Category Archives: Girl Scout News

Top Sellers celebrate at Glenwood Caverns

154 Girl Scouts and guests gathered on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs to celebrate “cookiebosses” who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies. Top Sellers and their guests enjoyed the Caverns’ many rides, tours, and attractions while also being treated to a Fajita Bar lunch, during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. The Glenwood Caverns event was attended by four of the state’s top 17 sellers for the 2016 sale.

 

Join Miguel Dakota around the campfire at the Centennial Kickoff Celebration

Submitted by Mickki Langston

Signing is a joyous part of the Girl Scout experience. For many girls, learning and signing songs is one of the most memorable experiences at camp. Singing Girl Scout songs brings us together and weaves tradition throughout the many generations of Girl Scouts.

The first Girl Scout song book was published in 1925! Singing can be used to open and close meetings, punctuate ceremonies, and make work more pleasurable.

Here’s a great photo of Senior Girl Scouts singing in 1959.

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President Obama and the First Lady recently joined Girl Scouts in singing around a campfire.

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If you’re looking for great resources for Girl Scout songs, check out the Girl Scout Pocket Songbook for purchase from the GSUSA shop, and the many songs found on the Girl Scouts Songs youtube channel.

Not everyone has to have a songbird voice to have a good time, however. That’s why we’re excited Miguel Dakota, a Colorado singer who was a finalist on America’s Got Talent, is joining us for the Centennial Celebration on July 23, 2016. He’ll be singing around our campfire at 6:30 p.m. Here’s a video of Miguel covering “Do I Wanna Know” in the Garden of the Gods.

The event is less than a month away, so use this link to get your tickets now: http://bit.ly/1snj0uw 

Spread the word to all your Girl Scout sisters using our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1786101614959355/ 

See you around the campfire!

Meet the GSCO Recruitment Team

 

Mickki Langston

Mickki Langston- Recruitment Director

Mickki Langston leads growing the Girl Scouts of Colorado membership as our Recruitment Director. Mickki first joined GSCO in October 2015, by getting her own daughter involved as a new Daisy. Prior to Girl Scouts of Colorado, Mickki has supported her Colorado community as a member of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council; the founder and executive director of Mile High Business Alliance; and a youth mentor via Colorado Youth at Risk. In her spare time, Mickki makes homemade soap and other bath products, writes local news stories for the Wash Park Profile, and enjoys snuggling with her two aging pets, Lulu and Max.

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Elba Barr – Recruitment Specialist

Elba’s primary role is to share with girls the marvels and endless possibilities of Girl Scouts as a recruiter in the Pikes Peak region. Elba grew up a Girl Scout in Vermont and loves being the troop leader for her daughter’s troop.  Elba started with GSCO in July 2015 after retiring as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army. She and her husband have three kids– two human and one fur. “I love being part of organization that has been innovative and a safe place for girls for more than 100 years” she wrote.

Cricket Hawkins

Cricket Hawkins– Team Lead, Mountain Communities

Cricket joined Girl Scouts of Colorado in December 2010 never imagining the scope of her responsibilities would be so vast. She orchestrates all activities in our Mountain Communities as Team Lead and is the mastermind behind recruitment, volunteer support, and community visibility. Although she works remotely from 10,000 feet high in the Rockies, her daily connections with her volunteers and membership is limitless.  Enthusiasm, inspiration, passion, and many years of professional and volunteer experience are her tools for cultivating today’s Girl Scouts and tomorrow’s leaders.  When not communicating with members or driving to the far reaches of her region, Cricket can be found gardening, painting landscapes on old windows, and hiking with her four-legged best friend Sage.

Hilary Martin

Hilary Martin- Recruitment Specialist

From Craig to Telluride, Fruita to Glenwood Springs, Hilary is out in the community recruiting and promoting Girl Scouts across the Western Slope.  Hilary started in June 2014 after careers in television news and law enforcement dispatch. Hilary was a Girl Scout herself while growing up in Orange County, California. She loves spreading the message of Girl Scouts and growing membership across our diverse state.

Jennifer Raymond 

Jen Raymond- Recruitment and Volunteer Support Specialist

Jennifer Raymond comes to us with a background in Girl Scouts- she used to work for Chaparral/GS New Mexico Trails council as a Membership Development Director, leaving in 2009. She and her husband (and their kids) have found their way back to Durango. They couldn’t believe it when they saw the job posting – it was meant to be! Jennifer Raymond comes to us with a background in Girl Scouts- she used to work for Chaparral/GS New Mexico Trails council as a Membership Development Director, leaving in 2009. She and her husband (and their kids) have found their way back to Durango. They couldn’t believe it when they saw the job posting – it was meant to be!Jen Raymond came to us in January 2016 with a background in Girl Scouts.  She worked for five years at Chaparral/GS New Mexico Trails council as a Membership Development Director, leaving in 2009. Since then she has continued her career with nonprofit, community serving organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Adoption Exchange, and Capacity Builders. Jen’s husband was transferred to Cortez from Farmington, New Mexico. Shortly after, she found the job posting for Girl Scouts (serving southwest Colorado) and they took the plunge to move. She was so excited for this opportunity to be involved with Girl Scouts again.  Between Jen and her husband they have seven kiddos, two dogs, and a naughty cat. “We have quickly learned that we love hiking and enjoying the beauty of our new home state” she wrote. Jen loves being able to help provide the opportunity to girls and adults to share in the awesome Girl Scouts experience.  “There’s nothing better than seeing a girl who really is realizing her potential through the guidance of one of our amazing volunteers”.

Sarah Scalise

Sarah Scalise- Recruitment Specialist

Sarah works closely with community members and adult volunteers in Jefferson County to share opportunities with future Girl Scouts! As a girl member she loved camping trips and still enjoys lifelong friendships with her fellow Girl Scouts. Sarah returned as an adult member in 2012 (not including her year as Girl Guide in the UK) and ran a multi-level troop in south Chicago. After recruiting all of her friends to participate, Sarah realized it was time to apply her Girl Scout Leadership Experience to her career and began working for GSCO as a Recruitment Specialist in August 2015. Sarah is also a published author. Her work examines role models in popular culture and how young women struggle with themselves to achieve bodily acceptance. In addition to a love for reading and writing, Sarah is actively involved in Denver social justice organizing which refuels her passion for making the world a better place!

Christine Slomski

Christine Slomski – Recruitment Specialist

Since 2008, the Girl Scouts of the USA has captured Christine’s heart, but it wasn’t until August 2015 that the opportunity came to join the movement as a staff member! As a GSCO Recruiter in south-metro Denver, Christine enjoys spreading smiles and empowerment by sharing the mission of Girl Scouts at schools and community events. Christine is passionate to be of service to women and support women’s issues in the realm of health, well-being, and personal empowerment, so naturally she’s very proud to help Colorado’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders by way of Girl Scout programming! When she’s not in the field meeting with potential Girl Scout members, Christine enjoys learning about art, faraway places, holistic nutrition, and eastern philosophy. You’ll also find her at First Friday art walks, sauntering along trails in Denver parks, or sharing a cup of local chai or kombucha in the company of a good friend (or a great book) in Denver or Boulder.  There are no limits to an empowered woman with big dreams… And that starts with our girls. Watch out, world!

Carmen Valdez

Carmen Valdez, Recruitment Specialist

Carmen helps spread the word about Girl Scouts and works to recruit new girl and adult members in Pueblo and southeastern Colorado. She also organizes, promotes, and hosts adult recruitment events. Carmen is married with two children and in her spare time, she enjoys reading and sci-fi fandoms like Star Wars and Stark Trek.

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Jordyn Walker, Recruitment Specialist

As a Recruitment Specialist for Denver-metro, Jordyn loves spreading the word about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Jordyn started with GSCO in 2015 as a Seasonal Recruitment Specialist in the Pikes Peak region. When her time as a seasonal employee expired, she was transferred to Denver. Jordyn’s work now covers 10 school districts and her demographics span from the city of Denver to the rural plains. She loves how the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is adaptable to ALL girls. Jordyn was a Brownie Leader and loves to explore new mountain ranges and take long road trips!

** Note: This in no way is the extent of all of their responsibilities. Rather, a snippet to help you direct your questions appropriately. 

 

Top Sellers celebrate at the Marriott Hotel in Denver

57 Girl Scouts and their families gathered on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel in the Denver Tech Center to celebrate “cookiebosses” who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies. Top Sellers and their families enjoyed a sit down, plated dinner during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. Once dinner and the ceremony were done, girls danced to music by DJ Phil Soderborg, who has been providing entertainment and music at Top Seller events for years. This year’s dinner was also attended by Ciara Marie Quiogue Leal, the state’s top seller for 2016. She sold 7,118 packages!

Girl Scout Gold Award honored at Denver fundraiser

Submitted by Kay Shaw, Girl Scouts of Colorado Gold Award Mentor

Guests at the annual Tablescapes conducted by the Assistance League of Denver got the opportunity to see a table that honored the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award.  Tablescapes was held Thursday, June 9–Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Bosworth House in Denver.  This event is a fundraiser for the Assistance League.

Every year,  members of the league compete to design tables and share them with the public.  This year, Michelle Krawchik, a member of the League, and Girl Scout, with the help of Kay Shaw, a member of the Denver Gold Award Committee, designed a table to highlight the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award.  The table decorated in gold and white with a bouquet of yellow flowers,  had many badges girls might have achieved, as well as a sash, Girl Scout Cookies, an autograph book, a calendar, and uniform from the 1960’s, the time in which Kay received her award.  At the time Kay received her award, it was known as the Curved Bar.

In addition to the  15 tables  that had various themes,  guests were allowed  an opportunity to shop at various boutique stores.  After viewing the tables,  participants were treated to a lovely tea.  A Denver Girl Scout troop helped the League by cleaning tables and offering tea.   This event is an interesting  celebration that allows the community an opportunity to participate in fun activities as well as donate to the Assistance League which provides funds to help school children and senior citizens.

A great time was had by all!

Girls are heroes of their own stories

Submitted by Allison Snavely, Girl Scouts of Colorado Product Sales Specialist

I would love to extend a Girl Scout shout-out to Darcie Klassen, Girl Scouts of Colorado Community Outreach Manager!

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Darcie hosted her very own lecture at Denver Comic Con (Girls Are Heroes of Their Own Stories), delving into the ways in which female characters are traditionally represented in comics, video games, and film.

In true educator fashion, Darcie led her massive audience in pair-and-share discussions regarding the negative tropes female characters often find themselves victim to, as well as encouraging us to find champagne examples of those who break the mold! Those who shared their insight with the hall, like Bella (a Girl Scout from Parker), received a highly coveted participation sticker.

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Congratulations, Darcie! This marks two years in a row that Girl Scouts of Colorado has had positive representation at Comic Con. You did a fabulous job!

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Top Sellers celebrate at Colorado Renaissance Festival

143 Girl Scouts and guests gathered on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur to celebrate “cookiebosses” who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies. Top Sellers and their guests enjoyed the festival’s many shows and attractions while also being treated to a King’s Feast buffet, during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. The Renaissance Festival event was attended by two of the state’s top 17 sellers for the 2016 sale.

Arvada Girl Scout awarded 2016 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

 

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Congratulations to Charlotte B., an Arvada Girl Scout! She has been awarded the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship for a trip to Costa Rica in December 2016. To learn more about Charlotte’s trip and her experiences as a Girl Scout, please read a selection from the essay portion of her application.

The first reason that travel is important is that it allows the person to have more life experiences through experiencing different cultures.  If you travel to different places you have possibility to be able to understand more cultures, more languages, more religious views, and so much more. You get to learn these things first hand through experience by actually seeing how and what built up the foundation, and what created their culture.  By talking to the people that live there and what happens there. I learned this from when my family went to China.  When we talked to our guide and he or she helped us learn more about the history and the more that we learned about them as a people living in the modern world, we also got to experience more about the culture. We tasted more of the authentic cuisine and learned more about the Chinese and Tibetan people than anyone could ever learn in books.  We ate mixed meat intestines and they were pretty good. We saw people eating pigs hooves.  I learned that what we might think is gross, they would view it as a delicacy.  Another way that I learned travel gives you life experience through culture is from my Girl Scout trip last summer to California.  We saw multiple different types of art across the state. It was cool to see how each city in California was represented by different art forms.  An example would be in San Francisco, they had the spray paint art and various street crafts while in Cambria at Hearst Castle, there was classical watercolor and acrylic art hanging in the castle and marble statues everywhere.  We asked a local on Coronado Island where to find good food to eat and he sent us to an authentic Tacqueria in the barrio which served beef, pork, chicken, intestines and brains.  It scared most of my troopmates but I trusted our leader and we bravely marched in, waited in line, and had a fantastic meal and a fantastic story to go with it. 

Traveling can help you learn more from experience and to grow your life skills.  Traveling has helped me learn more about myself and how responsible a person I can be by stepping up my leadership skills.   It has allowed me to have a little bit more freedom in what I did and what I could be responsible for.  Whether I have been camping with my troop, traveling across the state, or visiting another state with my troop or traveling out of country with my family, traveling has helped me to grow in small ways and big ways.  From the very beginning with first grade camping to this past summer in California, we were allowed to choose all the clothes that we wore and had to make sure that it matched the weather plans. “Be Prepared” is a great motto when it comes to weather.  If I’m on top of a fourteener or a day at the ocean, “Be Prepared” for all types of weather.  An example was in Sequoia National Forest.  We hiked into the wilderness area with our backcountry gear for four days.  It was really sunny in the beginning of the day and the girls believed that it would be nice throughout the day and we just wearing shorts and a hoodie and then half way through the day it turned to cold weather with hail and rain.  We were all really cold and we learned that we needed to be more responsible and check the weather the night before and the morning of.  We were glad we had tons of camping experience to help us to be prepared for changes.  Another example would be only using public transit in San Francisco.  Our leaders left the rental cars at the airport and for four days, we only used public transit.  I had done this all over China and I knew what to expect.  However, it was a great experience for my troopmates to learn how to read bus maps, ferry maps, and train schedules.  Even learning how to buy train tickets was new to them.  My sister and I patiently taught them one at a time how to do it.  It was great to teach a new skill and to keep it girl-led.  Lots of girls said they had the confidence to travel or go to college outside of Colorado after that trip.  And experiencing Travel can only give you that confidence. Confidence to go and explore. Confidence to learn new skills.  Confidence to make a difference in the world. 

What experience, skills, knowledge and other attributes can you bring toward this trip?

I have strong leadership skills as a result of leading my troop campouts, trips, and events. My troop is girl-led which enabled me to lead others on a regular and consistent basis from a very young age. I was also selected to my school’s Leadership Team out of 500 students. I am one of 15 students that make all the leadership decisions for my school which include social activities, fundraisers, field trips, and more. We are constantly doing team building exercises and given tasks to help us think outside of the box in terms of solving problems and conflict resolution.

I have a can-do attitude and am a positive person. I have enough common sense to know when it is better to reorganize your thought process versus sticking through something to very end. Sometimes you need to have tremendous perseverance to get a job done or to see it through a rough patch. Sometimes you need to take a step-back and reorganize your thoughts. I think I have enough common sense to do both and when to make the right choice.

I am interested in STEM-based learning. I excel at science and math, and to be able to combine some of these skills at the sea turtle retreat will be fun. I can’t wait to see the turtle laying their eggs.

Please share anything else we should know about you to consider you for this scholarship.

My plan is to have fun and learn a lot about sea turtles and Costa Rica while I am there so I can come back and talk to other girls and Girl Scouts about my experience. Traveling and learning new things is vitally important. It is important for other girls to know that they can achieve their dreams. If I can do it, so can they. I want to help educate others and this is the perfect opportunity.

The “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved atgirlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

 

Meet Sylvia Acevedo, Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA

From Girl Scouts of the USA

“Who am I? I am Sylvia Acevedo-a lifelong Girl Scout who ‘bleeds green.'”

A proud Girl Scout, engineer and rocket scientist, and passionate advocate for both girls and Girl Scouts, Sylvia Acevedo credits her Girl Scout experience with propelling her to success in the corporate and philanthropic sectors.

Acevedo grew up near Las Cruces, New Mexico. When she joined a Brownie troop there, she knew she had found her home. That troop ultimately expanded not only her future, but also that of her family-for one, Acevedo’s mother got to practice her English with the troop leaders, who helped her pass her U.S. citizenship test.

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“I understand the power of Girl Scouting. I understand how it changes destinies because it changed mine,” said Acevedo. “Through Girl Scouts, I launched a rocket into the clear, blue, New Mexico sky to earn my Science badge. Girl Scouts gave me the courage, the confidence, and the character to enter the engineering field at a time when girls didn’t do that, when people of my background didn’t do that.”

She discovered other passions through Girl Scouts as well.

“My favorite badge was my Bicycling badge. I absolutely loved getting outside with my troop,” said Acevedo, whose love of both the outdoors and science came together naturally at Girl Scouts.

“Science is all around you in the outdoors, and it’s been a part of our Girl Scout DNA from the very beginning. Whether you’re studying leaves and flowers on a hike, calculating distances on map, or using a compass, you’re using science, you’re using math-and you’re having fun doing it.”Acevedo took the tools and experiences Girl Scouts gave her to Stanford, where she earned a master’s degree in engineering, and eventually on to Silicon Valley.

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“At my first engineering job, there wasn’t even a bathroom for women because there were virtually no women working in the field,” she recalled.

Speaking of STEM, Acevedo is a national advocate for STEM education who serves as a strategic consultant to companies that wish to use technology to capitalize on demographic trends-and she previously served as president and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a firm that used innovative technology to harness market trends. A talented executive who has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, Acevedo is also a fervent supporter of Hispanic, girls’, and women’s causes, and a White House commissioner on the Presidential Initiative for Hispanic Educational Excellence.

Acevedo’s love of Girl Scouts and the mission eventually led her to the GSUSA Board of Directors, where she served as secretary and Executive Committee member. And now, as interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Acevedo wants to continue to give back to a movement that has given her so much.

“Here’s what I’m about: I want to get more girls, more families into the Girl Scout Movement so that we can change their lives-their destinies-forever. Let’s start now! Go to girlscouts.org to learn how you can get involved-we’re waiting for you.”

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kristin Coulter

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Submitted by Kristin Hamm

Kristin Coulter’s voice swells with pride when she talks about the 12 girls in her Girl Scout Senior troop and what they’ve accomplished.

“They really do take your hearts,” she said. “You go from seeing them as little girls when it was all like herding cats to growing into the women they’re going to be, to the leaders they are. It’s just really cool.”

From first graders to young women entering the halls of high school, Kristin along with her co-leader Laura Charlier, have had the privilege and pleasure of leading Troop 63573.  Eight of the original 12 members are still active and, while there have been some ebbs and flows in membership with a peak of 20 members during the Brownie/Junior years, the troop is now 12 girls strong again.

Along the way, they’ve earned badges, served their community, sold cookies, traveled near and far, earned their Bronze Award, challenged themselves at Reach for the Peak, and this year they earned their Silver Award and created Colorado’s first Council’s Own Badge. It’s all happened with the guidance of two very special volunteers who make a good team and feel they’re growing as much as the girls.

“When you start out, you think you’re just doing it to help out, and in the end you’re amazed at how much you grow as a leader,” Kristin said of her experience as a Girl Scout volunteer.

Keeping the troop together was a goal for Kristin in the beginning. “I remember making a goal that at least six of my original 12 Daisies would earn their Gold Award …. And we might just make it!”

The transition from Juniors to Cadettes is often a difficult time for troops. Some leaders burn out. Some girls get so busy with other activities Girl Scouts seems like too much. Kristin saw this coming and felt a common goal would help keep this group together.

“I didn’t want them to fall apart,” she said. “That’s such a big transition time that I was worried that they could get lost — from each other and from that focus they had gained to do good and be a leader.”

At that time, the troop put their focus on a big adventure and began planning for their trip to Costa Rica. It took two years to raise the money and make the trip a reality, but Kristin feels having that common goal kept them together – and it has given them so many wonderful, shared memories.

Now, they’re working toward a hiking adventure trip in Iceland.

How does a mother of two, with two Master’s Degrees, who was a Girl Scout as a girl for “maybe a year” end up leading a go-getter troop of 12 girls for eight years and counting?

“My daughter was in first grade and painfully shy, so I wanted to get her involved in something where she could connect with others by having common goals,” Kristin said. “There was a flier at school and I went to the meeting, not with the idea of leading the troop … but I talked to an experienced leader of girls in fourth or fifth grade and she told me about all the things they’d done and I thought it was very different from what my childhood troop had been like.”

“I realized you could make the troop whatever you wanted it to be,” she said. “You could get out there and be adventurous.”

That experienced troop leader showed her a scrapbook of her troop’s adventures, and Kristin was sold. She also included scrapbooking as part of the troop’s activities so the girls would remember and families in her troop would see all the amazing things the girls did over the years.

Kristin believes strongly that immersion is a great teacher and learning by doing is the Girl Scout way.

“I moved (to Italy) without speaking a word of Italian and came home with a MA,” she said. “I think that experience plus just being an idealistic Westerner, gives me the confidence that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  I try to pass that on to the girls.”

The troop put that theory to the test last summer at Reach for the Peak, an outdoor skills competition held at Sky High Ranch. They earned a Marmot award and will spend much of their summer preparing for this fall’s competition. “It was an intense but awesome experience,” she said.

Her daughter Fiona, who has moved from a shy Daisy to a confident Program Aide at Sky High Ranch, has gotten to do many different things as a Girl Scout.

“She has grown so much,” Kristin said. “She has the confidence to try new things and I have to believe it’s in large part due to Girl Scouts.” Less than a month after earning her Silver Award, her daughter already has an idea for her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

In addition to her co-leader, Kristin credits the supportive and involved parents of her troop for helping to keep the Park Hill-based troop going. The girls in the troop have always gone to different schools, and Kristin says their personalities are so different they probably wouldn’t gravitate together naturally, but their Girl Scout experiences have created a lasting bond.

Clearly Kristin feels that bond as well. When asked about a favorite troop leader moment, she chokes back tears as she describes the girls’ reaction to presenting at a recent Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors meeting.

“Being at that board meeting was such a thrill for us,” she said. “It got the girls focused on what this has all meant. The girls were so impressed with being in a room full of professional women…

“I’m always telling them that they can do anything and how capable they are … the fact that that landed on them was really, really powerful. At their age, they’ve accomplished a lot of things – at school, at sports … but they were able to fast forward to their professional lives  … and they saw themselves at that table.”

It was a gigantic day for the girls of Troop 63573, not only did they present their Council’s Own Badge to the Board of Directors in the morning, they bridged to Seniors and were given their Silver Award pins that evening.

“We were in a circle and I said ‘Give yourself a pat on the back – look to your right and look to your left – and recognize what you’ve accomplished because nobody asked you to do it; you did it on your own.”

While Kristin would never take any credit, it’s clear these girls did it on their own, but they  wouldn’t have had this opportunity without amazing volunteers like Kristin and Laura, the parents in the troop and Girl Scouts of Colorado.