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Gold Award Girl Scout: Aarzoo Aggarwal, Aurora, “Girls are SMART (Scientists, Mathematicians, Astronomers, Researchers, Talented)”

What did you do for you Gold Award Project?

I created a program called Girls are SMART (Scientists, Mathematicians, Astronomers, Researchers, Talented), during which I instructed a young group of girls in elementary school to make art projects utilizing STEM topics. We made chromatography butterflies, constellation boards, salt watercolor painting, painted pinecones, and drip art. After each project, we discussed the science behind the project and had some amazing women from the School of Mines talk with us about their lives as women in STEM. At the end of this virtual five week session, we had a virtual art show to showcase all of the girls’ beautiful and creative STEM art work.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award project made on my target audience, girls in elementary school, through trivia sessions and the activity on my website. After each session, we played a few rounds of trivia that included recap questions about the content that we had just gone over. I was able to gauge what topics the girls understood and what they didn’t through how many of them answered correctly. This was a fun way to engage young girls and measure the impact of my Gold Award virtually. Additionally, I was able to keep track of the activity on my website which allowed me to see how many girls were accessing my resources and learning.

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

Girls are SMART is sustainable because of its partnership with the Colorado School of Mines. They have added a link to my website to theirs, which reaches out to a larger audience. I have many resources on my website such as the five project videos that I made, a curriculum for the science behind each project, interactive slideshows for young girls, and much more! Because the School of Mines’s SWE program promotes my resources to become a member of Girls are SMART, my Gold Award will continue to make an impact.

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

My project’s global/national connection is its link to the national SWE program. The national SWE program will similarly promote my resources on their website, allowing more and more young girls to access my projects and resources and learn about the ubiquitous reach of STEM!

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the course of earning my Girl Scout Gold Award, I learned so many things about myself that if I were to write it all out it would never end, but one of my main takeaways from this amazing experience was that I realized that although I might be afraid to venture out of my comfort zone, in the end I find it surprisingly enjoyable. My curiosity drives my love for experiencing new things, even if they scare me at first.

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

Earning my Gold Award will have a great impact on me for the rest of my life. Not only will I remember the wonderful memories from teaching and communicating with young girls forever, but I will also be less scared to take risks and try new approaches. I will always remember that if you don’t try something new and explore your curiosities you can never grow.

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

Earning my Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I was able to culminate all of my experiences from selling Girl Scout Cookies door-to-door in the cold, to exploring the wilderness and making s’mores. By combining all of these unforgettable journeys, I made another memorable memory that marks an important step in my Girls Scouts experience. Although earning my Gold Award is not the end to my time as a Girl Scout, earning my Gold Award is an amazing way to complete this era of being a Girl Scout.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader) because I learned the necessity of exploration, which has been an idea that has continued to grow since the day I began Girl Scouts. Had I not explored numerous possibilities and been a risk-taker, I wouldn’t have come up with the idea for Girls are SMART. Although everything that I tried didn’t work out, being a risk-taker allowed be to then become an innovator. I had to come up with creative ways through which my Gold Award would have the impact I wanted it to.

**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.

Vote NOW in the 2021 “Showcase Your Safety” Photo Challenge

Thank you to everyone who entered the 2021 “Showcase Your Safety” Photo Challenge! We received more than a dozen entries and are so impressed by your safety, creativity, and enthusiasm. Now, it is time to rally your friends and family to vote!

All of the entries have been uploaded to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Facebook page and are part of the album: “Showcase Your Safety” Photo Challenge. 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 9 a.m. on February 23 wins!

First Prize: 200 Cookie Credits

Second Prize: 100 Cookie Credits

Third Prize: 50 Cookie Credits

If you have questions, please email Girl Scouts of Colorado Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper.

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.

2021 Day of Service

Submitted by Amber Biviano

Metro Denver

Parker

Genevieve and Mackenzie collected winter gloves/socks, snacks, and toiletries to support a local cafe’s efforts to feed and provide essentials for those experiencing homelessness in our community throughout the winter.

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.

Honoring First Responders

Submitted by Talya Z.

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

My Girl Scout sisters and I made a plan to brighten the day of first responders in our hometown. 19 girls committed to doing something special for our first responders. I took Chick-fil-A food, along with pumpkin and apple scones, for CSPD to enjoy. A couple of my Girl Scout sisters took yummy treats and a cute thank you poster to AMR. This is one of my favorite things about being a Girl Scout. We like to make people feel appreciated and not forgotten.

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.

Brownie Troop 67255 Earns Pets Badge

Submitted by Sara Smaling

Metro Denver

Englewood

Third Grade Brownie Troop 67255 recently earned their Pets badge. While learning all about pet care, the girls also had fun making fleece dog blankets. The troop donated the blankets, along with some canned dog food, to the Little Old Dog Sanctuary. The sanctuary rescues old and special needs dogs and cares for them to their end of life.

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.

Get in the spirit – enter the virtual Halloween contest!

Girl Scouts, it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit and enter the statewide, virtual Halloween costume contest. The contest is open to all girl members of Girl Scouts of Colorado. Use this form (https://forms.gle/XKC34Pv8rXpHdvSN6) to submit a photo of yourself in your costume by noon on October 31, 2020 for a chance to win. A panel of judges: Leanna Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Colorado; Rae Ann Dougherty, GSCO Board Chair; and a member of the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders will select winners in several different categories.

Also, don’t forget Halloween is our founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday! Honor her birthday by spreading the word about Girl Scouting to others in your community. You can use these  You’ve Been Boo’d printables  to leave a surprise treat for a friend or family in your neighborhood.

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.

Troop 40294 Earns Archery Badge

Submitted by Dinah Campbell

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Our Cadette troop earned their Archery badge at Cheyenne Mt. State Park Archery Range. The staff did a great job of keeping things clean and safe. They walked us through all the steps to teach us how to properly shoot the arrows, archery safety, and made it fun.

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.

Register now for STREAM Girls in Colorado Springs

Join Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) for STREAM Girls Thursday, September 10 – Sunday, September 20, 2020! This is a hybrid virtual/take-home program for Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes.

  • Virtual kick-off: Thursday, September 10 at 5 p.m. via Zoom
  • Virtual reflection: Sunday, September 20 at 3 p.m. via Zoom

 

  • Gear pick-up at Bear Creek Regional Park, Colorado Springs: Friday, September 11, 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Gear drop off at Bear Creek Regional Park, Colorado Springs: Sunday, September 20, 5 p.m.

Cost: $5 per gear pick up OR $3 per girl if using your own gear

Register NOW: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/stream_girls_blended_09_10_2020

STREAM Girls gives Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes the opportunity to earn a special patch as they serve as citizen scientists, anglers, and artists, to build an appreciation for watershed conservation and the environment. This outdoor watershed experience employs STEM-education (science, technology, engineering, math) plus recreation and arts to explore a local stream.

Every person is a citizen of her watershed, and Colorado Trout Unlimited (TU) has partnered with Girl Scouts of Colorado so that girls will get the complete picture of what their stream could mean to them.

In this hybrid take home/virtual program, TU will provide Girls Scouts with the necessary gear, a STREAM Girls Field Notebook, and a resource list with videos guiding Girl Scouts through six activities that they will complete over ten days. Additionally, girls are expected to join a virtual program kick off on Thursday and a reflection meeting the next Sunday to discuss what they have learned. Activities include:

  • Stream Walk – Observing and documenting the stream/river and surrounding area
  • Go with the Flow – Calculating river flow rates using everyday tools and simple math
  • Macroinvertebrate Survey – Investigating the insect life that lives in the stream and support fish
  • Fly-Casting – Developing skills to fly fish and practicing in your own backyard/neighborhood park
  • Fly-Tying – Creating a “fly” to imitate one of the macroinvertebrates commonly found in Colorado
  • Scavenger Hunt/Bracelet Building – Testing your knowledge of healthy streams and creating a unique bracelet to represent your local watershed!

Activities are expected to take approximately six hours, in total, and can be broken up into several days. Colorado Trout Unlimited will provide the necessary gear and supplies associated with each activity. Gear will be picked-up and dropped off at Bear Creek Regional Park East. Colorado Trout Unlimited has enough gear/supplies for 24 participants. Additional participants may be able to register, if using their own gear or sharing with another Girl Scout. Please acknowledge any shared gear in registration.

Adults picking up gear on behalf of Girl Scouts will be required to complete a gear agreement upon pick up. Certificates of completion and patches will be distributed upon gear drop off. If using your own gear, certificates of completion and patches will be mailed after the program is complete. Please indicate if you are picking up supplies or using your own supplies.

As a self-guided event, Colorado Trout Unlimited and GSCO encourage Girl Scouts to complete this activity with their families. Please be sure to follow all state, county, and local public health guidelines surrounding COVID-19.

Registration will close on Monday, September 7 OR when capacity has been reached. All waivers, pre-information, and log in information for virtual meetings will be provided for all participants via email after registration closes.

If picking up supplies and gear, all supplies will be packaged as a set and available during the gear pick-up. Participants are welcome to use their own gear/equipment. Please use the list below when compiling your own gear/supplies. For participants not requiring a gear set, the Field Notebook and Macroinvertebrate Guide will be sent via email.

Supply List:

  • Field Notebook and Macroinvertebrate Guide
  • Writing Utensil (Colored pencils are great to have, as well)
  • Wading Boots/Waders (If weather/water temperatures are warm enough, sturdy water shoes can be used)
  • Stopwatch (smartphones work great)
  • Something that floats (stick, ping pong ball, etc)
  • Calculator (phone works great)
  • Measuring Tape (at least 30’)
  • Bug net (Kitchen Strainer will work)
  • Collection Pan (Tupperware or small white buckets can be effective)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Small sorting tray (ice cube trays work well)
  • Fly rod, reel, and line
  • Fly tying vise
  • Fly tying tools
  • Fly tying materials for midge pattern including hook and thread.
  • Extra fly line for bracelet (Other material will work, as well)
  • Beads for bracelet activity

Questions? Email aimee.artzer@gscolorado.org.

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

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.