Category Archives: Girl Scout News

Cadettes complete BREATHE Journey

Submitted by Staci Calderon

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

It was an awesome weekend for Girl Scout Cadettes in Troop 4636! The girls escaped to the trees in gorgeous Hartsel, Colorado where they learned all about the BREATHE journey and loving our planet. Our Cadettes had an amazing time!

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

60 years of Girl Scouting with Edna “Skipper” Hollis

Submitted by Ann Thacker

Metro Denver

Lakewood

Edna “Skipper” Hollis led Girl Scout Troop 362 during my growing-up years. Who knew she would still be leading us, as adults, 60 years later?

Troop 362 was a big troop with three different age-groups. I was in the middle. That was nearly 60 years ago. And, we’ve kept in touch all those years… reuniting the last Saturday of every July at Skipper’s rustic cabin on the shores of Lake Eldora. She left this place on Thanksgiving 2016 at 104 ½ years old. As we gather at the cabin for one last time, we reminisce and bask in her love. She was a remarkable woman whom I deeply loved and admired.

Her energy was limitless. Even though she was nearing 50 back then, she taught us to: swim, canoe, hike, snowshoe, mountain climb, toboggan, ice skate, and chop ice from a deeply encrusted mountain spring. We learned to dip our buckets in the cold, clear water for drinking and bathing. She filled our days and nights with songs, swimming, cooking on a wood-burning stove, wildflower hikes, bird walks, campfires, and scary stories that went “boo” in the night.

She demonstrated kindness, compassion, unconditional love, and even taught us to “date young men.” To this day, my best date was the one she arranged for us (and chaperoned) with Air Force Academy Cadets. She showed us nature in its authentic purity, tender beauty, raw power, and rugged grandeur…all the while keeping us safe and secure.

More than anyone I’ve known, she trusted the goodness and abundance of life. Knowing that nature is God-made-manifest, she revealed a natural world, full of miracles that live forever in my heart and imagination.

Because of her, I remember to pause and drink in a sparkling dew drop, or inhale the scent of a soft, pink rose. I hug trees, speak to crickets, and sing duets with meadowlarks. I stand tall when lightning splits the clouds and thunder rolls. And all the while, I feel her presence, sense of wonder, and joy; as I take in the awe of each moment.

She embodied all that is good and continually expressed gratitude for life itself. She stood as a pure reflection of the divine, an illuminated mirror in which we could see our own souls.

How intimately she knew and loved the One Creator! And, how generously she loved each of us!!! I’m profoundly grateful for the privilege of opening the gift that she was… and I celebrate her; for she enriched my life.

Thank you, Skipper, for being who you are… a blessing to us all!

Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to celebrate the legacy of one of our most cherished alumnae, Edna “Skipper” Hollis. In 2016, Skipper passed away at the age of 104, leaving a 94-year history of Girl Scouting as a girl and an adult volunteer.  Skipper touched the lives of hundreds of girls, families, and volunteers and will be remembered for her love of the outdoors and the annual troop gathering she hosted at her Colorado cabin for more than six decades.

To make a gift in honor of Skipper, which will support opportunity grants to ensure any girl is able to attend camp, or  to honor an alum who has made a difference in your life, go to the Girl Scouts of Colorado website: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/alumnae.html 

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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Alexis Montague, Castle Rock, “Encouraging females to pursue STEM careers”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I focused on encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers by providing middle school and high school girls with role models. My research showed that STEM is primarily dominated by males with ratio being around ¾ male and ¼ females. Women in STEM is a complex issue that is caused by numerous problems. I decided to focus on role models since studies have shown that by providing successful female role models, more women are willing to put in the effort for these careers. In order to achieve this, I developed a panel consisting of engineers from many different fields within engineering. They came and talked about the challenges within the STEM field and how to overcome them. The panelists also discussed what employers are looking for both in academics and internships.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I measured the impact of my project through a survey given at the end of my panel event. The survey contained questions about how to improve the event for the future and if the girls who attended had learned anything new. I also talked to many of the girls after my event to hear what they had thought about the event.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My project will be sustained through my high school. My school has been divided up into four different academies: STEM, BHS, VPA, and LGC. As I had already done my event at the school and had numerous teachers and administers involved, my advisor/teacher is willing to sponsor another girl to run the event with the guidance of my manual, so all they must do is choose a date that works with them, find panelists, and advertise to the middle schools.

One of my panelists is a member of the Denver chapter of Business and Professional Women. When she heard that a component of the Gold Award project was that it needed to be sustained in some way, her chapter agreed to also put on this event in the future as part of their programming.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

The imbalance between the genders within STEM careers is a national issue. For my project to reach a wider audience nationally, I created a website. The website depicts the issue of women in STEM and highlights some of the reasons behind the difference between the genders.  I sent letters to 50 schools within Colorado, ranging from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, with the information about my event and what girls learned, why they should do it, and where they could get the manual and visit my website for more information.

What did you learn about yourself?

The most important aspect that I learned about myself was discovering what I was most passionate about and discovered my voice for it. It has enabled me to stand for what I believe in and develop solutions for the problems. It also showed me that I am able to successfully put on events as a leader.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

My Gold Award has provided me with numerous professional skills and the ability to put on a major event. I know it will have a major impact on my ability within my own career. My Gold Award taught me invaluable tools that I need for my future career, both in acting professional and the ability to lead and develop a major event.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten. The Gold Award was the final award that I could complete within the program after finishing the Bronze and Silver. But, it was more than that. The Gold Award took all my leadership and event planning skills I had obtained through the program and pushed them to their limits, and expanded past what I already had. It showed me what I was able to achieve with the skills I had learned through my 13 years of being a Girl Scout.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

G:  The Gold Award made me find an issue that occurred within my community and forced me to find a solution, or in the case of my project be a part of the solution. It made me develop a plan in order to achieve the solution of providing role models so that I could pursue a component of the entire problem of the unbalanced genders within the STEM field.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Wilderness film screening at REI

Submitted by Brian Leitten

Metro Denver

Denver

REI is having an in-store movie night on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. and Girl Scouts are invited!  Shannon St. George, a Girl Scout from Cincinnati, Ohio, produced “Expedition Alaska” while she was in college.

“Expedition Alaska” is a 74-minute film that follows adventure racing teams on a seven-day, non-stop endurance race that took place through the Alaskan wilderness. The documentary follows 20 teams of four in a 350-mile competition as they mountain bike through the sharp peaks of the Kenai Peninsula, traverse mountain ranges and crevasse filled glaciers, and paddle countless life-threatening rivers and rapids.

The documentary is a project from the Production Master Class at the University of Cincinnati. The class focuses on experiential learning in documentary film production. Students traveled to Alaska to work with alumni, teachers, and professionals while braving the Alaskan wilderness alongside the racers. They faced many of the same challenges as the racers and still managed to capture some of the most compelling footage of adventure racing ever seen. Besides Shannon, the crew also had a Life Scout and Eagle Scout from BSA.

To purchase tickets please visit: https://www.alumni.uc.edu/ExpeditionAlaska?erid=14525820&trid=bcb93550-2d43-468b-841f-6b6b3f8ea0d9

$13 for adults, $8 for Girl Scouts. Proceeds go to supporting the Production Master Class and their future films.

After the screening, join the film director, Brian J. Leitten, for a Q&A with racers and crew.

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Elizabeth Hoelscher, Aurora, “Girls for girls library and welcome baskets”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I built a library and put together welcome baskets for a shelter (Avanti House) that houses girls 12-17 that have been victims of sex trafficking.  The issue I wanted to address with my project is the negative aftermath of sex trafficking as well as the continued prevalence of sex trafficking in our community. I wanted to improve lives of sex trafficking victims that need distractions and added normalcy to their lives after sex trafficking. While I cannot eliminate trafficking, by doing my project I spread awareness about sex trafficking and its continuing prevalence in our state, country, and world.

I made presentations on my project to raise awareness to the Green Hat Society and teachers at my school which subsequently lead to book donations. I presented to teachers at my school to spread awareness about the problem and help them identify the signs of sex trafficking as they see their students on a daily basis and would most easily be able to identify the problem. In all, I was able to collect 670 books through donations and the purchase of a couple of books I thought were must haves, which are now in the main living space and classroom for the girls, while the adults have one with their books in the office. I also supplied each girl a bookmark in their welcome basket to get them introduced to the library. The welcome baskets also included blankets, journals, coloring books, socks, water bottles, candy, and a couple of other items I felt were important that they have.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project from the feedback on the books and items in the welcome baskets and also from the persons who heard my presentations.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

Kristen Harness from Avanti house has agreed to continue to make the welcome baskets for the home and other women they come across.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

I have e-mailed several similar shelters that do similar work in other states in hopes that they might adopt the same projects.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned about my ability to be independent and take charge. From this project, I learned how to bear ALL of the responsibilities for my work. From organizing donation pick-ups and moving in the library and welcome bags, I learned a lot about myself, including my drive and passion for a cause I believe in.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

Earning my Gold Award will make me more confident in being a leader as well as doing large projects and tasks on my own.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Gold Award allowed me to finish off my 12 years of Girl Scouting with one last impactful project that made a change.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

This helped me become a better leader as I have exposed myself to situations that require independence.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

 

Silver Award project: Jared Box for Children’s Hospital and baby hats for Memorial Hospital

Submitted by Emma C.

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

13-year-old Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 4523 Emma, Dori, and Kate would like to share our story about our great Silver Award project.  For this mission, we wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. We contacted Children’s Hospital to see how we could help. They told us that the Jared Box program was well needed and appreciated by the children having extended stays in their hospital rooms with no access to any playroom. To find out more about the Jared box project, please visit http://www.thejaredbox.com. We also made baby hats for newborns to be distributed at Memorial Hospital.

We first had to earn funds to purchase the items to put in the boxes. We used the money we earned from selling Girl Scout Cookies to fund part of this project. But, we did not stop there. We made ice cream sandwiches (we baked chocolate chip cookies and added vanilla ice cream in the middle) and sold them at a park during a hot sunny summer day. Then, we all made lists of items we wanted to purchase and each prepared a certain amount of boxes to meet the needs of girls and boys between the age of 3 to 14. We decorated the boxes and also added a nice note to personalize each package.

On September 5, 2017, we delivered 71 boxes to Children’s Hospital and dropped off our handmade baby hats to Memorial Hospital. We all learned a lot from this experience from budgeting to time management and accountability. Working in a team was also a great part of this project.

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

G.I.R.L. Stories: I am a risk-taker

Submitted by Cassidy C., G.I.R.L.  Media Star

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

This year will be my 11th year as a Girl Scout. Throughout my Girl Scouting career, I have learned how to be a respectful, honest, and confident individual. Even though I’m an outspoken person now, I used to be shy. I would never share my opinions during class or talk about my day once I got home. When my mom told me I had to sell Girl Scout Cookies to complete strangers, I almost lost it!  Even though I was frightened, my mom did the right thing.  I was able to gain confidence by just asking “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” By gaining this needed skill, I have become more talkative and outgoing.

I would consider myself to be a risk taker. When I was younger, I didn’t like trying new things. Now, I love going on exciting adventures. In seventh grade, I took the risk of trying out to be a local Girl Scout Media Star. I was nervous for my interview, but I was able to memorize all the information. Once I got there, I knew I was well-prepared and ready to take on the challenge. Now, three years later, I have been selected to be one of the six older Girl Scouts across the country to be on the G.I.R.L. Media Team for the Convention in October 2017. I’m excited to see where my next risk-taking adventure goes.

How has Girl Scouts helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, or leader)? Share your Girl Scout story and photos using the Share Your Stories form.

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Marieke van Erven, Brighton, “VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I worked with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education). VOTE takes education about the elections department into high school government classes. The education includes the “behind the scenes” of a ballot, what happens during an election, security measures taken, and many other important aspects of the Elections Department. We also put on a student government to give students of all grade levels the experience of a “true” election.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I measured the impact of my Gold Award by the number of students reached, 28 with education, and the feedback they gave on a survey. 26/28 felt they learned something they didn’t already know and better understood the Elections Department and what they do. VOTE will be continued through the Adams County Elections Department, which means that students will continue to be educated on the importance of voting, and the work the Elections Department does. Through feedback my team and I received from the students and the teacher, we revised the program to make it stronger for next year.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My project will continue through the Adams County Elections Department and will grow to reach more students. The current goal is to have VOTE in every high school in Adams County boundaries, then looking for further growth options. We are hoping to reach four high schools next year and continue to expand after that. Our thoughts and goals for expansion include reaching beyond Adams County at the state level.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

Elections are a hot button topic for many people, especially after the 2016 General Election. VOTE addresses concerns that were seen at the national level. As a team, we are starting small with our education, but that will also grow to incorporate what is happening. High school government students learn about elections in the United States but may also look at elections abroad and the systems used, this helps to give them a deeper understanding and better connection to relate the electoral system to.

What did you learn about yourself?

During my Gold Award, I learned that I can work through obstacles. I hit several spots in my project where I could’ve easily given up. I had to change my project late in the year and then put a lot of work into making sure the VOTE program went into classrooms before the school year was over. Hard work pays off, and there is always another option when something seems impossible.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

Earning my Gold Award has given me more confidence in myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. I will now look at projects with a different perspective knowing that I can push myself further than I thought was possible and overcome any obstacle put in my way. If you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. As I am heading into college, this will be an especially important reminder that I will carry with me.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

Earning my Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout Experience because it was a good way to wrap up my time as a Girl Scout before moving to an adult member. I have been in Girl Scouts since Daisy’s and have grown up watching girls earn their Gold Awards. Watching my older Girl Scout sisters earning these awards and positively impacting the community around them was an inspiration to me. It taught me that I could one day have a similar impact on those around me, and it drove me to continue my Girl Scout journey even when I was busy with school and sports. I looked up to my Girl Scout sisters, and want to be that inspiration for other younger girls.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me learn to become a go-getter because of the challenges I faced. Changing my project in the middle of the year was not something I had planned on doing. I wanted to give up, but I knew there was still a difference I could make in my community. I had to look at the problem I had in a different way and see another issue that needed to be addressed. I, then, worked with the elections team to gain high school support. This project made me step outside my comfort zone and prove to many people that I am not just another high school student, I am a professional in this area. There was an obstacle proving this to my teachers and peers alike, as they have only ever seen me as a student.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

GSUSA allows girls to raise funds to help Girl Scout sisters affected by hurricanes

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Many Girl Scouts and troops have been asking how they can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

When girls have experienced natural disasters like these and are surrounded by recovery efforts, participating in Girl Scouts can be one way to help them, and their families, feel some sense of normalcy.

That’s why GSUSA, with the strong support of the National Board, is lifting fundraising restrictions to enable girls to raise money for Girl Scouting recovery efforts at the four impacted councils: Girl Scouts of San Jacinto, Girl Scouts of Greater South Texas, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, and Girl Scouts of Louisiana–Pines to the Gulf.

Fundraising efforts will be undertaken with the sole intention of providing membership scholarships to impacted girls. Such scholarships are typically defined as dues, uniforms, credentials (e.g., insignia worn on uniforms), and Girl Scout materials. To contribute to this effort, please go to www.girlscouts.org/hurricaneharvey or text HurricaneHarvey to 41444. You can give to the fund for all four councils, which GSUSA will distribute based on their need, as defined by impacted membership, or you can choose a specific council.

The impacted councils remain so grateful for the outpouring of support. However, please note that these councils continue to ask for time to assess and focus on their specific needs and to get back up and running during this critical time. Although material donations and troop offers of assistance have been greatly appreciated, as you can imagine, the councils are not currently in a position to process and organize them.

Stay tuned for more information from GSUSA and councils on how Girl Scouts can support other Girl Scouts during this time, for example by teaming up on projects that troops in these areas are carrying out to support recovery efforts in their communities. GSUSA will be sending out an Action Guide on Disaster Relief early next week.

And sadly, while we are working to support our members and their families whom Harvey has negatively impacted, we are also monitoring Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose behind it for possible impact on our members.

It’s been an incredibly challenging time for many people in the affected areas, and Girl Scouts have displayed tremendous courage, confidence, and character during such a trying time. It’s been heartening to see so many in our Movement come together to help the affected communities in their time of need.

Harvey Relief Guide 9-11-17

Troop 3505 earns Silver Award with community garden project

Submitted by Danica Lucker

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Girl Scout Troop 3505, a group of four Cadettes in Highlands Ranch, earned their Silver Award by creating and completing a community garden at Ranch View Middle School on June 29, 2017. For the four girls: Elise, 14; Emily, 14; Abigail, 14; and Madison, 14; the project was more than a year and a half in the planning, and it will make a lasting contribution to the middle school where they attended in the community of Highlands Ranch. The project included budgeting and raising funds to completely revamp the space; working with a local nursery to design a garden layout; providing 20 xeriscape plants for the garden site; working with Douglas County Schools and Girl Scouts of Colorado to obtain the appropriate approvals to work at the site; and providing and completing all the labor to install the new garden. These tasks included weeding, tilling, planting, and mulching the outdoor garden space. The girls created the space in hopes that it can be used as an outdoor classroom and community space for Ranch View. In addition, the four girls have continued to work with a teacher sponsor at Ranch View Middle School to create a garden club to sustain it into the future.

For more information on the project, contact Troop Leaders Danica Lucker at (303) 791-0835, or Carolee Weitzel at (303) 470-3978.

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