Category Archives: Take Action/Highest Awards

Evergreen Girl Scouts work on Silver Award project with JeffCo Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper

Submitted by Lisa Carter

Metro Denver

Evergreen

This Girl Scout troop is earning their Silver Award by collaborating with Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper to address the issue of teen vaping. I’m so proud of their efforts and I’m in awe of their creativity.

The girls talked to Senator Tammy Story about their project. She invited them to testify at the State Capital this session when bills on vaping are introduced.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Taylor Sich, Lakewood, “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends)

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I created “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends) for teenagers who need help with suicidal thoughts and need support. I also established many peer-facilitated groups at school, as well as created a website for parents and children to find resources and read about the stories of others that are going through the same thing as they are.

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

While the project is new, I was able to talk to the leaders of the groups to see about the attendance rate of each of them. I have received feedback from outside sources about the groups and parents being glad that the groups are available. I also established analytics for the website I created.

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

My project is being sustained by the counseling centers in the schools that are committed to keeping H.O.P.E. alive. In addition, the local businesses who have placed my posters in their businesses continue to drive people to my website, where additional information can be found.

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

My project has been shared through social media, as well as the resources I have met with, including the CEO of Centura Health, which is connected to 14 hospitals.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am stronger than I thought. I was able to overcome obstacles. I was able to grow emotionally and I learned how to be more sympathetic. I learned people skills, who to talk to, and how to truly understand someone.

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

I think that earning my Gold Award will help in many ways. Not only is it very beneficial for me to be able to put on my resumé and scholarship applications, it will also help me inspire others. I tackled a huge challenge and helped others while doing it, which I will forever enjoy sharing with younger Girl Scouts.

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

I think that my Gold Award was the cherry on top. I was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and I did everything I could, from Journeys to earning my Bronze and Silver Awards, now my Gold Award.  It was the perfect way to close a chapter that was so large in my life.

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

I think that my Gold Award made me a risk-taker. I am different than I was before. I will now pick up the phone and talk to someone who I would have been too nervous to talk to before.  And lastly, I will try, try more than I ever did before, to meet every challenge, regardless if I may fail.

**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 Girl Scout: Christine Bolt, Steamboat Springs, “Camp Bloom”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

The issue my project addressed was the lack of summer camp opportunities in our area for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other varying disabilities. Ultimately, I organized and arranged for a weeklong summer camp for children with autism. Each day was centered around an aspect of camping and outdoor skills, such as: building a fire, setting up a tent, and wildlife awareness. At the end of the week, the kids were to use the knowledge my team and I had taught them to camp away from home for one night.

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

I measured my impact by how happy or excited my campers looked each day. Camp Bloom was for the children more than everything. The name of Camp Bloom was inspired by the different stages of flower growth, with the notion that no matter where one is at, they may continue to grow and learn and experience new things. Now regardless if they retained anything from my camp, the most important aspect is the most powerful one of them all; it’s if they have fun. If they laugh, giggle, or however they express happiness appears, then I feel as though I was successful.

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

A local company in our town of Steamboat Springs has agreed to a permanent sponsorship for the next five years. However, if I am unable to continue to assume leadership and be “camp director,” I planned Camp Bloom with the Yampa Valley Autism Program (YVAP), which is an already substantiated organization in the community. By doing so, YVAP can proceed with my program, with the curriculum already created, in the future without me. While not as pertinent, I would like to “train” another Girl Scout in the hopes of her taking over my position and leadership of Camp Bloom. I really like the idea of the two intertwined organizations: YVAP and Girl Scouts.

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

Dealing with an autism diagnosis is already unsettling enough. Costs for specially devised programs and support are very expensive to begin with. While the state of Colorado has extremely low funding for family aid and autism research, I wanted to create a free camp to grow these kids’ knowledge and educate them on a topic that I very much appreciate and enjoy doing.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that do not, and should not, always need to seek approval in things that I do. I must be confident in my choices and if things go awry, I still need to stay positive and be proud of myself and what I ultimately accomplished. I also learned that it is important to take command and not be afraid to say what I want or prefer. And that prior to Camp Bloom, I was more timid to organizing things than I am now.

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

Forevermore, I will be able to say that I accomplished something that I am genuinely proud of. This achievement of mine can now be entered into resumes and applications for various things. I now have an idea of how to plan events and just how much work goes into doing such, and this knowledge I will be able to use in the future if need be.

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

This project taught me to open my eyes and look at the world around me. To affirm my role in the community and show me how I may influence those around me; and influence my sister Girl Scouts as well.

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

Of course, I learned to take charge and lead my camp. However, I will say that I definitely had to be a risk-taker for Camp Bloom. This required me to do things I had never done or tried before. I ultimately learned new things and did things through “trial and error.” I had some worries, but by taking chances, it certainly paid off.

**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 candidate builds StoryWalk Trail

Over the past year, Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Avery H. has developed, planned, and constructed a StoryWalk Trail for the Town of Parker. It is permanently installed at McCabe Meadows, a nature trail located just off the Cherry Creek Trail. A StoryWalk Trail is a type of nature trail with signs installed along it, displaying the pages of a children’s book. A story can be read as the trail is walked.

“I pursued this project because it perfectly intertwined my love for both the outdoors and reading while also engaging children in my community. I wanted to be able to help other kids discover the love I have for books and nature,” Avery wrote.

Special thanks to Reporter Jeff Todd of CBS4/KCNC-TV in Denver for sharing  Avery’s story!

 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Samantha Kucera, Steamboat Springs, “Discovering The Wilderness By Kids For Kids”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a wilderness skills program for kids. Through this program, I have run numerous educational events for more than 230 kids, created an online skills guide, and have a booklet available as a Wilderness Junior Ranger Program at Steamboat Lake State Park and as a patch program with Girl Scouts of Colorado. I created this program because I attended a charter school that taught wilderness skills and my family enjoys camping, backpacking, and hiking.  After learning that I knew unique skills that most of my friends had never learned, I wanted to share them with the kids in my community. My passion for sharing outdoor skills and getting kids into nature gave me a clear focus for my Gold Award.

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

I was able to see the difference in participants every time I taught them new wilderness skills. I am looking forward to seeing my patch on the back of girls’ uniforms.  I also see incredible changes in my Girl Scout friends who have helped me by teaching skills. Their newfound confidence is inspiring to me.

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

This project will be sustained without my involvement through my website, through availability at Steamboat Lake State Park, and through a patch program with Girl Scouts of Colorado. My website will be online until I choose to take it down, which I hope to keep updated instead. The website has all the information I would want to teach any kid, no matter the age. Currently, I have a booklet that guides kids through multiple activities, all teaching them aspects of wilderness skills. This program is active at Steamboat Lake State Park and will be used there for at least a year, but most likely for the foreseeable future. I have another version of this booklet as part of a Girl Scouts of Colorado patch program.  The initial order was for 500 patches, so they intend to advertise my program and keep it active for years to come.

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

My project includes a website, booklet, and a Girl Scout patch. When you look online, there are very few websites teaching wilderness skills for kids. Many are written for older audiences that the younger generations are unable to understand. By creating a website, I am giving kids the tools to learn outdoor skills from anywhere. Girl Scouts of Colorado intends to make my patch available to other councils nationwide. I already have interest in the patch in Illinois, Washington, Arizona, and Wyoming.

What did you learn about yourself?

For my entire life, I have heard about people who do amazing things such as making a business, writing a book, or creating an event. Without the Gold Award, I would have never attempted this large of a project. I conceptualized, planned, and implemented a program at the elementary school for 100 fourth graders, with middle and high schoolers as my team leaders. I wrote a booklet with the outdoor skills I believe are the most important for kids to know. I created my own website for a topic I deeply care about. This multifaceted program was my vision and goal. I shared the skills learned from my family, school, and years of Girl Scouts. Through this project, I learned that I am stronger than I imagined and that making a positive impact on the world is not as hard as I thought.

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

This project has made me an activist and a leader. My leadership skills will continue to grow because I learned how to turn my vision into reality. In the future, I will be able to let the leader in me show through in everything I do. I cannot wait until I get to see Girl Scouts with my patch on the back of their uniforms, seeing how my Gold Award has affected not only my life, but those around me.

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

The Gold Award is something very few girls earn. I am proud I can join their ranks. This is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn and is an award most girls never earn. For my final year before I become a Girl Scout troop leader, I made it my goal to earn this prestigious award.

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

My Gold Award taught me how to strive for what I never thought I could accomplish. I learned how to go for my dreams and make them a reality. Even when problems arose, I used my innovation to develop my ideas and solve any problems I faced. I have put my program and myself out for the world to see. I took the risk of letting the world see what I am passionate about. Every adult I worked with believed that I am a strong and confident young woman. Leading is what I have been developing my entire life. My Gold Award is my outlet to lead and share my knowledge with kids everywhere. Girl Scouts provided a place for me to learn about myself and become a better G.I.R.L.

**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 candidate installs “Grow Tower” at high school in Colorado Springs

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Emma P.  installed the first of two “Grow Towers” in the library of Palmer High School in Colorado Springs on September 30, 2019. Emma is working to earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

Emma describes her project:

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been deeply interested in climate change and determined to help address it. For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I wanted to pick a project that would help address climate change in my community. I decided the library at my high school, Palmer High School, would greatly benefit from a new environmental project, the installation of two hydroponic ‘Grow Towers,’ an indoor alternative growing system. ‘Grow Towers’ are vertical, hydroponic (plants grown in liquid instead of soil) growing systems, which grow various herbs, vegetables, and other plants in less than 3 square feet. This project has many important ramifications for my entire school. The cafeteria and culinary classes will utilize the fresh herbs and vegetables in their programs. I also plan on tying these towers into some science classes and am considering starting a new horticulture class to further educate and involve students in similar projects. Along the way, I have been working with teachers, administrators, and student groups to help maintain my project and work toward expansion. I have also met with and arranged for representatives from two community organizations (Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Colorado Springs Food Rescue) to give presentations at my school about their organizations’ work. I am hoping students will feel more connected and interested in similar local work. Ultimately, I am hoping these towers will help the Palmer community learn about the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options within schools and students will feel a sense of empowerment in addressing climate change.”

A special thank you to the Colorado Springs News-Gazette and Fox21News/KXRM-TV for joining Emma for this event and sharing her story.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Highest Awards deadline

The end of the 2018-19 Girl Scout year is approaching!

Girl Scout Gold Award candidates, who graduated high school in 2019, have until September 30, 2019 to receive final approval for their award. After September 30, girls who graduated from high school in 2019 will be considered adult Girl Scout members and are no longer eligible to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Girl Scouts bridging from Juniors to Cadettes or Cadettes to Seniors this summer have until September 30, 2019 to submit online notification (https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/forms-and-resources/bronze-and-silver-notification.html) that they have earned their Bronze or Silver Award.

The Bronze Award is the highest achievement for Girl Scout Juniors and the Silver Award is the highest achievement for Girl Scout Cadettes. Through earning one of these Highest Awards, girls change their corner of the world and maybe even beyond. Through submitting online notification, you can order letters of recognition, certificates, and pins. Girl Scouts of Colorado honors and celebrates girls in a special way at our Highest Awards Celebrations in the spring. See photos from the 2019 celebrations: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/albums/72157677628860017

Questions? Email GSCO’s Highest Awards Manager at highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout honored as Environmental Educator of the Year

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Estes Park

Gold Award Girl Scout and Lifetime Girl Scout Wendy Roberts, daughter of Jay and Penny Roberts of Estes Park, was recently honored with a prestigious award:  the 2019 Vern A. Fridley Formal Environmental Educator of the Year.  This honor was awarded by the Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE), and the awards presentation was held on August 9, 2019 at Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City.

Wendy was a teacher in the Estes Park schools for several years in the early 2000s. She began with her student teaching, followed by working as a private tutor and substitute teaching. After she was hired full-time, she taught classes in ESL, Alternative Education, and science to enhance her experience.

She moved from Estes Park to Liberal, Kansas, where she taught eighth grade physical science for two years at the middle school level.  She then moved on to Ogden, Utah, where she now teaches at the DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts, a public charter school. At DaVinci Academy, she teaches high school Biology, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college prep program for 7th-12th grades), and also includes electives such as Botany, Zoology, Aquatic Biology, Wildlife Biology and Current Issues in Science in her curriculum.  Previously, she had taught Chemistry and Earth Systems.  This year, she has added to her job description the role of Instructional Specialist for the teachers of 7th-12th grades and professional development training.

Wendy has also worked extensively with the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College; she instructs teachers how to use the Great Salt Lake in their science curriculum and how to take students on field trips there.  She has worked the entire water cycle into field trips by traveling from the top of the watershed to the entire length of the Salt Lake, showing students the magic and wonder of this unique environment.

In addition, she has worked through the Utah State University to acquire Master Naturalist certifications in Mountains and Wetlands.

Alex Porpora, Executive Director for USEE says, “We are so proud to acknowledge this year’s environmental education awardees and their contributions to our community.  These individuals are role models and inspire me to do the work we do at USEE.”  Further she reports, “Our mission is promoting excellence in environmental education by providing support, resources and networking opportunities to Utah’s community of educators.  Our vision is an environmentally literate society committed to a sustainable future.”

One of Wendy’s current environmental science students was also honored at the USEE awards ceremony, as one of Utah’s “5 under 25” for her work with air quality legislation at the city and state levels. Wendy says she was more in awe of her student’s recognition and levels of dedication than her own award. At the awards ceremony, Wendy said, in summary, “My mom was my greatest inspiration.  She made me look at things (in the surrounding environment) and then she told me that I needed to tell everybody else.  Yes, I make my students hug trees and I make my administrators stop buying plastic bottles.”

She attributes her love for the outdoors and education to her years of working with the Girl Scouts, primarily at Meadow Mountain Ranch near Allenspark.  It’s easy to see how that Girl Scout background has translated to the level of “master teacher,” as evident in her success which is now reaching beyond her own school and into the broader Utah community.

Wendy worked as Assistant Camp Director at MMR for three years, where she directed program and trained staff.  In addition, she participated with “The Milkweeds” in the adult trip to Our Cabana in Mexico where the group visited the Monarch butterfly preserve and helped with an International Festival and a community outreach service project.  Several years later, part of that same group of women, including Wendy, returned to Our Cabana this year to take part in Sea Adventure II, where they were awarded an opportunity to help with a project to protect and preserve sea turtles near Acapulco.  For Wendy, almost any outdoor project is a huge attraction, and she will continue to seek out similar adventures inside or outside the Girl Scout organization.

She helps her mom, Penny, with the program and promotion of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch every year, returning to her roots to reconnect with that very special wilderness environment.  Adventures are never-ending when she gets a chance to share with friends old and new on her personal “stomping grounds.”

Please join her parents in celebrating Wendy’s outstanding accomplishment. The future will continue to be bright and will reward her over and over as she works to further her personal and professional goals.

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

 

 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Cassandra Sterns, Arvada, “Simply Technology”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, Simply Technology, I created and taught six technology classes for independently living seniors in Arvada, Colorado that helped them learn how to use their Android smartphone. Each class taught the attendees how to use different apps on smartphones such as messages, camera, email, and Internet. Knowing how to use technology is a huge part of today’s society, and not knowing how to use it often ostracized people, namely senior citizens.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award through a survey I had each of the members of my class take, and by the appreciation I received personally from the attendees. Many of the seniors approached me to tell me how helpful the class was and that they are no longer afraid to try new things on their phone. Additionally, my project was requested again, which showed that people thought it was helpful and successful enough that other people should take the class too.

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

My project is going to be sustained in two ways beyond my involvement. The first way that my project will be sustained is that the Jefferson County Public Library System will continue to hold classes that teach seniors about their smartphones. The second way is that I will have a website that can be accessed by anyone with the materials that I created for my classes and more cool tricks that I hope will encourage seniors to use their phones more often. The web address is https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/simply-technology.

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

I grew my Gold Award project from the original location at Stanley Lake Library to a second location, Brookdale Meridian Center in Boulder. The Brookdale Meridian Center is an independent living community for retired citizens (most are in the late 70s to 80s). At Brookdale Meridian, I taught a class to the residents and helped them to understand how their phones worked.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I could have a voice that people pay attention to in a crowd and that I didn’t need to be handed a microphone when I wanted to talk to a crowd. I have always had a quieter voice and it gets overpowered a lot in discussions and conversations. I struggled during the first few classes to get my voice heard, but by the end, I was able to captivate my audience with a louder voice.

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

Earning my Gold Award is going to impact my future because it allowed me to grow and learn more about myself. My project challenged me to overcome some of my reservedness and helped me to develop as a leader. In the future, I will be able to use the skills I learned during my Gold Award project to impact the world in other and hopefully, larger ways.

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

Earning your Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience because it proves that you have learned something applicable through the organization. Additionally, it shows you that you can be an empowered young woman all by yourself and you can take on some of the problems of the world. The Gold Award is important because it culminates all that you have learned as a Girl Scout and focuses it into one project that you can be passionate about the rest of your life.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I became a go-getter and a risk-taker. Taking on the project pushed me to pursue some of my own dreams and help the world around me; it enabled me to become purposeful. Additionally, putting myself up there in front of a group of people made me realize that taking risks aren’t so bad, in fact, my Gold Award made me more confident to put myself out there for people to see.

**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

Troop 74546’s Silver Award project

Submitted by Anna Boyle

Northern & Northeastern CO

Loveland

We are Troop 74546 in Loveland and for our Silver Award project, we painted inspirational quotes on bathroom stalls in bathrooms at an elementary school. We picked an elementary school that one of us went to and we made a presentation. In the presentation, we included how, what, when, and where we are painting. We presented to the PTA and the principal at Cottonwood Plains Elementary School. They allowed us to do it and we got to work. We went and got paint donated from a Home Depot store. We spent two days painting and making it perfect. We put a sealer on it and it was finished. The next day, the kids got to come in for Back to School Night and see our work. All of the teachers and students love the stalls and they were excited for the new year with newly painted stalls.

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