Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

In the face of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Girl Scouts continue to do all they can to make our world a better place by taking action to address issues facing their local communities. There are no better examples of this Girl Scout spirit and resiliency than the 16 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who recently earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. They include:

  • Sidney Barbier from Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Mountain School, tackled the issues of waste and recycling, particularly at Colorado state parks. She designed signage for state parks, hosted events to educate others about waste diversion, and even created a Junior Ranger curriculum.
  • Charlotte Blish from Arvada, Arvada West High School, started a nonprofit, Watering Communities, to teach elementary-aged students about how the lack of clean water impacts socio-economic and education resources in parts of Africa.
  • Clare Bolon from Longmont, Apex Homeschool Enrichment Program, developed and taught a week-long online course about how to write and read cursive. She also created resources to help students continue to practice their cursive after completing the course.
  • Kayla Fairweather from Parker, Ponderosa High School, developed a video curriculum on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) to supplement the T1D training that teachers currently receive. It features the perspectives of diabetic students, parents, a professional athlete with T1D, an endocrinologist, and a diabetes resource nurse.
  • Zoe Johnson from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, created a handbook and video about horse care and safety to educate new or inexperienced horse owners, as well as barn staff at summer camps.
  • Beatrice Lin from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, developed a workshop and handbook for Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies called “Bringing Global to Girls” (BGtG). The goal is to help younger Girl Scouts develop a sense of connection to the rest of the world and appreciation for other cultures.
  • Ellie McWhirter from Denver, East High School, developed a series of educational materials, including a website, to decrease plastic bag usage in her community and increase the knowledge of plastic bag pollution.
  • Isabella Mendoza from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a cheap and sustainable habitat for solitary bees to lay eggs in and distributed more than 350 habitats around Colorado and the world. She also hosted a community event for people to make their own habitat.
  • With the help of local Girl Scout troops, Ashlyn Morrill from Parker, Chaparral High School, created a pollinator garden that attracts various pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc. Girls learned the importance of pollinators and were inspired to do their part to help conserve the pollinator populations.
  • Opal Mosbarger from Peyton, Falcon High School, addressed the issue of animal displacement during emergency situations. She collected kennels and blankets for Perfect Fit Wellness Center, so people can keep their pets safe during natural disasters and other emergencies.
  • Wren Murzyn from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, partnered with doctors, nutritionists, and others to create a guidebook to assist individuals who are wanting to get healthy, but don’t know where to start.
  • Meredith Neid from Denver, George Washington High School, started a self-care club at her high school to healthily address rising levels of stress amongst her peers. After the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she adapted her project to include Zoom conversations with high school seniors about processing the pandemic and what it means to grow up during this time.
  • Anna Rahn from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, created 17 STEM activities for schools and after-school programs. Due to the pandemic, she was unable to distribute them to local schools, so she developed a website where PDFs of the activities are available.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable— earned only by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges. 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 Girl Scouts, and girls are entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade if they join the military.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good—and these Girl Scouts embody everything this achievement stands for,” said Leanna Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “Each of these young women addressed an issue that’s important to her in order to earn her Gold Award, and we congratulate each of these Gold Award Girl Scouts on this momentous accomplishment.”

You can learn more about these Gold Award Girl Scouts and their projects on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Wren Murzyn, Fort Collins, “Guidebook to Healthy Eating and Living”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a guidebook to assist individuals who are wanting to get healthy, but don’t know where to start. More than 70 percent of the United States is considered overweight and many who are don’t understand why and don’t know how to start to change their lifestyle.  My family was part of this statistic – growing up we didn’t have money or time to focus on healthy eating and setting healthy goals.  In creating this guidebook, I wanted to provide a resource that offered information on creating uncomplicated healthy habits that could easily be incorporated into a busy lifestyle or one that is on a budget.  My goal was to provide a resource to encourage a focus on overall health and well-being, making sure individuals gained healthy habits, and not just focused on losing weight.  The guidebook is divided into six sections and includes the latest information available to start the journey and also includes a lot of recipes and tips.

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

I wanted to make sure my guidebook was available to a variety of people, so I set it up as a PDF and as a website. I sent flyers and business cards to doctors, nutritionists, hospitals, food banks, and even my school district and school board and asked that they pass them out to their patients, clients, and students.  I also promoted it on social media.  I requested feedback and suggestions and enabled web analytics to track how many people were looking at and using the information.  I made sure that the information presented was clear, concise, easy to use, and was from trusted sources and had been reviewed by nutritionists so that anyone using the information would find benefit.

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

By making sure the guidebook was broadly available I was able to receive feedback from multiple contacts. The fact that my guidebook is on the web and on social media will help sustain it and encourage it’s use.  I am also updating the content based on the feedback I’m receiving and, as part of my International Baccalaureate work in high school, I’m continuing to add information to provide even more context around the issue like the correlation between early education and a healthy lifestyle.

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

As part of my efforts to promote the guidebook, I contacted the agencies whose information I had used for parts of my project. Several got back to me and, based on web analytics I can see that others, like the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland reviewed my work.

What did you learn about yourself?

Starting my Gold Award prior to the pandemic and ending it during the virus crisis taught me to be flexible, resourceful, open-minded, and how to truly be a leader. I had to revise my plans multiple times in order to change with the conditions we were all facing.  Many of the ideas I had needed to be revised after I was well into the project and my leadership skills were tested by having to ask for resources and assistance virtually.  My team was made up of health and nutrition specialists at doctor’s offices and schools who had their own issues with the virus. So, I had to make sure that my project didn’t impact the work that they were doing, with this in mind I kept moving forward which really allowed me to develop as a leader and helped me feel comfortable asking for help and directing people older than me.  I’m very proud of my finished product and am looking forward to continued feedback from people who use it.

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

The Gold Award allowed me to grow in project management, leadership, and creative problem solving, as well as letting me gain in depth knowledge on a subject that was impactful to my family and my community. I feel that being able to refine these skills while I’m in high school will help me in college and my career where I’ll often be asked to do research, lead groups, and make sure I’m heard in professional groups.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since I was a Daisy in Kindergarten. I’ve earned my Bronze and Silver Awards and have been looking forward to doing a large, impactful project where I was the leader.  Girl Scouts has prepared me for the Gold Award by allowing me to plan, lead, and budget for meetings, badge requirements, service projects, and even parts of trips we took as a troop.  The Gold Award was a way for me to take all my Girl Scout experiences and use them to develop something that will continue to benefit the community.  I am very glad I chose to complete it and am proud when I tell people that I have earned the award.

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

The Gold Award definitely developed my leadership skills – working with, directing, and managing a group of professional adults which was challenging and rewarding and allowed me to realize that I am very capable of managing a team. Earning the Gold Award also helped me be a go-getter – from developing a concept to dealing with a pandemic and having to redo and revise the project as a result – I was constantly working to make sure my project was able to move forward and that I could finish it.  As a risk-taker, I tackled a subject that I had a very personal connection to but I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about.  I knew I wanted to make something that would be helping people get healthier and I took a risk that I would be able to create something that would inspire and motivate my audience.  Finally, I also got to be an innovator by sampling recipes, working with nutritionists to revise them, and thinking up tips and tricks to help people with little free time to eat healthy and take a chance on trying and experimenting with home cooking.  I feel the Gold Award definitely helped me become a well-rounded 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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Opal Mosbarger, Peyton, “Kennel Care Connection”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the issue of animal displacement during emergency situations. I collected 15 kennels and blankets and gave them to a trusted organization, so that when a person needs a kennel for an emergency situation, the person can go to the organization and get a kennel to keep their pets safe. My project majorly focused on disaster relief.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award project had on my audience by viewing how many visitors my website had. My website has most of my information and when people view it, I know my project is being understood. I also measured my project through collecting kennels, discussing my project, and making sure my project is understood and used.

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

My project is sustainable beyond my involvement by the organization (Perfect Fit Wellness Center) that I trusted to help distribute and store the kennels. By getting this organization help, this will help people who live in the local area continue to get kennels; and since Perfect Fit Wellness Center is helping, I will not need to be so involved. My website will also help my project keep going into the future as it will be a good source of information and will not need my constant attention.

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

My project’s global connection is my website. The website is intended to reach people globally and help people understand and use my project. The website also has a blog page intended to help other Girl Scouts understand the Gold Award. The website is intended to keep going for as long as possible, and reach as many people as I can.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through the Gold Award, I learned many things about myself. I learned that I am strong, determined, a problem solver, and a great advocate for change in my community. I learned that I can continue even when times are difficult. I am determined enough to continue and work through my problems. I also learned that when things do not go my way, I can be a problem solver and come up with a better idea. Now that I am done with the project, I learned that I am a very good advocate for change and can help shape the community for the better.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in the future because it will help me get jobs, a career, and college opportunities. The Gold Award will help me stand out from other people when applying for jobs and colleges. It also helped me learn to be better determined and use my learned leadership skills.

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 helped me wrap up my time as a Girl Scout and was a high note to end on as a Girl Scout. It was important because it allowed me to use all my years of experience to create one large project based on my past experiences and use everything I had learned.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L because it really pushed me to become better, use my experience, and become a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader. I became a go-getter through my project by becoming inspired to help the community and really wanting to achieve this award. My advisor also helped me become inspired and go forward, collecting kennels and reaching out to people. When kennels would not work, or people did not respond to me, I became an innovator to come up with a new idea. I was a risk-taker doing this project, it was such a large project it took confidence and some riskiness to actually do it. To become a leader, I had to delegate my team, and take responsibilities I usually would not. I had to delegate my team, take charge, set goals and dates and become the leader I had the potential to be.

**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: Beatrice Lin, Longmont, “Bringing Global to Girls”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

In a world that is rapidly changing and developing, it can sometimes be hard to remember how we connect to other girls — especially the ones that aren’t in our immediate presence. At a young age, it is difficult to develop a sense of connection to people halfway across the world, simply because they aren’t in our local community. As a result, younger children may lack empathy and compassion for others, especially around the world. To address this, I decided to create a curriculum for Daisies and Brownies (girls from kindergarten through second grade) called “Bringing Global to Girls” (BGtG). This workshop aims to help Daisies and Brownies develop a sense of connection to the rest of the world. Through this workshop, Daisies and Brownies learned new things about themselves and things about themselves that can connect them to others. Many of the activities included were inspired and adapted from activities described in Girl Scout resources and handbooks, with publications ranging from 1926 all the way up to last year, 2019. By mixing the ideas of the past with the current knowledge and resources of today, we can gain new insight about ourselves and our Girl Scout and Girl Guide sisters around the world.

I personally ran two workshops with younger girls in Colorado over Zoom. As well as this, I ran a “how-to”workshop for older girls and leaders in Colorado. By doing this, I promoted “global thinking” to all levels in GSCO.

Access the handbook HERE!

Purchase the patch HERE!

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

When I ran my workshops, I asked my target audience — Daisies and Brownies  — to complete a “KWL Chart” (Know, Want to Know, and Learned) at the beginning and end of each session. Using this tool, I was able to survey what my audience knew and how much they grew throughout the workshop. My curriculum will continue to promote global thinking and citizenship through the translations of my handbook into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, its publication on the GSCO website, and the custom patch created for this project.

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

As mentioned earlier, my handbook is published on the GSCO website, as well as the translations into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Access the handbook HERE!

The curriculum is promoted in the GSCO Retail Shop along with the custom patch, and it will be available for anyone to purchase and participate in. Purchase the patch HERE!

A copy of my handbook and patch will be at GSCO History Center, and will be taken care of for years to come. Since I ran a “how-to” workshop for older girls and leaders, those who participated will run workshops with their own troops or groups, which will help spread the word about BGtG. As a delegate of the GSCO Global Roundtable, I shared my handbook with the Bangladesh Global Roundtable delegation, and am continuing to find other contacts for Girl Scouts/Girl Guides around the world. In order to branch out of the Girl Scout loop, I also presented about my project alongside GSCO CEO Leanna Clark to the Longmont Rotary Club.

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

As mentioned before, my curriculum is translated into multiple languages. This will help my curriculum become more accessible to girls and leaders around the nation and world. Those who participate in the “Bringing Global to Girls” workshop may also be inspired to take action in their global and local communities to promote global thinking. Lastly, sharing my handbook with other Girl Scouts/Girl Guides around the world, such as the Girl Guides in Bangladesh, is instrumental to the global aspect of my project

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about myself during this process, but most importantly, I learned that I’m capable of more than I thought. My project’s impact and accomplishments reached far beyond what I had envisioned at first. These successes have shown me the importance of a team and communication, how to lead my team towards my desired results, and how to implement feedback and mix it with my own opinions. Along with this, my project took a lot of perseverance and effort, but I’m glad that I chose something I care about, which made all of my efforts worth it. 

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

Since I have learned so much by leading the BGtG team, I feel prepared to take on any leadership opportunities in my future. Although my future projects may not look as similar to BGtG, the fundamental leadership skills and values that I developed during this process make me feel like I’m ready for anything. 

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

Like many, I started Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a Daisy, and selling cookies was the biggest initiative I took part in. Progressing through elementary and middle school, the Bronze and Silver Awards I earned built the foundation and skills that I needed to earn my Gold Award. These experiences prepared me to take on the challenge to “make the world a better place.” The outcome of my project far exceeded my expectations, and this experience was much more valuable than I had envisioned. This process was incredibly rewarding and insightful, and I’ll never forget it.

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

After a global pandemic threw a wrench in my initial plans, I became an innovator. Rather than hosting my workshops in person and with local troops, I was forced to rethink and reformat my curriculum to fit into a virtual setting. I was far out of my comfort zone, but after lots of discussion and work with my team, I was able to successfully run multiple workshops online. As well as this, I created a virtual workshop mini-handbook to give others guidance on how to bring global to girls virtually. 

**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: Anna Rahn, Colorado Springs, “Get Girls in STEM”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project inspired elementary-aged girls to further explore STEM topics in order to rectify the gender imbalance in many classes and workplaces. During the course of my project, my issue expanded to include teachers and parents in my target audience as well.

To do this, I created 17 STEM activities for use in the classroom. These were designed to be used in classrooms and after-school events, but due to the global pandemic, I was unable to distribute them to local schools. Instead, the PDF copies were made available for free on www.getgirlsinstem.wixsite.com/stemactivities. Additionally, the Instagram account @getgirlsinstem posted photos of each activity with a short description for approximately two months.

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

I decided to measure my project’s success by the number of people reached. On social media and the internet, this is a very easy way to measure how many people have read and interacted with posts, comments, and articles. I was not sure how many online interactions were a reasonable expectation, so I set my goals after seeing how the first post performed.

On Instagram, I used the Insights feature available to creators to analyze my weekly views, follows, profile visits, and website clicks. Since this updates weekly, I recorded my statistics frequently and was able to add up my total impact at the very end of my project. By June 15, 2020, I had 727 followers, 8,010 impressions (the number of times a post was viewed), 6,933 reaches (the number of unique accounts that viewed a given post), 34 saves, 1,150 likes, and 40 posts.

For my website, I used an apps that Wix provided called QuickAnalytics and Web-Stat. These were much more detailed than Instagram Analytics and provided information on visitors, visitor location, operating systems, referring sites, and more. By the end, I had 106 visitors coming from 11 states and seven countries.

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

Many students in my school’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) and Science NHS were interested in creating activity pages and volunteering at demonstrations. I spoke with the students who will be in leadership next year and asked about their willingness to take over this project throughout their senior year. I received positive responses, so provided a list of suggested volunteer activities that included writing activity pages, writing blog articles, and coordinating demonstrations at local schools. With the help of these students, my project will continue to grow and impact the community even after I have disengaged.

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

My website and Instagram page reached parents, teachers, and students all over the world. Wix’s app Web-Stat showed my website traffic analytics each month, which included information on visitor frequency, location, equipment, and more. This showed me that people from all over the country were viewing my activities and blog posts. Visitors came from 11 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) and seven countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the United States, Taiwan, and Thailand).

Instagram also showed visitor analytics, updating once per week. However, this only displayed the five top areas by city and country, so I screenshotted the important information frequently to keep track of each change. On Instagram, I received visitors from four American cities (Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose) and six countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, the United States).

What did you learn about yourself?

During my project, I grew and learned much about myself. For example, I never realized how passionate I could be about a social issue until I started actively trying to solve one. The more research I did on the statistics and factors impacting women in STEM, the more I wanted to help dismantle these barriers.

I learned about myself when reaching out to others, whether they be teachers, principals, mentors, or organizations. I had never contacted someone about a personal project before, and was hesitant and nervous about sending my first email. However, I soon realized that advocating for a cause I truly believed in was energizing. It felt good to know I was improving a real-world situation and making a quantifiable impact. I learned that I can reach out to others and bring together a team.

I also learned about growth. The beginning of my project was rocky – progress was slow, and I wasn’t fully sure I could actually complete it. There were many steps in the road before me, and I had trouble seeing the end. However, as I began reaching out to people, they began responding. I realized there are many, many people who are willing to help, and this discovery helped me to grow in confidence and initiative.

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

My Gold Award project helped me grow in a way that will greatly impact me in the future. I learned how to manage a large-scale project, manage my time, speak up, and delegate tasks. All of these are quite important skills for a leadership position, so will help me in future job/internship applications where I can speak about my real-world experience leading a team.

Girl Scouts also helps Gold Award Girl Scouts network with one another, so by earning this award, I will be able to meet others with similar drive.

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

I finished my Gold Award during my senior year of high school. This was the last year I could be a Girl Scout participant before I aged out of the organization, so completing my project was like the culminating activity of my entire experience. I drew upon skills I had been working on since first joining, such as initiative, creativity, and leadership. Each of these came from troop activities, whether it be selling cookies, planning events, or working with younger girls. My project allowed me to utilize all these skills and improve upon others, as well as publicizing activities that allow girls to fall in love with STEM the way I did years ago.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L.?

When COVID-19 hit the United States, I could no longer hold in-person demonstration of my activities like I had planned. This forced me to find innovative ways of sharing my project with the community. I turned to Instagram and Wix, which gained me a larger exposure in the end since there were no physical constraints as there would be hand-delivering booklets to local schools.

**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: Isabella Mendoza, Longmont, “Increasing Bee Habitats”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I designed a cheap and sustainable habitat for solitary bees to lay eggs in and distributed more than 350 habitats around Colorado and the world. I hosted an event in my community where participants could make their own habitats with their unique designs, and made a how-to video that is posted on YouTube so anyone who is interested in making a habitat can watch it and follow along. I also sent 29 bee boxes to 11 other states in the United States and more than 30 bee boxes to four other countries. Participants in the event and those who watched the video also got knowledge about the importance of solitary bees and other ways they can help pollinators.

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

I measured the impact of my project by counting how many habitats were distributed at events or through shipping. I distributed 305 bee habitats in Colorado, and an additional 62 in other states in the United States and in countries around the world.

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

My project is sustained partly by the design of the habitat itself. Leafcutter bees, a type of solitary bee, will reuse habitats year after year to lay their eggs. Additionally, the bee boxes I distributed are wrapped in duct tape to weather proof them. A teacher at my former high school has also committed to including the bee habitats as an end-of-the-year craft, so high school students will be able to make them year after year.

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

My project’s global and national connections are the 62 bee habitats I sent around the United States and the world. Every livable continent has solitary bees that can use my bee box! Additionally, I posted a how-to video on YouTube that can be viewed from anywhere around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

One major thing I learned is that I am an organizational person. I enjoyed making spreadsheets and keeping track of information, a skill that has since served me in both my academic and personal lives. I also learned that I am capable of being a leader in general. I was able to motivate others and successfully lead a team through an event, and I was able to distribute hundreds of bee boxes not only in my community but around the world. If I were not a leader, I would not have been able to make the impact that I did.

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

Earning the Gold Award has already impacted my future by giving me more confidence to take action about the things that matter to me. It will further impact my future by showing scholarships and companies that I am a leader, capable of making real change.

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

Earning the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I have been a part of Girl Scouts since I was in first grade. I grew up learning life skills with Girl Scouts, and it was important to me that I had something tangible to show for it. The Gold Award further strengthened skills I had been practicing, such as communicating with a team and managing a project, which was the perfect closer to my career as a Girl Scout.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me to become an innovator and a leader. I designed and prototyped my bee habitat, taking into consideration what would be helpful for a bee and what accessible items were, which made me a better innovator. I practiced many leadership skills as well, especially communication, but also project management, confidence, and problem solving.

**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.

Meet National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo

Girl Scouts of Colorado has two special opportunities for you to hear directly from 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo. As a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Julia is one of one of ten teen activists honored by Girl Scouts of the USA. As a senior at Arvada West High School, Julia tackled the lack of accessibility to menstrual products in Colorado public schools and the stigma of periods. She partnered with Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone and led the high school’s Intersectional Feminist Club to create a legislative action committee, which introduced a bill to end period poverty and stigma, and advocated for students in Title One schools. Julia was also selected to be GSUSA’s girl activist and representative at the United Nation’s Girls Speak Out Girl’s Rights Townhall earlier in October.

  • Watch this special interview with Julia and Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark.
  • Julia also participated in GSCO’s “Meet an Expert” webinar series on October 27, 2020. Girl Scouts of all ages and adults joined from across Colorado to learn about Julia’s journey to the Gold Award, becoming a National Gold Award Girl Scout, and her advice for other girls. Missed it? Listen here.

Girl Scouts who participated in the live session or listen to the recording can purchase their “Meet an Expert” patch online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/gsco-shop.html

Resources from the webinar:

Questions? Email aimee.artzer@gscolorado.org.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Zoe Johnson, Monument, “More Than Just Horsing Around: Learning the Basics of Equine Care and Safety”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a handbook and video about horse care and safety to educate barn staff at summer camps, as well as new or inexperienced horse owners. My video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGYYs2av5C4. The handbook and accompanying video cover topics like proper tack fit, common equine illnesses and injuries, the basics of horse handling, and how to measure vitals as well as the steps to earn Girl Scout badges related to horses. It can be helpful for training new summer camp staff members and a helpful reference for people who are new to the horse world. 

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

I ended up sending my handbook and video to 43 summer camps across the country, six of which have responded that they plan to consider and implement the material in staff training. My YouTube video covering some of the material in the handbook has also gotten 30 views in its first two months. 

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

My handbook and video will be used in training staff members at summer camps for years to come, helping to provide a good example of proper horse care to young campers. The handbook will also be available on the websites of a regional horse club and national horse organization for members and other interested horse owners. 

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

My educational materials have been distributed to 43 summer camps around the country, in addition to being uploaded to regional and national horse club websites. These websites as well as the YouTube video are accessible to anyone around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout my project, I really learned the importance of setting short-term goals. Looking at how much work there was to be done on my project could be pretty daunting at times, leading me to lose my motivation. I learned that by setting short-term goals for smaller elements of my project along the way, I could get big tasks done that had seemed so intimidating. 

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

This project challenged me to take charge and address an issue I had experienced first-hand. I’ve developed more confidence in professionally reaching out to people I have never met and practiced presenting information clearly and concisely in multiple formats including written material, video, and live presentation. The skills and attitudes I have developed through the process of earning my Gold Award will stay with me throughout my life. 

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

Besides all the personal growth that came from completing my Gold Award project, it also gave me a sense of completion from earning the highest award after being a Girl Scout for over ten years. It is a great feeling to look back over the years since I joined in first grade and see how much I have grown, earning my Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. 

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become more of a go-getter. By finding a problem I felt passionate about and working to help solve that problem, I gained the feeling that I can truly make a difference in the world. It has motivated me to continue to confidently pursue goals that interest me.

**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.

Watch a Special Interview with 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo

Join Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark on Saturday, November 7 at 2 p.m. for a special interview with 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo of Arvada! You can watch live on the GSCO Facebook page and get a notification that the event is starting, by clicking the “Get Reminder” button on the bottom right of the Video Premiere post.

 

Learn more about Julia and her project here: https://bit.ly/3jCWusW

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout Ashlyn Morrill, Parker, “Protect the Pollinators”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a pollinator garden that attracts various pollinators, e.g. hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc., with the help of local Girl Scout troops to show how important pollinators are to the community and what they provide, and to inspire them to do their part to help conserve the pollinator populations. I also created a website and presentation for various classes at my high school to encourage others to create their own pollinator garden.

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

My target audience was middle school and high school students because they are the future of the world. They will be the generation that will have to deal with the consequences of climate change, for instance, the decline in pollinators. I measured my project’s impact by creating an Instagram page for people to interact with. I also put free milkweed seed packets in the school library along with a flyer to explain their purpose.

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

The first way I made my project sustainable is the plants themselves are perennials, so they will come back every year. Second, I created the presentation describing the issue and what the purpose of the garden is. The Interact Club at Chaparral High School will be continuing the presentations for various classes. I also created an Instagram account @chap.pollinator.garden, which I have posted various statistics and pictures from planting day. I also created a website, chapgarden.wixsite.com/chap, which explains the purpose of the garden and why this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. There is an email as well, it is chap.pollinator.garden@gmail.com, for anyone to contact if they have any questions at all.

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

The national/global link is that this pollinator decline does not only affect the food supply of Parker, CO, it impacts the whole world. I linked my project to a national organization called Save Our Monarchs by receiving seed packets from them to share with my community. Globally, the Instagram page and the website could reach other countries and inspire others in different areas of the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that when plans change, I cannot get stressed out or worried because I will not get anywhere. The only way to overcome failures is to persevere through them and stay focused on the overall goal. Also, plans change all the time, and it is always good to plan ahead and almost expect the plans to change so I am prepared for anything.

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

I learned and improved upon many skills including leadership and communication, which I will need in the future for my career. It is also a good experience to include on resumes and applications because it shows your potential and what you can do as a leader.

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

My Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me an opportunity to apply the skills I have learned and developed throughout my years as a Girl Scout.

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

I would consider myself very innovative after this project. I ran into plenty of challenges including spontaneous snowstorms, rescheduling, and a global pandemic. I had to reschedule a dozen times and not panic because if the leader loses control, then the whole project could fall apart.

**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.