Category Archives: Council News

My experience as a Delegate at G.I.R.L. 2017

Submitted by Allison Ellington

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

I was a delegate at G.I.R.L. 2017, the 54th National Girl Scout Convention, after being selected by the GSCO Board of Directors. Having never been a delegate for Girl Scouts before, I was both excited and anxious. In the weeks leading up to the event, we learned more and more about the Council session that we would be participating, debating, and eventually voting in. We learned more about parliamentary procedure and the proposals we would be voting on.  The National Council convenes every three years and its responsibilities are to:

• Elect the officers and the other members of the National Board and the National Board Development Committee

• Amend the Girl Scout constitution as needed

• Establish requirements for certificates of membership, council charters, and all other credentials

• Act of proposals to foster and improve Girl Scouting, receive reports of the National Board of Directors, and give guidance to the National Board upon general lines of direction of the Girl Scout Movement and Girl Scout program

This triennium, we had a total of 1,058 voting members in attendance at the National Council Session in Columbus, Ohio. This included 13 delegates from Colorado! Our delegates included GSCO Board President RaeAnn Dougherty, President & CEO Stephanie Foote, and MCC President Caroline Cornell, among other volunteers and myself representing many areas of our state.

The most interesting part of the National Council session to me was watching and participating in a meeting utilizing parliamentary procedure. It was incredibly fascinating watching the tradition of this regimented way of conducting business in action! So many of the girl delegates from around the nation stood up and made dazzling, brilliant statements presenting their ideas to the entire group. They were shining examples of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and all that our movement exists for.

As part of service on the delegation, we had to attend webinars and learn about the proposals and why the National Board was recommending them. Then, at the meeting, we all had the opportunity to debate why we were for or against the changes and could even make amendments to the proposal. Then, we could debate the amendment, vote on it, and then move forward. We did this for each of the three proposals – it was a long, but very interesting and engaging day. One of the proposals that passed that I think will be most impactful for our membership is the change and adoption of the Lifetime membership fee to $400 and then offering a discount to our young alumnae of $200. For more information on this update, please contact our Customer Support Team by sending an email to: inquiry@gscolorado.org

The delegation also elected the National Board. According to Monica Gil, Chair of the National Board Development Committee (NBDC), “The NBDC engaged in a yearlong process to identify, recruit and cultivate talent. They received nearly 200 candidate referrals from across the Movement. They sought individuals who understand Girl Scouts and how to expand our efforts to a national scale, and who are deeply invested in girls’ success.”

As delegates, we were provided bios of the proposed members. I was impressed with the candidates! They are all successful, well-educated, and have a ton of experience to bring to the National Board. Many of them are Girl Scouts or are Lifetime Girl Scouts and all that we got to hear from were dynamic speakers! They all have a sincere interest in the success of our Girl Scout movement. During our time at Convention, I was honored to have the chance to speak with several of these board members, including one that represents our region, Debbie Nielson from Ogden, Utah. She really listened to what I had to say and was very interested in our thoughts on the debates we had been engaged in during the National Council Session.

When it came time to talk about the discussion topics that were sent out ahead of time, it was very reassuring to hear many of our own volunteers’ thoughts being expressed by other councils as well. The question was, “What does Girl Scouts need to do to reach more girls and increase impact?” They gave us some great research based facts about the “Girl Scout Difference” and how our demographic, social, and economic changes will be impacting girls in the future. We heard a lot of ideas about reaching ALL girls and making sure we continue to be all-inclusive. Girls brought up ideas on keeping our older girls engaged and bringing back some of our more historical life-skills badges. Per the GSUSA constitution —
“RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MOVEMENT AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS The ultimate responsibility for the Girl Scout Movement rests with its members. We govern by an efficient and effective democratic process that demonstrates our leadership in a fast-changing world.”

It is my belief that we need to spend the next two years getting engaged with our membership here in Colorado. Let’s talk to our fellow volunteers, girls, and staff members about how we can continue to support Girl Scouting here in Colorado. How can we engage and improve our program for girls? Can we work with other programs and organizations to reach more girls? How can we support our valuable volunteers and retain them so girls in Colorado are encouraged and supported as well? Older girls are important to GSCO, how can we continue to engage these girls and keep them interested? How can our story be heard by others outside of Girl Scouts so that everyone knows how impactful our program is? Each and every one of the 33, 000 girl and adult members we have in Colorado has a role to play in this. The question is, what role is it? How can you help? I am excited to hear what you think! Please contact your service unit managers, volunteer support specialists, or any of the delegates that went to this year’s convention. I can’t wait to see what we do and can bring to the next national council session in 2020 in Orlando, FL!

Allison Ellington is a volunteer support specialist in the Western Colorado region. She has been with GSCO for four years and a Girl Scout for nearly 15 years. She is an innovator that loves to brainstorm and think outside the box!

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

CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA talks with 9News (KUSA-TV)

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.

Vote for GSCO in First Western Trust’s #WealthIsAbout Grants contest

Girl Scouts of Colorado only has two days left in First Western Trust’s #WealthIsAbout Grants contest, and need your help! GSCO is participating for a chance to apply for a $7,000 grant!

You can vote for us once each day until October 9, 2017. To participate, click here to view the voting page, or follow First Western Trust on Facebook to get updates on the contest.

As always, we appreciate your support and the work you do on behalf of girls across Colorado. These funds will help cover memberships and supplies for Girl Scout families who need financial assistance. Thank you for your help!

G.I.R.L. Agenda: Powered by Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Colorado and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today launches the G.I.R.L. Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts,* a nonpartisan initiative to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. The multiyear effort celebrates the Girl Scout legacy of civic engagement, and for the first time ever, GSUSA is sharing free, expert-curated civic engagement resources beyond its 2.6 million members. The resources are derived from Girl Scout programming that has driven generations of girls over the past century to become leaders.

Introduced at G.I.R.L. 2017, a gathering of girls and women from around the world, the G.I.R.L. Agenda makes it simple to access civic engagement resources that are tailored to prepare every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to stand up for what they believe in. The tools provide a roadmap for how people can take action in ways such as challenging unfair policies, mobilizing communities to support important causes, and meeting with public officials and community leaders to educate them about key issues. By making age-appropriate resources based on GSUSA’s proven programming accessible to all, and by providing actionable steps people can take through Girl Scouts’ advocacy network to help people influence policy issues that affect girls, the G.I.R.L. Agenda will give hundreds of thousands of girls and adults tangible ways to take civic action on topics of their choosing.

The G.I.R.L. Agenda makes it simple and rewarding to access free civic engagement resources derived from Girl Scout programming to prepare all G.I.R.L.s to do the below and more:

• Advocate for positive change in their communities. Cassandra, a 17-year-old Ambassador, has been fighting to end child marriage in New Hampshire.

• Stand up against everyday injustices. Muslim Girl Scouts in California educate their community by holding an annual Open Mosque Day to combat Islamophobia.

• Challenge unfair policies and champion causes. Oregon Brownies spoke up to help pass a law that protects good Samaritans who rescue kids and animals left in hot cars.

• Mobilize communities to donate or volunteer for causes. In Ohio, a multi-level troop advocated for firefighters, prompting a local store to donate new furniture to the firehouse.

• Engage in letter-writing campaigns to advocate for change. A Junior troop’s letter-writing campaign led to improved safety measures for kids who walk to school.

• Create and support petitions. Troop 30245’s petition helped pass a law banning tobacco use in its town parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields.

• Call or meet with public officials and community leaders to educate them about important issues. Girl Scouts from across Connecticut came to the state capitol to meet with their legislators and discuss their disappointment about the lack of pay equity.

• Participate in parades and marches. Girl Scouts placed flags at more than 5,000 grave sites at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery prior to marching in their local Memorial Day parade.

• Support businesses with shared beliefs. Linnea, a Gold Award Girl Scout, set up a shop in her small town featuring fair-trade products from companies that donate profits to causes like improved healthcare, clean water, and better education.

There has been increased attention around civic engagement in the United States since the 2016 presidential election: according to a study by the Pew Research Center, more than half of Americans are paying more attention to politics since the election, including nearly six in ten women (58 percent). However, research also shows that the public education system is not creating an adequate civic education foundation for all youth, and a Girl Scout Research Institute poll found that just 38 percent of girls say their teachers have encouraged them to pursue politics and community leadership.

Since its founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has emphasized the importance of being civically engaged, by teaching and encouraging girls to create positive change in their communities through advocacy and action. Girl Scouts learn to stand up for what they believe in, identify issues they care about, and take the lead like a G.I.R.L. to make the world a better place. The G.I.R.L. Agenda is for all those who support girls in standing up for issues and causes that are important to them.

Also part of the initiative, Girl Scouts announces its new Good Neighbor badge for Daisies (girls in grades K–1). It joins the organization’s existing Citizen badges—Celebrating Community, Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, Behind the Ballot, and Public Policy—which engage girls in age-appropriate activities involving community service, public policy, government, voting, and more. These badges are designed to foster girls’ interest in civic engagement and show them that their voices can be heard. And by exploring the themes in an all-girl environment, girls build the confidence they need to become the civic-minded leaders our world needs.

“Many people, including girls, want to become active in public policy and learn how to advocate for positive change, but they don’t know where to start,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Through the G.I.R.L. Agenda and our proven civic-engagement programming, Girl Scouts serves as a nonpartisan resource for girls—and those who care about them―to learn concrete steps they can take to stand up for what they believe in. For more than a century, Girl Scouts has supported girls by offering tools that prepare them to lead, lift their voices, champion their views, and be advocates for the issues and ideas important to them. We’re excited to share resources on www.GIRLagenda.org, so people can learn how to take action for the cause of good in their communities. Because when we take small, yet meaningful steps together—across generations—we ignite a larger, lasting impact on our world.”

Throughout the coming months, GSCO and GSUSA will share stories from G.I.R.L. Agenda supporters who are advocating for girls and the issues they care about. This will include the experiences of past and present National Young Women of Distinction, the top Gold Award Girl Scouts recognized nationally for transforming an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with sustainable and far-reaching impact. If the public wishes to share such stories on social media, they should include #GIRLagenda. To advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda and for tips on leading positive change through civic action, visit www.GIRLagenda.org.*

Qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity

Troop leaders, will your troop qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity?

The S’mores Club booth selection reward is back for the 2017-18 Girl Scout year and you don’t want to miss it!

To qualify for the S’mores Club, your troop must sell at least $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program. The in-person delivery portion of the program ends Oct. 15 and the online portion of the Fall Sale Program ends on Oct. 30.

If your  troop sells $350 or more online during the 2017 Fall Product Program, you will be notified in December via the email provided through the Troop Fall Sale Manager agreement and permitted to select one Cookie Booth in eBudde ahead of the council booth selection process.

If you have questions regarding the requirements or details for the booth selection opportunity, please reach out to your SUFSM or PSS. For full details on the S’mores Club Reward, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/smores

Vote for GSCO in First Western Trust’s #WealthIsAbout Grants contest

One week down and one more to go for First Western Trust’s #WealthIsAbout Grants contest! Girl Scouts of Colorado is participating for a chance to apply for a $7,000 grant!

You can vote for GSCO once each day until October 9, 2017. To participate, click here to view the voting page, or follow First Western Trust on Facebook to get updates on the contest.

As always, we appreciate your support and the work you do on behalf of girls across Colorado. These funds will help cover memberships and supplies for Girl Scout families who need financial assistance. Thank you for your help!

 

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, to honor Women of Distinction in Denver

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, will join Girl Scouts of Colorado in celebrating “20 years of Amazing Women” at the annual Thin Mint Dinner in Denver. The event on October 19, 2017, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center will recognize all 426 Women of Distinction who have been honored in the Denver-metro area since the program began in 1997. Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor Sylvia as an honorary Woman of Distinction.

A lifelong Girl Scout herself, Sylvia is committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. A 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.

Since 1997, Girl Scouts of Colorado has honored top female leaders in our community as Women of Distinction, based on their remarkable achievements as business, community, and civic leaders. All 426 of these women are examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for female leaders of tomorrow. The Women of Distinction program brings together a group of women dedicated to raising support for Girl Scout leadership programs.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, seven Women of Distinction are being recognized. These Women of Distinction were voted by their peers, and will receive an award in the following categories at the 2017 Thin Mint Dinner:

  • Advocacy for Youth – Elaine Gantz Berman ’02, Former Member, State Board of Education
  • Progressive Community Leader – Juana Bordas ’03, President, Mestiza Leadership International
  • Accomplished Philanthropist – Arlene Hirschfeld ’97, Community Volunteer
  • Dedication to Girl Scouts – Jean C. Jones ’07, Former CEO, Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council
  • Lifetime Achievement – LaRae Orullian ’97, Retired National President, Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Advocate for Women & Girls – Jill S. Tietjen ’97, P.E., President and CEO, Technically Speaking, Inc.
  • Commitment to Public Service – Hon. Elbra M. Wedgeworth ’04, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health

The Thin Mint Dinner is October 19, 2017, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center from 5:30 to 8: 30 p.m. The event includes Thin Mint cocktails and dessert made with Thin Mints, three-course meal, and event program.

Thank you to our 20th Anniversary Thin Mint Dinner Silver Presenting Sponsors: DISH and MDC Richmond American Homes Foundation, and Bronze Presenting Sponsor: CoBiz Financial. For information regarding tickets and sponsorships, visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org/woddenver or contact Heidi Books at 303-607-4833 or at heidi.books@gscolorado.org. Girl Scouts of Colorado volunteers may purchase discounted tickets for this event by contacting Carol Griffin at 303-607-4879 or at carol.griffin@gscolorado.org.

 

 

Vote for GSCO in First Western Trust’s #WealthIsAbout Grants contest

Girl Scouts of Colorado has been approved to move to Round #2 (Voting) in First Western Trust’s #WealthIsAbout Grants Contest, giving us a chance to apply for a $7,000 grant! Now, we need your help!

You can vote for GSCO once each day until October 9, 2017. To participate, click here to view the voting page, or follow First Western Trust on Facebook to get updates on the contest.

As always, we appreciate your support and the work you do on behalf of girls across Colorado. These funds will help cover memberships and supplies for Girl Scout families who need financial assistance. Thank you for your help!

Girl Scouts honors 2017 Pikes Peak Women of Distinction

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 debbie.swanson@gscolorado.org.

View the event on Flickr.

Robot-savvy Girl Scout depicted in new GE ad

More exciting news from Girl Scouts of the USA! The most recent addition to General Electric’s (GE’s) “imagination” campaign features a storyline with a Girl Scout. The 90-second clip, which can be found on YouTube and may soon be featured in movie theaters across the country, introduces viewers to “Molly,” a young girl who loves science and technology and invents clever ways to complete her chores. One of her best inventions comes at the 37-second mark, when we learn that Molly is a Girl Scout who has rigged up an ingenious way to sell Girl Scout Cookies from her bedroom.

GSUSA worked with GE’s creative agency to ensure the story aligned with the new G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ brand platform. Given the recent rollout of the new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) badges, what better way to celebrate the relevancy and spirit of Girl Scouts than to highlight innovative young women in STEM?

Additionally, GSUSA is working with GE to incorporate a call to action in future iterations of the ad. Once the details are available, we will let you know. In the meantime, let’s applaud this opportunity to reach and inspire broad, diverse audiences!