“Meet an Expert” Patch Now Available

Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to launch a new patch for the “Meet an Expert” webinar series! You can purchase your patch through the GSCO shop online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/gsco-shop.html

“Meet an Expert” webinars are opportunities for Girl Scouts of all ages to meet professional women in different career paths. Many webinars connect directly with an official Girl Scout badge. Each webinar starts with an introduction to our “co-host” followed by a different lesson or activity and a moderated question and answer session. In 2020, Girl Scouts have had the opportunity to meet a musician, meteorologist, designer for The North Face, judge, engineer, and so many more.

View and sign up for upcoming “Meet an Expert” sessions on the GSCO events calendar: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events/event-list.html?q=meet+an+expert

Listen to past “Meet an Expert” webinars on the GSCO YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcfGCk7aMlu9zGoGXGbU234riSUKNIm8g

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.

Activity Approval Form

At the beginning of each Girl Scouting year, Girl Scouts of Colorado and Girl Scouts of the USA review our volunteer/program policies, Volunteer Essentials, and our safety policies, Safety Activity Checkpoints. These resources are here to not only communicate our policies, but to ensure every adult member and girl are prepared and safe. It is the expectation of every volunteer to review these resources every year. The 2020 version of Safety Activity Checkpoints includes a new section on key components of an Emergency Action Plan, clarification of which activities require approval by GSCO and updated guidelines on general Girl Scout program safety.

In the same light of ensuring girl safety, we have a new process at Girl Scouts of Colorado for council approval for activities, events, and trips held by troops and service units. The Activity and Event Approval Form must be completed at least 30 days prior to your event, activity or trip. Activities that require prior approval include any:

  • Troop or service unit hosting a money earning event or activity.
  • Troop or group overnight or travel experience.
  • High-risk activity that requires approval per the Safety Activity Checkpoints.

This new process for Activity and Event Approval goes into effect for any activities taking place after December 15, 2020.

What are Safety Activity Checkpoints?

Safety Activity Checkpoints (SAC) is a resource that provides safety standards and guidelines for general Girl Scout programs and specific activity areas. SAC includes information on required volunteer certification, adult volunteer to girl participant ratios, emergency plan templates and guidelines for specific activities. SAC includes activity chapters on everything from bicycling to camping to horseback riding to rock climbing! Each activity chapter includes a resources to help troops plan the activity and specific safety guidelines around equipment, instructor experience/training, limited to Girl Scout program levels that can participate and if approval from GSCO is required before your troop or Girl Scout group can do the activity. You can review the 2020 version of Safety Activity Checkpoints here!

Why do some activities require approval by GCSO?

In Girl Scouts we want to ensure that girls are participating in activities that are developmentally appropriate, progressive, and of course safe. By requiring the approval of some of the more “high-risk” activities girls can participate in, Girl Scouts of Colorado can make sure the group has the proper insurance, have taken the necessary leader training, is taking the necessary safety precautions, and is properly prepared for the activity. It is in no way meant to limit a girls experience, rather our goal is the increase the amount of fun, safe experiences girls can participate in.

What is the activity and event approval form? How do I know if my activity needs approval?

This is a form that troops, Service Units and other Girl Scout groups in Girl Scouts of Colorado will need to complete 30 days prior to any activity that needs approval. Activities that require approval are:

  • Any troop or service unit hosting a money earning event or activity.
  • Any overnight or travel experience.
  • Any high-risk activity that requires approval per the Safety Activity Checkpoints. You can determine if your activity needs approval by reading the activity specific chapter, or by looking at the “Activities at a Glance” chart on p. 21 of Safety Activity Checkpoints

What is the timeline for activity approval and how will I know I am approved?

Please complete the form 30 days prior to your activity. Depending on the type of activity you are planning, you may not need to wait for additional GSCO approval after your submission. Upon completion of the form you will receive an email indicating if additional staff approval will be required for your activity. If additional approval is required, you will be connected via email from a GSCO staff notifying you of your approval within 10 business days of your submission.

Still have questions? Reach out to us at inquiry@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.

Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity: Conversations for One America

Across the United States, people are marching in the streets, demanding an end to police brutality and racial inequality. But, the issue of racism and violence against people of color runs deep. While we‘ve made progress over the years, this feels like a moment when people all over the country recognize that half-measures are not enough. This is a deep, centuries-in-the-making challenge that we face to undo racism, and we need decisive action.

Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity (CLoRE) is a conversation series initiated by Colorado Humanities and implemented with partners to encourage understanding and discussion about the legacy of race in America, and how to make changes now for a more just future.

The first conversation, ‘How Did We Get Here?’ will be held on October 21, 2020 at 7 p.m. Acclaimed author Adrian Miller will moderate this panel exploring race and ethnicity in Colorado and in the United States from the perspectives of history, economics, criminology, psychology, and faith traditions. Featured panelists are:

  • Rachel Harding
  • Denise Maes
  • Wendell Pryor
  • Anthony Young

This series is free and will be broadcast on YouTube and Facebook. Please register: https://coloradohumanities.org/programs/changing-the-legacy-of-race-ethnicity/

* Colorado Humanities designs all of their programs to be family friendly. All content should be appropriate for all ages.

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.

Awesome Girls: On My Own

Ready to start owning your future? Being financially savvy is the first step to getting started. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) invites you to the “Awesome Girls: Owning My Future” webinar on October 21, 2020. You’ll hear from financial management experts as you learn to build and practice smart budgeting habits, prepare for financial emergencies, navigate loans, and build good credit. You’ll jumpstart your budgeting habits with an interactive budget activity plus tips on what tools can help you track your budget.

Register here: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1381860&tp_key=73eecc77eb

This interactive event will connect you to two experts from RSM who will share their knowledge of personal financial management. You will have a chance to have your own financial management questions answered and hear questions from your Girl Scout peers.

RSM is a multi-national network of accounting firms, forming one of the largest financial professional services networks in the world, and they can’t wait to share their knowledge and experience with you!

This program is designed for teens plus young adults and alums who recently graduated. The event will put Girl Scouts on the path towards earning their Ambassador On My Own badge.

Please note, this event begins at 5 p.m. Mountain time. We acknowledge that the timing may not work with your schedule; you can register and view the playback when it is more convenient!

By joining us on October 21, 2020 you will also have a chance to be in a special drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to the Girl Scout Shop or an awesome tablet. Must be under 21 years of age at the time of entry to enter the drawing. All entries by entrants under 13 years of age, must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of such Entrants.

This program is hosted by GSUSA.

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.

Listen now: Meet an Expert – Former Lieutenant Governor and Girl Scout Alum, Donna Lynne

Girl Scouts of Colorado thanks former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, DrPH, for co-hosting our “Meet an Expert” webinar. More than 40 Girl Scouts from across Colorado participated in this webinar on October 8, 2020. Missed it? Listen to the recording here.

Donna Lynne served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from 2016 to 2019. She also served in a dual capacity as the Chief Operating Officer of the State of Colorado. Prior to her appointment, she was an executive with Kaiser Permanente. Today, Donna is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the CEO of Columbia Doctors in New York, NY. She is recognized as one of the top women business leaders in Denver and one of the top 25 Women in Healthcare in the nation.

Donna spoke to girls about her education, career, and passions. We learned that Donna is an avid skier and hiker, and also has a passion for field hockey. Following the former Lt. Governor’s presentation, Girl Scouts had the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A session. We also learned about the American Mountaineering Center, Expedition Health, Spark the Change Colorado (formerly Metro Volunteers), and Electing Women – all groups and organizations that Donna has worked with throughout her career.

Participating in this webinar fulfills Step Two of the NEW democracy badges for all levels, find out about state government (https://www.girlscoutshop.com/BADGES-PROGRAM/NEW-FEATURED-ITEMS4/new-civics-badges).

Girl Scouts who participated in the live session or listen to the recording can purchase their “Meet an Expert” patch online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/gsco-shop.html

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.

Have Fun and Learn to Bake Cookies from Scratch

Submitted by Jessenia Sanchez

Pueblo & Southeastern CO

Pueblo

This is a FREE event. Troop leader and Pastry Chef Jessenia invites you to come learn to bake cookies from scratch on November 7, 2020 beginning at 5 p.m. This will be a virtual meeting in which girls can follow along!

Register here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2020/from_scratch_in_pueb.html 

What a perfect time of year to show your family and friends your baking skills. You could do a cookie exchange with your friends or family for the holidays or just bake cookies for fun because they are delicious! Girls participating in this session will learn food safety, how to properly measure ingredients, how to store your baked items, oven/hot item safety, and lastly, how to bake cookies!

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.

Listen now: Meet an Expert – The Energetic Side of Engineering

Girl Scouts of Colorado thanks Jill Tietjen for co-hosting our “Meet an Expert – The Energetic Side of Engineering” webinar. More than 20 Girl Scouts from across Colorado participated in this webinar on September 16, 2020. Missed it? Listen to the recording here.

Jill is an engineer, advocate, historian, lifetime Girl Scout, and champion of all women. As a professional engineer, Jill spent more than 40 years in the electric utility industry and was the national president of the Society of Women Engineers and the first woman to serve on the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Electrical League and its first female president. Jill was on the board of Girl Scouts – Mile Hi Council from 1999 – 2007 and was board chair from 2003 – 2007. She is also an inductee of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and the Colorado Author’s Hall of Fame, and a Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction. Today, Jill is an advocate for women and girls in STEM fields and the president and CEO of Technically Speaking, Inc.

During this webinar, Jill spoke to girls about her education, career, and what life is like working as a woman in STEM. She also walked girls through a lesson on energy consumption and how the electric utility industry functions. After her presentation, girls had an opportunity to participate in a live Q&A.

Girl Scouts who participated in the live session or listen to the recording can purchase their “Meet an Expert” patch online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/gsco-shop.html

Questions? 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.

COVID-19 Update: October 2020

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has updated its guidance for in-person gatherings and now requires a health screening questionnaire to be filled out and signed by the caregiver on the day of an in-person meeting or activity. If a participant answers “yes” to any of the questions, they should not attend the in-person activity. Before attending an in-person meeting or activity, each participant should submit a COVID-19 pre-screen questions (pdf) or COVID-19 pre-screen form (online version – automatically emailed directly to the troop leader’s email address input on the form). Troop volunteers can collect the information and signatures at the event or send to caregivers ahead of the event/meeting on the same day.  The forms do not need to be collected by GSCO, however troop volunteers should save paper or electronic files for one year.

There are also updates to face covering and carpooling sections of the COVID Guidance for Volunteers. Be sure to check the COVID page on the website for the most recent information. (You can also get there by clicking the pink banner on the home page.)

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

Gold Award Girl Scout Ashlyn Morrill, Parker, “Protect the Pollinators”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a pollinator garden that attracts various pollinators, e.g. hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc., with the help of local Girl Scout troops to show how important pollinators are to the community and what they provide, and to inspire them to do their part to help conserve the pollinator populations. I also created a website and presentation for various classes at my high school to encourage others to create their own pollinator garden.

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

My target audience was middle school and high school students because they are the future of the world. They will be the generation that will have to deal with the consequences of climate change, for instance, the decline in pollinators. I measured my project’s impact by creating an Instagram page for people to interact with. I also put free milkweed seed packets in the school library along with a flyer to explain their purpose.

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

The first way I made my project sustainable is the plants themselves are perennials, so they will come back every year. Second, I created the presentation describing the issue and what the purpose of the garden is. The Interact Club at Chaparral High School will be continuing the presentations for various classes. I also created an Instagram account @chap.pollinator.garden, which I have posted various statistics and pictures from planting day. I also created a website, chapgarden.wixsite.com/chap, which explains the purpose of the garden and why this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. There is an email as well, it is chap.pollinator.garden@gmail.com, for anyone to contact if they have any questions at all.

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

The national/global link is that this pollinator decline does not only affect the food supply of Parker, CO, it impacts the whole world. I linked my project to a national organization called Save Our Monarchs by receiving seed packets from them to share with my community. Globally, the Instagram page and the website could reach other countries and inspire others in different areas of the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that when plans change, I cannot get stressed out or worried because I will not get anywhere. The only way to overcome failures is to persevere through them and stay focused on the overall goal. Also, plans change all the time, and it is always good to plan ahead and almost expect the plans to change so I am prepared for anything.

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

I learned and improved upon many skills including leadership and communication, which I will need in the future for my career. It is also a good experience to include on resumes and applications because it shows your potential and what you can do as a leader.

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

My Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me an opportunity to apply the skills I have learned and developed throughout my years as a Girl Scout.

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

I would consider myself very innovative after this project. I ran into plenty of challenges including spontaneous snowstorms, rescheduling, and a global pandemic. I had to reschedule a dozen times and not panic because if the leader loses control, then the whole project could fall apart.

**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.

Taller Crea Tu Camino / Make Your Path Workshops

¡Girl Scouts of Colorado quiere dar gracias a Latino Outdoors, de la región de Colorado con Bianca Garcia, Natalia Ospina, y Nohemi Mora por ser coanfitriones de nuestro primer Taller Crea Tu Camino / Make Your Path Workshop bilingüe! Se registraron 29 Girl Scouts para este programa virtual el 13 de octubre de 2020. Latino Outdoors tiene la misión de ellos es de “inspirar, conectar, y participar con comunidades Latinas al aire libre y abrazar la cultura y familia como parte de la narrativa al aire libre, asegurando nuestras historias, herencia, y liderazgo sea valorada y representada”. Los líderes de Latino Outdoors trabajan en una base voluntaria para planificar actividades al aire libre para la comunidad de forma gratuita y brindar a la comunidad oportunidades y recursos para disfrutar y conservar el aire libre y el ambiente de manera segura y responsable. La región de Latino Outdoors Colorado ha sido dirigida únicamente por mujeres latinas hasta hace poco, por lo que entienden lo que la hermandad puede hacer para unir su organización a través de su trabajo. Estamos muy emocionados de trabajar con ellos para proveer a las niñas de nuestras comunidades Latinx/Hispanas la oportunidad de añadir a su educación acerca de cómo conectarse a su cultura al aire libre.

En nuestro taller de los grados K-5 las niñas aprendieron acerca de la importancia de los arboles y el papel que desempeñan en nuestro entorno. Aprendieron como reconocer diferentes arboles incluyendo nuestro árbol estatal de Colorado el Abeto Azul, y como ser un ciudadano activo y aprender de las leyes actuales que protegen a los árboles. En nuestro taller de los grados 6-12 las niñas aprendieron como abogar por cambio y como se mira hacerlo. Aprendieron como trabaja una elección al repasar ejemplos y como trabaja la votación. Después las niñas en los talleres votaron en mandar el video que creamos a Venezuela como parte de nuestro programa de Pen Pals digitales. Creamos un video ensenando los dibujos de árboles y preguntándoles cual es la actividad favorita de ellas de Girl Scouts y al aire libre.

Mira más de la actividad de Latino Outdoors de #JuntxsAparte:

  • Aprende más acerca de la practica japones de baño forestal o terapia de árboles llamada shinrin-yoku en japones. Esta actividad de #JuntxsAparte con árboles es del 12-25 de octubre, se puede registrar aquí: https://latinooutdoors.org/eventbrite/

Aprende más de Latino Outdoors aquí: https://latinooutdoors.org/

Queremos oír como está usando sus habilidades de Girl Scouts su hija al tomar la iniciativa, cuidando de la comunidad, y haciendo Girl Scouts en su hogar. Puede mandar su historia aquí.

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Girl Scouts of Colorado thanks Latino Outdoors, Colorado Chapter with Bianca Garcia, Natalia Ospina, and Nohemi Mora for co-hosting our first bilingual Taller Crea Tu Camino / Make Your Path Workshop! We had 29 Girl Scouts register for this virtual program on October 13, 2020. Latino Outdoors has a mission to “inspire, connect, and engage Latino communities in the outdoors and embrace cultura y familia as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring our history, heritage, and leadership are valued and represented.” Latino Outdoors’ leaders work on a volunteer basis to plan outdoor activities for the community free of charge and provide the community with opportunities and resources to enjoy and conserve the outdoors and the environment safely and responsibly. The Latino Outdoors Colorado chapter has been led by Latina women only until recently, so they understand what sisterhood can do to bring their organization closer together through their work. We are so excited to partner with them to provide girls from our LatinX/Hispanic communities the opportunity to supplement their education about connecting with your culture in the outdoors.

In our K-5 grade workshop, the girls learned about the importance of trees and their role in our environment. They learned about how to recognize different trees including our own Colorado state tree the Blue Spruce and how to be an active citizen and learn about the current laws protecting trees. In our 6-12 grade workshop, the girls learned about how to advocate for change and how that looks like. They learned how an election works by going over examples and the ins and outs of voting. The girls in the workshops voted on sending the video we created to Venezuela as part of our Digital Pen Pal program. We created a video showcasing their tree drawings and asking them what their favorite Girl Scout activity and outdoor activity is.

Check out Latino Outdoors #TogetherApart activity:

  • Learn about the Japanese practice of forest bathing or tree therapy called shinrin-yoku in Japanese. This #TogetherApart with Trees activity is from October 12-25, you can register here: https://latinooutdoors.org/eventbrite/

Check out more on Latino Outdoors here: https://latinooutdoors.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.

Girl Scouts of Colorado