the awe of each moment.
She embodied all that is good and continually expressed gratitude for life itself. She stood as a pure reflection of the divine, an illuminated mirror in which we could see our own souls.
How intimately she knew and loved the One Creator! And, how generously she loved each of us!!! I’m profoundly grateful for the privilege of opening the gift that she was… and I celebrate her; for she enriched my life.
Thank you, Skipper, for being who you are… a blessing to us all!
Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to celebrate the legacy of one of our most cherished alumnae, Edna “Skipper” Hollis. In 2016, Skipper passed away at the age of 104, leaving a 94-year history of Girl Scouting as a girl and an adult volunteer. Skipper touched the lives of hundreds of girls, families, and volunteers and will be remembered for her love of the outdoors and the annual troop gathering she hosted at her Colorado cabin for more than six decades.