Calling all troop leaders! Through your dedication to the girls you serve every day, you’ve already shown us that you believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to stand up, speak out, and accomplish amazing things. Help us unleash that power in even more girls today by pledging to add one or more girls to your troop by March 1, 2018—and you’ll qualify to win some fantastic prizes!
Take the pledge between November 1 and November 15, 2017,and tell us how your troop is working to advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda in your community. The agenda is our nationwide initiative to elevate every voice in the advancement of girls’ leadership and status in the world. By pledging to add at least one new girl to your troop, you’ll help even more girls spark positive change through civic action!
Taking the pledge is easy:
Upload an image of your trailblazing troop.
Take the pledge.
Share how your troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda.
Start recruiting girls for your troop.
What Your Troop Can Win
Once the pledge closes, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. Agenda patch for their troop. In addition, four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have GSUSA share their story on Facebook (on Thanksgiving!), as well as receive the patch for their troop. SWEET!
Pledges must be submitted by November 15, 2017 by an adult 18 or over. One entry per troop. See the official rules for full details.
Need Help Recruiting Girls for Your Troop?
Don’t sweat it—we’ll give you the tools to make it happen. Once you complete the pledge, check your email inbox for some articles and resources you can share with your friends and family to introduce them to the power of Girl Scouting, and spread the word that you’re looking for more girls to join your troop!
Still have questions? Review our FAQ for more information.
I recently had an amazing Girl Scout experience that I want to share. I knew that going to National Convention as a delegate would be exciting, but I had no idea that it would change the way I look at Girl Scouting. I have returned from Ohio more motivated than ever before, and want to encourage you to share my energy. Even more importantly, I want to convince all Girl Scouts to attend a National Convention themselves.
I am a Mountain Communities Trainer and also teach the Program Aid course. I am a strong advocate of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and enjoy opportunities to teach others. I’ve worked with so many talented Girl Scouts, but I was blown away by the girls chosen as national delegates. The girl delegates were active in giving opinions on our voting topics. They were thoughtful, insightful, passionate, and persuasive. However, when the discussion topic of how to get more girls into Girl Scouting and keep them, they were incredible. These young women had talked with other girls and shared their stories. They had concerns about diversity, funding, and leadership. They expressed that while many girls are tired of Journeys, others really like them. They presented original ideas that made everyone in the room think, “Wow, why aren’t we doing that?”
I want to encourage all of you to return to your troops and let the girls take the reins. It takes a bit of encouragement to get them on the leadership path, but I’ve seen what can happen when they succeed. I can only hope that my daughter becomes half as successful and amazing as the young women chosen to represent their councils.
I had a meeting with my friend and mentor, Nancy Mucklow, who encouraged me to apply to be a delegate. She wants to plan some big Girl Scout travel, and I virtually doubled her list. Did you know that there is a petition to name the bridge over the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge? When I told my troop about a chance to participate in their bridging ceremony, their eyes lit up and I think they started their packing list in their heads. I was unaware that Girl Scouts has a camp in Minnesota that does Boundary Waters canoe trips, and the cost is so low it’s staggering. You can go as a large group, an individual, or even a family. I was thrilled to find out that this high adventure trip is affordable and am starting to look at dates. I hope that I can encourage others to join me. I also learned a great deal more about the different world centers and Nancy is starting our travel plans for 2019 – I can’t wait!
The Hall of Experiences was just amazing. I learned information that I never realized existed. It had activities for the girls, from crafts, to the local science museum, to NASA. We were especially impressed with one gentleman at the NASA booth. Not only did he tell us about current science and demonstrate thrilling technology, he gave out important advice about high school and college classes to focus on and emphasized the importance of earning your Gold Award before applying for colleges. My favorite part of our conversation though, was about his daughter’s troop that he leads. We talked with our first colleges, and the advisors there taught my daughter the important questions she should be asking. They talked to her, not me. They asked her the important questions and helped her narrow down her scattered thoughts. I’m grateful for their approach in helping my daughter start her college search.
The breakout sessions were so informative and fun. My daughter attended the girl only yoga and self-defense class. She was very excited to prove herself to the self-defense instructor. She was told to hit the instructor if attacked. When the instructor snuck up on my daughters back and grabbed her hand, my daughter turned and hit her. The instructor was so thrilled that it was caught on video and she posed together yelling YEAH! While she was beating up adults, I attended a bullying seminar. While this was not normally not my thing, I was extremely impressed and inspired. The speaker had a different way of looking at the topic, and I can’t wait to share what I learned.
The inspirational speakers and videos were simply phenomenal. Coming from a family of gymnasts, hearing Gabby Douglas speak was thrilling. Chelsea Clinton was a joy and we just loved her discussion with the Young Women of Distinction about their Gold Awards. The psychologist that spoke was simply amazing. I am still discussing her theories with my daughter. However, in my opinion, the best speaker of the Convention was our very own CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. The way she could engage every person in the audience, regardless of their age was so wonderful. She loved getting all of us to stand up, dance and celebrate Girl Scouting together. If her speaking skills weren’t enough, she also took the time to talk with anyone who wanted her ear and smile for hundreds of selfies. If you have never heard amazing woman speak, I encourage you to seek her out.
The point that I want to stress is that National Convention is just so much more than just a convention. It’s a lifetime experience. I met people who have been attending National Convention since the 80’s. I was inspired by one woman who brings her granddaughters to every National Convention. I find this idea compelling and hope to someday be able to follow in this woman’s footsteps. Did I forget to talk about SWAPS? Just imagine bringing 250 swaps representing our great state and trading with Girl Scouts from around the country – and the world!
When I returned from convention, I was simply exhausted. There were so many fun and interesting things going on that we averaged about five and a half hours of sleep a night. The most amazing part of the convention started after I got home and got a real eight hours of sleep. I have ideas. I have plans. I am motivated. I see how my local troop and my volunteer efforts fit into Girl Scouts around the country. I want to see Girl Scouts of Colorado become a leader in our amazing national organization. I want to see more Girl Scouts, young and old, attend national conventions and come home as inspired as me. I want you to join me at the next national convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida!
Juliette Gordon Low’s desire to make the world a better place was evident early in her life. When she was just 16, she convinced her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club with her, to make clothing for families who had recently immigrated to the U.S. This was Juliette’s first foray into civic action, organizing in the community, and inspiring girls to take the lead for the greater good.
Fast forward to 1912, when Juliette, affectionately known as “Daisy” by her family and close friends, gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she’d learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth. With this, the first Girl Scout troop was formed—and the Girl Scout Movement was born to serve all girls nationwide.
Our earliest Girl Scouts, along with our pioneering founder, blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. And ever since, Girl Scouts has provided girls with transformative experiences that set them up to lead in their own lives and the world. Because of Girl Scouts, millions of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ have been prepared for a lifetime of leadership—from hiking under the stars to accepting a mission to the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with their troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running their own cookie business to tackling cybersecurity.
Here are three things you can do to honor Juliette Gordon Low and her remarkable legacy on Founder’s Day:
Proudly shout out what Girl Scouts has done for you! Share your story on social using #becauseofGirlScouts—and be sure to tag @girlscouts on Instagram and Twitter. You might even be included in our collection of #becauseofGirlScouts stories.
Elevate the legacy of Girl Scouts’ founder—sign our petition to support renaming the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah after Juliette Gordon Low. There are so many reasons this iconic bridge should honor our go-getting founder!
Share your #GIRLagenda by posting on the civic issues and causes you’re passionate about and taking action to impact—in the process, you’ll motivate others to act, as you honor our founder and shared mission to make the world a better place. Need a little inspiration? Tips for leading positive change through civic action? Check out our G.I.R.L. Agenda resources, which include materials for girls ages 5–17—and adults, too!
What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!
Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead:
1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.
It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).
When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.
2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.
Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.
3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).
No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.
4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.
There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a service unit or council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are.
Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)
5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.
Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!
Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.
This summer, the fourth year of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch brought together new and returning friends from nine different states to the Colorado high country. Women’s Week is open to any women/ladies/girls who are at least 18 years of age, who may or may not be Girl Scouts presently, or who may or may not ever have attended camp at any time anywhere. In other words, come one, come all – – – the more the merrier!
The best part about Women’s Week (WW for short) is that the sky is truly the limit! There is no preplanned program or schedule, except as determined by the menus and meals. More about food a little later! If you would like to do a particular thing, just make a request and we’ll try to see that it happens. If you would like to offer a special activity or program, just hang up a sign saying where and when it will happen, and bring with you the tools or materials to share with others.
There is plenty of time in our three-night/four-day event to rest and relax, explore, visit, sing, laugh, cook, sleep, read, hike, etc. Do you like to get up early in the morning? Coffee is always on its way before breakfast and a few of us enjoy the still morning solitude to listen to the birds, feel the breeze, and watch the sun come up over the hills. Like to stay up late? Campfires are always on the agenda, so we can give you “a place where people gather to make friends of all kinds,” and then we can help you “sing your way home at the close of the day.”
Women’s Week usually begins with a Big Circle Tour of MMR, which will take you to see most of what’s on the property for your further exploration. Up to the east past the C.I.T. house under restoration at this time, maybe up as far as Vista Spur to see the panorama of peaks that tower over us, back across by “The Shelf,” out to the Back Meadow, and around through the fire break along the back trail and over to Pinecrest where the Memorial Unit Shelter is under construction. The new steel buildings are going to be built by the agency from https://greatwesternbuildings.com/Steel_buildings/aviation, give them a visit if you need their services.
Cooking is a big part of Women’s Week, and the patrol assigned to be chefs will have guidance from Susan Baker and her growing-up girls to offer a delicious variety of cuisine, carefully planned to allow for dietary needs as well as experimentation. We’ve done bean-hole cooking, stick cooking, reflector oven baking, and dutch oven offerings. We’ve cooked on charcoal, open fires, or propane stoves, depending on the preference of the cooks or the (hopefully not!) fire restrictions. We once made rhubarb jam in the main camp kitchen to share with everyone. No, Women’s Week food is not always like regular camp food, as we’ve included a chili cook-off, stir fry to die for, fresh fruits and veggies prepared many different ways, and special surprises along the way. Ever made a “Fluffernutter?” or a “Darn Good/Dough Boy”? Do you have special culinary requests you’d like to see us try?
So, here are some highlights from summer 2017 at Women’s Week: A climb up Meadow Mountain. Crafts of bark painting, Morse-Code beading, monkey fists, tile mosaics. Yang or Taijiguan style of Tai-Chi in the mornings to relax the body and soul. “Tajer Tales” and “The Thirteen Clocks.” Sunrise hike to Vista Spur. Self-guided Nature Trail. A bog explore to see “the tufas” in the lower meadow. Service projects to help with fire mitigation and stripping logs for the new unit shelter at Pinecrest.
Summer of 2018 will feature a special dedication ceremony for the new Pinecrest Memorial Unit Shelter. Completion of this project will allow for more complete use of this larger more remote unit on the southern boundary of the camp. Contact Penny Roberts if you’d like to be involved in creating a memorial to special people who helped bring you personally through Girl Scouting to be the woman you are today.
So, dates are set for the fifth Women’s Week for the summer of 2018. MARK YOUR CALENDAR, SAVE THE DATES, OR REGISTER RIGHT NOW! Monday, July 23 (first meal is lunch) through Thursday, July 26 (last meal is champagne brunch).Cost is $180 for the entire event or $60 for any daily increments including three meals. Contact the very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts, PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517, firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at (970) 586 1775.
It’s great when moms and daughters and granddaughters come, or when MMR camp staff alums make connections with previous campers from decades ago, or when friends who never got to go to camp ever can join this wonderful experience. It’s great when we take time out, get away, unwind, unplug, or just generally recreate ourselves. We take good care of each other and come away with peace and satisfaction that comes from just being outdoors. At camp, where life is more real. Hope to see you then.
As Fall begins, it’s time to start prepping troop activities for the school year. If you’re searching for the materials to bring your ideas to life, fear not! RAFT Colorado is to the rescue.
RAFT has been working with Girl Scouts for more than 9 years, providing leaders with the inspiring supplies and educational ideas they need to engage their troops in fun, meaningful activities. At our Resource Center in Denver, you can find the affordable tools and learning experiences to fulfill your troop goals for the year.
If you’re looking for engaging activities and crafts for unit camps, RAFT has got you covered! RAFT also has the fun and funky materials to help you decorate for your Bling your Booth cookie booth contest this February.
RAFT is a membership organization, and troop leaders get $5 off their membership, which means you get access to all our resources for just $20 a year. For more information on all that RAFT has to offer, visit our website at www.raftcolorado.org.
We’ve got lots of exciting events coming up at our properties! Play games in your favorite costume, trick-or-treat, or light up the tree with GSCO at one of our fun parties. Sign up for our Halloween parties, and see the full list of upcoming events on the blog.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is seeking girls currently in grades 6-11 to join a planning board for the next Older Girl Journey Weekend. This weekend retreat will take place at Sky High Ranch on Sept. 21-23, 2018. This girl planning board will plan every aspect of the retreat, including choosing the Journey and planning the activities.
Any girl who is a senior in high school and thinking about her Gold Award needs to start now!
The Gold Award has a suggested minimum of 80 hours and last year, girls spent an average of 146 hours earning their Gold Award. With the March 1 deadline for Highest Awards celebrations less than six months away and final cutoff for seniors less than a year away, seniors in high school should not be waiting to start their Gold Award.
I joined Girl Scouts as a snaggle-toothed second grade Brownie (which was the age at which Girl Scouting began, back in the olden days of the early ‘60’s). I’m not aware of any burning desire to be a Girl Scout. At the time, there were few after-school activities and perhaps, my mother was glad to have me participate in one of them. But, oh what a difference it made in my life! Girl Scouting provided consistency and a safe place from a chaotic home life. We moved a fair amount and I could always count on Girl Scouts to provide me an opportunity for new friends and adventures. And soon after I relocated to Colorado with my husband and children, signing up as a Girl Scout allowed me to make friends quickly. After nearly 30 years in Colorado, my friends are mostly Girl Scouts, with whom I gather, meet and greet, and travel. Retiring from the staff of the former Mile Hi Legacy Council ten years ago, I continue to lunch with my former colleagues. Now, who else can claim such a long-lived, inspiring network of former co-workers as friends?
I was retired, however, not willing to be left out of the loop of Girl Scout doings, hence my interest in the Membership Connection Committee (MCC). What’s kept me involved with the MCC for the last 10 years? Kept in the loop, indeed, with an understanding of the current direction and efforts of Girl Scouts in Colorado. Able to make a small contribution on matters of governance and membership. Meeting other Girl Scouts, girls and adults, with a responsibility to inspire, educate, and support. My term will soon come to an end and I hope I’ll be welcomed back after the required hiatus.
I’ve served as a troop leader, trainer, service unit manager, event organizer, and now board member in my nearly 50 years of Girl Scouting. I’m a Lifetime Member of GSUSA. I currently support two troops and continue to train in leadership and outdoor skills. Serving as an MCC member gives me a great deal of satisfaction since it allows me to share my skills and opinions in ways that influence the future of our organization and our members. I have two sons [“huge, handsome and handy”, former Boy Scouts and “Girl Scout boys (until they became too distracting at Girl Scout events)”] and had, at one time, 26,000 ‘daughters’. A terrific experience that enriched my world, provided me with adventures (around the state, the USA and the world) and made me a better person, trying to live by the Promise and Law. Through my mentoring of young Girl Scouts, I know I’ve made a difference and that feels good.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org
Troop leaders, will your troop qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity?
The S’mores Club booth selection reward is back for the 2017-18 Girl Scout year and you don’t want to miss it!
To qualify for the S’mores Club, your troop must sell at least $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program. The in-person delivery portion of the program ends Oct. 15 and the online portion of the Fall Sale Program ends on Oct. 30.
If your troop sells $350 or more online during the 2017 Fall Product Program, you will be notified in December via the email provided through the Troop Fall Sale Manager agreement and permitted to select one Cookie Booth in eBudde ahead of the council booth selection process.
If you have questions regarding the requirements or details for the booth selection opportunity, please reach out to your SUFSM or PSS. For full details on the S’mores Club Reward, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/smores
Your troop may already be up and running, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to welcome new members! Adding new girls to your troop—even midyear—can help energize your group, showcase the Girl Scout spirit of sisterhood and inclusion, and demonstrate by example how Girl Scouts is the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Period.
After all, Girl Scouts is all about trying new things, building new skills, and getting to know new friends in a safe and supportive all-girl environment—with guidance from caring troop leaders like you, of course!
To smooth the transition for your newbies, incorporate these fun activities into your meetings, and new girls will feel at home in no time at all!
1. Set up a storytelling meet-and-greet! One of the absolute best ways to connect with others is by swapping stories. Introduce newcomers at their first meeting, then have everyone else introduce themselves, covering the basics, like their first name, age, and years in Girl Scouts. Encourage your seasoned Girl Scouts to go a little more in-depth by sharing something about their families, pets, or interests. Maybe each girl can pick three things about herself she’d like her new Girl Scout sisters to know. Once all troop members have introduced themselves, ask new girls to share some of their own stories.
Be sure to build in time for questions so the girls have even more opportunities to connect and share. Make it super interactive and fun by finishing up the meeting with a cool trivia game to see how much they remember about one another!
2. Showcase what your troop loves to do most! At a new girl’s first or second meeting, work with the other girls to plan an activity around things the troop loves to do most, whether that be community service, outdoor adventure, photography, or science experiments. What better way to get a new Girl Scout’s experience off to an exciting and memorable start than to head straight into the action?
At the beginning of the meeting, have a couple girls take the lead and explain the activity and why they love it so much. For subsequent meetings, give new girls the opportunity to choose activities they love most and help them plan something special to share with the troop!
3. Encourage her to take the lead!
Girl Scouting is all about taking the lead and making things happen, so let newcomers do so early and often. You can start small, having them lead a simple activity, or go big by encouraging them to teach their Girl Scout sisters about an issue that really matters to them. You might also go around the room and have everyone share what taking the lead like a Girl Scout means to them, complete with real-life examples to help new girls really get a grasp of leadership and everything they have the power to accomplish as Girl Scouts. Allow them time to ask questions, too. Learning and leading, that’s how we Girl Scouts do it!