Girl Scouts of the USA has awarded the prestigious Medal of Honor to Katelyn Ibarra, a 16-year-old Girl Scout from Steamboat Springs, for saving numerous lives after a city bus crashed. On March 29, 2016, Katelyn and her family were on their way to eat dinner when they came upon a city bus that had crashed on U.S. Highway 40 near CR 44. The roads were very slick and icy from a snowstorm earlier in the day. As soon as Katelyn saw the crash, she knew she had to help. After climbing up a slippery, muddy slope to reach the front of the bus, Katelyn climbed through the broken windshield and into the bus. Without hesitation, she helped the bus driver and numerous passengers, many of whom were in shock, bleeding, or had other serious injuries.
Tracy Shelton, an Ibarra family friend, was among those on bus. “She (Katelyn) needed no direction or instruction. She immediately went over to one of the most severely hurt. The blood didn’t faze her. She showed no shock. She was just this ‘strength’ among us,” wrote Shelton in a letter to Girl Scouts of the USA. “She responded in a way that was clearly above her age. She showed such a high level of maturity. I know adults that would not have climbed into that bus, with people screaming and all the blood.”
Girl Scouts of the USA awards the Medal of Honor for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.” In March, Katie Hurley of Northglenn, Colo. was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving her mother’s life after her glucose levels dropped to a life-threatening level.
Girl Scout Troop 52622 in Steamboat Springs had the incredible opportunity to carry their Agent of Change Journey through to an impactful Bronze Award.
In their quest to learn more about energy sourcing in their community, the girls met with Diane Johnson, Yampa Valley Electric Association’s CEO. Diane is the only woman in Colorado to lead an energy cooperative and has become an incredible role model for the girls. When the troop leader shared the girls’ plans to earn the Bronze Award with Diane, she invited them to be a part of a new community project – the installation of a new solar garden to benefit low and fixed income families in the region!
The girls participated in a series of meetings with YVEA, GRID Alternative (Denver-based nonprofit organization advocating solar projects such as this), Routt County United Way, and a women-led installation day at the job site.
Not only did the girls learn about renewable energy programs, but they also understood the impacts a program like this makes on at-risk low income households. The girls spoke in front of large groups at the women-lead installation day while also serving a nutritious lunch and also at the dedication ceremony alongside elected officials and industry leaders! The girls’ speeches included an overview on what they’ve learned through this project, from the nuts & bolts of solar energy to women in leadership and the economic impact of this project.
Diane Johnson, YVEA CEO praised the girls in her dedication speech, saying “the girls learned with an open heart, re-inspiring her throughout this project”.
Submitted by Bella, Ashlyn, and Carolyn of Troop 62851
For our Silver Award, we decided to make fidget mats for senior citizens with Alzheimer’s and Dementia in nursing homes. We finished our project at the end of our last Cadette year. We’ve made it sustainable by creating a website and giving flyers to our schools and the nursing homes for teens and other people to get volunteer hours.
The flyers included information on how to make the mats and how we got them to the senior centers. We had to do a lot of preparation and sewing to get the mats done, but once we figured it out, it was much easier to make the different patterns and accessories. We put little things like ribbons and buttons on the mats as fidgets to improve their memories.
Our goal, ultimately, was to make the mats to help the elderly so that they may be more attentive and engaged. The idea originated from one of the girls’ in our groups moms and because two of the three of us have grandmothers diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. We want to help people connect with an older generation and make a difference in their lives.
Our website is volunteerideascommunityservice.weebly.com Please check it out if you’d like to know more about our project or want to use it for volunteer hours. Our project was very important to us, we hope you take interest in it!
Sarah Greichen from Centennial, Front Range Christian School, has been named a National Young Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of the USA. Sarah is among just 10 Girl Scouts nationwide chosen for this prestigious award after earning the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. Inspired by her twin brother who has an autism spectrum disorder, Sarah started a non-profit organization, Score A Friend, to promote and support youth to lead school-based unified clubs for students of all abilities. Today, there are Score A Friend clubs in schools and universities across the country. Sarah will be publicly honored at Girl Scouts of the USA’s national conference of CEOs and receive a $5,000 scholarship from Kappa Delta.
Earlier this year, Girl Scouts of Colorado awarded Sarah the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. Of Sarah’s project, prize committee members said, “We are delighted at the quality of Gold Award projects we reviewed this year and are thrilled to award the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize to Sarah Greichen whose project exemplifies sustainable community impact through leadership.”
The Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize is made possible through a generous endowment gift from Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie A. Foote. “Sarah’s project is an exceptional example of Girl Scouts ‘Discover, Connect and Take Action Model’ She recognized a community need, collaborated with industry leaders and community partners and founded a non-profit that will provide lasting opportunities to children and their families. ongoing impact through leadership. I am proud to present this prize to her and recognize Girl Scouts whose Gold Award projects have made a lasting impact,” Foote said.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is to identify and research a community issue she is passionate about, develop a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establish a global connection with others and provide sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.
Girl Scouts is open to all girls from kindergarten through grade 12. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to be a Girl Scout volunteer. Girls cannot experience the positive impact of Girl Scouts without adult volunteers, and each adult who volunteer has the opportunity to make a real difference in the life of a girl. Girl Scout volunteers come from all walks of life. They are men, women, young professionals, retirees, college students, and more. Both girls and adult volunteers can join at any time of the year. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit: www.girlscouts.org/join.
Learn more about how you can be part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by visiting girlscoutsofcolorado.org, calling 1-877-404-5708, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the third year in a row, it was great to see such a wonderful gathering of ladies at Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch. 11 different states(!) were represented from coast to coast and daughters joined their moms in the fun and camp experiences. The most fun about Women’s Week is that we get to make our own program, with the only definite scheduling done around meal-times. Those who wanted to get up almost at the crack of dawn hiked up to the top of Vista Spur with “Pan” (Penny Roberts) to see the mountains all around and enjoy the crisp mountain air and the comradery. There are songs that go with that experience, like “The Grasses are Bending,” “Railroad Corral,” and “There’s a Blue Sky.”
Several unique experiences helped to combine to make this year’s ladies get-away super-special. First of all, there were nine of us who, among other things, were Rounduppers from more than 50 years ago. We had made contact with these gals at the 1965 Roundup Reunion in Idaho last fall, and publicized our Women’s Week. So, two ladies from Connecticut traveled all the way here, enjoyed a few extra days in the Estes Park area, and are already planning to return next year! One gal from Nebraska reconnected with MMR after having worked here on staff for the summer of 1966 and had not been back since! Maybe we can find even more of that group of alums to come and join us.
Embedded in our plan-it-yourselves program this year was a mini-reunion to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the establishment of MMR in 1961. There were camp tours, very special brunch and dinner, flag ceremony, and campfire setting in the lodge. In addition, the new sundial on the top of the time capsule was dedicated, honoring and recognizing the sculptor Ted Schaal, and our benefactor Alma Hix. I hope you get to come to MMR to see that gorgeous addition to the main camp area.
Susan Baker and her diligent and dedicated older Girl Scout gals from Ft. Collins have provided food service again this year. With the fire ban in effect in Boulder County, cookouts were different, if still fun and delectable. The reunion brunch and banquet dinner were over-the-top in featuring a variety of offerings, including quiche, fresh fruits and veggies, roast chicken, appetizers and some special libations. Of course, an anniversary cake showed off the old MMR logo and was enjoyed by all.
Coffee service thanks to our “Coffee Queen” Pat Kingsbury, began at 5 a.m., and never failed us. We were all free to choose our preferred place to rest our heads at the end of the day, but there were still lots of sing-alongs around the fire circle, “Tajar Tales,” lots of visiting and reminiscing.
Crafts were featured nearly everywhere, a grand tour took us up and over and around and down the trails, more than one hike to Hercules, Gnome National Forest nature activity and other special features spiced up the time.
So, mark your calendars, ladies, as the Fourth Annual Women’s Week for 2017 has already been scheduled! The dates are July 17 – 20, 2017, and our cost for the entire event will be $180.00 per person for the entire event. Some financial aid is available.
Women’s Week is open to any women age 18 or older. Some mobility considerations can be made as well as any dietary restrictions or considerations. Invite your friends, co-workers, daughters and grand-daughters and come and join in the very special ladies-only true outdoor camp experience. Questions or registrations can be sent any time to very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts at email@example.com or phone 970 586 1775 or by mail to PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517. Spread the word, and we hope to see you there next summer.
Submitted by Allie H., 2016 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship winner
While in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible and unique people I’ve ever met. Although I only interacted with other Girl Scouts from the United States, I also had the pleasure of becoming friends with my guides, who were all Costa Rican born and raised. All three of them are amazing people whom I learned so so much from. Not only did I learn more about Costa Rican Spanish, I also learned about myself and the world around me. The girls I met there I still talk to today and one of them is one of my best friends ever. I miss many of them more than I can say. Allow me to recount the departure of one friend, Alyssa. Her flight left around seven in the morning. Mine was closer to noon. Because there were so many girls that had to go to the airport that day, we were taken to the airport in groups. Alyssa was assigned to the first group, and I the second. I talked to a couple people and managed to wedge my way into the first group with Alyssa. This, unfortunately, meant that I had to wake up at 3:45 a.m. Although the thought of waking up that early kind of made me want to throw myself off a cliff, I still did it, because I wanted to spend more time with Alyssa. The drive up was somber, as none of us wanted to leave. Finally, when we got to the airport, Alyssa and I checked in, went through security and ended up at an Asian restaurant that served very American breakfast, oddly enough. We played some cards after finishing our breakfast, and that was the last card game we played together. We had two hours to kill so we walked around, colored a page of a coloring book, read some, bought gifts for our families, and, although neither of us mentioned it, thought a lot about what it would be like to return to our lives without each other and the other girls we had met. Finally, the time came for her flight to board, so I waited in line with her as long as I could, but all good things must come to an end. We hugged for much longer than is socially acceptable, especially with people in line behind you. We told each other how much we loved each other and that we’d be sure to plan a trip together sometime soon. I cried many, many tears. Eventually, it was time for her to go. The relationship that I formed with Alyssa is one of the most meaningful ones I’ve ever had, and I spent less than two weeks with her. Life is all about forming important relationships with incredible people. I more than accomplished that while I was in Costa Rica. If you’re considering going, go. It’s worth it.
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.
Three young women were presented with the “Volunteer of Excellence” award at this summer’s Core Camp at Meadow Mountain Ranch. This newly-instituted national-level award is given for outstanding service while working directly with girls.
Jennifer Hayes (“Wally), Jenny Schmitz (“Coon”), and Wendy Roberts (“Zoot”) were surprised with a plaque and pin by Savanna Inman and Peyton Buhler who, with other Ft. Collins girls in Susan Baker’s troop, wanted to recognize these “awesome Girl Scout volunteers.”
Jennifer Hayes was recognized “for being an awesome Camp Director, and for bringing so many girls to Meadow Mountain Ranch. We love your enthusiasm and patience, and thank you for teaching us new skills.”
Jenny Schmitz was recognized “for organizing all of the schedules and activities, and for teaching us so many new crafts. We love your dedication to the mission, and thank you for helping us have so much fun at camp.”
Wendy Roberts was also recognized for “being an awesome Camp Director, and for giving new life to Meadow Mountain Ranch. We love your energy and knowledge, and thank you for helping us grow in Girl Scouts.”
These quotes were from the Court of Awards ceremony which highlighted letters of endorsement from individuals and several nominations. The Girl Scouts of Colorado Recognition Committee and the Board of Directors approved these awards.
It is fitting and proper that these young adults be honored, recognized and encouraged in their life-long continuing efforts to portray the best character traits that make Girl Scouting the special and wonderful organization for girls and women possible. It’s also testimony to the fact that after you are 18 years of age, continued hard work and dedication can pay off as an adult Girl Scout, by encouraging younger girls to continue with the mission.
The Girl Scouts of Colorado Fall Product Sale Program is a great money-earning activity for Girl Scouts, because it’s also a warm-up for the Girl Scout cookie sale. I do the Fall Sale because I really like to sell things. Also, I’m a natural business woman so I find selling stuff extremely gratifying. I also really love the challenge, because if it wasn’t challenging, it would be boring. Another reason is that I like the super cool prizes. My personal favorite animal representing the Fall Sale was the flamingo. My mom says it’s also a warm-up for the cookie mom.
Business is my greatest talent, and the Fall Sale is a really fun business. It raises money for Girl Scouts, and they use that money to do good things, like planning fun activities for troops to do. I really like the items up for sale, too. And it’s been a great chance for me to meet my neighbors. I have made some amazing friends.
The fantastic Fall Sale has allowed me to break out of my shell and not be shy. I also learned how to sell stuff without doing booth sales. Thank-you notes have also helped me bring back customers from last year. I personally think girls should do thank-you notes for sales more often. I also learned how to talk to strangers, and I’m not so shy anymore. The Fall Sale is great for all of these reasons and more.
Beginning this month (September), the Girl Scout choir will rehearse every SECOND Saturday of the month instead of the THIRD Saturday of the month through April. This includes November and December, but this should make holiday times more manageable.