57 Girl Scouts and their families gathered on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel in the Denver Tech Center to celebrate “cookiebosses” who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies. Top Sellers and their families enjoyed a sit down, plated dinner during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. Once dinner and the ceremony were done, girls danced to music by DJ Phil Soderborg, who has been providing entertainment and music at Top Seller events for years. This year’s dinner was also attended by Ciara Marie Quiogue Leal, the state’s top seller for 2016. She sold 7,118 packages!
Submitted by Kay Shaw, Girl Scouts of Colorado Gold Award Mentor
Guests at the annual Tablescapes conducted by the Assistance League of Denver got the opportunity to see a table that honored the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award. Tablescapes was held Thursday, June 9–Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Bosworth House in Denver. This event is a fundraiser for the Assistance League.
Every year, members of the league compete to design tables and share them with the public. This year, Michelle Krawchik, a member of the League, and Girl Scout, with the help of Kay Shaw, a member of the Denver Gold Award Committee, designed a table to highlight the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. The table decorated in gold and white with a bouquet of yellow flowers, had many badges girls might have achieved, as well as a sash, Girl Scout Cookies, an autograph book, a calendar, and uniform from the 1960’s, the time in which Kay received her award. At the time Kay received her award, it was known as the Curved Bar.
In addition to the 15 tables that had various themes, guests were allowed an opportunity to shop at various boutique stores. After viewing the tables, participants were treated to a lovely tea. A Denver Girl Scout troop helped the League by cleaning tables and offering tea. This event is an interesting celebration that allows the community an opportunity to participate in fun activities as well as donate to the Assistance League which provides funds to help school children and senior citizens.
A great time was had by all!
Submitted by Allison Snavely, Girl Scouts of Colorado Product Sales Specialist
I would love to extend a Girl Scout shout-out to Darcie Klassen, Girl Scouts of Colorado Community Outreach Manager!
Darcie hosted her very own lecture at Denver Comic Con (Girls Are Heroes of Their Own Stories), delving into the ways in which female characters are traditionally represented in comics, video games, and film.
In true educator fashion, Darcie led her massive audience in pair-and-share discussions regarding the negative tropes female characters often find themselves victim to, as well as encouraging us to find champagne examples of those who break the mold! Those who shared their insight with the hall, like Bella (a Girl Scout from Parker), received a highly coveted participation sticker.
Congratulations, Darcie! This marks two years in a row that Girl Scouts of Colorado has had positive representation at Comic Con. You did a fabulous job!
143 Girl Scouts and guests gathered on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur to celebrate “cookiebosses” who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies. Top Sellers and their guests enjoyed the festival’s many shows and attractions while also being treated to a King’s Feast buffet, during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. The Renaissance Festival event was attended by two of the state’s top 17 sellers for the 2016 sale.
Congratulations to Charlotte B., an Arvada Girl Scout! She has been awarded the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship for a trip to Costa Rica in December 2016. To learn more about Charlotte’s trip and her experiences as a Girl Scout, please read a selection from the essay portion of her application.
The first reason that travel is important is that it allows the person to have more life experiences through experiencing different cultures. If you travel to different places you have possibility to be able to understand more cultures, more languages, more religious views, and so much more. You get to learn these things first hand through experience by actually seeing how and what built up the foundation, and what created their culture. By talking to the people that live there and what happens there. I learned this from when my family went to China. When we talked to our guide and he or she helped us learn more about the history and the more that we learned about them as a people living in the modern world, we also got to experience more about the culture. We tasted more of the authentic cuisine and learned more about the Chinese and Tibetan people than anyone could ever learn in books. We ate mixed meat intestines and they were pretty good. We saw people eating pigs hooves. I learned that what we might think is gross, they would view it as a delicacy. Another way that I learned travel gives you life experience through culture is from my Girl Scout trip last summer to California. We saw multiple different types of art across the state. It was cool to see how each city in California was represented by different art forms. An example would be in San Francisco, they had the spray paint art and various street crafts while in Cambria at Hearst Castle, there was classical watercolor and acrylic art hanging in the castle and marble statues everywhere. We asked a local on Coronado Island where to find good food to eat and he sent us to an authentic Tacqueria in the barrio which served beef, pork, chicken, intestines and brains. It scared most of my troopmates but I trusted our leader and we bravely marched in, waited in line, and had a fantastic meal and a fantastic story to go with it.
Traveling can help you learn more from experience and to grow your life skills. Traveling has helped me learn more about myself and how responsible a person I can be by stepping up my leadership skills. It has allowed me to have a little bit more freedom in what I did and what I could be responsible for. Whether I have been camping with my troop, traveling across the state, or visiting another state with my troop or traveling out of country with my family, traveling has helped me to grow in small ways and big ways. From the very beginning with first grade camping to this past summer in California, we were allowed to choose all the clothes that we wore and had to make sure that it matched the weather plans. “Be Prepared” is a great motto when it comes to weather. If I’m on top of a fourteener or a day at the ocean, “Be Prepared” for all types of weather. An example was in Sequoia National Forest. We hiked into the wilderness area with our backcountry gear for four days. It was really sunny in the beginning of the day and the girls believed that it would be nice throughout the day and we just wearing shorts and a hoodie and then half way through the day it turned to cold weather with hail and rain. We were all really cold and we learned that we needed to be more responsible and check the weather the night before and the morning of. We were glad we had tons of camping experience to help us to be prepared for changes. Another example would be only using public transit in San Francisco. Our leaders left the rental cars at the airport and for four days, we only used public transit. I had done this all over China and I knew what to expect. However, it was a great experience for my troopmates to learn how to read bus maps, ferry maps, and train schedules. Even learning how to buy train tickets was new to them. My sister and I patiently taught them one at a time how to do it. It was great to teach a new skill and to keep it girl-led. Lots of girls said they had the confidence to travel or go to college outside of Colorado after that trip. And experiencing Travel can only give you that confidence. Confidence to go and explore. Confidence to learn new skills. Confidence to make a difference in the world.
What experience, skills, knowledge and other attributes can you bring toward this trip?
I have strong leadership skills as a result of leading my troop campouts, trips, and events. My troop is girl-led which enabled me to lead others on a regular and consistent basis from a very young age. I was also selected to my school’s Leadership Team out of 500 students. I am one of 15 students that make all the leadership decisions for my school which include social activities, fundraisers, field trips, and more. We are constantly doing team building exercises and given tasks to help us think outside of the box in terms of solving problems and conflict resolution.
I have a can-do attitude and am a positive person. I have enough common sense to know when it is better to reorganize your thought process versus sticking through something to very end. Sometimes you need to have tremendous perseverance to get a job done or to see it through a rough patch. Sometimes you need to take a step-back and reorganize your thoughts. I think I have enough common sense to do both and when to make the right choice.
I am interested in STEM-based learning. I excel at science and math, and to be able to combine some of these skills at the sea turtle retreat will be fun. I can’t wait to see the turtle laying their eggs.
Please share anything else we should know about you to consider you for this scholarship.
My plan is to have fun and learn a lot about sea turtles and Costa Rica while I am there so I can come back and talk to other girls and Girl Scouts about my experience. Traveling and learning new things is vitally important. It is important for other girls to know that they can achieve their dreams. If I can do it, so can they. I want to help educate others and this is the perfect opportunity.
The “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.
Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved atgirlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.
“Who am I? I am Sylvia Acevedo-a lifelong Girl Scout who ‘bleeds green.'”
A proud Girl Scout, engineer and rocket scientist, and passionate advocate for both girls and Girl Scouts, Sylvia Acevedo credits her Girl Scout experience with propelling her to success in the corporate and philanthropic sectors.
Acevedo grew up near Las Cruces, New Mexico. When she joined a Brownie troop there, she knew she had found her home. That troop ultimately expanded not only her future, but also that of her family-for one, Acevedo’s mother got to practice her English with the troop leaders, who helped her pass her U.S. citizenship test.
“I understand the power of Girl Scouting. I understand how it changes destinies because it changed mine,” said Acevedo. “Through Girl Scouts, I launched a rocket into the clear, blue, New Mexico sky to earn my Science badge. Girl Scouts gave me the courage, the confidence, and the character to enter the engineering field at a time when girls didn’t do that, when people of my background didn’t do that.”
She discovered other passions through Girl Scouts as well.
“My favorite badge was my Bicycling badge. I absolutely loved getting outside with my troop,” said Acevedo, whose love of both the outdoors and science came together naturally at Girl Scouts.
“Science is all around you in the outdoors, and it’s been a part of our Girl Scout DNA from the very beginning. Whether you’re studying leaves and flowers on a hike, calculating distances on map, or using a compass, you’re using science, you’re using math-and you’re having fun doing it.”Acevedo took the tools and experiences Girl Scouts gave her to Stanford, where she earned a master’s degree in engineering, and eventually on to Silicon Valley.
“At my first engineering job, there wasn’t even a bathroom for women because there were virtually no women working in the field,” she recalled.
Speaking of STEM, Acevedo is a national advocate for STEM education who serves as a strategic consultant to companies that wish to use technology to capitalize on demographic trends-and she previously served as president and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a firm that used innovative technology to harness market trends. A talented executive who has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, Acevedo is also a fervent supporter of Hispanic, girls’, and women’s causes, and a White House commissioner on the Presidential Initiative for Hispanic Educational Excellence.
Acevedo’s love of Girl Scouts and the mission eventually led her to the GSUSA Board of Directors, where she served as secretary and Executive Committee member. And now, as interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Acevedo wants to continue to give back to a movement that has given her so much.
“Here’s what I’m about: I want to get more girls, more families into the Girl Scout Movement so that we can change their lives-their destinies-forever. Let’s start now! Go to girlscouts.org to learn how you can get involved-we’re waiting for you.”
Submitted by Kristin Hamm
Kristin Coulter’s voice swells with pride when she talks about the 12 girls in her Girl Scout Senior troop and what they’ve accomplished.
“They really do take your hearts,” she said. “You go from seeing them as little girls when it was all like herding cats to growing into the women they’re going to be, to the leaders they are. It’s just really cool.”
From first graders to young women entering the halls of high school, Kristin along with her co-leader Laura Charlier, have had the privilege and pleasure of leading Troop 63573. Eight of the original 12 members are still active and, while there have been some ebbs and flows in membership with a peak of 20 members during the Brownie/Junior years, the troop is now 12 girls strong again.
Along the way, they’ve earned badges, served their community, sold cookies, traveled near and far, earned their Bronze Award, challenged themselves at Reach for the Peak, and this year they earned their Silver Award and created Colorado’s first Council’s Own Badge. It’s all happened with the guidance of two very special volunteers who make a good team and feel they’re growing as much as the girls.
“When you start out, you think you’re just doing it to help out, and in the end you’re amazed at how much you grow as a leader,” Kristin said of her experience as a Girl Scout volunteer.
Keeping the troop together was a goal for Kristin in the beginning. “I remember making a goal that at least six of my original 12 Daisies would earn their Gold Award …. And we might just make it!”
The transition from Juniors to Cadettes is often a difficult time for troops. Some leaders burn out. Some girls get so busy with other activities Girl Scouts seems like too much. Kristin saw this coming and felt a common goal would help keep this group together.
“I didn’t want them to fall apart,” she said. “That’s such a big transition time that I was worried that they could get lost — from each other and from that focus they had gained to do good and be a leader.”
At that time, the troop put their focus on a big adventure and began planning for their trip to Costa Rica. It took two years to raise the money and make the trip a reality, but Kristin feels having that common goal kept them together – and it has given them so many wonderful, shared memories.
Now, they’re working toward a hiking adventure trip in Iceland.
How does a mother of two, with two Master’s Degrees, who was a Girl Scout as a girl for “maybe a year” end up leading a go-getter troop of 12 girls for eight years and counting?
“My daughter was in first grade and painfully shy, so I wanted to get her involved in something where she could connect with others by having common goals,” Kristin said. “There was a flier at school and I went to the meeting, not with the idea of leading the troop … but I talked to an experienced leader of girls in fourth or fifth grade and she told me about all the things they’d done and I thought it was very different from what my childhood troop had been like.”
“I realized you could make the troop whatever you wanted it to be,” she said. “You could get out there and be adventurous.”
That experienced troop leader showed her a scrapbook of her troop’s adventures, and Kristin was sold. She also included scrapbooking as part of the troop’s activities so the girls would remember and families in her troop would see all the amazing things the girls did over the years.
Kristin believes strongly that immersion is a great teacher and learning by doing is the Girl Scout way.
“I moved (to Italy) without speaking a word of Italian and came home with a MA,” she said. “I think that experience plus just being an idealistic Westerner, gives me the confidence that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I try to pass that on to the girls.”
The troop put that theory to the test last summer at Reach for the Peak, an outdoor skills competition held at Sky High Ranch. They earned a Marmot award and will spend much of their summer preparing for this fall’s competition. “It was an intense but awesome experience,” she said.
Her daughter Fiona, who has moved from a shy Daisy to a confident Program Aide at Sky High Ranch, has gotten to do many different things as a Girl Scout.
“She has grown so much,” Kristin said. “She has the confidence to try new things and I have to believe it’s in large part due to Girl Scouts.” Less than a month after earning her Silver Award, her daughter already has an idea for her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.
In addition to her co-leader, Kristin credits the supportive and involved parents of her troop for helping to keep the Park Hill-based troop going. The girls in the troop have always gone to different schools, and Kristin says their personalities are so different they probably wouldn’t gravitate together naturally, but their Girl Scout experiences have created a lasting bond.
Clearly Kristin feels that bond as well. When asked about a favorite troop leader moment, she chokes back tears as she describes the girls’ reaction to presenting at a recent Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors meeting.
“Being at that board meeting was such a thrill for us,” she said. “It got the girls focused on what this has all meant. The girls were so impressed with being in a room full of professional women…
“I’m always telling them that they can do anything and how capable they are … the fact that that landed on them was really, really powerful. At their age, they’ve accomplished a lot of things – at school, at sports … but they were able to fast forward to their professional lives … and they saw themselves at that table.”
It was a gigantic day for the girls of Troop 63573, not only did they present their Council’s Own Badge to the Board of Directors in the morning, they bridged to Seniors and were given their Silver Award pins that evening.
“We were in a circle and I said ‘Give yourself a pat on the back – look to your right and look to your left – and recognize what you’ve accomplished because nobody asked you to do it; you did it on your own.”
While Kristin would never take any credit, it’s clear these girls did it on their own, but they wouldn’t have had this opportunity without amazing volunteers like Kristin and Laura, the parents in the troop and Girl Scouts of Colorado.
Gold Award recipient Belle Bashaw from Parker, Douglas County High School, travelled to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest honor. Girl Scouts of the USA invited Belle to join the festivities because they were so impressed with her Gold Award project. She developed a curriculum to teach elementary school students about the importance of bees, which bees they might see, and how they can help the bee population thrive. While in the nation’s capitol, Belle attended special events where she shared her project with legislators and other world leaders.
Follow Girl Scouts of Colorado on all of our social media networks to see more pictures of Belle’s trip:
95 Girl Scouts and guests gathered on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Seven Falls in Colorado Springs to celebrate “cookiebosses” who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies. Top Sellers and their guests had a chance to hike and explore the Falls while also participating in a scavenger hunt focused on the history and natural features of the park. Girls and their guests were also provided a bagged lunch in one of the park’s many outdoor picnic areas during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. The Seven Falls Top Seller event was attended by four of the state’s top 17 sellers for the 2016 sale.
Cadette Girl Scouts visited the Colorado state capitol on Friday, June 10, 2016. Girls were given a tour of the building; participated in a mock election where they voted on an image for a tourism brochure (an image of Long’s Peak won); and visited with Representative Faith Winter to learn about how bills are passed. What an amazing opportunity for these older Girl Scouts!