Category Archives: Girl Scout News

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Emma Hesse, Golden, “Teen Boutique at the Jeffco Action Center”

Emma Hesse

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award Project, the Teen Boutique at the Jeffco Action Center, I worked with the Jeffco Action Center, a local organization that provides various services (including a clothing bank, food pantry and financial services)  to Lakewood residents in need. My goal was to help raise the self confidence of teens in need in my school and community by addressing three main issues at the Jeffco Action Center:

  1. The lack of personnel to pursue long term teen clothing donations.
  2. The lack of merchandise items available for teens

3.The disarray in the teen clothing area due to the lack of organizational tools.

I tackled all three of these items by doing a complete remodel of the teen area in their clothing bank to make clothes selection fun, interesting, and inviting; hosted multiple clothing drives at two area high schools (to help with the immediate problem of lack of merchandise); and obtained a commitment from another group interested in sustaining and building upon clothing donations specifically for teens as well as maintaining the teen clothing department.

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

To measure the impact my Gold Award made on teens in my school and community, I took many before and after pictures of the clothing bank as well as counted the number of clothing items that the Jeffco Action Center had before my project and then continue to count the number of clothes that they have each week in the teen clothing area as clothing donations continue to come in from various sources.

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

To sustain my project, I worked with the Lakewood High School Key Club for many months to talk about my project and show them the area at the Action Center. They are always looking for more student involvement, so they were very excited to get this opportunity to involve more kids from Lakewood High School in this volunteer opportunity. Every month, Key Club volunteers at the Action Center do a variety of tasks, from working in the food bank to sorting clothes. To involve my project, I showed many of the kids the clothing bank and talked about the importance of the organization of the area and of keeping it well stocked with clothes. The Lakewood High School Key Club has committed to continue to volunteer monthly at the Action Center and focus on working in the clothing bank to keep it well organized for the clients. In addition, they have committed to hosting monthly clothing drives so that there will always be a good amount of clothes for teens to choose from with a wide variety of items.

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

The national link to The Teen Boutique at the Jeffco Action Center is reaching out to the Christian Action Guild in Golden to educate them about starting a project similar to what I did. I have created an instruction manual and shared and distributed it to the Action Guild so that they can be educated on my project and volunteers will be able to hold a project similar to mine. I met for over an hour with the President of the Christian Action Guild, Joyce Sutton. They were very impressed with what I had accomplished at The Jeffco Action Center and were specifically going to highlight my ideas with the Board of Directors at their February meeting with the goal of using my manual as a template for expanding their clothing area to include teens and pursuing sponsored help with one of Golden High School’s clubs for local donations. After I had presented my instruction manual, Joyce proceeded to take me on a tour of the facility and throughout the tour, she held the manual close to her heart and complimented me several times on my template and for leading a successful campaign. She had recently completed a toy drive a few months prior and said many times that she had wished she would’ve had a copy of my manual because she had to go through the exact same process. She feels very confident that they will have even more success in the future.

Within my manual, I provide step-by-step instructions on how to organize an area in a clothing bank (from purchasing bins to labeling them and placing them in the area) and how to successfully hold a clothing drive. I attached templates of flyers and labels that I used during my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

Before this project, I was not a very strong leader or speaker. But since I have gone through this journey, I have learned that I am very capable of talking to a wide variety of groups and people.  I also learned that I am very good at organization and forming a group of people to come together and work on a project.

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

My Gold Award will continue to impact me in the future by providing me with an experience of taking charge of a long-term project and communicating with others along the way.  I now know what it takes to plan and perform a huge project like this and my Gold Award will continue to provide me with these organizational skills in the future. Also, my Gold Award has taught me the importance of communicating on a regular basis with your peers, advisors, teachers, etc.  In addition, I know have experience talking in front of many large groups of people by myself, which I had not done before this project. This will now prepare me for future presentations and give me more confidence to stand up and talk in front of different groups of people.

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

I feel that the Gold Award allowed me to branch out and become a leader in my community.  Before starting my Gold Award project, I was a very reserved person and would always wait for others to take charge and lead the group.  However, the Gold Award allowed me to become a leader while doing a project on something that I was very passionate about and something that was very important to me.  I also feel that it was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because I have gained many valuable communication and organization skills through my Gold Award project.

**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

Cookie Contest Winners

 

Thank you to all of the Girl Scouts who entered our #BlingYourBooth and Best Cookie Video contests. We received dozens of entries from all across Colorado and are so impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm of all of these cookie-bosses.

There are TWO winners of this year’s #BlingYourBooth contest and they will EACH receive $200 in Cookie Credits.

Bling Your Booth 21 Bling Your Booth 24

Coming in second place, and receiving $100 in Cookie Credits, is this Star Wars-themed booth.

Bling Your Booth 1

This booth came in third place and will receive $50 in Cookie Credits.

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We were so impressed with all of the entries that we also awarded Honorable Mention, along with $25 in Cookie Credits, to this booth.

Bling Your Booth 61

The winner of the “Best Cookie Video” contest is Skyler from Pueblo. She will receive $200 in Cookie Credits.

The prize for second place, $100 in Cookie Credits, goes to Ashla from Greeley.

Third place, $50 in Cookie Credits, goes to Jessica from Highlands Ranch.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Grace Dorgan, Golden, “The Nature Now Project”

Grace Dorgan

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I addressed the need for free, natural science curricula that gets kids outdoors to foster a love of nature and science.  I designed a free, hands-on natural science curriculum for elementary aged students that can be taught anywhere by anyone.  I taught this program to urban, underserved, minority students in Denver. I put together an in-depth manual that included all lessons, learning objectives, worksheets, visuals and teaching suggestions. I then created a website for the curriculum where the manual is posted so that anyone, anywhere can access and teach it.

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

I taught the program to second graders over a time frame of six weeks.  Before I began the program, I surveyed students, asking them to rate their knowledge on topics to be covered, as well as their personal feelings towards science, as one of my goals was to encourage an interest in science.  Very few students reported liking science or picturing themselves as scientists in the future.  After teaching the program, I surveyed them again and found that every child understood the main ideas taught and almost every child now reported loving science and could easily picture themselves as scientists in the future.

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

My program will continue to be taught at Horizons at Colorado Academy, a six-week long summer program serving underprivileged children from Denver that transforms the way students see themselves and their future, while also improving their reading and math skills significantly.  In addition, I made a digital manual and hosted it online on a website I created so that instructors anywhere could access and teach the program.

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

By creating a website I have put my curriculum on the internet, which allows anyone in the world to access it.  A fun, free, outdoor science curriculum is something that many people all over the world need, and with this extra education, the same kids will grow up to be conscious and contributing global citizens.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the project I had a lot of people who volunteered to work with me.  Without them I never would have finished this project, and I never would have developed the leadership skills I did.  I learned to rely on myself as a project coordinator, and I learned that I possess the perseverance necessary to see such a long term project to completion.

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

I will absolutely be using my new found skills of public speaking, project management, and communication in my future, whether in college or the workforce.  I also have new confidence in myself that I can accomplish something meaningful.

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

This project was the culmination of all the skills I have learned in 10 years of Girl Scouts.  I made a meaningful, positive difference, I developed my leadership and interpersonal skills, I learned a lot about responsibility, and I learned how to stay focused and keep going.  This project was an important part of my Girl Scout experience, but also an important part of growing up.  Girl Scouts has really given me the opportunity to recognize my capabilities, and to make 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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Amy Nelson, Colorado Springs, “The ABC’s of Eating Healthy”

Amy Nelson

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a cookbook that taught the basics of a healthy, nutritious diet while on a small budget. The book included over 90 recipes and ideas for incorporating inexpensive and healthy foods into one’s diet. I worked with programs such as the Elevate Food Pantry and the Care and Share Food Bank to distribute the books to families and individuals across Colorado and beyond to spread awareness of the possibilities of eating healthy with little time and a tight budget.

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

I measured the impact of my project by the number of families my book was made available to. 25 physical copies of my book were distributed to the families within the Elevate Food Pantry Program in October. Elevate is a non-profit organization that operates within the area of Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, providing food and snacks to families with children who qualify for free or reduced meals at school. I also sent the digital copy of my cookbook to local libraries, Mary’s Home (a local organization that helps single homeless mothers and their children), and the Care and Share Food Bank, where it was attached to their monthly newsletter and sent to over 300 food banks and soup kitchens across Colorado.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement because the cookbooks will be used again and again by the families they were distributed to. Digital copies of my book were also distributed to soup kitchens and food banks across Colorado, who now will be able to print out copies of the book whenever there is demand. I also gave copies to my school and several local libraries so they could be used by anyone interested in my project (or in eating healthier) at any time.

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

My project addresses the issue of obesity. This is a massive problem, not only in the United States, but also around the world. Nearly 39% of the adult population of the world is overweight, with 13% of those people qualifying as obese. The only way to lower these numbers is through forming a habit of healthy diet and exercise, and by teaching the benefits of eating healthy to kids so they can keep those lessons with them for the rest of their lives. I was able to spread these lessons by working with Elevate, local libraries, Mary’s Home, and Care and Share Food Program, who helped to distribute my book to many people and families that could learn from them.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project taught me not only about the benefits and importance of maintaining healthy diet, but also more than I thought I would about myself. This project was not an easy task, and took me over 80 hours of research, testing, calculating, creating, assembling, and distributing the books to complete it. It was through this hard work that I realized that I was capable of achieving whatever I set my mind to because I had the skills in communication and organization, as well as persistence and drive within me to overcome the obstacles I faced.

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

Earning my Gold Award is a huge honor, and the lessons I have learned from it will continue to help me throughout the rest of my life. My Gold Award taught me not to give up, especially when times get tough and to always remember to budget my time correctly and stay organized when working on a project. Since the Gold Award is such a high honor, earning it has and will also help me in job and scholarship interviews and throughout the application process to college.

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 I used so many of the lessons I had learned throughout my Girl Scout career to complete it. Girl Scouts teaches girls across the world to be capable, smart, and hard working individuals. To earn the award, young women must prove that they are all three. The Gold Award is the pinnacle of achievement in Girl Scouts and earning it closes the door from one stage of my life and opens the door for the next, where I will be able to use the lessons Girl Scouting has taught me to make a difference in the world.

**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