Category Archives: Girl Scout News

National Park Week + free activities = fun in the great outdoors

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From Girl Scouts of the USA

Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to check your gear, restock your day pack, and get ready to spend more time in the great outdoors! With more than 417 locations in the National Park Service (NPS), “America’s Best Idea” (as documentarian Ken Burns nicknamed U.S. parks) provides the ultimate places to discover new things, observe natural phenomena, and learn more about the natural world.

Anyone who’s ready to shake off winter and get outside will be happy to hear that the United States’ largest celebration of our national heritage, National Park Week, is April 15–23, 2017.

During this exploratory week, NPS hosts special events at parks nationwide, and both weekends that fall within National Park Week offer free admittance, so every visitor can enjoy.

In addition to soaking up some time outdoors, Girl Scouts can take advantage of this special week to work on their Naturalist and Outdoor badges or to start earning their Girl Scout Ranger patch . This patch’s requirements let Girl Scouts decide how they want to give back to parks by joining an existing volunteer program or by designing a new project with park employees. Volunteer programs include everything from educational programs to service projects that protect park resources. After five hours of service, girls earn a Ranger certificate, and after ten hours (or more!), they can collect the coveted Ranger patch.

So be sure to check out the NPS’s special events, clear your calendar, and fill your water bottle—it’s time to set out on a new adventure! (Don’t forget to share your pictures with the hashtags #FindYourPark and #NPS101.)

P.S. National Park Week falls during Volunteer Appreciation Month, so if you see one of the 340,000 volunteers who make national parks great, be sure to say thanks!

Volunteer Spotlight: Heather Gardner 

Heather Gardner portrait 2017 Denver, CO

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Heather Gardner, leader of Troop 675 in the Mountaineers Service Unit,  was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community!

For the last three years, Heather has led her high school troop to plan a girl empowerment event, Perfectly Imperfect, Perfectly You!, with a great guest speaker. Last year, it was 9News Traffic Reporter and pilot Amelia Earhart. This year, it will be celebrity mountain climber Meghan Martin. Heather is described as “articulate and passionate about giving 5th-8th grade girls the tools for self esteem, confidence building, and more as they either enter or are in the middle school years.”  

We asked Heather to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!

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How long have you been a Girl Scout?

This is my 10th year being a Girl Scout leader/volunteer.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer to allow my daughter the opportunity to be in Girl Scouts. When I was 6-years-old, I tried to join Girl Scouts, but there were no troops or volunteers in my area. When my daughter was in first grade, we went to an orientation meeting and they did not have any available troops or volunteers for our area. I did not want her to miss out on Girl Scouts as I did, so I started a troop. 

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

Girl Scouts allows so many different volunteer roles and growth as a leader. Just a few of the roles I have had the privilege to fill are leader, cookie manager, troop secretary, finance advisor, volunteer coordinator, community outreach, overnight troop camping, CPR/First aid training, event planner, website designer, a second mom, friend, etc. There are so many ways to contribute as an individual, your strengths can always be utilized. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?

The sky’s the limit! Don’t be afraid to think big, and never be afraid to ask. I truly try to set the example that everything is possible. When I first started to suggest ideas to the troop for events and/or guest speakers, I think my girls thought I was crazy. They never thought we could get so much support from our community, celebrity role models, other troops, etc. I believe I have inspired the girls to think big and that anything is possible.  

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

There are so many Girl Scout memories to choose from! Three of my favorite and most memorable moments were: 1.) Our troop was planning for our next girl empowerment event, and I had just flown in from a week-long business trip the day prior and was super tired. We were brainstorming for our event’s activities and completely got off topic. Some of the silliest things were said and laughed about that night. I truly believe you have to have those moments with your girls! If you ask any of them about it, they will know exactly what I’m talking about. 2.) One of the proudest moments of being a volunteer, was at our very first troop hosted the girl empowerment event. I remember that one of the younger attendees was having some anxiety issues, and one of my older girls took her under her wing and spent time just talking to her. I can’t tell you how proud I was of that moment, and how I felt that everything I did as a volunteer completely paid off then. 3.) Our troop went to Magic Sky Ranch for our annual family camping trip. This was the first time we had been to MSR, and we were in awe when we watched a lightning storm from our cabin window. We all sat there for about an hour in complete darkness, just enjoying the spectacle and each other’s company. 

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Ask for help! I am somewhat controlling, and have really had a tough time listening to my own advice. Over the last couple of years, I have asked for more help than ever – from my co-leader, parents, community, and girls. Surprisingly, people really do want to help, you just have to be specific with what you need. It can be as simple as asking to host a troop sleepover, picking up cookies and running cookie booths, helping with sewing on patches, sending out meeting reminders, going to monthly leader meetings, coming up with volunteer ideas, etc. If you try to do everything yourself, it no longer feels like a troop and you will tire fast. Ask for help and everyone feels involved and has a happier troop.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.

Colorado lawmakers honor Girl Scouts

On Monday, April 10, 2017, Colorado State Representatives broke from traditional business to honor 28 Girl Scouts from across the state who earned the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. More than half of this year’s honorees were at this recognition, which took place shortly after the session opened at 10 a.m.  As Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, these girls’ accomplishments reflect extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

In addition to honoring these Girl Scouts and their extraordinary Gold Award projects that benefited communities across the world, Girl Scouts of Colorado introduced the winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. Emma Albertoni, from Arvada, wrote a financial literacy curriculum that was implemented in her school and considered by the Jefferson County School Board. The Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize was made possible through a generous gift to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Endowment by Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie A. Foote. “Emma’s project is an exceptional example of sustainable 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.

Emma was honored along with two other Gold Award recipients, who the selection committee for the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize determined were deserving of Honorable Mention. They are Sydney Marchando and Angela Smith. Sydney, from Highlands Ranch, organized a 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness for Fresh Harvest Food Bank. Angela, from Colorado Springs, partnered with The Catamount Institute to implement an educational program to teach children about bees and their importance as a cornerstone species.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Foote. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance and leadership are making the world a better place.”

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 identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others and providing 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.

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 28 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2016-17 Girl Scout awards year:

  • Emma Albertoni from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, took action after noticing that many of her peers lacked financial literacy. She wrote a curriculum that will be implemented in her school and proposed to the Jefferson County School Board to add a required Financial Literacy class.
  • Megan Beaudoin from Monument, St. Mary’s High School, created a 10-minute video for middle school students to help ease the transition to high school. Topics covered included: academics, social interactions, and self-esteem.
  • Megan Burnett from Colorado Springs, James Irwin Charter High School,worked with community leaders and businesses to build a softball field at the school. The project would have cost the school $25,000.
  • Kelsey Collins from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a curriculum to teach preschool and elementary school children about park safety and Colorado history.
  • Emma Curran from Colorado Springs, The Classical Academy, created “the Girl’s Life of Colorado” online magazine, or e-zine, as a source of positive and encouraging media for middle and high school students.
  • Taryn Eveland of Longmont, Longmont High School, built a sensory trail on the property of Front Range Hippotherapy, a nonprofit therapy center which uses the movements of a horse to address various social, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities.  The sensory trail includes a winding trail through the upper pasture with three permanent stations, each highlighting a different sense, including a mailbox, textile pole, and chimes.
  • Victoria Fedorco of Aurora, Eaglecrest High School, manufactured and provided raised pet beds to help senior pets be more comfortable as they await adoption in shelters.
  • Carissa Flores from Westminster, Broomfield High School, shared her knowledge and passion for Taekwondo by creating, coordinating, and leading self-defense seminars for children, teens, and adults. She also started the Women’s Self Defense Club at her school.
  • Kelsey Harry from Littleton, Heritage High School, created a new high school club, Operation Eagle, to address the issue of the U.S. military’s need of supplies that give them some comfort while away from home and also address the lack of military knowledge in our community.
  • Rebecca Hefty from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved a local dog park by installing a 10’x 16′ Trex pergola to provide shade and two picnic benches, giving visitors a place to sit.
  • Baily Holsinger from Larkspur, Castle View High School, worked with volunteers to crochet beanies for newborn babies at Denver Health Medical Center and Baby Haven in Fort Collins. She also held classes to teach volunteers of all ages how to make the beanies and why they are important.
  • Lindsay Iannone from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved the library at Faith Lutheran Church by removing unwanted books and adding new materials, including a computer.
  • Rebecca Kopacz of Colorado Springs, Palmer Ridge High School, hosted a weekly workshop for six weeks for 5th and 6th grade girls. She worked to prevent low self-esteem and teach girls they can be accepted for who they are.
  • Sydney Marchando from Highlands Ranch, Rock Canyon High School, planned and hosted the Miles for Meals 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness and collect donations for Fresh Harvest Food Bank.
  • Molly McPherson from Boulder, Fairview High School, promoted the use of reusable water bottles, as well as educated the public about the harmful effects of bottled water.
  • Julie Monington from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a butterfly garden at a horse sanctuary to educate others on the importance of protecting the Monarch Butterfly population.
  • Clementine Morisette from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, worked with community members and visitors at FoCo Cafe to create a visual representation about how food and culture connects us.
  • Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, worked to increase awareness for dyslexia by hosting a viewing of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” and leading a panel discussion afterwards. Additionally, she installed a little free library in her community.
  • Emma Pond from Morrison, Conifer High School, worked to make hospital visits easier by providing patients and their families care packages with a few comforts from home and activities to help occupy their time at the hospital.
  • Daniell Plomodon from Erie, Niwot High School, organized several “Disability for a Day” presentations to educate others about living with a disability. Activities included: trying to button a shirt while wearing mittens, playing patty cake while wearing Vaseline covered glasses, and using person first language.
  • Anastasia Rosen from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, created a workshop to educate others about human trafficking, tactics recruiters use, and how to prevent it.
  • Angela Smith from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, implemented an educational program about bees and installed a new beehive at a local environmental center, The Catamount Institute.
  • Juliet Spitz from Boulder, Boulder High School, recently switched to a vegan diet and wanted to educate young adults about it. She created a lesson to inform them of the conditions of animals in factory farms, entertainment industries, and testing laboratories.
  • Allyson Story from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, led a team of volunteers to make more than 200 pillowcase dresses for young girls and taught sewing classes for women in Juarez, Mexico.
  • Jordan Wilson from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, created a website and print resources to teach senior citizens about technology in a safe, easy, fun, and cost-efficient manner.
  • Debra Zerr from Arvada addressed the problem of the lack of connection between the military and public. Through a series of events, she educated others about the importance of the military and the men and women who serve.

Daisy troop delivers 105 packages of cookies to Parker Task Force

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Submitted by Stephanie Rosauer

Metro Denver

Parker

Our troop of Daisy Girl Scouts delivered more than 100 packages (105 to be exact) of Girl Scout Cookies to Parker Task Force, a local food bank. The girls got to learn why, how, for whom, and what Parker Task Force does.  All volunteers, just like in Girl Scouts, give their time varying from hours to months out of a year.
Donations, in addition to foods, are items such as blankets, pet food and supplies, diapers, and school supplies for children. Parker Task Force helps in our community, on average, 220 people a week!

Parker Task Force provides a monthly “Needs Request List” for items that are needed, to help accommodate those that are unable to purchase on their own. These requests have been fulfilled each month by the generous members of this community.

The girls were touched by the story and kindness that they elected Parker Task Force for their food donation recipient, for the month of April!  Nice job young ladies!

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

Limited spots left for “Me & My Gal” strength weekend in May

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Submitted by Tiffany Stone

Metro Denver

Englewood

There are only a few spaces left for the Urban Trails Service Unit’s “Me & My Gal” strength weekend!

REGISTRATION CLOSES ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2017!

Where: Tomahawk Ranch Girl Scout Camp
When: Friday, May 12, 2017 – Sunday, May 14, 2017
Arrival time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday
Departure: 10 a.m. on Sunday

Cost: $150 per woman-girl couple
$60 per additional girl,
(No additional adults please, one per every three daughters)

Bring your girl(s) along for a weekend of bonding and strengthening.
Mountain Berry Catering will provide meals, with a special Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday morning.

Activities will be provided all weekend, including archery, building, a dance, and more!

This camp is geared for mothers and daughters, but aunts, grandmas, or mother figures are welcome, along with girls (K-12).

Attendance is only confirmed upon payment.
Register at:
https://squareup.com/store/urban-trails-su-644

Volunteers are always welcome! Please email: urbantrailsdenver@gmail.com to volunteer!

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

 

Outdoor Adventure Club 2017-2018 Dates Released Soon!

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We are working hard to finalize all our dates and programming for the 2017-2018 Outdoor Adventure Club season for both our OAC Explorers (6th graders) and OAC Trailblazers (7th- 10th graders)! Since many of our programs use outside vendor we are just waiting on the final confirmation from a couple vendors to release ALL of our dates and locations for next year. Thanks for your patience and we will have the dates out as soon as possible and before the April 17th registration opening date.

All date and a detailed FAQ page are available at the OAC website at the link below:

http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/our-program/older-girls/outdoor-adventure-club.html

Please direct any questions to Anna Danila at anna.danila@gscolorado.org

 

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Introducing: The climate change Girl Scouts patch

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From CO Moms Know Best

The Girl Scouts of Colorado and Colorado Moms Know Best are excited to announce a new Girl Scout patch – The Climate Change patch.

Remember that little adrenaline rush you got when you earned a new Girl Scout patch? We think of these like diplomas that show the world what a girl has strived for, learned and accomplished. In fact, patches are sometimes even handed to recipients in a graduation-esque ceremony; and that’s exactly what will happen in the Colorado Statehouse in April when the first group of girls will earn and receive their patch.

The Girl Scouts of Colorado and Colorado Moms Know Best want the Climate Change patch to be a fun and engaging way for girls to learn more about climate change while building useful skills to last a lifetime.  The current generation of children is the one that will bear the greatest burden of climate change and have the most to gain by preventing its impacts. Hopefully, Scouts will be motivated to take a leadership role on this vital issue and take part in improving their own future.

Many of us are noticing the effects of climate change around us. We’re constantly setting new records for warmer temperatures and hearing about crazy changes in our seasons like a January and February with no snow — in Chicago!   We’re seeing more devastating extreme weather events.  The bad news is that human-made toxic pollutants are added to the atmosphere by burning dirty fossil fuels — creating these conditions.

But the good news? We have the power to change that.

Girls will calculate their own carbon footprint, understand the impacts of climate change at a local level, and be inspired to make a difference. They’ll acquire skills to affect policy on other issues that interest them as well.  They can learn how to research and present their findings. They’ll also learn about how government works and how to make sure their voices can be heard on the key issues of their generation.

Girls earn the patch by finishing one age-appropriate activity in each of the three categories – Discover, Connect, Take Action. They can choose from things like researching clean energy jobs, examining climate change in their towns, and talking to decision makers.

The Climate Change patch is now available.  Find out more details and read about the ways you can get the patch here.

Full STEAM Ahead: Making WAVES with science and art

Submitted by Nancy Mucklow

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Girl Scouts made WAVES with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) on a school day off in March 2017.

Girls spent the morning exploring light waves, the physics of light, making a spectroscope, experimenting with Watery Waves, the science of hydrology, and discovering sound waves, including some cool dance moves and “watching” sound happen.

Small group sessions were led by women in the community who work as science and STEAM professionals. They also shared career information about their areas of expertise.

The afternoon was spent focusing on theater arts including interactive workshops and theatrical games with improv and public speaking practice in a local historical theatre and performing arts venue.

The day was made possible through a grant of sponsorship by Yampa Valley Electric Association as well as the Lufkin Family Fund for Routt County Girl Scouts.

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

Parker troops work to earn “Junior Jeweler” badge

Submitted by Conny Karman

Metro Denver

Parker

About 20 Juniors from four different troops got together in Parker to work on their “Junior Jeweler” badge. Ms. C from Troop 1996 hosted the event. Conny Karman, a self-taught jewelry artist and past troop leader/volunteer lead the event. Armed with safety goggles, a hammer, and pliers, the girls worked on five projects. They stamped metal jewelry, caged and wrapped jewelry, learned about birthstones, and made a sparkling box to keep their new jewelry. The event lasted about 2.5 hours. There were 2-3 parent helpers on each session. If you are interested in hosting an event, please contact info@ideaitlab.com.

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