Category Archives: Girl Scout News

Talking with your girls about natural disasters

From Girl Scouts of the USA

In times of natural disaster, it’s everyone’s responsibility to come together to support and provide aid and comfort to those directly affected. And although it’s simply human to get caught up in the harrowing news coverage, it’s also important to note that the youngest members of our families and communities—your children—are watching and taking all of this in, too.

“Of course we all want to stay abreast of current events,” says Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist Andrea Bastiani Archibald, “but when kids see footage of boys and girls their own age or even people who look like their grandparents in dire situations, it can be confusing and frightening.” But rather than brushing off catastrophic events as “nothing to worry about” or something that didn’t really happen, Dr. Bastiani Archibald suggests discussing the disaster in an age-appropriate way with your daughter. “Limit her access to the news, but if she’s already seen or heard about it, let her lead the conversation,” she suggests. “Stay calm—kids, especially younger ones, take their emotional cues from parents—and ask her what she thinks happened. But most of all, ask how she’s feeling. If she says she feels sad or frightened for the people affected, it’s absolutely fine to tell her that you feel sad and frightened for them, too. These feelings are nothing to be ashamed of, and knowing that you feel similarly will help her feel less alone.”

Respond to her questions as best you can with age-appropriate, short answers and limited information. Very young children might not have many or any questions, but older girls might ask about the particular type of weather or natural disaster. Do your best to use words your daughter might already know, like storm, rain, and wind—but explain that these are much stronger and heavier than usual and quite rare.

Let her know that you’ll always do everything you can to keep her safe. And although you don’t want to give her false assurances that a natural disaster like the one she’s witnessing could never happen in your region, it’s also not helpful at this moment to dwell on the fact that it could. If she’s old enough to understand, let her know about the emergency preparations and procedures already in place for your family, your community, and even her school that could keep her out of harm’s way in case of an emergency. These plans are a “just in case” and will likely never be necessary, but her safety is your top priority, and so you make sure you’re prepared for any situation.

If your girl asks about family or friends who were directly affected, answer honestly but in short, direct answers. “If you’ve been in touch with loved ones in the area of the disaster, let your child know that and reinforce the positive—that they’re safe—if there’s positive information to report,” says Dr. Bastiani Archibald. “In the case that you’re still trying to reach family and friends, let her know that you’re doing your best to connect with them and that there are good people on the ground in the affected area who are helping those in need. In fact, your loved ones might be busy helping take care of others right now.”

Beyond that, it’s helpful to explain to your girl what you and your community have already done or plan to do to help the people hardest hit in the disaster. Perhaps you’ve sent money to an aid organization to help families in need, or maybe a family member has traveled to the scene to offer medical assistance. “If your daughter is old enough, you might even want to have her help you research ways to lend a hand and give back,” says Dr. Bastiani Archibald. “We know donating money is often best, so she could play an active role in fundraising or researching organizations accepting donations. Additionally, she could look into alternative ways of helping—like fostering pets who may have been displaced in the disaster.”

Talk to her about the kinds of things people might need in the months and even years after a disaster. Perhaps a school that was heavily affected could use new books to stock its library. Or a Girl Scout troop in the disaster zone might appreciate replacement outdoor gear, art supplies, or even just notes of friendship and support in the months to come.

Getting involved, giving back, and making a difference are actions we all can and need to take when disaster strikes. Involving your daughter will not only potentially expand the impact you can make but also teach her about empathy and give her a sense of her power to do good in the world.

JOANN and Girl Scouts: Supporting female leadership together

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Starting today, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and JOANN Stores will be teaming up to inspire girls, troops, and volunteers to explore their individual creativity and use it to make a positive influence on the world. Through a new reward program, JOANN will offer a discount to members of Girl Scouts and donate a portion of sales to GSUSA. Additionally, JOANN will offer space at its stores throughout the country to Girl Scout troops and councils for recruitment events, craft education, and cookie sales during cookie season. 

“As a Girl Scout alumna, I can personally attest to the impact this organization has on young women everywhere,” said Jill Soltau, president and CEO of JOANN. “We aim to inspire the creativity in all of us and to bring new ideas to life through people’s hands, hearts, and minds. Girl Scouts shares our passion for bringing imagination to action and has been empowering its members to create positive change for more than 100 years. Through JOANN’s Girls Scout Rewards program, we’ll be able to help members of the Girl Scout Movement take their creative activities even further and help make a lasting impact on the world. Our partnership is a terrific match, and we look forward to supporting this mission together.”

In addition to giving girls the chance to explore their creativity, JOANN guarantees that a minimum of $1.5 million from the Girl Scout Rewards program will go back to GSUSA over the next three years, demonstrating its deep commitment to girls’ leadership development. These funds will support GSUSA’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. 

“We are truly excited to partner with JOANN, with the goal of our collaboration to inspire members of our Movement to channel their creativity as a force for positive change within their communities,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Data show that our girls are innate makers, and Girl Scouts designs experiences that allow them to embrace their sense of ingenuity―a passion JOANN shares as well. Girl Scouts offers a creative atmosphere where girls can develop important leadership skills within a supportive, all-girl environment. I encourage everyone to join in the festivities on September 23 at JOANN’s Girl Scout Day to learn more about our organization and all the fantastic new programming we have added in the fundamental areas of STEM and the outdoors.”

“Few organizations have such breadth and lasting impact,” Soltau added. “We couldn’t be more proud to enter into this partnership with GSUSA and to continue fostering innovation and growth among future generations of female leaders.

Connections: September 2017

Kick off your next Girl Scout year with access to brand new, girl-tested and approved programming! Combined with existing STEM and outdoor programs, as well as programming in life skills and entrepreneurship, these new Journeys and badges are designed to help you unleash your inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

Learn more.

If you’re having trouble accessing these new resources, please reach out to your volunteer support specialist. Don’t know who that is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org

New Online Resources 

We’ve been updating some resources to make your life easier. Check them out:

Fall Product Program Begins Sept. 23

The Fall Product Program starts on September 23. In-person sales will run through October 15. Online sales end October 30. All troops must have a completed ACH form for the 2017-18 membership year to participate.

Our popular S’mores Club is back, and girls and adult volunteers who rock both the 2017 Fall Product and 2018 Cookie programs will receive special rewards!

S’more details

Travel the world with Girl Scouts

Are you interested in learning more about all the ways you can travel as an older Girl Scout? Join our upcoming travel webinars! Register today to be on the email list to receive the webinar link sent out one week before the webinar date. Can’t make it? We will record them and post to the GSCO blog.

Our most successful summer camp session yet

GSCO had an amazing summer camp season this year, with more than 2,000 campers at overnight and day camps! Visit our Flickr page to see fun photos.

Thinking of renting a GSCO property? Our policies have changed, so make sure you’re up to date.

Share you G.I.R.L. story

Girl Scouts are adventure seekers, problem solvers, and so much more! We are G.I.R.L.s (go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, leaders)!

Share your G.I.R.L. story on the GSCO blog »

Join Daisy’s Circle and save

Join Daisy’s Circle and get a $5 new member coupon to use at the Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop. Shop in person in Denver, by phone, or email.

Coupon applies to in-stock merchandise only, and cannot be transferred or copied.

This offer expires on 10/15/2017, so join today!

Join Today

Upcoming Events

Sept. 9: CU Football Scout Day
Come cheer on the Buffs in Boulder as they take on the Texas State San Marcos Bobcats.

Sept. 16: Scout Day with the Colorado Rockies
Watch the Rockies play the San Diego Padres and get a fun event patch.

Sept. 23: Fall Product Program Begins
Participate to earn start-up funds for your troop this year, and for the chance to join the S’mores Club.

Sept. 29 – Oct. 1: SHR Fall Rendezvous
Test your mettle at Sky High with our zipline, low ropes course, archery, and more!

Oct. 14: Air Force Football Scout Camp Out
Root for the Falcons as they take on the UNLV Rebels and camp out after the game.

 

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Grayson Thomas, Lyons, “STEM Mural”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) community. It is located in the Lyons Middle/Senior High School math classroom spanning 15’5” by 9’. It features Maryam Mirzakhani, Muhammad​ al-Khwarizmi, Alan Turing, Margaret Hamilton, Leonhard Euler, Albert Einstein, Shiing-Shen Chern, Annie Easley, and Srinivasa Ramanujan. These figures were carefully chosen based on their contributions and their backgrounds. Altogether, it includes men and women with Caucasian, African American, Asian-American, European, Middle-Eastern, Indian, heterosexual, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, and Jewish backgrounds. Additionally, I created a website, stemmural.weebly.com, about the mural featuring a research project on the figures of the mural for middle/high school students. The research project will be implemented in the school each year and can be accessed by other teachers worldwide. My goal was to inspire students in my community, not only to be more accepting in a globalized world, but also to be excited and interested in pursuing a career in STEM.

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

The volunteers who painted my mural with me have been the first to be impacted by the mural. A survey I took of them before working on the mural concluded that of the nine people to be painted only one was recognized by all six volunteers. After creating the mural, they agreed they had an acute understanding of each of the people, four out of the six even did research on their own about the figures on the mural they were interested in.

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

The mural will remain a permanent part of Lyons Middle/Senior High School and the local math teacher will use the accompanying research project annually. The website will allow for far-reaching sustainability. It can be accessed by any teacher as it is public, and used by students because of its classroom-friendly layout. The visual aspect of the mural along with its academic value will continue to inspire curiosity to those who encounter it.

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

Through the addition of the educational website the mural can reach people beyond the confines of Lyons to make a nationwide impact as more students can be inspired by the people on the mural and their accomplishments. In order to promote the project internationally, I will contact the president of the Outreach Society at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to give a presentation on the mural and using art for outreach.

What did you learn about yourself? 

My greatest self-revelation came from working with less artistically experienced volunteers. I had to learn that leaders need to use patience and encouragement when helping their volunteers. I grew to understand the importance of teaching, rather than telling.

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

Being so familiar with the subject matter of the mural really empowers me to take all the confidence I gained and be able to jump straight into projects. I am not afraid to take on big tasks, because I feel more qualified. In college I will be surrounded by new people and new professors, but with a goal in mind those people feel more approachable.

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

Growing up I had always heard numerous people saying they were an Eagle Scout, but scarcely ever heard of anyone receiving their Gold Award. I wanted to be a person who could tell younger kids that I had earned my Gold Award. Accomplishing this task through hard work and cooperation has been the best way to finish my time as a Girl Scout.

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

Completing the STEM mural taught me the value of hard work. I know now that if I want something I have to put myself out there and campaign for my goals. Becoming a go-getter through this project has made me confident in knowing I really can start more outreach projects on my own throughout the rest of my life, if I am willing to do the work it takes.

**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

Gold Award training in Gunnison

Attention all 8th grade Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, troop leaders, and parents in Western and Southwestern CO! If you (or your girl) is thinking about going for her Gold Award, don’t miss out on training in Gunnison on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1 p.m. at Western State Colorado University. This is a free training.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. In this training, girls will learn the requirements, council procedures, and tips for making her Gold Award experience successful and rewarding.

Gold Award training is mandatory for any girl interested in pursuing her Gold Award. Troop leaders, co-leaders, and parents are encouraged to attend.
Register to attend online by Wednesday, September 6: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/gold_award_training_sw_9_10_2017

2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards: Apply today

Applications are now open for 2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Girl Scouts who have recently earned Silver and Gold Awards may be particularly good candidates for this exciting award program.

This youth recognition program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, has recognized more than 120,000 middle and high school students – including thousands of Girl Scouts – at the local, state and national level for outstanding acts of volunteerism over the past 22 years.  Top winners receive sizable cash awards, engraved medallions, and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C. for the national awards ceremony in May 2018.

Last year, Gold Award recipient Emma Albertoni, of Arvada, was named a State Honoree, traveled to Washington, D. C. for the national awards ceremony, and received an engraved medallion. In 2015, Gold Award recipient Christina Bear of Golden was named a “Distinguished Finalist” and received an engraved bronze medallion. In 2014, Girl Scout Morgan Hays, a Gold Award recipient from Evergreen, was honored with a Certificate of Excellence. We are thrilled to share this opportunity again and hope to see more girls share this prestigious honor.

Girl Scouts can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.   Applications must be submitted to Girl Scouts of Colorado by November 7, 2017.  We will then review applications and select one or more Girl Scouts to represent our council in the state-level judging. If you have any questions or need a paper version of the application, please call 877-525-8491.

We’re excited about this opportunity to re-emphasize the importance of volunteering within our council, and to possibly gain statewide or even national recognition for our Girl Scouts. We hope we can count on your participation.

 

Meet the mascots for the Fall Product Program

 

 

 

Meet S’more and Marshmallow, the mascots for the 2017 Fall Product Program! Marshmallow is the small, white bunny. S’more is the large, brown bunny. They are among the rewards for the 2017 Fall Product Program. Marshmallow is earned at the $325 level, S’more at $850.

Rewards for the 2017 Fall Product Program also include the “Explore Your Dreams” t-shirt for $425 in sales. With $850 in sales, girls earn a 10% discount at Girl Scouts of Colorado camps and for every $200 earned beyond $975 in sales, girls will earn an additional $10 in Cookie Credits. Check out the order card to see a full list of 2017 Fall Program rewards.  All rewards are cumulative.

Learn more about the 2017 Fall Product Program on the Girl Scouts of Colorado web-site:  http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/cookies/fall-sale.html

You can also check out our FAQ’s: https://girlscoutsofcolorado.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/2565380-fall-sale-faqs

Questions? Email us.

 

 

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Katrina Stroud, Boulder, “Butterflies, bees, and me”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I designed activity booklets for kids on monarch butterflies and bumble bees. The activity booklet included color-in drawings of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and bumble bee, their anatomies, a maze, flowers, a list of ways you can help their populations grow, and a quiz on the back. In addition, I gave a presentation at six different summer camps on why monarch butterflies and bumble bees matter and why they are both endangered species.

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

At the end of each presentation, I asked the kids to take a quiz on the back of their activity booklet. In return, I gave the kids a Jolly Rancher or one of my “world famous high fives” after they had finished the quiz. I checked their quiz results one by one to go over it with the kids if they had gotten any questions wrong. All the kids scored an 80% or higher on my quiz!

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

Mario Padilla, my Gold Award project advisor and entomologist at the Butterfly Pavilion, will email the PDF file of the activity booklet to the parents of campers during the next camp cycle of the summer of 2018. He will also post the link to the activity booklet on the Butterfly Pavilion’s website. Ashley Young, an educational coordinator at the Gardens on Spring Creek, will print copies from the PDF file of the activity booklet. I gave a presentation at one of her summer camp programs and she is excited to continue giving the booklet out to visitors.

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

For my global link, I contacted a butterfly pavilion in British Columbia called the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. I have sent them an email, asking if they would be interested in having a PDF file of the activity booklet to give away in their gift shop. I haven’t heard back from them yet, but it feels good to know that I have tried to connect my project to others around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I enjoyed making the handmade activity booklets for kids, because I took a couple of drawing classes in high school. Giving the presentation was a bit of a struggle at first, because I was not used to teaching around kids, but I was always happy whenever a kid raised his/her hand to ask a question. Teaching around children was a lot easier than I thought it would have been, it just took some time getting comfortable.

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

My leadership skills will grow based on the self confidence that I have gained from this project and the ability to work on other independent projects in the future. One of the most crucial leadership skills that I learned from my project is that it is important to always keep track of the tasks that need to get done. Such as, remembering to contact different places to give my presentation, keeping track of the resources that I need to bring to the presentations, and keeping track of dates to fit in deadlines. Creating a schedule was probably the most important task in completing the Gold Award.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was like finishing up a final test to see what skills you have gained from your troop. Earning the Gold Award is mostly on your own because if you see a problem, go tackle it yourself. Why wait for someone else to do the work?

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

The Gold Award helped me become a go-getter because there is nothing more satisfying than to tackle a problem and raise awareness in the community. Being a go-getter can make you into a better person because life is too short to stress over the little things and to hope that they will all disappear if you wish them to.

**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 Scouts enjoy Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame exhibit

On Saturday, August 26, 2017, Girl Scouts were treated to a presentation by Woman of Distinction and Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame founder M.L. Hanson as she introduced the inspiring stories of some of the extraordinary women who have been inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. Their groundbreaking accomplishments, many times overcoming difficult challenges, have been amazing and contributed to enhancing diverse fields of endeavor from the arts and culture to science and technology. Following this was a private self-guided tour and reception. The traveling exhibit is currently housed by the Museum of the West in Grand Junction. Sponsors of this event invited Girl Scouts to learn about some of Colorado’s most influential women throughout history. Girls were able to pose for pictures with M.L. and ask about her personal journey as well as those on display. This is one of those rare opportunities that present themselves to Girl Scouts and makes being a part of our organization impactful on the lives of these girls.

Silver Award project: Sensory Garden

Submitted by Kristy Miller

Metro Denver

Centennial

Three girls from Troop 972 (Katelyn-14, Safiya-14, and Mallory-14) wanted to help the kids with disabilities at Liberty Middle School by building a sensory garden. Two of the three girls went to Liberty and had been thinking of doing it from the beginning of their middle school years. They all joined together and decided to help the school’s ILC (Individualized Learning Center) program. The girls studied and researched on different sensory gardens built from scratch to prepare them to build their own garden. After their research was done, they went out to ask for donations from multiple franchises. Once they got all the materials they needed, they started building. It took about two months to finally get the garden ready for the school. Now in the 2017-18 school year, Liberty Middle School gets to use the garden for their learning. The girls are very glad they got to help the ILC teachers and kids learn to enjoy the outdoors with all senses.

After finishing our Silver Award, we would like to give a special thanks to the people who helped fund this project, including Michael Maroney from Big Horn Landscaping, Jake Henrickson from the Parker Lowes, Jordan from the Southlands Lowes, the employees at the Lowes on Buckley, Mary Adkins from the Parker Home Depot, the employees at Tagawa, our troop leaders Ms. Kristy and Ms. Kerry, and the wonderful principal and vice principal at Liberty Middle School: Mr. Doherty and Ms. Hale. Doing this project has not only allowed us to get more experience volunteering in our community, but has created a beautiful space in the community where students and teachers alike can learn more about nature.

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