Category Archives: Girl Scout News

Gold Awardees gather for Girl Scout Week reception

Past and present Gold Awardees, along with Girl Scouts of Colorado Women of Distinction and Board Members, gathered to celebrate Girl Scout Week with a reception at the Denver Public Library. Thank you  to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame for hosting the event. Everyone enjoyed learning about the inspiring women in the Hall of Fame and visiting with different generations of Girl Scouts.

Gold Awardee Christina Bear delivered the following speech to the crowd:

Today is a celebration…a celebration of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards. We are honored to be in the presence of several Girl Scouts of Colorado Board members and Women of Distinction. Most of all we are ecstatic to introduce our newest Gold Award recipients to a lifelong sisterhood.

This is a special year as 2016 marks “100 Years of Leadership” – a century since the highest award was created. The Gold Award has been called the “Golden Eagle of Merit” the “Golden Eaglet”, the “Curved Bar”, and the “First Class” since 1916.

This spring, we celebrate 47 girls who have earned their Gold Award. Over 1,500 Girl Scouts have also earned Silver and Bronze Awards this year and, we are immensely proud of their accomplishments as well.

Each one of you here tonight has a special characteristic…that of Commitment.

From the time a Girl Scout presents her Gold Award Proposal to the Committee, there is dedication to a cause. In spite of the “bumps” in the road and wondering sometimes if she’ll ever get her project to a point of completion and write her final report…it’s dedication and faithfulness that gets her through.

I want to take a special moment to remember our Gold Award mentors. If we take the time to learn about what they have done in the past, I’m sure they have amazing stories of commitment. It’s exactly that mindset that is imparted during mentorship – we learn so much from their experiences. And that’s what makes Girl Scouts a very special organization – the mentoring. Please join me in applause for our mentors.

During my Gold Award process, I learned things I never would have otherwise. My mentor, Rae Ann Dougherty, a Girl Scout for 45 years, Woman of Distinction, engineer, and entrepreneur suggested that I write an Executive Summary for my project. I had no idea what that was. I soon discovered that an Executive Summary is intended for use in decision-making and is described as the most important part of a business plan.

As you go through the rest of high school, I want to tell you first-hand that the skills you learned in the Gold Award Process will come to good use. Speaking on the phone, shaking hands, looking at people in the eye, writing goals, establishing budgets. It’s no wonder that job recruiters are more likely to hire a Gold Awardee!

Less than 3% of Girl Scouts throughout the nation earn their Gold Award. This is a very special group, a small group that knows all that goes into doing a project worthy of the Gold Award. Your projects have all earned Gold because they are not merely community service projects. They are Take Action projects, which sets Gold Awards apart.

Most young people don’t think about Impact when they do a project. They don’t think about Sustainability. As teenagers, we’re used to living in the moment. The Gold Award process is unique because it pushes us to think beyond a one-time community service project. Though the concepts of Impact and Sustainability seem impossible at times, that’s what true leaders accomplish when they want to bring about change.

Today, we have Women of Distinction in the room who know the meaning of commitment. Like our highest awardees, these women know how to take commitment to achievement! Along the way, there are risks and hurdles, and I am sure they have been there. Now, it’s time for our generation to follow in their footsteps.

I salute you my fellow Girl Scouts…For setting goals and following them to completion. Today, you join the ranks of those whom we consider achievers. Think about the lessons you have learned. Think about the personal changes that you have made. Think about the people you have met and perhaps touched or inspired along the way…And all because you made a bold step of COMMITMENT.

Congratulations on a job well done.

 

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kellyn Dassler, Parker, “Year of the Teacher”

Kellyn Dassler

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

“Year of the Teacher” is an annual, year-long project at Chaparral High School and now neighboring schools, which promotes a greater respect and appreciation for educators within schools and communities, while increasing awareness about educational issues within the community and country. Each month, individual students or student clubs implemented tangible service projects for teachers to provide tangible service and respect for educators throughout the building. This included eight main projects for each month of the school year, such as a staff car wash, candy jars, and free babysitting, in addition to supplemental projects that extend the impact of the project, keep educators’ spirits up, and show appreciation for not only teachers, but support staff and administration as well.

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

Throughout the project, I monitored impact on staff and students through several surveys, receiving positive comments as well as areas for improvement. For example, 100% of the teachers I surveyed felt a positive, appreciative atmosphere after the project’s initiation, and many offered suggestions for more appreciation ideas. However, the most powerful measurements of impact were the moments of personal connection that the project created. After Interact Club quickly washed a math teacher’s car before she had to run off and pick up her kids from school, she emailed me later, saying “Thanks to you and your crew for the best 2 minute car wash EVER! I think it was better than all $6, five-minute car washes [I’ve paid for]!” Later in the year, a group of students wrote an individual note to each teacher, thanking and encouraging them for their dedication. Afterwards, a teacher whose day was especially stressful broke down in tears, and he told the club adviser that his note made his day so much better and reminded him why he wanted to become a teacher in the first place. It was such moments that made the project truly successful and meaningful.

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

“Year of the Teacher” is intrinsically designed to continue in future years. Each club that I worked with has made their project an annual event that will continue long after I leave Chaparral High School. Interact Club, for example, has already continued the free car wash that we put on for teachers at the beginning of the year in 2014. National Honor Society will continue to do annual babysitting during the month of November and again during teacher conferences, and every other club will continue their events as well.

In addition to continuation at Chaparral High School, “Year of the Teacher” has expanded to other schools in Douglas County and Cherry Creek School Districts in the 2015-16 school year. Grandview High School’s Student Government has agreed to implement the project at their school this year as well. I have also created a website (yearoftheteacher.wix.com/givebacktoteachers) and downloadable, 27-page “Year of the Teacher Starter Kit” that includes background information, an action plan, step-by- step instructions and 10 pages of resources and promotional materials in order for these schools to seamlessly plan and implement the project. Thus, future students at my school and other schools can easily find information and ideas for introducing and continuing the project, providing ongoing sustainability.

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

In 2014, the National Education Association reported that as much as 30-percent of all U.S. teachers leave the classroom within the first five years, while professionals with the same levels of education, such as healthcare, finance and business professionals only experienced an average turnover rate of 15.7% (CompData Surveys). High stress environments, lack of community engagement, low compensation and lack of support leave teachers feeling unappreciated and lacking a sense of purpose. Segun Eubanks, director for Teacher Quality at NEA says, “educators want a sense of purpose, success and a feeling that they are making a difference in their students’ lives.” Thus, “Year of the Teacher” created a solution to this problem and addressed teacher attrition rates and lack of support at a local, school-based level.

In order to create a project that truly influenced others on a national level, I created a “Year of the Teacher Starter Kit” as mentioned above. This Starter Kit can be downloaded, along with promotional materials and other resources from my website, yearoftheteacher.wix.com/givebacktoteachers, allowing the project to expand to anyone who has Internet access, therefore expanding the impact nationally and increasing the effect of its objectives.

What did you learn about yourself?

After spending just over 100 hours and a year organizing, coordinating and implementing 10 different student service projects for teachers, I learned that it truly takes an entire community to make a difference. I found that I am very passionate about service and empathy for others, and I am always ready to commit to a challenge and bring people together for a positive cause, but it is through the empowerment of others and the collaboration, support and dedication of others that makes any form of service worthwhile and successful.

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

The Girl Scout Gold Award pushed me to go above my own expectations and limits to make a sustainable difference in my community and has enabled me to become a more involved citizen, empowering and empathetic leader, and spirited community member. I will be able to take this deeper understanding of change and community with me in my future endeavors at college, as a Girl Scout volunteer, and in life to make a greater difference in my world.

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

The Girl Scout Gold Award united all that I learned in Girl Scouts into one powerful project that enabled me to create sustainable change in my community. Girl Scouts shaped the way I see the world and how I interact with others in the world, teaching me that friendship, leadership, empowerment and community allow us to spread our light in the world, and experience life to the utmost. Thus, the Gold Award culminated a ten year-long experience and spurred on inspiration that will carry me throughout the rest of my life.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Lauren Moran, Colorado Springs, “Music: The Bridge Between the Gap”

LaurenMoran

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I had noticed a generation gap between teenagers and the elderly, and wished to bring these two age groups closer together by diffusing stereotypes each group held of the other. In order to do this, I started a music program at a local retirement community, Cheyenne Place, in which high school musicians performed monthly for and visited with the residents.

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

I measured the impact of my project through the responses I received from both the residents and musicians, and through surveys the musicians completed at the end of the final concert. For my project, I focused on the amount of impact I could have on the moderately-sized group I worked with. The responses were overwhelming; both age groups greatly enjoyed the experience, and both felt that they had been brought closer to the other generation. In fact, the project was such a success that teenagers and residents asked for the project to continue throughout the school year.

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

While my band director and the activities director of the retirement community have agreed to continue my project in Colorado Springs, I have also created a program manual. I am currently in the process of sending this manual to band programs, Girl Scout troops/councils, and retirement communities that I have worked with and been a part of throughout my relocations as a military child. This is a fairly flexible and easy-to-maintain project, so I am optimistic that other communities will be able to continue the program and help to bridge the generation gap in other parts of the nation.

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

This program truly does affect the students involved for the rest of their lives, as it helps to create teenagers – future adults – with a greater respect and appreciation for the elderly. This decreases the national generation gap between teenagers and the elderly. The flexibility of this program also plays a part in the national connection. I wrote the project manual with every type of community I could think of in mind, in order to increase the number of areas it can affect. Almost every part of the country has some type of music program, be it choral, instrumental, etc., and there are retirement communities all over as well. Combining the two is something anyone with a passion for music and a desire to help can do.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about my limits in communication and assertiveness. I am very much an introvert and a people-pleaser, and I had not anticipated the amount of pushing it would take to get this project rolling. Once it became more of an established program, it was easier to get people involved. When people don’t really know what they are getting into, however, advertising is extremely important. I made numerous announcements in school, contacted people, and talked to them personally. Pushing involvement in a new, unknown program was a very exhausting task for me, but I was able to minimize the trepidation I had of convincing people to try something new. Once they tried it, they realized how rewarding the experience could be and kept coming back. I believe I grew greatly in confidence and communication, along with assertiveness in promoting the program. I have even noticed improvement in other areas of my life as these key qualities of leadership grew in me.

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

Earning my Gold Award greatly increased my confidence in myself and my abilities to lead. Knowing that I can create, organize, and run a program like this is very empowering. While I’m involved in many different extracurricular activities, none of them offered me as strong a leadership experience as the Gold Award. I feel more capable and confident in many areas of my life as a result of this: in school, in relationships, in volunteer activities, and in other community projects.

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

In many ways, the Gold Award was a culmination of all of my years in Girl Scouts. After 12 years, it was a fitting way to say goodbye and use all of the skills I learned through Girl Scouts. It forced me to grow, and enabled me to explore my abilities in a way I hadn’t before. It was definitely the most rewarding aspect of my Girl Scout experience.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Lauren McBeth, Aurora, “House of Words in Tierra Park”

 

Lauren McBeth

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project I built a Little Free Library for Tierra. The library can be used by anyone who wants to read. The goal for my project was to encourage people of all ages to read more.

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

Within one week of planting the library, there were new books and all the Dr. Seuss books were gone. I have also received responses from people on the Facebook page I created.

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

The Aurora Libraries is committed to working with the Aurora Parks and Recreation District for the security of the “House of Words in Tierra Park”. The Interact Club (High School Rotary) at Cherokee Trail High School has committed to checking and restocking the house quarterly.

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

Nationally, I will be connecting through the House of Words in Tierra Park Facebook page and the Little Free Library organization registration and map of world-wide locations.  Globally, I will be traveling to three countries via Girl Scouts and will visit a local library in London where I will place books with my Facebook connection and leave bookmarks with the links to the Facebook page “House of Words in Tierra Park” and the “Little Free Library” site.

What did you learn about yourself?

Without a commitment to Girl Scouts I might not have learned the strength and tenacity it takes to survive challenges.

I also learned that I am smart, strong, able to organize and direct others, I am sensitive to the needs of my community, able to adapt to challenges, and perfectly capable of making the world a better place. I am proud to represent the Girl Scouts of Colorado.

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

I am currently nominated to the United States Naval Academy and while I wait to hear about a future with the Academy, I know that the Gold Award allowed me to truly embody the meaning of serving others. This will always be carried forward.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts for 12 years now and I have had many opportunities through Girl Scouts. The Gold Award was a great way to wrap up my Girl Scout experience because I was able to use all that I have learned in Girl Scouts in my project. Also, finishing my senior year out with my Gold Award Project has meant a lot because I was able to give back to a community that has given me so much.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Meredith Greer, Golden, “Sharing and Caring: For Health and Life”

Meredith Greer

What did you do for you Gold Award project?

My Gold Award Project addressed the hygiene area at the Jeffco Action Center. The Action Center is an organization in Lakewood that provides shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities to people in need. I identified three main problems with the hygiene area: first, a lack of organization and accessibility for volunteers to create kits; second, a lack of supplies to distribute; and third, a need for sustainable organizations to consistently donate. I attempted to reorganize the area despite many roadblocks, and I succeeded in increasing community support and awareness.

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

The Action Center has 80 to 100 clients request personal supplies every week. The personals area is consistently low on supplies; one day in August 2015, there were only four kits ready for the next day and they had no idea when the next donations were coming in. This meant that around 20 people who came in the following day would have to go without these supplies. Key Club alone donated 546 items throughout the month of October. My sustainability groups have donated 595 items so far, and I have received over 100 items from various people outside of these organizations.

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

I set up ongoing donations at two organizations, both of which have sent me letters of commitment. Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden has already donated 194 items and has committed to calling for donations every March and September. InstaKey Security Systems in Lakewood has already donated 401 items with the goal of donating a minimum of four kits per week or a total of 832 items per calendar year. InstaKey has embraced the idea of recruiting for sustainability, with the goal of recruiting at least four more organizations to commit in 2016.

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

I was able to connect with a lady from Idaho due to one of my education speeches; she personally donated 194 items to my project and is now inspired to start a similar project for a local shelter in her town. She is working through the youth group at her church, First Christian Church, which is located in Nampa, Idaho. I received a letter of commitment from the reverend of the church expressing their enthusiasm about starting a similar project inspired by mine.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am perseverant. I started this project in early 2014, and initially planned to finish by the end of the year–now, almost two years later, I am finally finishing the project I never thought I would be able to do. I also learned that I can be a leader and inspire others to care about the same issues I care about.

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

Earning the Gold Award provided me with confidence in my leadership abilities. I gained a very valuable experience with setting up meetings, coordinating between various organizations, and speaking publicly in front of large groups. I will be able to use these skills in any job I have in the future.

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

Being a Girl Scout taught me how to be a leader alongside the other girls in my troop, but earning my Gold Award taught me that I can lead on my own. Overall, Girl Scouts was very important in building a community and learning to work as a team, but the Gold Award not only developed my individual strength but taught me how to build and coordinate my own teams.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Sarah Greichen, Centennial, “Score A Friend”

Sarah Greichen

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My twin brother has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and beginning in middle school, he experienced a lack of inclusion in school clubs and sports, as well as an overall lack of friendships. I immersed myself in the “disability world,” learning about disabilities, public laws and personal rights, inclusion, community resources, and the numerous stories of children and families.  I quickly determined that kids with disabilities meet friends through school, sports, and clubs just like all other children and became an activist for school-based Unified Clubs, Unified Sports, and Unified Elective Courses. In 2013, my brother and I were appointed to our state’s Special Olympic Youth Activation Committee.  It was then that I learned about Special Olympics Project UNIFY and identified with Partner Clubs as the key component to building inclusive schools and Unified Friendships – or friendships between kids with and without disabilities.  I established Score A Friend, Inc. as a non-profit organization.  I worked within my school district and community to build Unified Clubs and Sports Programs.  In 2015, I designed the Score A Friend Club Model and web-based Score A Friend Program to activate and support youth leaders everywhere to build Score A Friend Clubs in all schools and advance inclusion throughout the world.

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

  • Kids with disabilities and their families gained knowledge and skills, as well as shifts in attitude and approach, regarding their right to equal access and opportunities within their schools and communities
  • Parents learned how to access other parents for support, resources, and opportunities for advocacy through Score A Friend programs and website
  • Kids with disabilities were given opportunities to actively participate with typical peers in school during school lunch, events, and non-core courses
  • Kids with disabilities gained opportunities to participate in year-round Unified Sports in their schools & communities
  • Kids made friends and experienced Unified Friendships
  • Kids with disabilities learned about numerous community resource options and gained skills to access them
  • Kids with disabilities gained access to Score A Friend Clubs in their schools
  • Kids will have access to Unified Elective Courses in schools

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

My project is sustainable through the Score A Friend, Inc. Non-Profit Organization:

  • A Board of Directors is in place, and I am serving as the “Founder/Chief Executive Advisor” – until I am 18 years old and can become the Chief Executive Officer. The Board is committed to supporting and growing the program.
  • The Score a Friend Website provides the Score a Friend Program to the world. Clubs will complete an annual online Registration From and Final Report. Clubs can access all program forms, resources, and online store items from the website.  All clubs will be posted on the website and be able to connect and share stories through the Score A Friend Facebook Page.
  • School-based Score A Friend Clubs at Front Range Christian School and Louisiana State University, as well as many new school clubs, will build and sustain the program in schools and communities throughout the world.

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

  • Nationally, schools support students and parents to start new clubs within their schools. The Score A Friend Club Web-based Program gives students a quick and easy guide to start a new club.  Score A Friend staff is available to provide consultation and support to youth leaders starting new clubs and building inclusion in their schools and communities.
  • Globally, youth leaders and adults that support them can access the World Wide Web and access Score A Friend. Over time, I plan to translate Score A Friend materials and make them available to schools worldwide.  I plan to work with Special Olympics, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other global organizations to promote awareness of kids with disabilities issues around the globe and determine a plan to address them, country-by-country, community-by-community, and school-by-school.

What did you learn about yourself?

·      Score A Friend is what I want to do for my future career on a global level

  • I have the passion and skills to make a difference in the world
  • I am an effective advocate and activist for kids with disabilities
  • I persevere when I meet obstacles and challenges
  • I interact and engage well with people with disabilities, as well as other youth peers and adults
  • I am creative and skilled at program design and ideas for clubs for kids
  • I have lots more to learn to be an effective advocate and to change the world for kids with disabilities
  • Being a Girl Scout has made a powerful and life-long impact on my life – shaping my overall life goals and career plan
  • Most importantly, my brother is my best friend and I am proud of him!

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

  • At Front Range Christian School, during the 2016-2017 school year, I will have opportunities to grow my leadership skills and build inclusion locally and globally.
  • As Score A Friend, Inc. CEO, I have many Score A Friend Program goals that will build my leadership skills, while advancing inclusion in the world.
  • Special Olympics will continue to support me to build my leadership skills, while working together to build inclusion in the world
  • Educating and inspiring youth around the world will build my leadership skills, while also activating youth leaders to join the unified generation and change the world.

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

The Gold Award was a culmination of all I have learned in my 12 years as a Girl Scout. It allowed me to actively pursue, practice, and achieve all aspects of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. It gave me the opportunity to identify my passion and talent, and to experience real-world applications of community service and my leadership skills. The Gold Award was the most important part of my Girl Scout experience and was an honor to achieve. It will always be my greatest first step toward a future focused and committed to leadership, service, and making the world a better place.

**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

Celebrate Girl Scouts’ 104th Birthday

The Girl Scouts of Colorado History Committee is celebrating Girl Scouts’ 104th birthday by releasing a new collection of historical photos.

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You can view all of them on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/albums/72157665111878481

You and your troop are also invited to join us for a birthday celebration.

When: Saturday, March 12, 2016 * 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Denver Public Library, 7th Floor, Vida Ellison Gallery
10 W. Fourteenth Ave. Pkwy. Denver 80204

Here are some resources to help you and your troop plan your trip downtown.

This year, the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is hosting an exhibit of their 146 inductees, 39 of whom are Girl Scouts of Colorado Women of Distinction. The exhibitors have generously extended an invitation for Girl Scouts of Colorado to host activities during Girl Scout week.

All girls in attendance will receive a special event patch.

10 – 11 a.m. : Highest Awards and Take Action training for troop leaders (registration required)

11:30 a.m. : Sing-A-Long with GSCO Songbirds choir!

Noon : Council Update from President & CEO Stephanie Foote

12:30-3:30 p.m. The Girl Scout Way Badge workshop for Brownies, Juniors,  Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Come celebrate and complete requirements towards this fun badge. Daisies are welcome to join the fun, too!

Stop by for anytime activities including birthday refreshments, tours of the Women’s Hall of Fame exhibit, badge earning opportunities and service projects. Also, see the GSCO archives roadshow and meet the History Committee! Bring your own Girl Scout memorabilia to be identified by the committee!

Questions? Contact Heidi.books@gscolorado.org or 303-607-4833

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Tina Gilbert, Castle Pines, “A Landscape Re-imagined”

Tina Gilbert

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a more welcoming, more aesthetically pleasing, wheelchair accessible outdoor area at the Denver Fisher House. I designed it so current and former service members and their families during their stay would benefit and enjoy the space while they are undergoing intensive medical procedures.

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

I measured my impact based upon the actual changes made in the space and on the people that relied upon the area. While I was driving my project, it was important to me that I met and exceeded the Fisher House’s expectations, because they are a very worthy organization. My overall goal was to make the area more accessible, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing.  In accomplishing that, I have deemed my project a success.

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

I created my project with sustainability in mind. I used long-lasting materials, such as concrete edging and quality paint, and I planted perennials so they would come back each year, without having to be replanted.  My project can go weeks or months without attention, due to the materials, and Colorado environment.

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

The Fisher House is a global organization, with 69 houses currently in operation in several countries, and plans to build several more houses in coming years. In addition, the people that stay at the Denver Fisher House are stationed all over the world, and they are the ones who will benefit from my project.  I also sent out booklets to every Fisher House in the world, detailing my project and partnership with the Denver Fisher House.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project taught me coordination, communication, leadership, and problem solving skills that would otherwise have been impossible to gain. Most of all, my journey taught me to be realistic in my expectations and timeline.  I learned how to step back and ask myself, “Is this attainable on my current timeline?” before I began, and to refine my plan or timeline if I found that it was not possible in its current state.

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

I believe that the skills that I have learned because of this project will stay with me for the rest of my life, but they are not done developing. I believe that I will continue to enhance my ability to lead a diverse group of people who may be older and much more experienced than I am.  A key part of leadership is the desire and the drive to make yourself and those around you better, this project has taught me that.  I will continue to learn about different leadership and motivational techniques and I will learn how to execute them in a way that will benefit all with whom I work.  I have laid a foundation of leadership skills and confidence upon which I will build my future.

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

I feel my entire Girl Scout journey has built up to my Gold Award. It was in many ways the final test of the skills I have learned.  My project tested my creativity and leadership abilities, however I was well prepared to take on this challenge.  Girl Scouts produces strong young women who are able to act as individuals and leaders, and that is exactly what is needed to accomplish a project of this scale.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Cassidy Klein, Highlands Ranch, “Imagination Station”

Cassidy Klein

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I created a fruitful, up-to-date library for the children living at Joshua Station, which is a transitional housing community in Denver that assists families as they make the transition from homelessness to a stable living environment. Currently, there are about 30 families living at Joshua Station, and among these families are more than 70 children. Overall, I collected over 2,900 new and gently used books in donations! I also started hosting a children’s book club there over the summer and continue to host it monthly.

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

Before I started my project, I took inventory of the books that Joshua Station already had and what the library space looked like. They originally had around 500 books that were in poor condition and shelves that needed repair. The books were unorganized, and the kids didn’t really utilize the space. Now that my project is finished, the library has about 1,800 new and up-to-date books, as well as high quality shelves and a clean-looking space in the library room. When I go for open library time twice a month, I have multiple kids and families come in to check out books. I also added a reading nook to the front entrance space at Joshua Station, and kids now hang out down there and read books, whereas before they didn’t have a space like that to spend time together and read. I brought extra books to four Seeds of Hope schools in the Denver area, and I received thank-you notes from them saying how the books were in circulation already and that the kids were loving them.

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

The main way my project will be sustained is through the addition of brand new books to the Joshua Station library annually through Scholastic. I have received a letter of commitment from the Idyllwilde HOA community in Parker. They hold a Scholastic book fair each spring, and Arelene Jimenez, the committee head who runs it, has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds each year to new Scholastic books for Joshua Station children and families. Kristi Stuart from Scholastic and June Zelkin from Idyllwilde have helped me in organizing this. I’m excited that new, updated books will continue to be added to Joshua Station to keep the kids engaged and excited about reading!

My project will also be sustained through the continuation of monthly book club. Katy Hurstein, the ThunderRidge High School feeder area Girl Scout director, helped seek out girls age 12 and up who will sign up to lead book club once a month. These girls will be in contact with Julie-Anne Strivings, the volunteer coordinator at Joshua Station who will help with dates and times. Book club will be carried on through these younger girls, and I know that they will make wonderful friendships with the kids at Joshua Station like I did.

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

“Imagination Station” achieved a Global/National link by growing and expanding beyond the original site at Joshua Station into four separate sites located in the city of Denver. I collected over 2,900 books in donations through the book drive I held at Tattered Cover Aspen Grove from June 1-July 31 and the Scholastic book fair held at Idyllwilde Community in May. Not all of these books could fit on the shelves at Joshua Station, and I had an overflow of about 1,300 books. With these carefully selected books, I separated them into picture books and chapter books and put them into boxes. I then took these boxes to four Seeds of Hope Schools in the Denver area which were Guardian Angels school, St. Bernadette school, St. Rose school, and St. Therese school. Seeds of Hope schools are inner-city Catholic elementary schools that are non-profit and mostly cater to low-income and impoverished families. The libraries in the schools lack very good quality books, which is mostly what I received in donations, so I was happy to give the extra books to these four schools. Guardian Angels school sent me a handmade letter in the mail that every single child signed and wrote a note of thank you for the books. The librarian at Guardian Angels also sent me pictures of students with the books in use and pictures of books on the shelves. I also got an email from the principal at St. Bernadette that personally thanked me for the books.

What did you learn about yourself?

What I learned about myself through my project is that I can accomplish tremendous tasks if I just try. I found that if I’m open to possibilities, things will work out wonderfully. This project seemed almost impossible when I was first coming up with ideas, and I seriously doubted that I would be able to finish, but I decided to put my fear and uncertainty aside. My project became a reality because I put all my energy, devotion, and determination into it. I chose something I was truly passionate about, and I think that made a huge difference in my attitude. I’ve learned to follow through with what I start and to never pass up opportunities because they seem too daunting or difficult. Something really important that I’ve learned that I will remember my whole life is to ask for help. The only reason my Gold Award was a success was through the help and generosity of other people. It’s truly astounding how willing others are to help if only I would ask for it.

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

I’ve found self-confidence through this project because I’ve realized that I am capable of organizing a project so big and following through with it. I’ve made beautiful friendships with the kids at Joshua Station which has kept me passionate. In the future, I will carry the determination and ambition that this project required and take those things with me as I lead other projects. Especially since I want to go into journalism, I will take the skills I learned from this project and apply that to taking on a big story or going out of my comfort zone to bring light to a situation. I want to write for a change, and my project definitely inspired me to believe that I really can make a change.

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

My Gold Award journey has been one of the greatest and most impactful experiences of my life! I remember hearing girls talk about their Gold Awards after my troop earned our Silver Award at a ceremony years ago. Ever since then I’ve wanted to earn my Gold Award, and now that I have, I realize how powerful girls can be. Girl Scouts has inspired me to make a difference in the world, and I will carry this determination and passion with me my whole life. I’m thankful for Girl Scouts for helping shape me into the strong young woman I am today. You can definitely earn your Gold Award if you set your mind to it. Make your project a labor of love and choose something that you really care about. Once you begin working, it won’t feel like work and the reward will be priceless!

**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

 

Earn the Hometown Heroes/ Gift of Caring Patch

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The 2016 Girl Scout Cookies sale is quickly coming to a close! Help us salute our Hometown Heroes by selling 50 (or more) packages of Hometown Hero /Gift of Caring cookies between Friday, March 11 and Sunday, March 13. Any Girl Scout who does will receive a free, special-order fun patch after completing this online form (https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/hthgocpatch). Be sure to include your goals, Hometown Hero, and troop number, along with a fun pic of you and your troop! The deadline to complete the form is Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

  • This patch is for Girl Scouts of Colorado girl members only.
  • This form will not be open until March 11, 2016