Category Archives: Uncategorized

Volunteer Spotlight: Shawnda Staten

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Shawnda Staten of Fort Lupton in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Shawnda to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer at 18, so I could work at a resident camp after I graduated high school and then it just worked out that I was needed for my little cousins troop as a co-leader, so she could do all the “cool stuff” (her words not mine) that I got to do growing up. Then, a very short time later my daughter was old enough and wanted to be in Girl Scouts and of course, we had no leaders, so it just happened and then I had another daughter ten years later who wanted to be a Girl Scout too. I had to start a new troop for her and when I thought I was going to take some other roles in council, I was blessed with a granddaughter, so I haven’t changed roles just yet because now I am honored to be her leader.

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

Different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout started for me as a Girl Scout member: helping Brownie leaders that needed help, and at the local nature centers doing educational tours for scouts and the community. I wasn’t working on a Program Aide or any awards or badges, but for fun and the experience. Then, as a legal adult, I volunteered as a camp counselor a couple times, co-leader/leader from early 1990’s til now in a couple states, special events manager/coordinator a couple times, and in a couple states, service unit registrar, service unit and troop product program manager/coordinator a couple times (even back when we had calendars/candies and of course cookie season), service unit co-manager/ manger. I have been secretary on the service unit team, mentor for leaders and various other positions on the team, and helped in adult training. I think for about three months in the very beginning I was just a registered parent. LOL. They have all been an experience to remember and most I enjoyed for the terms they were assigned because of the fellow volunteers I had on the team with me.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Being a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned I’m only human, I am flawed, and I make mistakes, but it’s how you handle them that makes you a better leader and person. I have learned that I have lots still to learn from a program aspect, from the parents and fellow volunteers, and most importantly ,to me is learning from the girls. Its great to let the girls explore and grow in their own time and in there own way. Not all girls are created equal and that is perfect! Be flexible, open minded, non-judgmental and easy going as much as possible. That not all Girl Scouts; girls and adults will like everyone else, look at their troop the same way, or with the same dedication level, which can be frustrating, but its always good to accept for the sake of being a mentor/ role model and living by the Promise and Law. I have learned basic things like how to live by the Promise and Law, not just say the words. I think a lot of volunteers miss that when they sign up for a volunteer role, and cookies is not a competition between girls/troops, it’s a learning tool. How to hike and camp correctly with a bunch of rambunctious and social young ladies. How to cook with a solar oven and better at dutch oven. How to make better knots and teach girls edible knots and campfires, so they get it at a young age. How to have a cleaner camping kitchen. How to canoe down a river and in the lake without swamping it, as well as archery and gun safety. How to use badge requirements to benefit the girls and how to use their everyday experiences to fulfill badge requirements without double dipping.  How to track paperwork.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

What I hope my girls have learned from me is emotional for me when I think about it. Being a Girl Scout, growing up when we had basically no guideline rules other than Susie Safety and having a lifetime of lasting memories and friends. I want that for all of my girls too, but it goes deeper. I want them to accept others for who they are, not what society expects them to be. To accept everyone with or without disabilities because it doesn’t define them as a person. To love themselves and know they have worth. That because I was open and honest with my girls that they will be as well. That they learned to give back to themselves, their families, their communities, and this country. To accept their accomplishments and defeats equally and with pride and humility. To be independent, responsible, take charge, role models. To be good mommies or not, spouses or not, businesswomen or house wives, and Girl Scout leaders if that is what they want in their journeys. That I will always support them, that I am here for them throughout Girl Scouts and beyond. That they touched my heart even if they were only mine for a short time and I am proud of them and the growth I see within them. That when I say at the beginning of the year that our troop is a family not just a bunch of people who get together once a week that I meant it and their sisters in scouts are their friends for life.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

My experience as a volunteer helped me become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader) through my personal growth and experiences with the girls and the good friends I have made through the years. Its all been trial and error and preconceived notions of what is right or wrong and how to accomplish a task. How you deal with the unknown events and the gratitude you have from the mistakes as well as the accomplishments. To always be the girls safe heaven and their biggest cheerleader because sometimes that is all they need from you. To show them that you care and are dedicated to their success makes you a success. Be their friend even when they drive you crazy because it helps you grow. For me, it meant looking for a bigger picture and getting outside my comfort zone and moving my family across country for a chance at something different, and then again for a better long term future goal. To set goals and not give up until you have no other option and even then keep moving forward with your head high, to take the necessary risks in life to achieve your journeys goal. Over the years I am now blessed with being a Girl Scout grandma several times and It has given me a sense of pride I didn’t know I would get from being a leader. I step outside myself and what I think I know to help myself grow and move out of the way of my own ego. I always am willing to try something new and push boundaries and stereotypes. That is how I became a G.I.R.L.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org. 

The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards is April 30. GSCO invites members statewide to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding volunteer by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award. Nominators are responsible for ensuring enough endorsements are submitted to support their nomination of a volunteer for an award. Your volunteer support specialist can check nomination and endorsement submissions for you. Learn more.

 

 

Submit your photos and videos for GSCO’s statewide bridging video

Girls have worked hard – and had tons of fun – all year; let’s celebrate bridging to the next Girl Scout level! While we know Girl Scouting might look a little different these days, we want to honor girls’ achievements through the year and celebrate their “crossing the bridge” to the next Girl Scout level.

With the help of an adult, you can fill out our online form (https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/2020_virtual_bridging_video) to show off an at home bridging photo, reflection on your favorite memories from your Girl Scout level, and excitement for what lies ahead.

Snap a photo of yourself (or have someone take a photo of you) crossing a bridge of your choice. Find a real bridge in a local park close to home or create your own bridge at home. Get creative with your bridge! You can make a bridge out of lots of things – books, pillows, stuffed animals, and more! Don’t forget to wear your Girl Scout vest or sash in your photo.

We will use your submission to create a Statewide Bridging video that will go live on social media during National Bridging Week, May 2-9, 2020. Please note, we will include all appropriate photos submitted. All photos submitted must be horizontal.

By completing the form, you give permission to Girl Scouts of Colorado to use the photo and answers you submit.

The deadline to complete this form is Sunday, May 10, 2020 (end of day).

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! GSCO staff will guide Girl Scouts of all levels through a bridging ceremony from the comfort of your own home. Prepare ahead of time to bridge at home by making your own bridge out of pillows, stuffed animals, or anything else you can safely walk across! To join, visit the GSCO Facebook page at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

High Adventure Badge event presented by The North Face

This event is cancelled as of March 13, 2020.

 

Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors are invited to try activities inspired by Girl Scouts’ brand new Outdoor High-Adventure badges and meet professional rock climber Margo Hayes!

When: 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

1 – 4 p.m.

Who: Brownies & Juniors

Cost: FREE – limited capacity

Where:

Estes Park Mountain Shop

Estes Park

Register online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2020/high_adventure_badge.html Registration will close when capacity is met OR on April 1.

Girls will walk away inspired to earn one of the new Snow, Climbing Adventure, or Trail Adventure badges! They’ll rotate through hands-on and age-appropriate activity stations that will spark curiosity and challenge girls to push their boundaries.

  • Run
  • Climbing
  • Hike
  • Leave No Trace
  • Visit from Margo Hayes! In 2016, she won both the Bouldering and Lead Climbing events at the World Youth Championships.

This is not a drop off event. All Girl Scouts must attend with a parent, troop leader, or guardian.

All attendees must have a current Girl Scout membership. Girls attending without their parent must be with an approved volunteer.

All Girl Scouts attending will be required to submit a GSUSA/The North Face waiver and a waiver for Estes Park Mountain Shop. Both waivers will be emailed directly to participants before event in a reminder email. Troop leaders – make sure to collect signed waivers for each girl!

Questions? Email aimee.artzer@gscolorado.org.

40963104_gsco_tnf_estes_park_4.5.2020

2020 “Bling Your Booth” Challenge

The “Bling Your Booth” Challenge is back and in 2020, you could win up to $200 in Cookie Credits!

Here’s how to bling your booth:

  1. Pick a theme, like G.I.R.L., the new Lemon-Ups Girl Scout Cookie, your cookie goal, girl power, or glitz and glam — it’s up to you!
  2. Use cool color combinations.
  3. Create fun posters with your cookie goals, lots of awesome pictures, and maybe add balloons!
  4. Dress up and use colored lights to invite customers to a cookie party.
  5. Add anything that makes your booth stand out from the crowd.
  6. Most importantly: Have fun!

Here are some rules to follow:

  1. Take a photo of your troop in action at your booth.
  2. Email your photo, along with a brief story, troop number, and your cookie goal, to Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org. You can also share your photo on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Be sure to tag Girl Scouts of Colorado.
  3. Submit your entry by February 18, 2020!
  4. All of the entries will be uploaded to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Facebook page and be part of the album: Bling Your Booth Challenge 2020. Tell your friends and family to vote for your entry by simply clicking “like” or reacting to it. The photo that receives the most likes and reactions by February 27 at 9 a.m. wins!

First Prize: $200 in Cookie Credits

Second Prize: $100 in Cookie Credits

Third Prize: $50 in Cookie Credits

If you have questions, email GSCO Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.

Teddy Bear Project collection

Submitted by Taylar Reilly

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

I am so proud of our Girl Scout Daisy Troop 66446. They collected 194 stuffed animals for the Child Rescue Foundation’s annual Teddy Bear Project all while earning a petal for learning how to make the world a better place! The girls had pizza and teddy bear trail mix during their tagging party.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Summer Gehman, Littleton, “The Roundup River Library”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I built a library at Roundup River Ranch. The camp is for children who have or have had life-threatening illnesses. Due to the children having these illnesses, they are missing school and their literacy rates are dropping. The library that was built at the camp to address that problem, along with giving the campers something to do.

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

To measure the impact on my project, I went directly to the people who are going to be using it. I asked the campers for their feedback and also got families and camp staff to give me feedback. Through their feedback, I was able to see how my project was going to affect the campers.

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

To make sure that my project would continue after I finished it, I asked my project supervisor to sign a letter of commitment. On top of a letter of commitment, I left extra supplies for the checkout system, so it would last them longer. Lastly, the camp helped me come up with the idea of the library.

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

For my global connection, I ended up working with a non-profit organization located in Kentucky called the International Book Project. This organization works with third world countries to increase literacy rates.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project helped me learn a lot of good and bad things about myself. One of the main things that I was able to learn was that I am not a people person and like to have my alone time to work on my projects. I also got to see how much of a perfectionist I was and was able to learn that not everything has to be perfect.

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

The Gold Award will help me in the future because I was able to work on many of the skills that I needed. For example, I learned to be a team member, instead of doing it all on my own. Also, I grew to have stronger leadership skills that will help me.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it let me go higher in Girl Scouts. Also, it helped me become an inspiration for the little girls in Girl Scouts to keep going.

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

Through this project, I have grown as a leader in so many ways. One way that I have grown as a leader is not being afraid to tell someone that they are doing something wrong. Before the project, I was afraid to talk to adults, but also to tell them they are doing something wrong since they are older than me. I also grew to be a risk-taker through the project. I took the risk of setting the final date of my project so close to my approval date. That was a risk because it was about a month to complete the library.

**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

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame: History of Women

Submitted by Jordan Cook

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

I want to be a pilot. I appreciate that Girl Scouts provides the opportunities for me to learn about women who are already pilots and working in the industry.

I am looking forward to attending a program given by the Colorado 99’s again. Hope there is another one soon.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is excited to partner with Girl Scouts of Colorado to provide girls across the state an opportunity to learn the stories of women who have shaped our state and the nation’s history with courage, leadership, intelligence, and creativity. Girl Scouts are future female leaders of Colorado and the Hall of Fame recognizes and preserves the accomplishments of past and present Colorado women. – M.L. Hanson, Founder of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

Troop 46327 accepts the Colorado Women Inspire challenge

Submitted by Erin Wogaman

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Our troop of 33 Girl Scouts (Daisy-Senior) divided into teams and completed the requirements on the scavenger hunt, researched Susan Helms, and watched Marion Downs’ film. The girls had so much fun learning about these strong leaders and it gave them hope about their own futures. My troop knows that they can overcome obstacles and push themselves to be the best they can be. We really enjoyed this fun patch and do recommend that younger girls partner with older girls.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is excited to partner with Girl Scouts of Colorado to provide girls across the state an opportunity to learn the stories of women who have shaped our state and the nation’s history with courage, leadership, intelligence, and creativity. Girl Scouts are future female leaders of Colorado and the Hall of Fame recognizes and preserves the accomplishments of past and present Colorado women. – M.L. Hanson, Founder of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

Thanks to Erin for sharing her story earning this special patch with Girl Scouts of Colorado!

Smart Cookie: February 11, 2019

Are you ready for council booth sales?

Friday marks the first day of council booths and Girl Scouts will be selling in front of grocery stores, big box retailers, and other retail locations across the state. This is our most visible time of the year, and a great chance for girls to practice their entrepreneurial skills! Share this two-sided sheet with girls and families for tips on how to answer “Why Girl Scouts?” like a pro! Troop volunteers can also take a look at this  Booth Essentials sheet to prepare for scenarios that sometimes come up while selling cookies.

Make sure you head to your booths with everything you’ll need.

  • Print out and bring a copy of your booth sign-up confirmation.
  • Plenty of cookies
  • Booth inventory sheet to track purchases or a device with a booth sale recorder app
  • Table and chairs
  • Tablecloth
  • $60 in change
  • Pen to detect counterfeit bills
  • Any booth posters or decorations to bling your booth

Booths are an awesome opportunity for girls to learn and practice the 5 Skills. It’s a safe environment where girls can try a new pitch, bundle cookies, and really push their Hometown Hero and Gift of Caring donation options. Guide girls in their strategies, but always remember that girls make all sales! Don’t forget to review booth etiquette with your girls, too.

Bundle up for big sales

Cookie bundles are a great way to increase sales, and the first weekend of council booths offers plenty of creative bundle possibilities. Make an ever-popular “chocolate lovers” bundle by using some pretty ribbon to tie a package of Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and Samoas together for $12- or add a box of S’mores to make it $17. In honor of President’s Day weekend, offer customers a patriotic bundle by packaging the red Tagalongs package together with the blue Trefoils, and top them with a white bow.

Make sure your customers know they can also make a Gift of Caring donation to send cookies to our military serving overseas. Challenge those who care a lot to send a whole case!

Check your inventory 

Now is a good time to check in with your girls and families to see how they are doing on inventory. Cookie Cupboards are open around the state if you need to restock. Please check your local cupboard hours in eBudde and try to give one week’s notice for orders to be filled. You must put orders in at least 72 hours prior to picking up from the cupboard. If you need cookies before 72 hours, please work with families in your troop or other troops in your area who may have excess inventory. Be mindful that many cupboards are managed by volunteers and will have varying hours. It is important to note that anyone who picks up cookies from a cupboard will need an eBudde password.

Gift of Caring patch

Salute America’s heroes by selling 50 (or more) packages of Gift of Caring Girl Scout Cookies by Sunday, March 10, 2019. Any Colorado Girl Scout who does will receive a free, special-order fun patch after completing the online form. Be sure to include your goals and troop number, along with a fun pic of you and/or your troop. The deadline to complete the form is Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Best cookie video deadline

The deadline for the Best Cookie Video contest is Tuesday, February 12.  All entries will be uploaded to the Girl Scouts of Colorado YouTube channel, and the video that receives the most “thumbs up” by 9 a.m. February 21 wins!

  • First Prize: $200 in Cookie Credits
  • Second Prize: $100 in Cookie Credits
  • Third Prize: $50 in Cookie Credits

#BlingYourBooth is back!

With council booths beginning on Friday, this is the perfect weekend to Bling Your Booth for the chance to win up to $200 in Cookie Credits! Pick a theme to decorate your cookie booth and snap a photo. Entries are due February 21. Contest details and rules.

Upcoming Dates

Feb. 15

Council booths begin

Feb. 22-24

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend

March 10

Cookie program ends

March 12

Rewards orders due in eBudde

Become a Program Aide for camp

Are you interested in becoming a Program Aide for Girl Scout Camp this summer? Here are some reasons why becoming a Program Aide is a great idea.

No matter what program or event you are assisting with, you will learn, focus on, and polish your skills in the following areas:

  • Teamwork
  • Effective communication
  • Problem solving and resourcefulness
  • Initiative
  • Setting achievable goals
  • Building and maintaining positive relationships with children younger than you, your peers, and adults
  • Learning how to support others in a positive and meaningful ways
  • Learning how to give someone constructive feedback

When you are a Program Aide at a resident camp or day camp you will also gain valuable skills in the following areas:

  • Gathering and maintaining group attention
  • How to get younger kids excited about programs/camp
  • How to plan, prepare for, and facilitate programs and activities
  • How to effectively lead songs and games for small or large groups
  • Learn about debriefing an activity and why it is important

All of these skills are transferable into any aspect of life (school, work, home, relationships, etc …) and will help girls create a solid foundation that will aide them in their future endeavors.

This is a link to the GSCO Camp Website which outlines all the camps that are currently offering a PA/PAI program for summer 2019. Hurry and register now as these spaces will fill soon! http://www.camp.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/camp-leadership-for-girls

Here is the information on camp sessions where you can find information about registering.http://www.camp.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/session-list

Looking for the requirements to become a PA? Click here!https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/our-program/older-girls/Older_Girl_Leadership_Opportunities.html

Looking for upcoming PA trainings in your area? Check out the GSCO Events Calendar.https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events/events-calendar.html

Need more information or support? Contact Inquiry@gscolorado.org