Category Archives: Events

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event in Denver brings holiday cheer!

Written by Jordan Alvillar, Marketing Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Colorado

On Sunday, November 11, I had the opportunity to attend the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event in Denver. Before I begin to tell you what a fantastic time I had, let me give you a background on this event and why it’s so special:

According to the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree website (www.capitolchristmastree2012.org), for nearly five decades, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has been selected from a National Forest to be presented to the American people. Also known as the “People’s Tree”, the tree that is chosen will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. This year, the tree that was selected came from the White River National Forest from the Blanco Ranger District near Meeker, Colorado. This tree will visit dozens of cities across the country, where the public can make homemade ornaments to send along with the tree and sign the travel banner. This impressive Engelmann Spruce stands at 73 ft. tall and is 74 years old.

The fact that the tree came from a Colorado national forest was what made this event so meaningful for me. Though I’m always proud to be a Colorado native, this event really made it stick. Let’s be honest: Colorado has had a rough year. Between the summer fires and other devastating events, it has been a somber time for many. What an honor it is for our state to provide the American people with such a beautiful gift! While at this event, I was bombarded with a many emotions: pride, honor and thankfulness.

A wonderful time was had by many! I watched as Girl Scouts and other children participated in making ornaments for the tree depicting this year’s theme, ‘Celebrating Our Great Outdoors.’ Youth age 5-19 who submit ornaments could be entered to win a trip to Washington, D.C. to light the tree with House Speaker John Boehner in early December. The public were invited to visit multiple booths at the event, which included donations stations for Hurricane Sandy victims and Toys for Tots. I also beamed with pride while Girl Scout troops passed out hot chocolate, Girl Scout cookies and led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Among special guests were Governor John Hickenlooper, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Miss Colorado Hannah Porter. I would also like to add that I got to catch up with Santa Claus and Smokey the Bear!

Even with such a difficult year behind us, the citizens of Colorado never cease to amaze me. Whether it’s donating time to a cause or someone in need, Coloradans really know how to show they care. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event was a fantastic way to show Colorado pride and look forward to the better things ahead while also remembering our struggles this past year.

Take a look at our Flickr album to see what else went on at the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event in Denver!

Capitol Christmas Tree

Girl Scouts of Colorado was honored to be chosen to participate in the 2012 Washington, D.C. Capitol Christmas Tree Project. The Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest near Meeker, Colo. Girl Scouts from throughout the state have been hard at work making 70 tree skirts for the companion trees that has been delivered to Washington, D.C. dignitaries, the Interior Department and Congressional Delegates for the holiday season.

Girl Scout Troop 2619 of Mesa Verde Service Unit of Southwestern Colorado created something very special as a gift to the Citizens of the United States. We made Christmas tree skirts AND ornaments for the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree project. Our Troop had a lot of fun with this historic project as well as earning their Painting Badge. Each of the girls hand painted a scene depicting “The Great Outdoors,” which was the theme of the year. They used recycled wood discs donated to the troop. They painted scenes with horses, scenes with rainbows and scenes with trees. It was fun for them, but, more importantly, they were excited to be contributing to something bigger than their own community.

On Friday, Nov. 9th, when the beautiful tree cut from the White River National Forest came to Cortez, Troops 2619 and 1199 was there to add our Christmas wishes to the wrapped tree going to Washington, D.C. We arrived there on-time, but soon found that the Capitol Christmas Tree had been delayed a little because of snow coming from Montrose and had to be re-routed a longer but safer route to be able to get to Cortez. So we had a little extra time, but that wasn’t a problem for us. There were lots of fun things going on in the crowd. We got to meet Smokey the Bear and took our picture with him. We ate homemade cookies and drank hot apple cider provided free by one of our local businesses. The Girl Scouts played their own version of Duck, Duck, Goose…calling it Girl, Girl, Scout!  So much fun! The fellow onlookers had fun watching the girls play their games which was entertaining for all. There were also firemen to visit with. The Fire Department was helping out that day and were also were collecting food and toy donations for the holidays.

As the delay grew a little longer, our troops were invited up on the stage. The Mayor of Cortez introduced us and said that he understood that the Girl Scout motto was to “Be Prepared.”  It couldn’t have been more true in this case since we hadn’t know that we would be onstage this afternoon. And all of the Girl Scouts rose to the occasion. We recited our Promise and Law to the large crowd gathered to see the tree. When asked if there were any Girl Scouts Alumane that would be willing to come up on stage in honor of our 100 year Anniversary, we had several women proudly came up to join us. As a whole, Daisies, Brownies, adult volunteers and alumnae, we sang Girl Scout songs to the appreciative audience and were clapped loudly and roundly by everyone. We were a hit! Afterwards, our lovely alumnae shared stories of when they were Girl Scouts and/or leaders of their own troops. It was a wonderful occasion!

And finally, the big moment arrived! The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree had arrived. The excitement in the Girl Scouts’ eyes were evident for all to see. There was a big excited cheer when we saw the first escort lights. First you saw the State Patrol escorts lights flashing. Then you see the Cortez Fire Department escort that had ushered the tree through the town’s Main Street lined with proud and excited onlookers. Then….finally…you see that huge Mack Truck pulling the big box behind it that we all know is carrying our special tree. Seeing that beautiful tree come around the corner was wonderful. The U.S. Capitol Tree logo was emblazoned on the box as big as can be. The same logo that now adorns our Tree Skirts that we made for our project.

We had some wonderful speakers on the stage to welcome the tree to Cortez. They included our Cortez Mayor Dan Porter, our former Mayor Orly Lucero, Congressman Scott Tipton, Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell, Cortez Fire Department Chief Jeff Vandervoode and Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane. The tree was welcomed with enthusiasm and pride to know that it was our state that was providing such a time honored tradition to the nation’s capitol. Former Senator Nighthorse Campbell and a representative from the U.S. Forest Service were invited on the stage as soon as they could get their big truck parked. As they exited the truck, the clouds started to sprinkle rain on us. I do believe that they brought some much needed moisture to our region with that big tree. As they spoke the rain got a little harder. But no one from the crowd left. Not one person. Everyone was too excited at the chance to be able to add their Christmas wishes to the tree that no one left for the shelter of their vehicles despite the rain.

As the speakers finished, the crowd was invited  to add their wishes to the tree. Everyone wrote their names and a wish. The Girl Scouts provided permanent markers for those who didn’t come “prepared.”  The Girl Scouts met Santa and Mrs. Claus and took pictures with them. We also had the chance to meet the driver of the truck, Former Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell. What an honor to have met someone so helpful to our state in his former capacity as a representative and now as a citizen. His joke to the crowd earlier was that he was getting paid zero dollars to drive the truck. And that when he got back to Washington, D.C. that they were going to double his pay. The crowd chuckled at his wit. What a good man to donate his time.

As the crowd started thinning out, so did the rain. This beautiful tree brought some rain to us and the next morning we woke up to snow on the ground. What a priceless present that was brought to us.

Thank you so much from the Girl Scouts in our region to have been invited to participate in such a grand occasion. It was such a good feeling to know that we were part of a fun historic project that went all the way to Washington, D.C. Thanks!

Dena Thomason, Girl Scout Troop 2619

For media coverage on this event, visit the links below:

ZisBoomBah is calling all Girl Scout Daisies

Attention, Attention, Attention… ZisBoomBah is calling all Girl Scout Daisies. Did you know that ZisBoomBah is for Daisies too, they have quests designed just for them! ZisBoomBah is a Daisy friendly online gaming site where girls can learn all about healthy living and have a blast while doing it. ZisBoomBah has lots of quests for girls to do but they also have Daisy specific quests. Quests are what ZisBoomBah calls their online games and activities. Girls will learn about how their bodies need energy, what foods give them energy, how to have fun with fitness, and many more. Here is a great example of a Daisy quest called The ABC’s of Eating…

What we’re learning:
Goal 1 – How do vitamins keep your body strong and healthy?
Goal 2 – Why is it important to eat a variety of foods?

Boom pulls Bah out of the kitchen and into the sun.

“Thanks for all the cooking, Bah, but it’s good for you to be outside!” says Boom.

“Why is that?” asks Bah.

“You get vitamin D powers for strong bones when you stand in the sun or drink milk,” explains Boom.

“Don’t forget all the vitamin powers you get from eating fruits and veggies, too!” adds Zis as she joins them.

“What kinds of powers?” asks Bah, who likes cooking very much.

“Leafy greens like spinach, meat, and eggs give you vitamin B energy power,” says Zis. “Vitamin B has a big family—B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12!”

“That’s a good one to know,” replies Boom as he jogs in place.

“Oh oh! Fruits and veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes give you vitamin A, which makes it easier to see at night in the dark!” says Zis excitedly.

“Ooo, I like that one,” says Bah.

“And fruits and veggies like oranges and broccoli have vitamin C. It helps your body heal if you get hurt!” adds Zis.

“Oranges are my favorite. Good thing, because I get a lot of scrapes,” says Boom. Zis and Bah laugh.

To check out this quest and more at http://www.zisboombah.com/. To sign your Girl Scout troop up or for more information, please contact sloan.moore@gscolorado.org. If your troop signs up by November 30th and completes two quests, they will receive the Brand New ZisBoomBah Patch for FREE! What are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Durango Fall Festival planned by Girl Scouts

Today was an amazing day! As an English teacher, I generally tell my students not to start their essays/articles/stories out that way, but this statement so beautifully embodies the truth that I can’t begin any other way. Today was an amazing day!

Over the past month, most of my Girl Scout Cadette troop was attending volleyball practice, while two dedicated girls attended our Girl Scout meetings. Alexis and Hailey faithfully showed up each week to plan our First Annual Community Fall Festival. They agonized over pricing, a ticket system, types of booths, how to advertise, etc. Then the sixth week of school, Holly (another of our Girl Scouts) was able to join us.  Together with the first two, they tackled advertising, dividing up who was going to do which tasks in order to spread the word. After all, we wanted the whole community to attend, not just Girl Scouts. The week of the festival, the rest of our nine girls joined the meeting, solidifying what they were going to do for their booths.

Throughout this last week of planning, we did everything we could to garner food and prize donations from local restaurants/businesses.  We asked businesses to put up posters. We got announcements put on the community calendars of our local radio stations, and we even got a local brief put in the newspaper.

My nails have never been shorter than they were as I chewed on them this week. I worried so much that things wouldn’t come together, that other Girl Scout troops might not show up with their booths, or that the weather would turn and it would snow. I was stressed out because at least two schools were holding their carnivals today, and so was a local neighborhood community. What if my own girls didn’t show up? What if no one came?

I needn’t have worried. More than 50 people attended our  First Annual Fall Festival on Oct. 27. Every single Girl Scout in my troop showed up, fully prepared to run her booth. All of the troops who committed to running booths were there. At one point, I looked over the green and saw families who didn’t know each other talking with one another over snacks. I saw children laughing and enjoying the creativity of all the booths: Alexis and Hailey with their Gross Bucket guessing  game, Leslie with her Wool Pets, Lilly and Jasmine with their Egg Race/S’mores, Bailey and Skye with their Paper Plate Ghosts, Holly’s Scarecrow Dressing/Picture booth, and Rachel’s Throw-Down Carnival game, along with all the other booths there.  What I saw was a community coming together to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather.

Yes, today was an amazing day!

Submitted by Kristen Gurzick, Troop Leader (Troop 1568, Durango)

Girl Scouts honor their founder on Day of the Dead

IMG_0632

See more photos

Girl Scouts of Colorado recognized Day of the Dead with a community event at Regis University on Thursday evening, Nov. 1st. More than 100 girls and their families participated in the event, which celebrated the life of Girl Scouts’ late founder, Juliette Gordon Low, who would have been 152 on Oct. 31st. Activities during the event included Day of the Dead rituals such as sugar skull decorating and an altar for Girl Scouts’ founder and loved ones participants wanted to honor. Participants also enjoyed some Girl Scout activities, such as dressing up in vintage uniforms and making dream catchers and dream boards. Special thanks goes to Regis University for being the co-sponsor of this event.

Girl Scouts of Colorado belongs to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which boasts a membership of 10 million girls and adults in 145 counties. Girl Scouting strives to increase girls’ awareness about the world, promote cross-cultural learning opportunities, and educate girls on relevant global issues that inspire them to take action. Our goal is to promote a global voice for girls and foster responsible global citizens who make the world a better place.

Article on this event in YourHub Denver

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhBh2jUtDLo?rel=0]

Girl Scouts are in love with ZisBoomBah!

In case you have not heard about ZisBoomBah, the amazing program that Girl Scout troops are raving about. ZisBoomBah is an online gaming program for Daisy-Junior Girls Scouts that is centered on Healthy Living. This FREE program for Girl Scouts of Colorado members takes girls through healthy living quests that are fun, interactive, and educational. Troops love this program and here is what they had to say about what they thought about the site. Hollie Hambly a Colorado Springs Girl Scout Junior troop leader loves ZisBoomBah and so do her girls. “Girls are creating obstacle courses, trying new food and recipes at home with their families; they look forward to going on the site and completing the quests.” Hollie’s troop does 30 min of healthy living each troop meeting, “the girls really look forward to that part of the meeting,” said Hollie. A local Denver Girl Scout Brownie troop is planning on using ZisBoomBah to help them complete their Brownie Quest by working with their families around healthy living. “Our troop is earning our Family Star and is planning on using ZisBoomBah to help earn this award,” said Kristin Hamm a Girl Scout Brownie troop leader in the Denver area.

“ZisBoomBah is a creative and fun way for girls to learn about Healthy Living and it is less work for the leader because the activities are already created,” said one leader when asked about the site. Troops also have the freedom to create their own quests that apply to exactly what their troop and girls are working on. “My girls inspired me to write quests for our troop, I wanted ones that the girls could help create,” said Hollie who has created quite a few quests for her troop to complete. When a girl completes a quest she earns points, which she can use to buy accessories for her Antvatar.

What are girls saying…

“I love my Antvatar, I created it, and I get to use my points to dress her up,” said one Girl Scout Junior in Hollie’s troop. My girls love the message boards; they get to talk to each other in a safe and fun environment, stated Hollie. “I really like the Pick Chow program; right now I am trying to get all my stars so I can win my dessert,” stated Hollie’s daughter. Pick Chow is an online quest where girls learn about portions and what we should be eating at each meal. The Girl Scout Juniors and their families love the recipes that they find on the site, and the recipes give families a fun way to try new foods and the girls earn points for their quests in the process.

Are you and your girls ready to sign up? Any girl in a troop or a Juliette can join ZisBoomBah. Whether you just want to do a few quests or want to do 50, you will fall in love with this site. ZisBoomBah really is for everyone! This is a fun, free and amazing resource just for Girl Scouts of Colorado, and you do not want to pass this up. Also, if your troop or individual girl member signs up by November 30th and completes two quests, you will receive the ZisBoomBah fun patch for Free! Check out ZisBoomBah at www.zisboombah.com.

If you are ready to get started or have questions, contact Sloan Moore sloan.moore@gscolorado.org  to get your troop or Girl Scout signed up!

Two hundred Girl Scouts learn science can be fun

On Saturday, Oct. 20th, female engineering students with the Society of Women Engineers from the Colorado School of Mines showed 200 Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Engineering Day at the Colorado School of Mines that STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) is all around them and can be fun. Girl Scout Engineering Day at the Colorado School of Mines is a popular Girl Scout event, for both the participants and the teachers, and has taken place on the campus for many years. The jam-packed day of hands-on STEM activities, all planned by the college students, included learning about the creation tornadoes and earthquakes, magnetic fields, electricity, states and phases of matter, compression and tension, and more. Girls also learned about careers in STEM and took a tour of the Colorado School of Mines campus.

In research released this spring by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study. Further, a high 82 percent of girls see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM.” And yet, few girls consider it their number-one career option: 81 percent of girls interested in STEM are interested in pursuing STEM careers, but only 13 percent say it’s their first choice. Additionally, girls express that they don’t know a lot about STEM careers and the opportunities afforded by these fields, with 60 percent of STEM-interested girls acknowledging that they know more about other careers than they do about STEM careers. The study concluded girls are drawn to the creative and hands-on aspects of STEM the most and particularly want to know how a STEM career could help them make a difference in the world.

Girl Scouts of Colorado incorporates fun and educational STEM activities into all aspects of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—from camp to badge projects, events and after-school programs. Girls are introduced to STEM-related careers and to successful female role models who work in those careers. Girl Scouts’ STEM programs contribute to girls’ academic achievement and encourage them to realize their potential and leadership capabilities in STEM fields.

Girl Scouts of Colorado did live social media from the event. View a replay of this event here: Girl Scout Engineering Day at the Colorado School of Mines.

Have You Heard About ZisBoomBah Yet?

By now you have most likely heard about ZisBoomBah but you may be wondering what exactly is a “quest”? Quests are stories with goals that help the kids learn about health, nutrition, fitness and more. You can assign quests developed by ZisBoomBah to the members of your troop, and they earn rewards for completing their quests. ZisBoomBah and Girl Scouts have created customized Quests that work with the GSUSA Journeys and Badges. Such as the Daisy Between, Earth, and Sky Journey, the Brownie Wow Wonders of Water Journey, and the Junior Get Moving Journey. There are also several badges the girls can earn on ZisBoomBah; they can earn the My Best Self and Staying Fit badge all by doing quests. You also have the option of writing your own quests and assigning your own rewards specific to your troop!

Quests feature the ZisBoomBah mascots Zis, Boom and Bah in short stories that illustrate the quest topic, and then missions are activities the girls can take on individually or as a group. Girls can check off the missions as they complete them, and get point rewards when they finish the quest. These points can go towards purchasing different accessories for their own personal Ant they create, what we call an “Antatar”.

What if your troop is not doing the journeys listed above, you can still do ZisBoomBah! There are a series of fun healthy living quests that your girls can participate in for fun or you can create quests for your troop that do go along with the journey or badge your troop is doing.

What if your troop does not want to do ZisBoomBah but you do, or you are not in a troop, ZisBoomBah is still perfect for you! You can complete quests alongside of other individual girl members and have a blast while doing it.

ZisBoomBah really is for everyone! This is a fun, free, and amazing resource just for Girl Scouts of Colorado you do not want to pass this up. If your troop or individual girl member signs up by November 30th and completes two quests you will receive the ZisBoomBah fun patch for Free!

If you’re ready to get started or have questions, contact Sloan Moore sloan.moore@gscolorado.org  to get your troop signed up!

Girl Scouting reaching Hispanic communities across Colorado

Hispanic video girls 153

In the last couple of weeks, I hope you’ve had a chance to learn more about how the Colorado Hispanic community is participating in Girl Scouts. If you’ve missed our other blogs, read them here (Blog #1, Blog #2).

To end our Hispanic Heritage Month Blog series, I wanted to share more information on how Hispanic girls and adults, serving as volunteers, are increasingly participating in Girl Scouting around the state of Colorado:

  • This summer Girl Scouts of Colorado received a grant from the MetLife Foundation, which has helped us bring, through the help of volunteers, the Girl Scout Journey program to Hispanic middle school students around the state.
  • In the both Summit and Eagle counties we’ve recently started new bilingual Girl Scout troops led by local volunteers.
  • In Northern Colorado we’ve participated in Ciñco de Mayo celebrations in Greeley and Longmont and partnered with local schools, City of Greeley Recreation Department and organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club, to offer volunteer-led Girl Scout programming, including our Power Up bullying prevention program. We have served more than 310 new girls! We recently started a neighborhood pilot program in Weld County where we are teaching adults involved in Adults Learning English as Second Language (ESL) classes about Girl Scouting and giving them opportunities to practice their skills by teaching a short-term Girl Scout program. We’ve also partnered with local radio stations, such as “El Tigre” KGRE/KRKY & KRYE Radio, to help us spread the word.
  • In Pueblo we started a Hispanic troop that is part of the Grupo Folklorico Dancers. Pueblo area Hispanic leaders have also started a Girl Scout Advisory Committee.

I also wanted to share with you a video we recently produced for the Hispanic community to invite them to be members or volunteers of Girl Scouts. The video is in Spanish, and I encourage you to share it if you have connections to Spanish-speaking communities.

¿Por qué Unirse a Girl Scouts? (Why join Girl Scouts?)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta3qQKORvNU?rel=0]

I’ve enjoying blogging with you during Hispanic Heritage Month, and hope you will explore how you can support Hispanic/Latina Girl Scouts by contacting us at 303-607-4813 (1-855-726-4726 , ext. 4813) or preguntas@gscolorado.org.

For more info:

http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/ or http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/espanol

Girl Scouts hosts Day of the Dead event in Denver Nov. 1

Hi. It’s Marcela again. And I am here for blog #2 of our Hispanic Heritage Month blog series on how Colorado Hispanics are participating in Girl Scouts. If you missed our blog from earlier this week, read it here.

For this blog, I wanted to share information about an exciting event that the Girl Scouts of Colorado staff is planning in Denver around the Day of the Dead, which is primarily a holiday celebrated in Mexico by families to honor loved ones who have died.

Join Girl Scouts at Regis University in Denver for a Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 1.

Please first call 303-607-4867 to sign up or email marcela.gaete@gscolorado.org (Or Register Online by Oct. 17th: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/events/643)

FREE cultural event sponsored by Girl Scouts and Regis University. Girls in grades K-12 and families are welcome.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to sign your daughter and special girl up for Girl Scouts where she discovers her interests and potentials! Adults are welcome to sign up too!

Bilingual mass at John Francis Regis Chapel 5:15-6:15 p.m.

Between 5-8 p.m., groups will have the opportunity to visit various stations:

  • Main Hall; Room 333: Altar, dream boards, dream catchers –  photos; food; memories of loved ones are welcome; no candles please (55 capacity)
  • Modular A 185 at Beach Field: Sugar Skull making and Day of the Dead craft sale (75 capacity – starting 5:30 p.m.; every half hour)
  • Science Center Amphitheater: poetry reading, drama interpretation, song, dance, music, talent to share (150 capacity – every 15-30 minutes beginning 5:30 p.m.)
  • Dayton Memorial Library – tour of Regis University’s Santos Collection (20 people capacity between 5-8 p.m.)
  • Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes – reflection garden; self-guided  tour;  outdoors

Free parking at 50th & Federal Boulevard. Shuttle service every 15-20 minutes.

Día de los Muertos  (information about the event in Spanish)

Check back next week for more information on how Colorado Hispanics are participating in Girl Scouts outside the Denver-metro area.

For more info:

http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/ or http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/espanol