Category Archives: Highest Awards Archive

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

More than 300 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at Embassy Suites in Loveland on April 22, 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 190 in Northern and Northeastern Colorado earned the Bronze Award. 32 girls across Northern and Northeastern Colorado earned the prestigious Silver Award. Seven girls across Northern and Northeastern Colorado earned the prestigious Gold Award.

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, National Young Woman of Distinction, and winner of the 2016 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence Sarah Greichen 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.

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 and Silver Award Girl Scouts honored at Highest Awards celebration in Pueblo

Nearly 50 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Center for American Values in Pueblo on April 20, 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 18 in Pueblo and Southeastern Colorado earned the Bronze Award. Eight girls across Pueblo and Southeastern Colorado earned the prestigious Silver Award.

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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Geneva Ascher, Breckenridge, “Testicular and Breast Cancer Self Exams”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I instructed the freshman,  along with some sophomores, juniors, and seniors at my high school, how to perform self exams for testicular cancer and breast cancer. My project included a Google slide presentation and fake testicles and breasts, with mock cancerous lumps so that students could understand what they are looking for when performing self exams.

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

Before my presentation, I conducted a survey though Google forms asking students what they would do of they every encounter an abnormality with their body. The way I asked the question lead to the biased answer of contacting a doctor, but even with my biased conclusion, students were still unsure. After my presentation, there was a very similar questionnaire on their Health Unit test, and many of the students said they would contact their doctor after finding anything different about their body.

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

After the completion of my project, the health teacher and the health science teacher at my school pledged to make it a formal part of her annual curriculum at Summit High School. Beyond this, I have made a video that will be played on Tiger TV through Summit County TV10.

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

Beyond just having this presented in health classes at Summit High School, my friends and I edited a video giving a quick presentation on my project ,in Video Production 2 and it will be play on Summit County TV 10 through their broadcast journalism segments produced by the students in the Video programs at Summit High School. This reaches a global connection because Summit County is a very destination/recreation vacation spot and people from all over the world can watch SCTV10 as they stay in hotels in Summit County. This video will also be uploaded to YouTube.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project was very outside of my comfort zone. I have always been very afraid of public speaking, but this project gave me the leadership skills of taking action in situations I would have normally never put my self into. Through the Gold Award project and the majority of my Girl Scout experiences have led me to be the person I am today. I am now less held back, more outgoing, and I now have the will to complete any task that is brought my way. My determination through this project has also given me the chance to be the vice president of the Certified Nurses Assistant Club, Summit Health Leaders at my school. This has also given me a chance to grow my leadership skills. The Gold Award has brought me to a mentality that I can accomplish all that I work for.

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

Getting my Gold Award has proven to me that I can finish anything I put my mind to. Whether it is schoolwork or making a difference to the community around me, I now know that I can change anything that I feel needs to be changed. Dedication is one of my strongest attributes now. This can help me in the future because I am not sure what life holds for me, but I am confident I will find success.

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

The most important part of my Gold Award was the awareness that I have created for two very curable cancers. My view on these cancers are that if sex and mental health are so widely talked about in schools, cancers, too, need to be talked about.

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

G- This project had the intention of getting me through the stress of something that will only benefit the community and eventually the world around me. This is important to me because I have never been the greatest about completing tasks that may seem a little difficult. But because I enjoyed the topic and the atmosphere I created with my Gold Award, I was determined to complete it. This will serve me in the rest of my life because I now have the mind set that even if I do not enjoy what I am working on, the feeling of completing a given task is so rewarding it is always worth it.

I- Though out my project, I created new ideas and brought my self into new positions that I would never have put my self in. My Gold Award has created a new, interesting presentation shown through out my school, but it has brought out the best in me. I am now comfortable with my self and am comfortable with unfamiliar situations.

R- The Gold Award says nothing more than risk-taker to me. To complete this project, you need to put your self out into new positions, find new interests, and make a difference. No difference would be made in the world if people never tried anything new.

L- My high school life has been filled with different leadership positions, but the Gold Award has brought it to new heights. I am now able to finish all that is brought my way, with confidence that I have done my best.

**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

RSVP now for 2018 Highest Awards celebrations

UPDATE: Registration for the Denver Metro Highest Awards celebration on April 29, 2018 and Pikes Peak Highest Awards celebration on May 4, 2018 are now closed. We have reached capacity.

Congratulations to Colorado’s newest Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts! You have made change in your corner of the world, maybe even beyond, now it is time to celebrate your accomplishment!

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts who have earned their distinction in the last year are invited to participate in one of Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Highest Awards celebrations across the state. We have several celebrations planned throughout April and May and cannot wait to see you there. Use the information below to see these events on our calendar and RSVP for one of these exciting celebrations. Please note that everyone planning to attend (girls, troop leaders, guests, etc.) must RSVP online ahead of time.

Instructions for how to prepare for the celebration will be included in your confirmation email after you RSVP online.
Questions? Email HighestAwards@gscolorado.org

*Please note that capacity is limited at the Northern CO, Pikes Peak, and Denver Metro events. We ask that each girl bring only four or fewer guests. Additionally, events may reach capacity and close before the posted RSVP deadline.

Friday, April 20, 6 p.m.
Center for American Values
Pueblo, CO
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/pueblo_southeastern_.html

Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Loveland
Loveland, CO
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/ne_ha_celebration.html

Sunday, April 29, 2 p.m.
Denver Marriott Tech Center
Denver, CO
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/denver_ha_celebration.html

Friday, May 4, 6 p.m.
Penrose House Garden Pavilion
Colorado Springs, CO
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/pp_ha_celebration.html

Sunday, May 6, 2 p.m.
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction, CO
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/ws_ha_celebration.html

Friday, May 11, 6 p.m.
Silverthorne Pavilion
Silverthorne, CO
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/mc_ha_celebration.html

Gold Award Girl Scout: Peyton Dailey, Centennial, “Spanish for One, Spanish for All”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue addressed by my project was unequal opportunity within my school for every student to learn Spanish. While traditional classroom style Spanish is offered, for differently abled students, there are not designated classrooms or hired staff to be able to offer these students the same opportunity to learn. My project created a coalition between Spanish Honor Society students and the ILC program (Independent Learning Communities), in order to provide ILC students the opportunity to learn Spanish within a one-on-one setting, and to allow Spanish Honor Society students the opportunity to share their accumulated knowledge. The root cause of this issue was a lack of human resources, specifically teachers, who have the time in their schedules to give ILC students a one-on-one teaching environment in order to enable ILC students to learn the nuances of a language. While the average class size in a public high school ranges from 20 to 30 students, classes at my high school can range upwards of 30 students due to its over 3,000 student population. For even the average student, these large class sizes can be challenging. ILC students face challenges with focus and in a large classroom, the noisy distracting environment inhibits their focus. The best learning environment for these students is a quiet room with only one or two other people. Unfortunately, most schools don’t have the means to accommodate this in terms of providing ILC students with private teachers, as foreign language is not a graduation requirement. My project addresses this issue by providing student teachers who are willing to spend the time to work one-on-one with these students. Since students have at least one free period, with the 100 members in Spanish Honor Society, it is easy to pair Spanish Honor Society members with ILC students in a way that fits both schedules. In order for ILC students to have equal opportunity to become bilingual and be set up for success in the job market after high school, it is imperative they are given individual attention to focus on becoming conversational in Spanish with this one on one teaching format. To accomplish this, I created an interactive Spanish curriculum unique to the learning needs of differently abled students, that can be used as a basis for all tutoring sessions. This curriculum covers a vast array of subjects including: time, seasons, family, food, school, classroom, conversation, activities, sports, colors, numbers, clothing, feelings, body parts, geography, animals, holidays, jobs and transportation. These subjects were chosen based on working with a Spanish teacher at my school to develop a holistic curriculum, comparable to that of a traditional Spanish 1 curriculum. This curriculum uses a plethora of media, including: presentations, videos, games, music, flashcards and worksheets, in order to reinforce the learning goals.

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

I gauged the impact of my project on my target audience by administering surveys to tutors and ILC students alike to measure how members rated the programs as well as what could be improved and how much Spanish had been learned. Furthermore, because three additional schools have already adopted this program and the number of participants from first semester to second semester has tripled, the impact of my project is exponential.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement through Spanish Honor Society. I created a Google Sites page with all the curriculum loaded on the page in order to make the curriculum readily available after my departure. Additionally, my school uses a site named “Schoology” in order to allow students to view content teachers have posted. I utilized this same site, and created a course name “Unified Spanish,” in which I uploaded all of the curriculum for the course. In this way, after my involvement, both the Google Site, and the Schoology page will still exist independently. The Google site was developed to share more globally for those outside of the Cherry Creek School District, and the Schoology page was developed for those within the District. Students in Spanish Honor Society all have access to these pages, and are able to continually upload new content and use the material for future tutoring. I also set up an independent email associated with the project, to use as a login for the Google sites, and created a manual for next year’s students to use to continue the program. This is now an established program at my school, and the Spanish Honor Society sponsor, Ms. Wisler, will continue to sponsor this program and guide future students in their endeavors. Each year, Ms. Wisler will allow any student interested to lead the program and incentivize new membership to the program through rewarding participants with service hours that are required by Spanish Honor Society. Additionally, a printed manual, which is also available online, has been created to guide the new head of the program in their endeavors. All of these materials are meant to be continually refined.

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

The other national/global link to my project is the Twitter page I have created to promote my project to others. Social media is the best way to reach millennials these days, and even businesses and schools have joined this movement so that almost everyone is digitally connected. Through this Twitter page, I have followed accounts of other schools and programs dealing with differently abled students. I have also posted a link to my Google sites website in order to provide universal access to the curriculum and program, in the hopes of growing this program. Furthermore, I have emailed other Spanish Honor Society sponsors (teachers) and ILC teachers within the district to promote this program. They have all received a link to the Google Sites page and have access to all course materials and guides to begin the program within their schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned from this project that being a leader is not an easy task. Leading requires constant communication with those you’re leading as well as those who are helping you. Some methods I learned that helped me lead this program is finding the easiest way for my peers to participate in this program. One of these ways was connecting digitally. Instead of sending them emails or requiring them to meet twice a week, I would send out group texts as reminders to sign up for tutoring or of updates with the program. Also, I learned the importance of touching base with the teachers I was working with. Even though I led the program, Ms. Wisler, the head of Spanish Honor Society, and Ms. Linda, the head of ILC, both needed regular updates from me in order to offer me tips or suggestions, so constant follow up with them has been key. I also learned that sometimes you need to try different methods in order to succeed. Last year, when I first started tutoring for ILC, I quickly learned that in order to reinforce a concept, using a variety of different methods is useful. I applied this same knowledge in the creation of this program. From finding the best meeting place to figuring out the best way to communicate with tutors, all proved to be tasks that required looking at the issue from more than one perspective. Concerning myself, I learned that I am a people person. I love making new connections and learning about new people and communicating with different people. In a school of over 3,000, most don’t even know every person in their own class let alone other classes. Through this program, I was able to meet and get to know students of all classes and demographics who came together for one purpose, to help others. I truly enjoyed getting to know teachers, staff, and students whom I never met before. Currently about 20 tutors are participating to teach all ILC students capable of participating.

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

I firmly believe that as a result of this project, I will be able to take on even more strenuous challenges in all facets of my life. Knowing that there are a multitude of ways to solve any given issue has also enabled me to look at perspectives other than my own and try a variety of methods to surmount any given obstacle. In turn, this has developed my communication and leadership skills and taught me how to work as a unified front with those on a team. I was amazed that while I can accomplish a lot as an individual, with the help of others, so much more can be accomplished. It takes more than one person to solve an issue like the one I’ve identified in my project. Without the help of others this project would not have reached the magnitude of strength it did. Leadership is more than about the individual, it’s about how an individual can unite and influence others to work together for a common cause. It’s certainly true that there’s strength in numbers, and my sharing my passion and hard work with others who value the Spanish language, I was able to inspire my colleagues and now friends to take action with me. I will continue to grow and learn from others I encounter in my life, and apply both the knowledge I’ve gained from this project, and future knowledge acquisition to grow as both a person and a leader.

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

I believe that my Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I was able to apply the values of the organization in a sustainable way. From when I started Girl Scouts in first grade, I began to develop the sense of what being a Girl Scout really means, being part of a larger community and developing ways to better that community as a whole.  Furthermore, through completing my Gold Award I feel as though I have gained a greater sense of independence as an individual, because of the strenuous nature of all the requirements of the award.

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

Attaining my Gold Award has helped me become a G.I.R.L. by allowing me to identify a challenge within my community and giving me the opportunity to be a go-getter by formulating a plan and putting it into action. The project has helped me become an innovator by applying non-traditional methods to reach desired results.  Not everything works the first time, sometimes it’s necessary to be creative and approach a challenge in a different manner.  I’ve developed my risk-taking skills by reaching out to people I hadn’t known previously and taking the chance that they would reject my ideas or project as a whole.  But by doing so, I’ve realized that the answer is always no unless you ask.  Risks are a necessary part of life to achieve success.  Finally, I’ve developed myself as a leader by working with students, faculty, and community members alike to unite for a common goal.  This was no easy feat.  I had to adapt my communication skills for my target audience and work in conjunction with an agglomeration of schedules to achieve 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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emelie Knitz, Colorado Springs, “FoCo Cafe Cookbook”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a cookbook for FoCo Cafe in Fort Collins to help educate people about community cafes and how they positively impact their community. Not only did I include information and recipes from FoCo Cafe, but I also included a recipe and information from 13 other community cafes around the United States. I also did a presentation at a club at my school to further educate people in my community about community cafes.

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

One way I measured impact was by handing out surveys to the people I presented to. Before the presentation, they answered the questions, “Do you know what a community cafe is?” and “Do you know why community cafes are important?” on the survey. Most people did not know the answers to these questions. However, the majority of people were able to answer both of the questions after the presentation, showing improvement and that my goal of educating people about community cafes was reached.

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

I have given the template for FoCo Cafe’s cookbook to FoCo Cafe so they can continue to print the cookbooks and change information if needed. I have also given the template of the cookbook to the 13 other community cafes so that they can print the cookbooks for their cafes as well.

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

In the cookbook, I have included a recipe, photo, and information from 13 other community cafes in the USA. The 13 cafes are Oakwood Soul Cafe (NY), Tulsa’s Table (OK), Take Root (MO), One Bistro (OH), SAME Cafe (CO), CAFE 180 (CO), Mustard Seed Cafe (TX), Stone Soup Cafe (MA), One Acre Cafe (TN), Grace Cafe (KY), Knead Community Cafe (PA), Fair Trade Cafe (AZ), and Table Grace Cafe (NE). I sent the cookbook template to the cafes as well so that they will be able to print them for their own cafe.

What did you learn about yourself?

I definitely learned from my poor time management skills in the duration of this project and improved my organization skills because I had to manage all of the information and recipes from multiple cafes. One thing I really learned about myself during this project was how I handled panic. Once the community cafe I was originally working with closed, I started to panic because I thought that I would have to create a whole new project, but I just had to breathe and reflect upon what I had done so far in order to move forward.

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

This project will impact me in the future because of the confidence I have gained in myself as a person and my abilities as a leader. I now know that I can persevere through a big project that I planned myself, and I believe I will be more confident in leading other people and projects, whether they are big or small. In this project, I also learned how important it is to have the help of other people because it is difficult to go through life and achieve your goals all by yourself. I am thankful that I have experienced planning and executing a big project like this now because I can learn from the mistakes I made and utilize my new skills in future projects in college and beyond.

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

The Gold Award is important to me, not just because it is the highest award Girl Scouts can earn, but because of the experience I gained. I got to put together all of my leadership skills I had gained until this point and plan, organize, and execute a project. Not only did I succeed with this project, but I also helped my community in ways I never knew I could. I will always remember this project and the things I learned from it.

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

Earning the Gold Award helped me to become a go-getter because I had to dive right into this project. When the community cafe I was originally working with closed, I didn’t think about quitting, but wanted to continue the project because I had already put forth so much effort. Now that I know I can execute projects, I will be more willing to take them on in the future.

**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: Lilli Tobias, Breckenridge, “Ti Biznis”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I partnered with the Colorado Haiti Project and developed a youth entrepreneurial program for the eighth-grade class at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Petit Trou, Haiti. The three-day hands-on business workshop was an opportunity for eighth-grade students to “start” small businesses or Ti Biznis. The students learned the five fundamentals of business beginning with creating a business plan, gathering a loan, creating a product, advertising it, and creating a profit to be sustainable.

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

Following the three-day workshop, the students took a business survey, as well as demonstrated their proficiency by all earning a profit. Even more so, following the workshop, the students went home and created more products with the materials they were able to purchase with their profit and began selling their products for real money.

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

Following my workshop, the Colorado Haiti Project will continue to use my curriculum and the design of my workshop for five years. Along with the Colorado Haiti Project, I have also been in contact with other Haitian schools as well as a non-profit that works in Honduras where my curriculum could be of value.

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

As my Gold Award is already internationally focused, I have presented to several local groups to expand the impact of my Gold Award within Summit County. I have presented to the French Honors Society at my school, to my leadership class, and to Interact, the youth version of Rotary International. I also reached out to  9News several times through email, call, text, and video and did not receive a response. Through my local outreach, The Summit Foundation, an organization in Summit County that promotes philanthropy, awarded me with 2017 Most Outstanding and Philanthropic Youth at a community-wide ceremony held in November 2017. I will continue my impact through speaking to local troops about the value of the Gold Award and Girl Scouts as well as promoting education in other third world countries such as Honduras.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award, I learned to truly step into my leadership potential. This started with being comfortable talking on the phone, to organizing huge fundraising events, organizing volunteers, gathering community support, improving on being adaptable, to my most important and improved skill of public speaking. All of these skills are vitally important to growing up and becoming a female leader of tomorrow. My Gold Award has allowed me to be a source of leadership and philanthropy in my community, which will lead to scholarships, colleges, and so much more. I can not thank Girl Scouts enough for not only providing me with this opportunity, but for encouraging me to reach for the stars.

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

My leadership skills will absolutely continue to grow and strengthen because of my Gold Award. We all set our own limitations, whatever they may be, and throughout my Gold Award journey, I have truly surpassed many of the limits I had set. My public speaking, ability to smoothly and comfortably speak on the phone, organize, direct, and leverage influence was all cultivated in my Gold Award and is now propelling me to new heights. My main fundraiser for my Gold Award was a Haitian Gala dinner. It was my first time ever attempting to organize an event of this nature and capacity and it was beyond successful. It was so successful, fun, and I learned so much from it that I will be doing another gala dinner this year on March 17, 2018, to support education in Honduras. Not only has Girl Scouts and my Gold Award developed my leadership, but it has developed my philanthropic spirit. All the work and efforts put forth through my Silver Award which turned into me starting my own philanthropic bakery, to my Gold Award and promoting education in third world countries was never done for fame but because I truly find joy in doing so. However, in 2017 the Summit Foundation honored me as Summit County’s Most Outstanding Philanthropic Youth of the year. This recognition was so heartwarming and humbling. I was able to shed light on Girl Scouts and the character development it provides and how “worth it” it is to stay involved in the program.

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

For me, the Gold Award journey was the bow on the present. It tied everything together, the Journeys, cookie program, various events, and service were all brought together in one package with completing the Gold Award. It’s all about the process from whenever a girl joins Girl Scouts to when they finish. And with it being such a long, yet rewarding journey, completing the Gold Award makes all the time, energy, and effort worth it. It’s such a  rewarding process that I hope all girls strive for!

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

My Gold Award forced me to be a go-getter. Without that characteristic of being a G.I.R.L, my Gold Award would not have been what it is. I have always had a “bossy” personality and once I got older I became ashamed of that characteristic and felt that it made me seem aggressive or mean. But through my Gold Award journey, it was put into perspective that being “bossy” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I am proud that I can shape my characteristic of taking charge into a positive light of being a go-getter because, without strong girls and women who harness their go-getter mentality, we wouldn’t be heading into the groundbreaking future we are.

**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

Save the date: 2018 Highest Awards Celebrations

Submitted by Aimee Artzer, GSCO Highest Awards Manager

We are thrilled to announce the dates for the spring 2018 Highest Awards Celebrations!

Friday, April 20, 6 p.m.
Center for American Values
Pueblo, CO

Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Loveland
Loveland, CO

Sunday, April 29, 2 p.m.
Denver Marriott Tech Center
Denver, CO

Friday, May 4, 6 p.m.
Penrose House Garden Pavilion
Colorado Springs, CO

Sunday, May 6, 2 p.m.
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction, CO

Friday, May 11, 6 p.m.
Silverthorne Pavilion
Silverthorne, CO

These celebrations are an opportunity to recognize the outstanding Bronze, Silver and Gold Award Girl Scouts who have earned their distinction in the last year. All troops and/or girls who have earned their Bronze, Silver, or Gold since March 2017 are invited to participate in a celebration of their choice. Anyone planning to attend must RSVP online, the RSVP form will be made available on our events page in March 2018.

Gold Award Girl Scouts across the state will also be recognized at the “Gold Award Day at the Capitol” on Monday, April 9. Each Gold Award Girl Scout is encouraged to participate in both regional celebrations as well as the “Day at the Capitol.”

Please note that the deadline to notify GSCO that you have earned your Bronze or Silver Award and participate in celebrations is March 1, 2018. Notify us now that your girls have earned their Bronze or Silver: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/forms-and-resources/bronze-and-silver-notification.html

Questions? Email Aimee Artzer at highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout delivers featured speech at Women of Distinction Breakfast

Gold Award Girl Scout Kathleen Otto of Fort Collins was a featured speaker at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction Breakfast in Grand Junction.  She told the audience of Girl Scouts and supporters about her journey through Girl Scouts.

My last 12 years as a Girl Scout has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow, making me the person I am today. This morning, I’m thrilled to share my amazing experience in Girl Scouting with you.

I remember the first Girl Scout meeting I attended. I was in first grade and a new Brownie. My troop would meet in the library of my elementary school and I remember we would have tables lined up in a big “U” shape so we could all see one another. We spent time learning the Girl Scout Promise and Law—and at every troop meeting we would stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance and then the Promise and Law to remind ourselves of how to behave toward one another and our community every day. Of course, being 6-years-old, I did not yet realize what a remarkable family and community I had joined.

Being a Girl Scout helped me learn important business and people skills and one of the most well know skill building opportunities is, as you all probably know, selling cookies. The first thing I learned about selling cookies was to be charming! This tip works well when you are still a Brownie, but as you become older, it gets a little trickier. Once I reached middle and high school, selling cookies door-to-door required connections and loyal customers that had known me since I was a little Brownie. But, the best way to earn and sell cookies was always at a booth. I remember I was in 4th or 5th grade, it was January, and snowing. My friend and I stood at a cookie booth outside of Safeway for 30 minutes, which seemed like forever at that age.  Over 45 minutes passed and we thought to ourselves, “Why did we sign up for a two-hour booth?!” My friend and I were shivering in our boots and snow pants, we were so bored, and no one was coming to buy cookies. Eventually, I was so cold and tired that I decides to let out my pent-up energy, by singing and dancing.

My journey through Girl Scouts did not stop at cookie booths. During my Junior and Senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

The Gold Award gave me the opportunity to teach people about a topic that is very important to me – dyslexia. I wanted to educate both parents and teachers about dyslexia and how it impacts children in school settings. This is an important topic for me because I am dyslexic and without the teachers I had, who knew about dyslexia, my school experience would have been so much harder. Without the support system I had growing up, and the teachers I had I don’t think I would have graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA or would have been as prepared as I feel for college.  My Gold Award was a two-step process. First, I organized a viewing of the documentary “The Big Picture – Rethinking Dyslexia”, a story about of people who struggle with dyslexia, and their stories of how they overcame their disability. After the movie, I held a panel discussion with dyslexia experts, who included: a doctor, who specializes in diagnosing dyslexia; teacher, who works specifically with children with learning disabilities;  student and lifelong friend, who suffers from dyslexia; and representative from the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The panel discussion was eye opening for everyone who attended and gave people the chance to connect with others in the community, whom they might have never met without my project. Many parents with children who have dyslexia were able to come together and find understanding with each other and help each other find support for their children.

Step two of my project was to create a Little Free Library in my neighborhood to promote literacy among both adults and children. In all the books that are in the library, I put informational bookmarks provided by the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association in the hope that I could not only encourage people to read, more but also to continue educating people about dyslexia.

Through earning my Gold Award, I learned many skills required of a successful leader. I learned how to best communicate with my peers and adults, along with programing, public speaking, and marketing skills. I had tapped into each of these skills throughout my years as a Girl Scout and perfected them through earning my Gold Award.

These are the concrete skills that Girl Scouts has taught me, but it also opened doors to see the world. Last summer, I had the chance to go on one last trip with my Girl Scout troop and we decided to go to Europe. With the funds, we earned from the Girl Scout Cookie Program, along with our own money, we went on a 15-day trip across Europe. We went to amazing places and saw wonderful things. My favorite part of our trip was going to Adelboden, Switzerland, and visiting Our Chalet – one of five World Centers of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The beauty of Our Chalet and the town of Adelboden was incredibly stunning and peaceful. learning the history of how Our Chalet was founded was truly a learning experience and showed me that Girl Scouting really is an international sisterhood.

In addition to traveling around Europe, I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at Tomahawk Ranch, one of the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s summer camps. After being a camper almost every summer and then a counselor in training, becoming an official counselor at 18 just seemed like the natural next step in my relationship with Girl Scout Camp. Becoming a counselor, I could, make sure that younger girls had the best summer possible. I remember the Director of Tomahawk, Monica Gray, aka Obi Joe, told us during our training – “Camp is a safe place for girls to come and be themselves.” That is what camp was like for me as a child and that is what I wanted camp to be for girls today. Working at Tomahawk is like being in a totally different world. The Director Team at Tomahawk does such an amazing job at making camp a wonderful and amazing experience for every girl. 

One day, half-way into a two-week session, all of the counselors are living off of coffee at this point I thought to myself at lunch, “I knew someone would do it! I knew someone would dip the lettuce in the chocolate!” This might seem completely odd statement, so let me explain. 

For lunch, we were having fondue and there was a chocolate fountain for dessert, our chef spoiled us, with all the fixings you would expect – strawberries, pound cake, bananas, and more. But, these desserts were set on a bed of lettuce, and I thought to myself watch one of these girls dip the lettuce into the chocolate and eat it up. Sure enough, one of my girls came back to the table with chocolate covered lettuce, and everyone started laughing as she began to eat it! I can tell you now that chocolate and lettuce is not a good combo, but everyone laughed, smiled, and tried something new and surprising.

This is the point of Girl Scout Camp – it is random and funny and sometimes completely unexpected. But, no matter how unexpected things are, you’ll always be met with a welcoming smile. Camp is one of the safest places for girls to go where they can be themselves without being branded weird or different. Girl Scout Camp is a safe place for girls to grow and find out who they would like to be and all the amazing things that they are capable of.

Each of these stories describe what Girl Scouts has done for me. Girl Scouts has been the place for me where I can be myself and grow into a person that I didn’t know I could be. Girl Scouts is the reason I can stand before you and speak clearly and with confidence. Girl Scouts is the reason I know I will always have a home and a family no matter where I am. The skills that Girl Scouts has taught me, has given me the self-confidence to live on my own, to start my freshman year of college with only a little trepidation.

This year, I am a freshman at Colorado Mesa University. As of right now I am just starting my core education classes, but my plans are to go into the medical field as a nurse. Girl Scouts has shown me that I love people and enjoy helping my community. Girl Scouts has help teach me that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.

I want to remind you all the mission of Girl Scouts, “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” I stand before you this morning, a Girl Scout for over a decade and a woman with the courage, confidence, and character to continue becoming the best person I can be and make the world a little better every day.

Thank you all so much.

 

 

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twenty-five Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing take action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Meg Bleyle from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, worked to increase the bee population by teaching children about how people need and depend on bees.
  • Beth Bolon from Longmont hosted a workshop for sixth grade girls to help them improve their communication skills and bolster their confidence when interacting with others.
  • Cheyanne Bridges from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with the Pikes Peak Humane Society to support their animal medical fund by providing a sustainable source of donations from her school.
  • Tara Butler from Denver, Overland High School, created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens to educate them on how to use their smartphone and better understand the technology.
  • Kayleigh Cornell from Aurora, Grandview High School, started the Colorado Book Bank and collected more than 1,300 new and gently used books for students in a summer lunch program.
  • Victoria Delate from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, created a four-week self-defense course to give her fellow students the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual assault.
  • Emma Deutsch from Denver, Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, improved the cat rooms at the Denver Animal Shelter. By creating a more welcoming and colorful space, she encouraged more people to adopt cats.
  • Kamaryn Evans from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, worked to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and for the Crisis Center, which works to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention.
  • Rose Goodman from Boulder, Boulder High School, created a lesson plan, which meets common-core standards, to educate second grade students about the declining bee population and how they can help bees.
  • Elizabeth Hoelscher from Aurora, Grandview High School, partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage victims of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls.
  • Ashlin Hult from Niwot, Niwot High School, created a series of materials for middle-school girls to encourage healthy body image and increase self-esteem.
  • Zoi Johns from Golden, Lakewood High School, coordinated the installation of three 10,000-liter water filtration tanks in a school in rural Uganda.
  • Makayla Kocher from Monument, Colorado Springs Christian School, created an art program for nursing home residents.
  • Kayleigh Limbach from Niwot, Niwot High School, wrote aguidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academic future.
  • Alexis Montague from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, hosted a panel discussion so girls could learn more about career opportunities in STEM.
  • Sarah Ness from Centennial, Eaglecrest High School, hosted nearly two dozen after-school art therapy sessions to help kids at her school relieve and manage stress.
  • Gwyneth Ormes from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, organized a series of after-school workshops to teach elementary school girls Processing (a basic programming language), along with the foundational concepts of computer science.
  • Emma Parkhurst from Centennial, Littleton High School, revitalized The Lions Cupboard, a local clothing closet, to make the space more accessible for families in need.
  • Makala Roggenkamp from Arvada, Faith Christian Academy, partnered with Hope House and created book templates for children to develop a love of reading.
  • Abagail Sickinger from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to help high school students get a job. Topics included: resume writing, what to wear, conducting yourself during an interview, and how to answer interview questions.
  • Katrina Stroud from Boulder, Niwot High School, created an activity booklet for The Butterfly Pavilion to teach children about Monarch butterflies and bumble bees.
  • Grayson Thomas from Lyons, Lyons High School, designed a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM community for Lyons Middle/Senior High School.
  • Marieke van Erven from Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.
  • Melissa Wilson from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, developed several materials to educate people who can hear about how to interact with those who are deaf.
  • Inspired by her mother’s battle with cancer, Susan Wilson from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a media center for cancer patients undergoing treatment at Parker Adventist Hospital.

The Girl Scout Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. 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.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”

About Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.