Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Lilly, Longmont, “Loco for LoCo”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I did a research project about the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory. I started by interviewing people who had worked at the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory or had connections to it. These interviews were then turned into a podcast style format and posted on my website (https://lillyemma24.wixsite.com/loco4loco/podcasts).

The next step of my project was to write a children’s book, The Magic Beet, which is the story of three children as they travel back in time and learn about the sugar factory. A copy of each book went to each elementary school in the St. Vrain School District and is still available for purchase on my website. I also had several book readings at the Longmont Public Library and I presented to several different organizations, including the Longmont Kiwanis and Longmont City Council, about my project.

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

The book I wrote, The Magic Sugar Beet, is still currently for sale online and my interviews have all been kept on my live website. Additionally, a copy of my book was placed in the libraries of every elementary school in our district, and eight teachers have given me confirmation that this book will become a part of their curriculum. Currently, the third grade history curriculum is focused on local history, but some of the teachers I have talked to have said that not much time is spent talking about the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory (an important part of Longmont’s beginning), so when teachers read the book to their classes and listen to the podcasts, the work I did for my Gold Award is able to be sustained for years to come.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection? / How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I published a survey on my website that was available to Girl Scouts and anyone around the world to fill out. This survey asked people questions about whether or not they planned on learning about their local history, and it also had a challenge of learning one fact about their local history that they did not already know. This part of my project, encouraged learning about local history for all ages, and results showed that over 71% planned on continuing to learn about their town’s local history. More about this project can be found at (https://lillyemma24.wixsite.com/loco4loco/local-history-project).

What did you learn about yourself?

At the beginning of this project, I was nervous to reach out and talk to people I did not know, but through my Gold Award project I learned that I am capable of planning a project and leading a team. Even though I was often worried throughout the process that people would find me incompetent, I stuck with it and learned that most people were very eager to help me with my project even if I wasn’t an expert on the material. Through this project, I learned I was able to talk to important people in the community whether it was our city council when I shared my project with them, or people who worked for the St. Vrain Historical Society.

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

My Girl Scout Gold Award has given me the skills to run a project and the confidence to do it. I gained many team leading skills that can still help me in the future. I had four artistic friends who had agreed to illustrate the book for me. Even with a small team, delegating tasks was more difficult than I expected. They took about a month longer than the deadline to submit their art to me, and it was sometimes difficult to get them to respond to emails. Going into college and later my career with the experience of leading a team will help me greatly in being a better leader.

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

Getting my Gold Award was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me the chance to put many of the leadership skills I learned throughout Girl Scouts (such as badges or summer camp), into action. The Gold Award was something I had really wanted to go after since I was a younger Girl Scout, and so it was rewarding to accomplish it and hopefully inspire other Girl Scouts to Go Gold!

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

My Gold Award helped me become a better innovator. I got to discover a lot about a place and history of the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory something I knew virtually nothing about at the start of the project, so I had to do a fair amount of research. In school, we always get a very broad sense of history, so to delve deeply into one tiny aspect of history was really fascinating to me. Since my project was not strictly partnered with a particular organization or group, I had to take initiative and carve a path for this project that did not yet exist, and that required a fair amount of creativity. I had to problem solve when it came to finding people to interview or ways in which I could promote my project. I got used to changing and revising my project as time went on, and I think this aspect as well as learning about my history outside of class work helped shape me into someone who was able to more adapt easily to whatever tasks were thrown at 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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Bailey Stokes, Buena Vista, “Teaching in the Outdoors”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In order to earn my Gold Award and make a difference in my community, I decided to make outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of teachers in schools across the state. I achieved this by making boxes that had lesson plans for eight to ten outdoor lessons, along with all the materials a teacher would need to complete them. The boxes also included a small tri-fold presentation board on the subject for student reference. I made two sets of three boxes covering three different subjects: investigations, habitat, and adaptations. The boxes are designed to meet the education standards for fourth grade science, but they can be adapted to be used with any age group. The goal of my project was to provide teachers with an easy and convenient way to bring outdoor education into their classrooms, because outdoor education provides students with many physical and mental benefits.

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

The first step of my project was to go spend a day at my local elementary school teaching a couple of my lessons to a fourth grade class in order to determine what worked with students and what did not. In the day that I spent at the elementary school, I impacted 70 students. When the school year starts, I expect to impact around 500 students a year through the constant use of my project.

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

My project will be sustained by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are two sets of my boxes and they are being kept at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices in Pueblo and Salida. The people at the offices will help ensure that my boxes are staying in good condition throughout their use. They will also help ensure that the boxes are going out into classrooms year after year.

Another way that my project will continue to impact the community after my involvement is through the help of the teachers that use my boxes. They will hopefully continue to use my boxes year after year, and they will also help spread the word about my project through the teaching community. I have also had teachers tell me that they want to recreate my boxes for their own communities.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

Instead of finding a way to make it so that teachers across the country could use my boxes, I decided to focus on encouraging other people to take action like I did. I wrote an informational paper about the importance of outdoor education and why it should be incorporated into schools. I did this in hopes that I would inspire other people to take action. There are also two sets of my boxes that are being stored in two separate locations so that they can be accessible for more teachers across the state.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, and I learned that I am capable of making a difference. I also learned that I have what it takes to be a teacher one day, and I grew an even bigger passion for education. During this project, I also gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities.

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

My Gold Award gave me hands-on experience in the field that I am wanting to enter. I am currently studying to be a teacher at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and this project gave me valuable classroom experience. What I learned through this project will help me as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

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 in the first grade. In that time, I have been actively involved in many different Girl Scout activities, however, earning my Gold Award was the most valuable part of my Girl Scout experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to make a difference in my community, I also gained a lot of confidence and career experience. Earning my Gold Award was a life changing experience that showed me that I am able to accomplish anything I put my mind to. It was a lot of work, but in the end it was definitely a valuable part of my Girl Scout experience and I am extremely glad that I did it.

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

During this project, my leadership skills greatly improved. I stepped out of my comfort zone by leading people who weren’t my peers. My project may have impacted the community, but it also helped me become a stronger leader which is a trait I will need for the rest of my life. This project also helped me become a go-getter. I took action and I accomplished an amazing achievement that I am extremely proud of.

**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: Grace Matsey, Highlands Ranch, “Got Music?”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians run by members of my high school’s Music Honor Society to help emphasize and educate about the importance of music and music education.

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

I compared the enrollment numbers from the orchestra classes in 2017-18 school year and the 2018-19 school year.

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

My project is sustainable because it is run by the members of my high school’s Music National Honor Society. The president of next year will be in charge, and so on and so forth. It will continue to help increase the participation in music programs, as well as helping to educate the importance of music and music education.

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

I communicated with the Program Coordinator for the head of the National Music Honor Society, and they were able to obtain information about my project to post it on their websites and have workshops on how to effectively teach music. This enables it to now be a national music tutoring program.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can communicate with large groups of people. I spoke in front of an audience of 300 people, and it was really inspiring to see how you can connect with so many people at once, and how you know that they can all feel your passion for a project.

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

Earning my Gold Award will help me step forward with confidence in the future. I know that I can do anything, if I set a plan and work towards it.

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

I think that if I had not completed the Gold Award, Girl Scouts would not have been such an important part of my life. This project helped me spread the awareness of something that I am passionate about, while working with amazing people and creating connections.

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

It helped me become a go-getter because I set a very aggressive timeline, while also working with lots of people. I completed the majority of my project in one semester, and was still able to see results.

**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: Brittany Argo, Aurora, “St. Michael’s the Archangel/Philippines Prayer Garden-Prayers Across the Sea”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I decided to build a prayer garden at St. Michael’s the Archangel in Aurora, Colorado, which included remembrance bricks that were engraved with a loved one’s name. I also wanted to help make a difference in another country, so I chose a church in the Philippines that I donated $5,000 to help build a prayer garden there as well. Both of these churches were given two pamphlets that I made that will be handed out for years to come. The St. Michael’s the Archangel/Philippines Prayer Garden-Prayers Across the Sea addressed three main issues: the loss of a loved one through grief; there is no peaceful and quiet place outside the church for prayer; and there is no place in the church to remember a loved one with a personal sentiment.

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

The project directly benefited St. Michael’s the Archangel, and helped them to have a space for prayer and solitude. My project focused on teaching the community about grief and how to deal with the loss of a loved one in a healthy way. There are currently more than 3,000 families registered at St. Michael’s the Archangel, and the prayer garden is open to all parishioners. The prayer garden in the Philippines is located beside the Chapel of the Forgiving Lord, in the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Street Children Village. There are 780 students in the Tuloy Foundation that visit the garden throughout the week as well as, daily masses attended by 200-300 people, and a total of about 400 on Sundays.

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

St. Michael’s the Archangel Prayer Garden is a project that is designed to continue for many years, so that the garden can grow with the new generations. The flowers and bricks will help to continue the garden to grow, and give the church an area where they can come together as a community for a greater cause. They will be able to keep this garden going as a place of prayer and worship. The preschool has promised to continue planting flowers in the garden in each year and the church will continue to sell the bricks and the youth will be able to give back to their parish by helping to install the bricks. I have also handed out two pamphlets, one on “How To Deal With Grief” and the other one on “How To Build A Prayer Garden,” which well be available at both churches for years to come.

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

My global connection was helping to build a prayer garden in the Philippines. I was able to help a church in need and give $5,000 to help build a prayer garden. I am so excited and overjoyed that I was able to help another community with such an amazing project. The fact that I was able to donate $5,000 to help another church community build a prayer garden where they can deal with their loss and grief in their own type away is incredible. The Tuloy Foundation, which is a non-profit organization helps underprivileged children, who don’t have a home, food or family. The prayer garden will be able to help them have a place to go to pray.

What did you learn about yourself?

After spending so much time and energy organizing and coordinating my project, I learned that it really takes an entire army of people to make a difference. I wasn’t able to do this project on my own. I needed the help of my volunteers, and the help of my family to complete this project. I have always loved to help others and help my community for the greater good. I have been on three church work camp trips, and even though building my prayer garden might not of been a service trip, I still felt the feeling of gratitude and happiness.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in the future because it has allowed me to develop many leadership skills. I have developed a strong sense of communication, organization, delegation, and time management skills. This project has taught me that I can make a difference in my community and globally, I have gained so much confidence which will help me to take on more projects in the future that will hopefully reach even more people.

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

I feel the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because my project has been so personal and meaningful to me. I will be able to look back at my Girl Scout experience and remember my Gold Award as a project that made such a big difference on my community as well as on me. My Gold Award is the last step of my Girl Scout journey and reflects everything that I have learned during my girl scout experience as well as giving me an appreciation for how much work goes into getting the Gold Award.

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

My Gold Award helped me become a “G.I.R.L.”  The “G” stands for go-getter.  I learned by building my project I was not able to give up and learned to go after whatever I needed to in order for my project to be completed.  I knew I could achieve whatever I set out to do.  I was ambitious and wasn’t afraid to pursue what I needed to in order to complete my project but also to earn the highest award a girl can earn which is the Gold Award.

**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 Bailey Stokes awarded Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship

Gold Award Girl Scout Bailey Stokes of Buena Vista is the 2018 recipient of the Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship. She earned her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, earlier this summer for creating a nature program that will be sustained by teachers in her community.

Johanna Farrar’s husband and children started this scholarship in 2015 to celebrate all of her accomplishments, particularly those within the Girl Scout community. Born in London, England and raised in a small village on the south coast of England, Johanna was a Girl Guide in her childhood. She was also the youngest ever to have achieved the Queen’s Guide Award at that time, the English equivalent of the Girl Scout Gold Award. After earning a software engineering degree from Loughborough University, Johanna moved to New Jersey to work for Bell Labs. In 1985, she accepted a position with FedEx in Colorado Springs, where she met and married Gene Farrar in 1990. Johanna and Gene lived and worked in the Colorado Springs area, moving to Monument in 1992 when their oldest daughter, Hannah, was born. In 1995, after their second daughter, Rachel, was born, Johanna retired from a successful career as a Technical Advisor at FedEx for an even more successful and rewarding career as a dedicated full-time mother.

Johanna introduced her daughters to Girl Scouts at the first opportunity and became a local leader in Monument, then again after relocating to Buena Vista. When Johanna first arrived in Buena Vista, she learned Girl Scouts had all but disappeared in Chaffee County. Johanna believed so strongly in the values and skills that Girl Scouts develops, it became a passion to reestablish Girl Scouts for girls in the high Rockies. Known to many of her friends as the “Engergizer Bunny” because of her seemingly never-ending energy and indomitable spirit, Johanna provided the leadership and drive to rejuvenate Girl Scouts in the valley. Now, for the first time, there are troops for all ages.  Additionally, Johanna loved the outdoors, including skiing, hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and especially gardening – passions she loved to share and instill in young women.

 

 

Gold Award Girl Scout Zoi Johns named VFW Colorado Scout of the Year

Gold Award Girl Scout Zoi Johns of Golden was honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as the Colorado Scout of the Year in June 2018. VFW recognizes the impact scouting has on not only the nation but the world. Zoi told Girl Scouts of Colorado, “Thank you for being a part of my story and my success. THIS is why we do what we do.”

Learn more about Zoi’s Gold Award project on GSCO blog: http://gscoblog.org/2017/10/girl-scout-gold-award-project-zoi-johns-golden-project-waterwise/

Gold Award Girl Scout: Katherine Walden, Larkspur, “BeeBoxin’”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the decline in local bee species, such as the leaf cutter and mason bee. Over the past several decades, local bee species have been quietly slipping into extinction leaving the ecosystem a step behind in facing such a large issue.

While bees themselves may be small, the impact and power they hold on our ecosystem is immense. However, too often their role is overlooked and not taken into consideration by much of the population. Before I started this project, eating meals was no more than a passing thought and I never thought where the food was coming from that I was ingesting. Once I began my project though, I discovered that 1/3 of every bite of food comes from the bees and the plants and crops they pollinate. Simply put without the bees, we would starve, and be forced to find expensive and alternative solutions for feeding the population.

The focus of my project was to go to elementary schools and teach about bees and install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home. Most people don’t know a lot about bees especially local bees. Commonly people think of honeybees, however these are not included in the local bee species. Going into these schools and teaching allowed me to clear up the distinction and show just how important the local bee species are. In addition, I was able to highlight some of the factors that are causing local bee population decline including habitat destruction from wildfires and development.

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

My presentations were interactive and engaging, which allowed students to ask and answer questions. Following the presentation, we were able to go outside and pick a spot to hang the bee box and using what they learned in the presentation, were able to pick out a location for the bee box. Before every presentation I would ask the kids, “What do you already know about bees?”

Being kids, I would always receive crazy ideas and stories, but then to watch the shift from general awe, to impactful interest was truly amazing. When kids start to realize that they can make a difference is something that can’t be under-appreciated.

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

There are two main project impacts that are foreseeable in the future. The first being a less drastic decline in local bee populations. With the bee boxes now in place, local bees now have an additional location to nest and work. Another impact would be that now kids have learned about the importance of bees in the community and can go spread this knowledge to others to hopefully continue to spread the word on bees.

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

My plan started in Larkspur and spread along the Front Range ranging from Monument to Sedalia. These three different locations were sought out because they allowed for different groups of students to come in and learn about the bee boxes, but also were placed so that they could hold an impact on the surrounding area. All three locations are somewhat rural and have gardens and the boxes should be utilized by local bees the area to increase pollination. On a national level, people from across the nation come to the Stone Canyon Discovery Ranch and will be able to learn about the bee boxes and what they provide. There is potential if there is interest for them to take a box back to their home because extra boxes were provided to the ranch so that they can be spread across the country.

Although I did complete the national requirement, I would have liked to been able to deliver the boxes to other states myself however, the time and resources needed were not achievable. Regardless, I am excited to hear from the people who take boxes from Stone Canyon and where they end up.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to communicate more effectively with a broad range of individuals of all ages. As I begin my career as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, it is vital that I be able to communicate and be confident in what I am talking about. This project taught me to do just that, as people expected that I know the content of my project and be able to answer and questions and solve and issues that arose with the project. Whether it be teaching about bees, or guiding a plane to take off, I know that I am now better equipped to be assertive and knowledgeable in whatever role I fill.

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

Before this project, I tended to be more passive and not want to go against the crowd of what people were saying. However, it has become apparent, especially in society today, that change will not occur if you are passive or refuse to share out. It is of the upmost vitality that individuals speak up and project issues that otherwise might continue to go unnoticed. By not only pointing out an issue, but being able to do something to resolve such has provided me with the experience of being able to instill change and reflect on how action caused resolution. This realization and viewpoint will propel me into my career as a military officer, whose duty is to solve and address issues that face our nation and military.

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

The Gold Award was a closing step on my Girl Scout career and brought all the skills I had acquired over the years full circle. It was very exciting to be able to come up with an idea and then put in into action. Had I not done my Gold Award, I think I would have felt like I didn’t finish something and that there was stuff left to do.

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

Not only did I discover a lot about bees with this project, but I also discovered a lot about myself. I learned that I enjoy teaching and being able to answer questions that people have. Of course, this seems like a common practice especially in high school, however, teaching about it to a younger generation was something special that I enjoyed. In addition, it allowed me to better understand what it means to truly be a Girl Scout- bringing about change and inspiring others to do the same.

Each one of my presentations was done with a new set of students and teachers. This allowed me to work with so many different people of all ages and understanding which bettered how I could teach about bees and make it so it had the most impact on each audience member. In addition, I learned how to communicate with staff so their classes benefitted and the content I was teaching could be incorporated into their lessons plans. By going to different locations and teaching, I was able to see how each site was going to be impacted differently.

The issue that I addressed was the decline in local bee species. My resolution to this problem was to build bee boxes and place them at different locations so that bees could now have a place to live. And while I can’t completely reverse what has already happened to the population, I can help reduce the negative impacts and assist the bee populations return. Most importantly, though I was able to educate and teach others about the issue our community faces. When kids got excited to go outside and place the bee box and paint their garden bee rocks was exciting and showed how I was able to create an impact.

**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

New Resource: Gold Award rubrics

Girl Scouts of Colorado is thrilled to publish new Gold Award rubrics for girls around the state to use to make their Gold Award journey successful and rewarding. The document includes a rubric for initial proposal approval and final approval, so girls can understand exactly what is expected of them throughout their Gold Award journey.

All Gold Award mentors across the state worked to develop and revise the rubrics over the last year to ensure that a wide variety of perspectives and experiences were considered.

Each girl working to pursue her Gold Award should “meet minimum standards” or above on each criterion listed on the rubric. The rubric also lists the corresponding questions on the Gold Award project proposal and final report to help understand where the information expected of each criterion is coming from.

Questions about the Gold Award process in Colorado? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org. 

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts honored at Highest Awards celebration in Silverthorne

Nearly 100 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Silverthorne Pavilion in Silverthorne on May 11, 2018, to honor the more than 1,300 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn. For the 2017-18 Girl Scout awards program year, nearly 1,000 girls across the state and 25 in the Mountain Communities region earned the Bronze Award. 10 girls in the region earned the prestigious Silver Award and three became Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts gives girls the skills and experiences they need to thrive and lead in today’s world. The world needs female leaders now more than ever. You’re making a difference,” she said.

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts honored at highest awards celebration in Colorado Springs

More than 300 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Penrose House at El Pomar in Colorado Springs on May 4, 2018, to honor the more than 1,300 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn. For the 2017-18 Girl Scout awards program year, nearly 1,000 girls across the state and 191 in the Pikes Peak region earned the Bronze Award. 105 girls in the region earned the prestigious Silver Award and six became Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts gives girls the skills and experiences they need to thrive and lead in today’s world. The world needs female leaders now more than ever. You’re making a difference,” she said.

2016 Gold Award Girl Scout Megan Burnett served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“All the skills you learn in Girl Scouts, through the meetings you plan and the badges you earn, are all intended to prepare you for the future,” she said.

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.