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Alumna Blog: Girl Scouts teaches lifelong lessons on education, career and community

By Girl Scout Alumna Sherri Vasquez of Denver (Girl Scout Woman of Distinction 2007)

Girl Scouts has just finished celebrating its 100th anniversary year, a testament to its enduring tradition of teaching young girls good old-fashioned values that never go out of style.

The heart of the Girl Scout philosophy centers on respect for self, others and the environment, core beliefs that will move this valuable organization forward during the next 100 years.

Encouraging girls to do their best is especially relevant today because so many are facing overcrowded classrooms at school, depleted finances at home and over-exposed celebrities promoting instant fame and fortune over honesty and fairness.

Time-tested for a century, Girls Scouts is a wonderful way for girls to learn valuable skills and lessons that will help them grow into responsible adults with ethics, moral and standards.

When I became a Girl Scout 42 years ago, little did I know how much the experience would affect my adult life, especially my education, career and community involvement.

Becoming a Girl Scout was my first experience in goal-setting. Although I was only five years old, I vowed to achieve my dream, waiting impatiently to reach the second grade so I could join Girl Scout Brownies.

My father wore an Army uniform and my brother a Boy Scout uniform, so I wanted the honor and privilege of wearing one too. The independence of becoming part of something outside of school and family was a new and exciting concept for me.

The anticipation of joining an organization “just for girls” was just too much for a first grader to bear, so I joined the Camp Fire Girls to help me “practice” to be a Girl Scout Brownie.

When I finally put on my Brownie uniform, I was so proud of it and what it stood for that I wore it everywhere, including my second-grade class picture.

Little girls have lots of energy, and Girl Scouts was an incredibly positive outlet for an active kid like me. I loved it because I had the opportunity to meet new friends, create arts and crafts, take field trips to local businesses and enjoy outdoor adventures. My mother, by then a working single parent, loved Girl Scouts because it gave me a safe, caring place to go after school.

During my five years as a Girl Scout, I learned important lessons about being responsible for myself and respectful of others. Together, my troop learned to care about the environment.

Girl Scouts also provided a valuable place to learn about group dynamics, especially how to interact with peers and authority figures. That sense of sisterhood later motivated me to join the girls’ gymnastics team, cheerleading squad and eventually a college sorority.

Earning badges at a young age evolved into achieving higher goals as I grew up, such as graduating from high school, applying to college, and participating in a study-abroad program in Spain. Finding the courage to leave home and travel to a faraway country seemed easier because Girl Scouting had instilled a sense of independence and stirred my intellectual curiosity.

Not only did it teach my young mind how to travel in new directions and find creative ways to reach those destinations, it gave me the confidence to explore my passion for fascinating places and topics, plan strategies to learn more about them, and persist in those efforts.

These early lessons came into play once again when finishing a bachelor’s degree, starting a career in journalism, and completing a master’s degree.

Even selling Girl Scout Cookies was a useful tutorial, teaching business basics and helping develop a taste for community spirit and entrepreneurism that continues in adulthood.

Although it has been decades since I first donned a Girl Scout uniform, I still try to live by the Girl Scout Law of helping people at all times, whether it be as a journalist shining light on inequities or as a community activist involved in worthwhile causes like education and youth development.

Since Girls Scouts provided such a strong foundation in my early years, I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude for its amazing influence on my life, education and career. Because it offers hope to generations of girls to come, I wish it continued success and growing ranks in the 21st century and beyond.

Sherri Vasquez is the host and producer of Latin View.

National Girl Scout Cookie Sleepover – Jan. 12th!

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We are getting excited about the upcoming National Girl Scout Cookie Sleepover! How about you?!? If you haven’t heard about this event yet, it is going to be held on Saturday, Jan. 12th, at 8 p.m./MST. This event can be done anywhere where there’s an Internet connection. One girl or even a group of girls can participate in this event together (it doesn’t have to be a troop activity). All girls who participate will join girls from across the country who are having a sleepover/pajama party in their area. For more information and ideas to get ready from your sleepover/pajama party, check out Little Brownie Bakers website. And if we haven’t convinced you yet, check out the video below on this first-ever event that’s sure to be a hit. We hope to see you there! (We will also be live Facebooking throughout the event on Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Facebook page, so be sure to join the conversation!)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krgdEIjmFqg]

Girl Scouts: supercharge your cookie sales this holiday season!!

Shadow Girls NewColorsGirl Scouts of Colorado has a great Cookie Sales Opportunity for Juniors and above! GSCO board members and community partners will be hosting cookie parties during the 2013 Cookie Program. And we are looking for entrepreneurial Girl Scout troops who want to attend these events to sell cookies.

To apply, you need to come up with a cookie business sales presentation, video it and send it into us here: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/cookiepartytroops no later than Jan. 27. You can access tools for putting together your presentation on the Little Brownie Bakers website.

If you are looking for a way to supercharge your cookie sales this holiday season, this might be a great way to do it!

National Girl Scout Cookie Day – Feb. 8, 2013

f3a3935f92ba42049f634558dac8e3a9Girl Scouts of the USA has officially named February 8, 2013 as National Girl Scout Cookie Day! On this day we will celebrate Girl Scout Cookie time, teaching the community about the lifelong skills learned through selling cookies as well as spreading the word on how to purchase cookies.

These efforts will be supported nationally through media and public service announcement placements. Girl Scouts of the USA is also planning a social media campaign. They’ve also put together a fabulous new Girl Scout Cookie website (a Spanish version of the site will launch in January), which encompasses the themes that will be emphasized on National Girl Scout Cookie Day.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will be marking the National Girl Scout Cookie Day with Cookie Social Media Day, which was previously announced on Nov. 30th (read that blog). We also are planning media and public service announcement placements for the Girl Scout Cookie season, which runs Jan. 27th through March 3rd.

We hope you will support Girl Scout Cookie time by getting involved in the National Girl Scout Cookie Day activities!

Centennial Brownies visit with Air Force Colonel

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Submitted by Kristin Hamm
Centennial

The Girl Scout Brownies of Troop 61133, based at Willow Creek Elementary School, had a special visit from Cheryl Kearney, Colonel USAF, during their Dec. 13 meeting.

The Colonel was deployed to Iraq from June 2011 to May 2012 and was among a group who received Hometown Heroes Girl Scout cookies from the Brownie troop. Now stationed at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Col. Kearney reached out to the Brownie troop to thank the girls for the cookies.

“Being so far from home for almost a year was a tough situation, but fabulous people like you made our time go faster, especially as we enjoyed treats from home –especially Girl Scout cookies!” she wrote to the troop’s co-leader Sara Watson.

Col. Kearney showed the girls photo albums from her time in Iraq and talked to them about how they made a difference by showing their support for troops serving in Iraq and sending them a taste of home.

The visit was a perfect kickoff to the troop’s 2013 cookie activities as the girls were setting their fun and service goals and they all agreed they want to sell even more Hometown Hero packages this year.

Col. Kearney,  a former Girl Scout, is the Permanent Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy.

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

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week

Do you LOVE Girl Scout cookies?

cookie girlOur cookies do a lot more than just taste good, they provide our girls the opportunity to build their business savvy and hone their financial literacy skills. And this is where you come in! We are looking for volunteers to ensure that every one of our girls have the opportunity to gain these valuable skills through our product sales.

There are several flexible volunteer opportunities associated with our cookie program. Volunteers are needed to manage the cookie program for troops or individually registered girls around the state. We are also seeking volunteers to facilitate a series (or short-term program) such as Smart Cookies and It’s Your Business – Run It. Does a single day commitment fit your schedule better? We are adding 5 new Cookie Rallies to the schedule in Denver, Broomfield, Ft. Collins, Boulder and Eagle County (exact dates and locations TBA).

By participating in our annual cookie sale, you will be helping build our future business leaders.

For more information, view our Volunteer Match website at http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/?l=Colorado&k=girl+scouts, or contact Alli at alli.oswandel@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scouts of Colorado to hold Cookie Social Media Day Feb. 8

I’m excited to announce that Girl Scouts of Colorado is launching a first-ever Cookie Social Media Day during the 2013 Cookie Program! So mark your calendar, share the information with friends and family, and we look forward to having you participate! (Cookie Social Media Day is part of National Girl Scout Cookie Day  on Feb. 8th.)

Cookie Social Media Day 2013 

On Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, which is the date for Cookie Social Media Day and the first day of Girl Scout Cookie Booth Sales in Colorado, we want everyone, from our girl members, adult volunteers, families, donors, partners, alumnae, staff and friends to be talking about Girl Scout Cookie time on social media. Our goal is to show the community the real-life skills they are supporting when they buy Girl Scouts Cookies.

Participating is easy!  

1. Log on to Facebook or Twitter at any time on Friday, Feb. 8.

2. Post a personal message/story about Girl Scout Cookie time. You are encouraged to incorporate the 5 Skills Girls learn by selling Girl Scout Cookies (Goal-Setting, Decision-Making, Money Management, People Skills, Business Ethics). And feel free to share a photo or two if you want as well.  Sample messages:

Facebook: It’s @ Girl Scouts of Colorado Cookie time! I very much credit my goal-setting skills to when I sold Girl Scout Cookies as a young girl (see the photo of me at age 8 here). Without those skills I don’t think I would have had what it takes to start my own business. Did you sell Girl Scout Cookies or know someone who did? What did you/they learn? See more about Girl Scout Cookie time in Colorado at www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Twitter: Girl Scout Cookies helped my daughter become a math whiz. What’s your #gscocookies story? girlscoutsofcolorado.org @GSColo

Update 1/23/13: If you don’t have a personal Girl Scout connection, you can still show support for Girl Scout Cookie time on National Girl Scout Cookie Day Feb. 8th by posting a message like this on your personal (or company) social media:

Facebook: Today’s National Girl Scout Cookie Day! I/We salute @ Girl Scouts of Colorado for the leadership skills they instill in girls. I/We look forward to supporting the biggest girl-led business in the world by purchasing Girl Scout Cookies, which are on sale in Colorado through March 3. For more information, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Twitter: It’s National Girl Scout Cookie Day! I/We am/are purchasing cookies from @GSColo to support a great girl leadership program #gscocookies

3. Be sure to tag Girl Scouts of Colorado in your post. (Facebook: facebook.com/girlscoutsofcolorado) (Twitter: @GSColo; #gscocookies)

4. You can also share a link to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s website, which will have more information about purchasing cookies: www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org

Win “cool free stuff”

Watch our social media channels throughout the day of Feb. 8 for contests we will be conducting for your chance to win items like free Girl Scout Cookies!

Flyer: Cookie Social Media Day 2013 

Troop 864 preps for cookie season with ‘Smart Cookie’ movie night

Submitted by Nicole Niles
Colorado Springs

Girl Scouts from Troop 864 got together to watch the “Smart Cookie” movie in preparation for cookie season. We shared stories afterwards about what the movie meant to us. Top answer… “It doesn’t matter who sells the most cookies, what matters is we are all sisters in this journey together and it is not about who sells the most rather helping each other succeed.”

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

Looking for “star” Girl Scouts

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As of 10/8/2012 at 10 a.m.: This opportunity is now FULL. If you are not registered for a training session yet, you will have to wait until next fall to register for the program.

This is one of my favorite times of the year! That’s because one of my favorite parts of my job is working with girls to discover how they can tell their Girl Scout story and serve as Media Stars for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

What is a Media Star? Before the Cookie Program each January, Girl Scouts of Colorado trains girls from all areas of the state to be Media Stars to help deliver the excitement (or do interviews) about cookie time with area TV and radio stations, as well as newspapers. These spokesgirls will help with other Girl Scouts of Colorado media interviews throughout the year too. Here are just some of the media interviews the girls participated in during last year’s Cookie Program.

If you know a girl in 4th grade and above that dreams about being a star, then we want to train them to be a Girl Scouts of Colorado Media Star. (Note: From time to time we do need younger girls to help out with media interviews.)

How to get involved

All girls who want to serve as Media Stars for Girl Scouts of Colorado in 2012/2013 will be asked to participate in an individual, web-based training session at a time that works for them in December 2012. During this training, girls will learn everything needed to be a successful Media Star. Even if you have participated in this program before, you must be trained each year if you want to participate in the program again. We like to get as many “new” girls involved in this program as possible each year.

This is a very popular program, and space for this year’s program is FULL. Reservations were taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are not registered for a training session, you will have to wait until next fall to  participate. Thank you!  

I look forward to working with our 2012/2103 Girl Scouts of Colorado Media Stars!

Cooking with Girl Scout Cookies Contest at the Colorado State Fair

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Girl Scouts of Colorado recently held a Cooking with Girl Scout Cookies Contest at the 2012 Colorado State Fair. Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Best of Show – Jordan Dorsey, Whimsical Wonderland Mint Pops
  • Best Appetizer – Emily Pearman, Pumpkin Cheese Ball
  • Best Entrée – Lauren Pearman, Mater’s Morning Munchers
  • Best Dessert – Jesse Lopez, Faux Bon Bon

Posted by Amanda Kalina, PR Director, Girl Scouts of Colorado (Information courtesy of Marty Lockhart)