Category Archives: Highest Awards Archive

Bronze Award Project Continues to Make an Impact

Two years after earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Troop 6608’s project continues to make an impact on their community. The Girl Scouts from Centennial rebuilt an outdoor classroom for their school, Willow Creek Elementary. It was completely overgrown, so the girls cleaned it up and built six benches, reusing a couple of dead trees. They also painted rocks.

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: Charlotte Blish, Arvada, “Watering Communities”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Watering Communities started as an education platform for local elementary schools to discuss how the lack of clean water impacts socio-economic and education resources in parts of Africa while combining into the Jefferson curriculum of “how one person can make a difference.” I authored curriculum for the classroom setting, small workshops, large workshop venues, and an after-school club. In addition, I established a 501c3 nonprofit titled Watering Communities to extend the curriculum globally and to be able to send first-aid kits with water filters to countries experiencing natural disasters. I worked with international schools in Hong Kong and Taiwan, helping author STEM curriculum for their science, technology, and field-work courses; where students learned how to create various water filters, code a problem-solving game while learning how water impacts education and health, and compete a curriculum workshop so students could apply their knowledge in a field-type setting outside of the classroom.

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

Depending on the setting, it was measured by growth of knowledge either with a survey or group discussion. I measured if the students were able to apply the knowledge they had gained by recreating water experiments, building water filters, and applying the skills they had learned out in the field.

How is your project sustainable?

Watering Communities is sustainable two different ways:  As a 501c3 nonprofit with a board of directors and by a signed letter of commitment from Think International Primary. By establishing Watering Communities as a 501c3 with a board of directors, the board is able to proactively set goals on how to expand the educational components into additional overseas schools or organizations as well as monitoring water crises at the international level to send first-aid kits with water filters. Think International Primary enjoyed the custom-curriculum I wrote for them so much they are continuing to implement it at the fourth-grade level in their STEM classes. Students will learn about how water crisis can limit opportunities both physically and mentally, learn the science of water through an eight-week course, built prototype water filter models, and then apply the water filters into real world situations in a field setting. Think International Primary was inspired to also take on a fundraising component to help local children in their community.

What is your global or national connection?

Think International Primary of Hong Kong saw the webpage for Watering Communities and was curious about the curriculum specifically because it was oriented to towards elementary-age kids and was hands-on learning.  They reached out to me and we discussed what their needs were curriculum-wise, what additional resources I could help them with, and how the curriculum could apply to real life experiences outside of the classroom. Think International Primary asked me to custom-author a program to fit inside their eight-week STEM lesson plan based on learning about the scientific aspects of water, the properties of water, and how water affects people’s lives socially and economically. I built lesson plans to create water filtration systems, authored a software program to teach coding to students that emphasized the socio-economics of water in Africa, and planned workshop activities where the students could use all the skills they learned during a week-long camping expedition (think Outward Bound meets Outdoor Lab).  The students were so inspired by Watering Communities and working with me that they in turn wanted to help others. They hosted two fundraising events; one for recycling and one financial where the proceeds purchased water filters to be sent to a nonprofit in Thailand. It was during these additional events that Taipei Kuei Shan School heard about the program and adopted it in their curriculum as well. Taipei Kuei Shan School is also working with Watering Communities using the curriculum as a resource in their spring semester for 2020 and plans to again in 2021.

What did you learn about yourself?

When I began interviewing prospective candidates to be on the board of directors for Watering Communities, I felt confident and accomplished. I had taken every skill that I had learned throughout the years of Girl Scouts, from planning to problem solving, to delegating and taking the initiative, that I felt like the president of a company. I set out to educate my five local elementary schools about how something as simple as access to clean water can impact someone’s life and it grew beyond my wildest dreams to being a working 501c3, as well as making connections internationally in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. I initially thought I would run a couple of fun workshops and it grew into working hand-in-hand with our local teachers to supplement their curriculum, into authoring curriculum that is being used internationally in Hong Kong and Tawain, and into coding software for a game. Being able to see kids’ faces light up when they talk about their experiences with the curriculum was amazing.

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

By earning my Gold Award, I realized I can use a multitude of skills that will impact my future. I can choose from a variety of leadership skills like project management, delegating, training, and team collaboration. I can use soft skills like interviewing, giving positive feedback for reinforced behavior, and showing kindness to others. I know how to develop networks and how to build up those resources. I can author original curriculum and then customize it to be flexible in different learning environments. I know without a doubt I can take all these skills, and many, many more that I learned along the way while I earned my Gold Award, and apply them for the rest of my life.

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

I was very lucky that I had a leader who whole heartedly believed in Girl Scouts being a girl-led experience. She allowed us to plan. She allowed us to problem solve. She allowed us to be in charge. She encouraged us to see outside of the box and to travel; we camped almost every month of the year. Our troop did a group project for our Bronze Award by hosting a garage sale to raise money to purchase pet food and we also organized a blanket and towel donation program for the local pet shelter, and I loved it. I loved organizing and leading the other girls.  For our Silver Award, our troop decided we would earn our Silvers as individuals. When the Navy deploys a submarine for six months, families are allowed to send one shoebox of goodies to be opened at the mid-way point.  Because only 65% of families send shoeboxes, I organized a drive to collect paperback books, treats, snacks, card games, etc. for sailors who would not receive a box. I was able to send enough shoeboxes for two submarines and every sailor onboard also received a box of Thin Mints or Samoas. I knew I could work hard, plan a project from start to finish, and grow my leadership skills. When I worked on my Gold Award, I used all of the skills from making good eye contract during workshops (thank you cookie sales), learning about water as a resource (traveling to Costa Rica, Girl Scout Destinations), planning and organizing events (Father-Daughter dance with 200+ attendees per year, 2013-2018), being grateful (countless charitable experiences with Girl Scouts), and so many more experiences that I can’t list them all that I’ve had with Girl Scouts.  By earning my rank of Gold Award Girl Scout, I was proud of not just what I did to earn it, but of all the experiences that helped to make me the leader I am today.

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

I view myself as all of these things. Girl Scouting and the Gold Award helped me to become a well-rounded leader who has to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable. I could have simply run workshops and educated others about the impact of lack of access to clean water in rural Africa, and that would have been good enough to earn the Gold Award. I took a risk and authored curriculum for my local area schools and was inspired by the students’ questions and curiosity that I wanted to do more, so I set up and ran Watering Communities as a 501c3 nonprofit to try to get the word out. I had to innovate and custom-write curriculum for an international school in Hong Kong and then again in Taiwan. I had to be a go-getter when I was planning for how Watering Communities would continue function when I left for college.  Interviewing accomplished business leaders and selling them on the idea of being part of the dream so we could continue to work internationally was mind-blowing. The Gold Award process allowed me to use all my skills that I learned throughout scouting to accomplish the original goal and grow it into something grand.

**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.

Silver Award Project Enhances Turner Middle School

Submitted by Lori Major

Northern & Northeastern CO

Berthoud

Natalie, Gracie, and Cate are from Troop 74087 in Berthoud and they felt that their school needed to feel more welcoming. So, they created inspirational quotes to put around their school. With the help of Berthoud citizens, the girls were able to make the quotes more professional looking. Throughout the process of creating the quotes, they ran into some difficulties, but were able to overcome them. Along the way, they learned how to use the Girl Scout Law and come together as a team. For this project to be sustainable, they are passing on the murals and knowledge to the troops coming into the middle school, so they are able to take care of the projects they already did. The girls had to persevere through the four to five-hour long days to be able to complete their project.

The Silver Award that we chose needed a lot of patience and focus to complete in the year we did it. We gained teamwork and learned how to cooperate with your teammates. Cate learned how to make phone calls. Natalie learned how to speak and communicate with figures of authority,  send emails, and budget our money. Gracie wrote our script for the phone calls. The project will stay up as long as other troops take care of it. We made a connection between teachers and learned the complications of putting up a mural.

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: Meredith Neid, Denver, “Self Care Club and Processing a Pandemic”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

For my Gold Award project, I first implemented a self care club at my high school to healthily address rising levels of stress amongst my peer group. Because the end of the year was cut short, the club was not able to fulfill all of its original goals, so I adjusted my self care club to a project that I titled, “Processing a Pandemic.” I took the information I learned about mindfulness and personal care and shifted it to a lens of societal care, which drove me to lead intentional Zoom conversations with high school seniors about processing the period of COVID-19 and what it means to grow up during this time.

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

For my self care club, I gave club members a pretest that measured their awareness of self care, their understanding of mindfulness and their calmness level before the club, and then, I had them take a post test with the same questions in order to track their growth. For my Processing a Pandemic project, I had participants of the conversation take a survey detailing what they learned and their takeaways from the calls.

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

With both of my projects, I created and dispersed written final products that detail the key learning that was accomplished through my projects. For my self care club, I created a PDF with self care tips that will be used by my greater community. For my Processing a Pandemic project, I created an outline to the Zoom calls that will be used as a future lesson plan for different organizations, and I published a piece called “Pandemic Wisdom: Five Lessons Learned From High School Seniors.”

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

I was able to include greater connections through dispersing my written pieces through the national Girl Scout community. Additionally, a component of my self care club was a social media presence that gained a national following.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned so much about myself from this experience. Most importantly, I learned how to be honest with myself about how to persevere when things did not go as expected due to Coronavirus. Further, I was able to adopt many leadership traits like distributing responsibilities and asking for help.

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

I plan on using my Gold Award experience as a reference for creating a project that addresses an issue I’m passionate about and seeing it through. I will use these skills to become a social innovator in the future. Also, I intend to put my Gold Award on my resume to help with my post-college job search!

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

I have been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, so earning the Gold Award was a lovely culmination of years of experience that felt as though they were training me and leading me to pursue a big project such as this. Also, I was able to use my connections from my Girl Scout troop to further my project, showing how important and useful Girl Scouts has been in forming lasting friendships!

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

I think my Gold Award helped me become an innovator. When COVID interrupted my original plans, it was a wonderful opportunity to go back and get creative and figure out a good way to move forward in new circumstances. I think innovating with projects like this is an important sign of flexibility and adaptability that ultimately lead to success.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: The E-waste Recycling Exposé

Submitted by  Safiya D., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver

Aurora

I have been a Girl Scout for 10 years. Currently, I am working on my Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. The Gold Award focuses on addressing a community-based problem. My project, The E-waste Recycling Exposé, tackles the lack of education regarding technology recycling (e-recycling) in my city of Aurora. I am developing a curriculum for fourth and fifth graders that teaches them what technology recycling is and why it is important. 

When I was researching my project, I was disappointed to learn that in comparison to paper, plastic,  and glass recycling, only 20% of electronics actually get recycled in the United States. I thought that if I could educate kids and get them excited about e-recycling, it might make them think more about actually recycling their old electronics.

My curriculum is comprised of : 

  • An introductory video that shows me taking an old family computer to be recycled
  • A PowerPoint that explains the technology recycling process 
  • A video I created that shows how to take apart a laptop computer and find the recyclable parts
  • Interactive and hands on games that I created for the kids that will make understanding e-recycling fun
  •  Pre and post surveys to evaluate what the participants have learned from the program

In creating my curriculum, I had a few goals in mind. I wanted students to get excited about electronics recycling.  And most importantly, I wanted them to go home and talk to their families about its importance and encourage them to participate in the recycling of their old electronics. If we care about our planet, participating in technology recycling is important. When you look at the statistics, many landfills are filled with electronics and the more we care about this issue, the easier it will become to have a clean Earth.

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.

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend: Project Greenify, a Girl Scout Gold Award Project

 

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is coming up September 12 – 13, 2020! This year, girls can participate virtually or in–person by visiting select Colorado State Parks to participate in self–guided activities like nature trails, junior ranger programs, activity backpacks, and more! RSVP and learn more here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2020/girl_scouts_love_sta.html

Leading up to this event, we want to showcase a fantastic Girl Scout Gold Award project related to state parks, “Project Greenify,” from Sidney B.  Read on to learn more about Sidney’s project:

My name is Sidney. I am currently a Junior in high school at Steamboat Mountain School. I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten and am currently working towards earning my Gold Award, which is the highest honor you can receive as a Girl Scout. My project is focused on state park waste diversion. However, a huge part of my project is focused on educating the public on the basics of recycling and waste diversion in hopes to inspire and empower future generations to make a difference and share their knowledge with the world! My project branched into a variety of pieces such as a staff orientation to educate staff at state parks on the basics of waste diversion so that they can help share their knowledge. I worked to create a Junior Ranger curriculum that includes reduce, reuse, and recycle guidelines. I did my own in-person waste sorts with the public in order to bring awareness and get helpful data as an insight into the issue of recycling contamination. To help further knowledge of recycling, I developed and posted signage that is both sustainable and durable that will help educate people and empower them to make the right choice! Every piece of my project aims at sustainability of our amazing state parks for future generations of girls to enjoy.

As you may know, September 12 and 13 is Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend! This is a chance to celebrate our state parks and the amazing opportunities and wild spaces they protect while giving way for changing our environment for the better.

As a piece of my Gold Award project, I have created a YouTube Channel called Project Greenify to share fun and educational videos for Girl Scouts across Routt County and Colorado. I have created a series of three different videos along with attached resources. The first is a general overarching introduction to waste diversion and recycling, and teaches the basics of environmental stewardship. The second video teaches how to do your very own waste sort at home and learn why our waste matters. The third video is a fun activity called “Birds and Worms’ and is designed for young Brownies and Daisies. By watching these videos and completing these activities, Girl Scouts are continuing the legacy of environmental stewardship, using resources wisely, and making the world a better place! In addition, Girls will be able to work towards earning their “eco” badges.

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.

Bronze Award Girl Scouts Deliver Masks, Lanyards, and Sneeze Guards to Teachers and School Staff

As many as ten Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 65430 in Highlands Ranch – Lone Tree delivered 40 plexiglass sneeze guards, more than 65 reusable masks, and 70 mask lanyards, along with “welcome back” cards— all of which they made — to teachers and staff at Wildcat Mountain Elementary School on Friday, August 14, 2020. In the midst of a global pandemic, these Girl Scouts wanted to help teachers, staff, and classmates return to in-person learning as safely as possible. The troop paid for the supplies for this project with funds earned through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Through this project, the girls also earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, which is the highest award for Girl Scouts in fourth or fifth grade.

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.

Silver Award Girl Scout Upcycles Wooden Pallets to Make Garden Beds

Silver Award Girl Scout Scarlett Montgomery-Anderson from Grand Junction upcycled 16 wooden pallets to make more than a dozen garden beds for nonprofit organizations and members of her community. Those who received the beds include Karis, Inc. at The House, First Congregational Church, and Grand Valley Unitarian Universalists. Scarlett hopes those who receive the beds (and benefit from them) will discover low-cost methods to grow their own food. Scarlett also did a planting demonstration with Grand Valley Unitarian Universalist’s youth, showing them how to plant and care for their new garden.

The idea for this project came about at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scarlett, along with help from her mom, made her own garden beds out of pallets. After learning how her family could benefit from growing their own food, Scarlett wanted to make more garden beds to help those in her community, especially during these challenging times.

Through completing this project, Scarlett earned the Silver Award, the highest honor for a Girl Scout Cadette. Also, as part of her project, she is encouraging others to make garden beds out of wooden pallets. She created a “how to” video and it is now posted on Girl Scout of Colorado’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/tDcsodKvBbU

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.

Virtual Latinx/Hispanic STEM Event

Submitted by Genesis R., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver

Arvada

[Details and forms available in Spanish and English. Detalles y formularios disponibles en español e inglés.]

Have an empty spot on your calendar on June 27, 2020 from 9-11:30 a.m.? Do you have a second-fifth grader interested in learning more about STEM? Come join us for a Virtual STEM Event!

This event was created as part of a Gold Award project aimed to get more girls from Latinx and Hispanic communities involved in STEM. Did you know that in 2015/2016, Latinas only represented 3.8% of STEM Bachelor’s Degrees across the United States?
(“Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Quick Take.” Catalyst, 14 June 2019, www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem/)

We will be talking about what STEM is, the impact and benefits of it, and doing some hands-on activities. If you are interested, please have a caregiver fill out the sign-up form with the attendee. Registration closes on June 20 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT) or when we have reached our capacity.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfCI3Nfo6-PNrTJCItsErTcl-HvDLCpbX9mjEnumEbalh2WnQ/viewform?usp=pp_url

Calling all PAI’s and PA’s! Do you want a chance to practice your leadership skills? We’re looking for PAI’s and PA’s to help lead our camp. PAI’s can complete three out of six activities towards their PA pins. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out a form below. We will be accepting entries until June 17 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT).
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScfJx4GEB0_EUHpRqT25eR0nDQ5UsbZf2sj2EORtBeuDH_C_A/viewform?usp=pp_url

We will be hosting this event through Zoom. A few days prior to June 27, we will send a reminder email, and the link to join. Capacity will be limited, so sign up soon! In addition, we would appreciate you filling out the survey below before attending the camp! If you would like to reach out to us, please feel free to email latingirlsandthefuture2020@gmail.com. Thank you!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVGLETizobVL2_k8zl1gQaeC-j2oDJdsQN0R50S9vPcPwk8Q/viewform?usp=pp_url

¿Tiene un lugar vacío en su calendario para el 27 de Junio de 9 a 11:30 AM? ¿Tiene un alumno de segundo a quinto grado interesado en aprender más sobre STEM? ¡Únete con nosotros para un evento virtual de día STEM!

Este evento fue creado como parte de un proyecto del Reconocimiento de Oro destinado a involucrar a más niñas de comunidades Latinas y Hispanas en STEM. ¿Sabía que en 2015/2016, las Latinas solo representaban 3.8% de los títulos de licenciatura de STEM en los Estados Unidos?
(“Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Quick Take”. Catalyst, 14 de junio de 2019, www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem/)

Hablaremos sobre qué es STEM, el impacto y los beneficios, y haremos algunas actividades prácticas. Si está interesado, pídale a un guardián legal que complete el formulario de registro con el asistente. (Solo necesita completar 1 de los formularios a continuación). La inscripción cierra el 20 de Junio a las 11:59 p.m. (MDT).
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEeVZKy9aQoXn8NR7FSBw6QYaHjbfudpTEvrLF2PyPC-8OIg/viewform?usp=pp_url

PAI y PA

¡Llamando a todos los PAI’s y PA’s! ¿Quieres una oportunidad para practicar tus habilidades de liderazgo? Estamos buscando PAI’s y PA’s para ayudar a dirigir nuestro campamento. Los PAI’s pueden completar 3 de 6 actividades para sus pines de PA. Si está interesado en ser voluntario, complete los formularios a continuación. Aceptaremos entradas hasta el 17 de Junio a las 11:59 p.m. (MDT).
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEeVZKy9aQoXn8NR7FSBw6QYaHjbfudpTEvrLF2PyPC-8OIg/viewform?usp=pp_url

Organizaremos este evento a través de Zoom. Unos días antes del 27 de Junio, le enviaremos un correo electrónico recordatorio y el enlace para unirse. La capacidad será limitada, ¡así que regístrese pronto! Además, le agradeceríamos que complete la encuesta a continuación antes de asistir al campamento. Si desea comunicarse con nosotros, no dude en enviarnos un correo electrónico a latingirlsandthefuture2020@gmail.com. ¡Gracias!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVGLETizobVL2_k8zl1gQaeC-j2oDJdsQN0R50S9vPcPwk8Q/viewform?usp=pp_url

Download PDF Flyer

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.

Silver Award Projects

Submitted by Maggie Donohue

Metro Denver

Aurora

In Troop 64473, we had three different Silver Award projects. One was called Back the Blue K-9 Unit where the girls supported the Arapahoe Sheriff Department’s K-9 Unit. The second Silver Award project was called Building a Book House for the Homeless. This group collected books to fill the book house. They spent many weekends building the bookcase. Once they finished, they took the books and the bookcase to the Comitis Crisis Center. The third Silver Award project was called Sensory Carts. The girls in this group made two sensory carts for the students at Pine Lane Elementary School. On the carts were an assortment of sensory things the children could touch and play with. On the inside of the carts their were two different weighted blankets, fidget toys, weighted stiff animals, and games.

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.