Evergreen Girl Scouts work on Silver Award project with JeffCo Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper

Submitted by Lisa Carter

Metro Denver


This Girl Scout troop is earning their Silver Award by collaborating with Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper to address the issue of teen vaping. I’m so proud of their efforts and I’m in awe of their creativity.

The girls talked to Senator Tammy Story about their project. She invited them to testify at the State Capital this session when bills on vaping are introduced.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Taylor Sich, Lakewood, “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends)

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I created “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends) for teenagers who need help with suicidal thoughts and need support. I also established many peer-facilitated groups at school, as well as created a website for parents and children to find resources and read about the stories of others that are going through the same thing as they are.

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

While the project is new, I was able to talk to the leaders of the groups to see about the attendance rate of each of them. I have received feedback from outside sources about the groups and parents being glad that the groups are available. I also established analytics for the website I created.

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

My project is being sustained by the counseling centers in the schools that are committed to keeping H.O.P.E. alive. In addition, the local businesses who have placed my posters in their businesses continue to drive people to my website, where additional information can be found.

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

My project has been shared through social media, as well as the resources I have met with, including the CEO of Centura Health, which is connected to 14 hospitals.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am stronger than I thought. I was able to overcome obstacles. I was able to grow emotionally and I learned how to be more sympathetic. I learned people skills, who to talk to, and how to truly understand someone.

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

I think that earning my Gold Award will help in many ways. Not only is it very beneficial for me to be able to put on my resumé and scholarship applications, it will also help me inspire others. I tackled a huge challenge and helped others while doing it, which I will forever enjoy sharing with younger Girl Scouts.

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

I think that my Gold Award was the cherry on top. I was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and I did everything I could, from Journeys to earning my Bronze and Silver Awards, now my Gold Award.  It was the perfect way to close a chapter that was so large in my life.

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

I think that my Gold Award made me a risk-taker. I am different than I was before. I will now pick up the phone and talk to someone who I would have been too nervous to talk to before.  And lastly, I will try, try more than I ever did before, to meet every challenge, regardless if I may fail.

**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

Secrets to Success: Conversation Station Leader Commander Tish Olszewski

All girls in grades 6-12 are invited to connect with professional women in a variety of career paths at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s second annual Secrets to Success event in Colorado Springs on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Girls will personally engage with more than 20 women leaders in the fields of technology, construction, healthcare, finance, nonprofit administration, entrepreneurship, and more, learning from role models who will help them become our future business and community leaders. This event joins today’s leaders with the next generation, to share their expertise and provide inspiration for success. Register online now: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2019/secrets_to_success_c.html

In preparation for this exciting event, we are thrilled to announce some of the amazing women whom girls will be engaging with. Check out this blog post and others to learn about the women participating this year.

Commander Tish Olszewski is a 35-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Police Department and currently holds the highest civil service rank in the police department at this time. She has served in many different areas for the police department, starting as a patrol officer and working in most other police areas like major crimes detective, drug prevention, training academy, internal affairs, sex crimes, gangs, vice, and narcotics. While female police officers are few on the Colorado Springs force (now 86), she feels she was never discriminated against and was equally able to achieve her career goals in the police department. She has always been willing to put in the work needed to fairly earn her accomplishments, including getting a Masters degree in Organizational Management. Becoming a police officer was a dream of hers since childhood, and she is thrilled she is able to live that dream.

Cdr. Olszewski will be leading one of our Conversation Stations at Secrets to Success on November 9. In this role, she will be telling more than 100 girls about her work, why she loves it, and how she is changing the world with it. She will join more than 20 other professional women who will be networking with girls to have them learn the myriad options open to them for their own future work. We are excited to have Cdr. Tish Olszewski join us for this awesome event!

Your adventure in Costa Rica and Panama awaits

Submitted by Helen Kidwell, Outward Bound Costa Rica

Each summer, more than 100 Girl Scouts from across the country travel to Costa Rica and Panama to participate in the Girl Scout Destinations program with Outward Bound Costa Rica.

Journey through some of the most spectacular landscapes that Central America has to offer, while building lifelong friendships along the way. From scuba diving along coral reefs in Panama to trekking through the rainforest in Costa Rica, each Girl Scout Destination course is packed with adventure.

These unforgettable trips will introduce you to exciting new challenges that will develop your leadership skills and help you discover hidden inner strengths.

It was a crazy experience to open your eyes to look within yourself and at the world around you. Before I was stuck in my comfort zone, and now I feel stronger and braver.” —Annika, Girl Scout Alum

There are also opportunities to give back by working on impactful volunteer projects. Girl Scouts visit indigenous communities and bring much needed restoration to schools and other important community buildings. Those with a passion for conservation can help protect endangered sea turtle populations and play a key role in rainforest reforestation projects.

These service projects are also the perfect chance to develop your language skills and expand your cultural awareness.

It was a great experience for my daughter to be involved hands-on with helping the endangered turtles to lay their eggs in safety. She also enjoyed trying new fruits and other foods, helping to refurbish the sleeping location for future participants, meeting new friends from all over the country, and becoming more aware of the world we live in and need to protect.” —Valerie, Girl Scout mom

Multiple Girl Scout Destination sessions and dates with Outward Bound Costa Rica are now available for Summer 2020!

Courses are open to current members of Girl Scouts of the USA who are between 13 and 18-years-old at the time of course.

To apply, visit the Girl Scouts Destination application page and get ready to start your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Costa Rica and Panama.

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

Brownie “Think Like an Engineer” overnight camp

Submitted by Maria Cross

Northern & Northeastern CO


Camping, Journeys, and Girl Scout sisters~ Oh My! Join Ambassador Troop 78527 for a fun-filled overnight camp as you earn your “Think Like An Engineer” Journey!

Who: Girl Scout Brownie troops or Juliettes with adult chaperone

Dates: Friday, January 24 to Saturday, January 25, 2020

When: Arrive at 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Friday, Depart at 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Tomahawk Ranch Girl Scout Camp near Bailey– enjoy heated cabins with bunk beds and bathrooms

During this Journey camp, Brownies will have a blast finding out how engineers use “design” thinking to solve problems. The Ambassadors will guide them in three “design” thinking activities to explore hands-on what it is like to think like an engineer. You will also receive materials for your group to work on a design project to help others. Your girls can take their design project with them to share with their community for their Take Action Project to complete their Journey.

Cost: $70 per girl, $40 per adult- price does not include Journey patches. Girls must attend with adult. Adults above safety-wise ratios pay girl rate.

Registration deadline: Tuesday, January 7

Register/pay online: https://browniethinklikeanengineer.cheddarup.com

Email cross.maria.e@gmail.com with questions.


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

Molly Brown inspires girls 100 Years Later

Submitted by Stacie Gonzalez

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

On Sunday, September 29, 2019, Colorado Springs Girl Scout Troop 43841 toured the Molly Brown House in Denver! The tour meets one of the requirements the girls need to satisfy to earn the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame patch. (The CWHF’s goal is to educate society about the contributions of Colorado’s remarkable women and ensure their legacy for future generations.) Here are some of the things the girls had to say about this fascinating tour:

“I never knew that JJ and Margret were separated from each other and traveled apart. I didn’t know they had kids.” Karis 9, Junior

“I never knew that she helped so many people.” Olivia, 10, Junior

“I never really knew about what she did and how she did it. For example, how she spent so much of her time helping other people when she could have been relaxing.” Alena, 11, Cadette

“I found it really interesting how big the house was – super big! It was kind of interesting that her name wasn’t actually Molly. That was her nickname after she passed away.” KC, 11, Cadette

“I learned there were three sister ships that looked the same as the Titanic and all three sank.” Eva, 12, Cadette

“My favorite part about the Molly Brown House tour was the stain glass because it gave all the stairs really pretty lighting. I learned that Molly Brown lived to read.” Izzy, 12, Cadette

“My favorite things on the tour was the formal parlour. It was interesting how kids under 14 weren’t allowed in there.” Tavin, 9, Junior

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Christine Bolt, Steamboat Springs, “Camp Bloom”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

The issue my project addressed was the lack of summer camp opportunities in our area for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other varying disabilities. Ultimately, I organized and arranged for a weeklong summer camp for children with autism. Each day was centered around an aspect of camping and outdoor skills, such as: building a fire, setting up a tent, and wildlife awareness. At the end of the week, the kids were to use the knowledge my team and I had taught them to camp away from home for one night.

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

I measured my impact by how happy or excited my campers looked each day. Camp Bloom was for the children more than everything. The name of Camp Bloom was inspired by the different stages of flower growth, with the notion that no matter where one is at, they may continue to grow and learn and experience new things. Now regardless if they retained anything from my camp, the most important aspect is the most powerful one of them all; it’s if they have fun. If they laugh, giggle, or however they express happiness appears, then I feel as though I was successful.

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

A local company in our town of Steamboat Springs has agreed to a permanent sponsorship for the next five years. However, if I am unable to continue to assume leadership and be “camp director,” I planned Camp Bloom with the Yampa Valley Autism Program (YVAP), which is an already substantiated organization in the community. By doing so, YVAP can proceed with my program, with the curriculum already created, in the future without me. While not as pertinent, I would like to “train” another Girl Scout in the hopes of her taking over my position and leadership of Camp Bloom. I really like the idea of the two intertwined organizations: YVAP and Girl Scouts.

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

Dealing with an autism diagnosis is already unsettling enough. Costs for specially devised programs and support are very expensive to begin with. While the state of Colorado has extremely low funding for family aid and autism research, I wanted to create a free camp to grow these kids’ knowledge and educate them on a topic that I very much appreciate and enjoy doing.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that do not, and should not, always need to seek approval in things that I do. I must be confident in my choices and if things go awry, I still need to stay positive and be proud of myself and what I ultimately accomplished. I also learned that it is important to take command and not be afraid to say what I want or prefer. And that prior to Camp Bloom, I was more timid to organizing things than I am now.

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

Forevermore, I will be able to say that I accomplished something that I am genuinely proud of. This achievement of mine can now be entered into resumes and applications for various things. I now have an idea of how to plan events and just how much work goes into doing such, and this knowledge I will be able to use in the future if need be.

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

This project taught me to open my eyes and look at the world around me. To affirm my role in the community and show me how I may influence those around me; and influence my sister Girl Scouts as well.

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

Of course, I learned to take charge and lead my camp. However, I will say that I definitely had to be a risk-taker for Camp Bloom. This required me to do things I had never done or tried before. I ultimately learned new things and did things through “trial and error.” I had some worries, but by taking chances, it certainly paid off.

**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

Last kayak/paddleboard workshop of the season

Submitted by Sharon Manning

Northern & Northeastern CO


Troop 73392 hosted their last kayak/paddleboard workshop of the season. Although the air and water temperature were on the cool side, the girls from Troop 60350 had a beautiful morning to enjoy blue skies and a gorgeous view of Longs Peak while playing on the water.

Troop 60350 had the opportunity to challenge their water craft skills with a variety of different kayaks and paddleboard while enjoying the scenery and wildlife at McIntosh Lake in Longmont.

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

The Beauty of the seasons at Meadow Mountain Ranch

Submitted by Barbara Light

Metro Denver


It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful. Over the past year, in the striking backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Cadette Troop 71 has been trekking up to Meadow Mountain Ranch and hiking the Nature Trail on the property. We completed all four seasons this past weekend and earned the connecting patch.

We stayed on the property and used the time to bond together and learn different outdoor skills. We learned a lot going through the guidebooks and gathered more information when we found ourselves curious about our learnings. We saw the beauty and struggles that each season presented on the same path. We grew closer as a team and in our own abilities. We laughed so hard we cried and helped each other when things got tricky. We have had experiences that will stay with us forever. We highly recommend if you have the chance to go, that you take it; because our biggest learning is that, just like the seasons, with change, comes growth.

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

2019 Fall Product Program volunteers and girls: Congratulations on a great start

Submitted by Shannon Calhoun, GSCO Service Unit Fall Product Manager

Metro Denver


The 2019 Fall Product Program is humming along! Sunday, October 13 at 8 p.m. MST is the last day for Nut Promise (girl delivery) and the in-person paper nut card sales. Direct shipped nut and candy purchases, and magazines subscription sales, are open until October 28 at 8 p.m. MST.

Here are a few things to keep in mind at this stage of the program:

  • Parents or troop fall product program managers may enter the Paper Nut Card Orders in the Girl Scouts’ online platform under the ‘Manage Paper Orders’ tab. Parents can enter these orders until 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 13.
  • Parents – In-Person/Nut Card Orders can be converted to online orders by entering them as a regular nut promise order (through the girl’s storefront) before Sunday, October 13 at 8 p.m., and paying for them with a credit card. Please remember to keep the Nut Card to know where orders go if you convert orders.
  • Parents can only use the ‘online’ work around method before the girl delivered online system closes Sunday at 8 p.m. MST.
  • TFPM’s have access to enter or edit Paper Nut Card Orders only until Tuesday, October 15 at 8 p.m. MST. After this time no paper Nut Card Orders can be added.
  • TFPM’s – Collect money from parents and deposit the required funds from nut promise/in-person orders into your troop account ASAP.
  • TFPM’s – Please let your troop families know about these deadline dates now!

Remember Fall Product Program continues until October 28, 2019! Customers can still purchase goodies from the Nut Convenience and Candy Store and have them direct shipped. There are even more products to choose from in the Nut Convenience store (then there were on the paper order card), and the sweets and treats available make great holiday gifts, especially for out-of-town friends and family. Troops earn $1 in proceeds for every nut and candy item sold.

Subscriptions can also be purchased through the Magazine Store until Monday, October 28 at 8 p.m. MST. The Magazine Store has hundreds of options for a diverse range of interests and ages at very reasonable prices and there are no additional charges for shipping. Remember that troops earn 13% of magazine subscriptions.

Encourage your Girl Scouts to follow-up with their customers now by sending them the information they need to know to purchase nuts, candy, or magazines through the girls’ online storefront – especially if the girls still need to meet the qualifications for the avatar patch or S’mores Club!

Good luck to everyone participating – Let’s make the 2019 Fall Product Program the best one yet!

Shannon Calhoun is a service unit fall product manager in Denver, and the mother of a Juliette. She shared other tips for parents, volunteers, and girls in a GSCO Facebook Live interview on September 11. To watch the video, click here.





Girl Scouts of Colorado