Multi-level Troop 65659 starts blog for and by people experiencing homelessness

Submitted by Jessica Spangler

Metro Denver

Denver

Girl Scout Cadette Elizabeth completed the “Think Like an Engineer” Journey with the help of her multi-level troop. She planned a blog to help improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in the Denver Metro area. First, they used the Design Thinking Process (identify the problem, brainstorm, design, and test) to make a life vest for a dog,  camp cabin, and model elephant prosthetic. Next, they identified the causes of community problems with the question “But why?” They identified the problem they wanted to address: people experiencing homelessness . The girls came up with many questions about the problem. They learned that in 2019, 5,755 people were living in shelters or on the streets in the seven-county region and 946 people were staying in “unsheltered” locations, such as outside in tents, parks, vehicles, or underpasses.

Elizabeth and her troop thought making a blog and a comic to educate and inspire were both good ideas, so they chose to do both. They chose to make a blog with their comics to advocate for the un-housed in our community to help create understanding and compassion. Her idea was that if people learned more about how homelessness can happen, why it continues, and what is needed, the whole community, including people experiencing homelessness, will benefit from the knowledge being shared.

To make the project sustainable, the girls wanted individuals experiencing homelessness themselves to be able to contribute to the blog. The troop leader contacted The Delores Project, which provides safe, comfortable shelter and services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. The Delores Project staff was delighted to learn about the blog and how individuals could share their experiences and feelings anonymously. Individuals can contribute by commenting on one of the girls’ comics, or by working with a staff member to submit a blog entry of their own.

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

 

 

Troop 65659 honors Hometown Heroes

Submitted by Jessica Spangler

Metro Denver

Denver

Multi-level Troop 65659 voted for the Colorado Animal Welfare League as their Hometown Hero for 2020. Colorado Animal Welfare League (CAWL) is a 501(c)(3) animal rescue organization founded with the mission to protect homeless animals in Colorado and the surrounding states of Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Their goal is to advance the awareness of the need for spaying and neutering our pets to reduce overpopulation. CAWL’s mobile spay/neuter clinic, the SNOW Mobile, is taken to rural areas with limited veterinary resources, inner-city areas, and Indian reservations where spaying and neutering will only happen if it is nearly free and comes to them. They work with local vets to provide the spaying and neutering service at no cost to the public.

The troop was very impressed by the work CAWL does to control pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering for free in areas where it would not otherwise happen. As an all-volunteer organization, CAWL is truly going above and beyond to help animals. CAWL was very happy to receive several cases of cookies for volunteers to enjoy!

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

Spring 2020: Completing your Cadette Program Aide Award requirements

On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and due to COVID-19, all Girl Scouts of Colorado in-person activities have been suspended at least through May 17, 2020. Read more here.

This decision may have affected your girl’s access to a Cadette Program Aide training, which she needed to complete before attending one of our resident camps or day camps. This training typically runs at least six hours and is filled with hands-on activities to get your girl ready to lead younger Girl Scouts through activities. GSCO has decided to not convert the training to an online course to keep the integrity of the award and ensure girls are acquiring the necessary skills. Instead, we are asking caregivers to guide their girls through earning this award.

Accessing Program Aide training

Leaders, day camp directors, and caregivers now have access to our Program Aide Facilitator training and resources through Girl Scouts of Colorado’s YouTube page. In this short video, we will walk you through the facilitator guide and how to lead the training with your girl. The training can be done all at once or you can complete it over several days – whatever works for you and your girl’s schedule! Please email girlexperience@gscolorado.org  if you have questions or need extra support.

Program Aide Facilitator Training: https://youtu.be/xvVcwwgE5bU

Program Aide Facilitator Guide: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/dam/girlscoutsofcolorado/documents/PA%20Facilitator%20Guide.pdf

Program Aide Girl Toolkit: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/dam/girlscoutsofcolorado/documents/PA%20Girl%20Toolkit%20022019.pdf

Completing the Program Aide Internship

The other part of a girl earning her Program Aide Award is for her to lead younger girls through six activity sessions, or the Program Aide internship. The goal in doing this is for girls to take what they have learned in the training and apply it in real life. We recognize that this might not be possible with social distancing or stay at home policies, but we are encouraging girls to try to find at least one opportunity to lead younger girls through a Girl Scout activity before they participate as a Program Aide.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is here to support you and your girl as you navigate through this programming. Please email GirlExperience@gscolorado.org with any questions or support that you or your girl might need.

Small town troop helps in big ways

Troop 37151 from Rocky Ford set up a “no contact table” for truckers to make themselves something to eat. Living in a rural area on a main trucking route allowed the girls to get creative and use leftover cookies and a portion of their cookie proceeds to help truckers when dine- in services were suspended. The girls refreshed the table as necessary and maintained their distance leaving only some good food and sign to remind the truck drivers how much they care. The signs read, “Truckers, please help yourselves, Troop 37151” and “Thank you very much, we appreciate all you are doing.”

Help GSCO meet our goal for the Carla Montana Distinguished Military Veteran Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund

We are so close to reaching our goal, but we need your help!

On March 17, 2020 Girl Scouts of Colorado announced Elba Barr, Army Veteran and Lifetime Girl Scout, had issued a matching gift challenge to raise $10,000 needed to create the Carla Montana Distinguished Military Veteran Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund.  Elba will match up to $2,500 for gifts received between now and April 4.  Thanks to the generosity of Girl Scout supporters we are almost there, needing only $425 more. GSCO hopes to announce the completion of this by April 4, during the Month of the Military Child, but can’t do it without you.

Make a donation today and invite family and friends to join the effort!

We look forward to sharing our progress toward this goal with you soon as well as additional details on the scholarships it will provide to Colorado Girl Scouts.

Deadline extended for nominations for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards

The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards has been extended to 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.

More information about the awards, including the number of required endorsements for each award, is listed on the volunteer appreciation page on our website and in the Volunteer Recognition Award Guide. You can also learn more about how to write strong nominations and endorsements.

Questions? Please contact your volunteer support specialist or customer support at inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Popkin, Colorado Springs, “Alternative Gardening at Palmer High School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I successfully obtained the necessary funding for and installed two hydroponic (meaning that they do not require soil) Grow Towers into the library at my school. These Grow Towers are currently growing a variety of herbs and vegetables that are being incorporated into a series of educational workshops meant to both educate students on the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options and allow the students to sample some of the actual produce grown. I also prepared a slideshow on how climate change impacts food supply and the need for locally sourced food that is being displayed next to the Grow Towers. Along the way, I established a central working committee of teachers, staff, administrators, and students to carry out my project and have involved representatives from two local community organizations doing similar work (the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and the Colorado Springs Food Rescue).

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

Throughout the duration of my project (especially during and after the educational workshop that I hosted), I continually questioned my target audience to gauge what they knew before my project and what they had learned after seeing my project. Additionally, I was approached by many of my peers and teachers several times and informed that they have gained a greater understanding of the issue from my project.

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

My Gold Award project will be sustained by my project advisor, Mr. Chamberlin, and an environmental club at Palmer. Mr. Chamberlin will assist the members of the environmental club with the Grow Tower maintenance and will also continue to facilitate educational workshops with other groups of students at Palmer. The library staff will also help maintain the Grow Towers. Moving forward, the members of the environmental club will also explore additional ways to involve more students in other classes with the Grow Towers. Additionally, Mr. Chamberlin is spear-heading a new horticulture class that will be offered at Palmer.

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

To fulfill my global connection, I created an informational brochure about Grow Towers and my project and sent one to the New York branch of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), along with a short introduction of myself and a description of my project. WAGGGS is an international Girl Scouts organization that is assessable to Girl Scouts all over the world and highlights the projects of numerous outstanding Girl Scouts. My hope is that this organization will include my project on their website so that Girl Scouts all over the world can learn about my work and become inspired to complete a similar project of their own.

Additionally, my project inspired efforts to initiate a horticulture class at Palmer (my advisor is leading that effort). I also presented to a science class at Galileo Middle school about my project and inspired teachers there to work towards obtaining Grow Towers of their own.

What did you learn about yourself?

Along the way, I learned several things about myself:

  1. I possess a strong work ethic
  2. I possess the ability to excite others about my project
  3. I possess strong leadership skills (public speaking, coordinating meetings, contacting staff members and other community leaders, etc.)
  4. I am good at public speaking
  5. I possess resiliency, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to changing conditions during the various project stages

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

Upon completing my Gold Award project, I feel more educated about my issue (the impact of climate change on food production) and more inspired to pursue a career to help address this issue or a similar issue in the future. This project has helped me develop and utilize several important life skills such as public speaking, leadership skills, budget-making, and problem-solving. I feel confident that I will be able to tackle any challenge moving forward.

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

I believe that completing my Gold Award project was an excellent way to cap off my Girl Scout experience. I have been in Girl Scouts since second grade and have completed both the Bronze and Silver awards, a Journey, and many different badges. I believe that the Gold Award project was great way to put all of the skills that I have learned as a Girl Scout into action and complete a project that I really care about.

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

After completing my Gold Award project, I feel that I have become a better innovator and leader. Throughout this project, I encountered many different obstacles that required me to problem solve and innovate possible solutions. Additionally, I believe that I grew as a leader – this project required me to facilitate several meetings, phone calls, and presentations, work with my team to create several budgets and timelines, reach out to other community organizations doing similar work, and conduct a press conference with a local newspaper and news channel.

**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.

FBI Teen Academy in Ft Collins

The FBI’s Teen Academy program allows high school students an opportunity to get a comprehensive look into today’s FBI. Generally, each course iteration is a minimum of eight hours, but can be a week-long program with blocks of instruction and demonstrations at a local field office. Students are provided with several presentations on topics including terrorism, cyber crime, public corruption, polygraph exams, evidence response, SWAT, and the day-to-day operations of a typical FBI office. Students also learn from special agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, and professional staff about investigative tactics that include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and assisting with cases.

How to  apply

At this time, the FBI hopes to host their teen academies as scheduled. Any change in status will be communicated to all applicants.

FBI Denver will be hosting three teen academies in 2020:

  • Wind River, Wyoming on May 9, 2020
  • Casper, Wyoming on May 30, 2020
  • Ft. Collins, Colorado on July 24, 2020

Applications and supporting essays for any Teen Academy must be received by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted.

Apply online: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/denver/community-outreach#Teen-Academy

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Troop 76136 learns about cybersecurity

Submitted by Jodi Balfour

Northern & Northeastern CO

Erie

Our troop of 12 Brownies enjoyed drawing castles with “layers of security” to protect them. We heard some very creative ideas, such as surrounding the castle with thorny vines, alligators in the moat, secret underground passages through a maze, and more! One girl wanted to wear a disguise and described it as creating an online avatar that didn’t look exactly like her. Everyone had fun and learned about some ways to be safe online.

By completing this activity, the girls will earn this special cybersecurity patch. Learn how to earn yours.

Recognizing our Hometown Heroes

Submitted by Marie Merrill-Exton

Southwestern CO

Pagosa Springs

Sage, with Daisy Troop 26237 of Pagosa Springs, donated a case of Girl Scout Cookies to a grocery store from her troop. The grocery store employees have been working incredibly hard to make sure the store is stocked for the community during this unsettling time with the COVID-19. They deserve a BIG THANK YOU for being Hometown Heroes in our community.

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

Girl Scouts of Colorado