Several girls from Troop 73392 used their cookie money to visit New York City this month. Sophia led her fellow troop members in picking out accommodations, places to eat, and things to see and do in the city.
Highlights included mastering the public transportation system, visiting the National September 11th Museum, the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Coney Island, and eating lots of yummy food.
Girls have spoken! The winning Girls’ Choice badge topic for 2017 is Troop Camping. And, without further ado, we’re pleased to announce . . .
The 2017 Girls’ Choice badge requirements are now available for digital download. What a great way to kick off the summer and build go-get-‘em problem-solvers, encourage challenge-seeking, and expose girls to new experiences as they grow their skills, confidence, and character.
Daisies will get a first taste of the camping fun and excitement in their first-ever Girls’ Choice badge, and then the Brownie Ambassador badges will build on that foundation.
So head on over to the Girl Scout Shop today for your digital downloads; badges and printed requirements will be in council shops by August. They’re chock full of opportunities for her to take the lead like a Girl Scout and unleash her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. And we can’t forget all the adventure, fun, and excitement great Girl Scout memories are made of!
And girls, always remember, camp life is the best life!
Through Girl Scouts, girls learn a plethora of skills including the encouragement to reach higher. My name is Lilli and I am no exception to the adoption of these skills as through Girl Scouts I was able to accomplish an honor I never sought possible.
Last year, I connected with the Haitian school of St. Paul’s and in doing so I began to learn about the education climate in Haiti. Haitian education rates are among the lowest in the western hemisphere with a literacy rate of 61% compared to America’s 86%. 88% of eligible Haitian students are enrolled in primary school while 20% are enrolled in secondary school. The Haitian government provides very little funds for public schools, with only 10% of the government’s budget spent on public schools. 21.5% of the population, age 5+, receive a secondary education, and 1% receive a university level education. 33% of children (ages 6-12) do not attend school. In acknowledgment of these statistics, and with an interest in business, I wanted to provide an extension to the 8th grade curriculum at the Haitian School of St. Paul’s by incorporating a business component into their education.
This past month, I partnered with the Colorado Haiti Project and from May 29-31, 2017 I conducted a three day business workshop for the 8th grade class of St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti. During the workshop the ten students learned the five fundamentals of business: how to create a business plan, what loans are, how to design a product, how to advertise it, and ultimately how to earn a profit. Through the workshop, the students learned about the concept of supply and demand, economic competition, etc. There were five product options in which the students were able to choose from; dominos, checkers, sak through, friendship bracelets, and a home garden bed. Students were able to work in groups of two, or individually. In an effort to manage the competition, no more than three groups, or people, were able to make a product. The students began by choosing a product and proceeding to fill out a business plan and create advertisements. The following day the students took out loans from the “Monopoly Bank” and then proceed to the wholesale store in which they purchased the necessary materials to make their product(s). For the duration of the second day, students sewed, painted, colored, and braided their products. On the final day, the students finished their products and a moc-market was held in which the administration of St. Pau’ls and I purchased the students product with Monopoly money. Following the market, the students payed back half of their loan and then were able to purchase the leftover materials from the wholesale store.
The aspect of the business workshop that was most humbling was the following day when St. Paul’s hosted a community wide agricultural festival. At the festival, the students that participated in my workshop sold friendship bracelets and other products that they had made the previous night from the material they were able to purchase with the profit they had made. Through the information and encouragement provided during the business workshop students were able to make a real profit. My primary goal in working to earn my Gold Award is to provide these 8th graders, whom some will not continue school after this year, with an enriched education that will help them in the workforce. Witnessing these 8th graders using the fundamentals that we focused on in class and putting them to use so quickly and successfully was a true accomplishment.
Another aspect I hope to cover in earning my Gold Award is to educate those in the United States and elsewhere about the education climate in Haiti and encourage them to get involved!
The girls from Troop 73392 led their fellow Girl Scouts in a fun evening of kayaking and paddle boarding. The weather was great, the water warm, and the view fabulous. Troop 73392 will be hosting another workshop on July 29, 2017 in Longmont for Cadette level and higher.
I created a cart filled with books and games to donate to a family shelter in Colorado Springs for my Silver Award. There were people there of all different ages, so I provided reading material for all different age groups.
Submitted by Krista B., 2017 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship winner
Northern & Northeastern CO
Girl Scouts has been a part of my life since I was nine-years-old and trying on my first Brownie uniform. The opportunities afforded me by Girl Scouts have shaped my life and who I am. Through Girl Scouts, I have been able to do a significant amount of international travel and on these trips I have made lasting friendships with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world.
Most recently, I had the opportunity to visit Sangam World Centre in Pune, India with the assistance of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship. Ever since returning home from a stint as the Programme Intern at Pax Lodge, I have been itching to visit another World Centre. The World Centres (there are five in all: Pax Lodge, Our Cabaña, Our Chalet, Sangam, and Kusafiri) have a peculiar magic about them. I have stayed in many international youth hostels, but I have found that the World Centres are so much more than a hostel. They are a welcoming environment that values international perspectives. The diverse staff, volunteers, and guests create an amazing and unique place. One of the best parts about Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is how easy it is to make friends. Despite different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, we are all connected by our passion for moulding young women of courage, confidence, and character.
The event I attended at Sangam was a week-long event called “Be the Change: International Women’s Day.” The event was concerned with giving its participants the tools and knowledge to be the change they wish to see in the world. We also got to celebrate International Women’s Day with one of Sangam’s community partners, Maher, which is a home that takes care of orphans, women, and children who are victims of domestic violence, women with mental disabilities, and women who have been rejected by their families for any reason.
The participants represented five countries: India, Albania, Rwanda, Ireland, and the United States. I absolutely loved meeting the Guides and learning about their organizations and about amazing women from their countries. We explored Pune in small groups and Lata (from India) made sure that Viviane (from Rwanda) and I made it where we were supposed to go and didn’t overpay for rickshaws. I learned from Ardita (from Albania) that Albania’s Girl Guide organization is very new, and she is one of the first Guide leaders in her country. Manisha (from India) taught me to count to 10 in Hindi and showed us all a thing or two about Bollywood dancing. Viviane (from Rwanda) showed me the traditional dress from her country and Fiona (from Ireland) shared stories from her Guides in Dublin.
I found India to be an incredible place, nothing like I had experienced before. The culture is so rich and the country is thick with colors and scents that I found I didn’t have the vocabulary to name. I was struck most by the sense of community, both within Sangam and within the community partners they support. With the Green Tara Foundation, we visited one of the many slums in Pune and I loved learning songs and games from the young women they work with there. Green Tara focuses on educating young women, although they do not turn away anyone who wants to learn. I taught one of my favorite camp songs, Fred the Moose, and learned a new game from them.
At the end of the week, I was sad to leave. I had come 8,040 miles from my university to Sangam and now it was time to return so I could go class bright and early Monday morning. I loved the time I spent in India and I only wish I had been able to spend more time there. At Sangam’s gate, I leaned out the car window and waved to all of my new friends as they sang me off with “Happy journey, happy journey, happy journey, on you go…”
“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.
The Aspen St. Regis hotel was host to girls from Troop 13723 of Aspen and Troop 10065 of Grand Junction who acted as judges for a Girl Scout cookie dessert making contest. The St. Regis launched their inaugural Camp Astor, inspired by founder John Jacob Astor IV and his love for Lake St. Regis in upstate New York, as a summer offering packed with outdoor adventures. This event provided a sampling of the camp to a select party of journalists. Part of the fun was competing for the coveted “golden whisk” by creating the most mouthwatering dessert using Girl Scout Cookies as an ingredient. The girls, as a panel of cookie connoisseurs, examined, tasted, and deliberated as a group to determine the winner based on presentation, taste, and use of the cookie. The girls and their families were treated to a fabulous outdoor feast, tutorial on sabering champagne, and a sing-a-long by the pool, all with the beautiful backdrop of Aspen. Director of Marketing Jessica Young was a Girl Scout as a girl and when envisioning a camp event, thought it would be incomplete without Girl Scouts. We had a great time and hope to do more with our new friends at the St. Regis.
During the last year, Girl Scouts has reclaimed its ownership of and legacy in the leadership space for girls, showing the world that there is no better program to ignite the power of every girl. In addition to continuing to invest in technology to better deliver and influence new programming, Girl Scouts welcomed a new leader, CEO Sylvia Acevedo, who brings to the organization a background in entrepreneurship; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and innovation, as well as a lifelong commitment to advancing opportunities for girls. Under Sylvia’s leadership, the Girl Scout Movement has expanded its reach to populations that need it most and is enhancing its research-proven program offerings so more girls can develop leadership skills that aren’t cultivated in traditional school settings.
When the results of the World Value Index were released last week—showing Girl Scouts second out of 150 organizations ranked according to how audiences perceive and value the purpose and mission of the brand—it was apparent that Girl Scouts’ dedication to girls’ healthy development and education is being noticed in a BIG way. In fact, Girl Scouts scored at the top of four key areas: high awareness, relevance and resonance, a strong motivator in garnering active support, and an influential factor in spending.
“GSUSA is honored to be recognized on the 2017 World Value Index as the second most valued brand in the world,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “For more than a century, we have been cultivating girls to serve as female leaders poised to smash glass ceilings and stereotypes across all industries around the globe. We are proud of Girl Scouts who are making a difference in their communities and who have, thanks to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and our caring adult volunteers, gone on to assume leadership positions in the United States and around the world. It’s time to invest in girls—the future of female leadership.”
The Berthoud Service Unit was well-represented in the annual Berthoud Day Parade with girls from six different troops participating on the Girl Scout float. Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes rode and marched in the 63rd Annual Berthoud Day parade, a local community celebration.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Tara Szabo Maxson of Troop 65477 in the Denver Metro region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO volunteer. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Tara to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I was a Daisy and a Brownie as a child. I have been a volunteer since 2015.
Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?
I wanted to get to know other families in our school community.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I lead a second grade Brownie troop and am starting a kindergarten Daisy troop in the fall.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I have learned that every girl is truly different and special. It is amazing to see that even the little ones are already quite diverse in their strengths and talents. It can be hard with a large troop, but I try to capitalize on this as much as possible.
I have also learned that your team of parents is invaluable. I have three awesome co-leaders and an amazing cookie mom who make my life easier for sure! We are surrounded by a fantastic group of parents. We have had a waiting list to join our troop for the past two years and I attribute that to having a great group of parents who work hard to provide a positive experience for our kids and who also network on our behalf in the neighborhood and at school.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope that girls live by (not just memorize) the Girl Scout Promise and Law. We have focused a lot on learning how to take care of the earth and all of its inhabitants and also the importance of taking care of one another by being a sister to every Girl Scout. I hope my girls do this outside of Girl Scouts throughout their whole lives.
What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?
As a child, I grew up in Aurora, so I camped at both Tomahawk Ranch and Sky High Ranch. I recall the summer between second and third grade, walking back in the dark to our bunks after our evening campfire, holding hands with my life-long best friend and feeling a little scared of the dark woods, but safe with my camp buddy and my troop. It was a special feeling of bravery and independence, but achieved in a safe setting, which is what I think Girl Scouts strives to provide all girls.
As an adult, it has been special to me to share Girl Scout activities with my daughter. I cried a little when she was inducted into Girl Scouts during a ceremony led by a neighboring middle school troop. I also recall fondly holding my own daughter’s hand while we hiked the trails behind the Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch for our troop’s second year Daisy Earth and Sky Journey. Also, our troop brainstormed ideas for our Take Action plan this past spring and then voted on each other’s ideas. My daughter suggested we take care packages to Children’s Hospital and her idea had the winning vote. I was so proud of her thought process, as she really considered how we could use our cookie funds to “make the world a better place.” I am proud of all that my older daughter has accomplished in Girl Scouts and I look forward to seeing what both of my kids do in in the future.
What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?
Seek help if you need it. The staff at council doesn’t always know what you need, so you must ask! They will help you if they know the answer or find the answer if they don’t. Also, attend your Service Unit meetings at least periodically to network. Leaders of older girl troops have already walked in your shoes and can give you the best practical advice. You can also go to them if you have issues with girls or parents to ask how they handled similar things in their troop in the past.
Plan your calendar out in advance for the school year. I plan our troop’s events around our school’s master calendar when it comes out each May and then we can hit the ground running in September. Even if you don’t know exactly what you might do on a given day, at least get it on the calendar for your families to plan ahead. This will help with attendance and parent participation.
Don’t be afraid to do things your own way. Girl Scouts provides enough leeway that you can build your own curriculum and let your girls lead the way to do what they want to do.
Build your village. Keep asking parents if they will sign up as support volunteers and encourage them to renew each year. Get to know the people who manage the buildings where you host your meetings (and give them a few HTH packages each year for thanks for all they do for you!). Recruit at your school’s “Back to School” night. Most importantly, find awesome partner leaders and cookie managers! The more adult support you have, the better your experience will be and the richer the experience will be for the girls in your troop!
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.