Early Girl Scout experience yields lifetime benefits

Girl Scouts of the USA was founded in the spring of 1912 with one leader and 18 girls. Today it has 3.2 million members; 2.3 million girls and more than 800,000 adult volunteers. Nearly one out of every two American women—there are an estimated 50 million living alumnae—have been Girl Scouts.

Last year, with the upcoming centenary of Girl Scouts of the USA in mind—the organization turned 100 years old on March 12—the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) decided to take a look at the organization’s long-term effects on its girl members. What GSRI found is the basis of a report just now being published, called Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study.

It’s good news: for us here at Girl Scouts of Colorado, for the girls and adults we work with and for the estimated 50 million American women who are former Girl Scouts. In a nutshell, compared with non-alumnae, Girl Scout alumnae feel better about themselves, are more active as mentors and community volunteers, vote more regularly, are better educated and enjoy higher household income. This was particularly true for women who’d been long-term Girl Scouts; those who were members for three or more years scored significantly higher in every area than alumnae who were members for a shorter time.

We see that in our current members while they’re still girls. Those who stay in long enough to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award—generally, seniors in high school—find themselves accomplishing things their ten- or eleven-year-old selves couldn’t even have imagined. (For a girl to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, by the way, is at least as hard as it is for a boy to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, and parents with children who have done both think it may be harder. The armed forces understand this: Gold Award recipients, just like Eagle Scouts, enter the service one grade higher in rank than other enlistees, having already proven themselves as leaders. If you’re an employer or college admissions officer, ask your female applicants about their Girl Scout experience. If you’re a Gold Award recipient, put it on your resume. This stuff matters.)

“Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout” – that’s me and millions of other alumnae. After reading the GSRI study, I immediately reflected on the inaugural dinner of the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber in the early 90s. LaRae Orullian, President of the Women’s Bank in Denver and former National President of Girl Scouts of the USA, was the keynote speaker. More than 400 women and a handful of men were present. LaRae asked those who were Girl Scouts to stand up. It would not be exaggerating to say that more than 90 percent of the room was on their feet! As I looked around it was an affirmation of what we know today and a very empowering experience. This was a group of confident women who knew they could do whatever they set out to do and accomplish their dreams. It started out with those words we all learned… “On my honor, I will try” …and look at where we are today!

When asked what they got out of their Girl Scout experience, one thing the alumnae frequently mentioned was confidence: the feeling that they could do whatever they set out to do. This is essential for anyone wanting to lead a successful life, women and men alike, but building and maintaining self-confidence is often more challenging for girls and women.

Girl Scouting is not the only connection to girls’ confidence and later-life success. That’s why in January we launched ToGetHerThere, the largest, boldest advocacy and fundraising cause campaign dedicated to girls’ leadership in our nation’s history. The goal of ToGetHerThere is to level the playing field in leadership opportunities for girls within a single generation. We need all the brainpower we can muster, and we need everyone—parents, corporations, nonprofits, government, and ordinary citizens—to support girls as they figure out what their goals are and stretch themselves to achieve them.

Girl Scouts is a big part of the answer. We’ve always known that, and now we have the numbers to prove it. You don’t have to wait a lifetime to see results, either. If a girl comes to us in the second grade, the odds are good she’s going to have a better and more successful third-grade year. If she stays the course through high school and earns her Gold Award, college—and the rest of her life—are going to be a whole different experience for her. Girl Scouting works.

Silver Award: Blankets, Books and Baby Needs

Submitted by Nancy Eaman
Broomfield

On March 15, members of Troop 2791 in Broomfield delivered over 50 blankets to A Precious Child, an organization whose mission is to make a positive impact in the lives of disadvantaged and displaced children by improving their quality of life. A month earlier, the Scouts had delivered over 40 blankets. . The Troop’s Silver Award involves fleece blankets, baby needs, and children’s books.

Pictured: (kneeling) Katie Ronan, Brianna Dzilvelis (standing) Casey Donohue, Katie Conn, Julie Conn, Megan Eaman, Katie Eaman, Amanda Marquez, Leader Nancy Eaman, and Keely Frost.

Parker Girl Scouts lead successful Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary event

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Girl Scout Troop 1292 of Parker wanted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in a big way. So they worked for several months to put together a Flash Mob for Girl Scouts of Colorado to celebrate this historic occasion. The dance for the Flash Mob was to the popular Girl Scout song IGNITE by Lifetime Girl Scout Member Melinda Caroll, which will be sung/danced to at many Girl Scout events over the coming year including the Rock the Mall National 100th Anniversary Sing-Along event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in June.

On Saturday, March 17th, in the midst of the exciting St. Patrick’s Day festivities in downtown Denver, more than 100 Colorado Girl Scouts, who were decked out in green and grinning from ear-to-ear, gathered in Writer’s Square on 16th Street Mall for the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary Flash Mob. Girl Scouts, leaders, families, friends and alumnae traveled from all over Colorado to be at the event. There were girls from Aurora, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Denver, Lakewood, Monument, Parker, Superior, Thornton and Westminster.

Here is a video the troop created from the events. Nice work Troop 1292!

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Pueblo community honors Girl Scout volunteer

Pueblo’s City-County Library District recently honored one of Girl Scouts’ outstanding volunteers, Amy Bissell. Amy was one of 24 Pueblo women honored with a 2012 Outstanding Woman Award.

Amy Bissell has been a Girl Scout for 41 years! One of her major accomplishments in Girl Scouts was being a Troop Leader for 30 years. She’s also served as a day camp director, trainer and president of Girl Scouts’ Board of Directors. Additionally Amy is an advisor for Girl Scout travel opportunities, most recently helping plan events to visit the birthplace of Girl Scouts, Savannah, Ga., this summer. Amy helped organize events for Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary in 2012 too and currently serves on Girl Scouts of Colorado’s history committee.

Outside of Girl Scouts, Amy is involved in her church and was a member of the United Way Board of Directors and Colorado’s PTA. She also was a teacher in boarding school in Canada for three years.

For more information on this honor, view the Pueblo Chieftain article.

Do you have a Girl Scout story to share? Share it with us today on our website.

Did my Silver project fail?

Submitted by Hannah Clair
Pikes Peak area

Hi my name is Hannah and I just completed my Silver Award. From the very start I followed all the steps in the packet, everything was going great and I felt really confident. I made a few prototype beds for the National Mill Dog Rescue and had a few trial and error processes to go through. After I went through about four different types of beds I was ready to give up. I felt like nothing was working and that I wasn’t doing anything progressive.

My family and project advisors started to notice how frustrated I was getting. They helped me realize that even if something seems like it’s going nowhere, you still need to try your best and never give up. I ended up using all the money I earned for the beds and buying A LOT of much needed supplies for the rescue.

I don’t think that my project was a failure because I still helped the cause that I intended on helping. Also, I never gave up on myself and overcame a lot of obstacles. Even though my project didn’t exactly go the way I wanted it to, it still went well. So if you’re thinking about or are doing a Bronze, Silver or Gold award just remember that nothing will ever be a failure or waste of time unless you give up on yourself or the project

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

 

Historic and memorable Girl Scouts’ 100th in Colorado

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Wow! What a day Girl Scouts of Colorado had on Monday!

I had the pleasure of starting out my day Monday with an interview to celebrate Girl Scouts’ 100th on 9NEWS’ morning show, Colorado’s #1 news station in Denver. Two teenage Denver Metro area Girl Scouts joined me for the interview, and we had a great time! After that interview I quickly moved over to the State Capitol for the Honorary Capitol Troop 2012 festivities with the state’s female legislators.

Roughly fifty Girl Scouts and several dozen Girl Scout alumnae and supporters joined in on the events at the Capitol. Some of these attendees got to sit on the House and Senate floor, and four Girl Scouts led the Pledge of Allegiance to open the House session.

But the “memorable” events of the day took place when both the House and Senate passed Resolutions in honor of Girl Scouts of Colorado, our 100th anniversary celebrations and the lifelong leadership skills Girl Scouts has instilled in girls for generations.

The best part of these Resolutions were after they were read members of the Legislature offered their support of Girl Scouts, many sharing their memories of being involved in the organization. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“I can still change a tire in 17 minutes because of a Girl Scout badge!”

“I developed a love of camping because of Girl Scouts.”

“It was through Girl Scouts we developed the courage, confidence and character to be standing in front of you today.”

“I believe Girl Scouts is where we got our foundation from.”

“Girl Scouts is the glue that keeps women on track to be great leaders.”

“I learned to face my fears through Girl Scouts.”

After the festivities on the House and Senate floors, the female legislators joined Girl Scouts of Colorado for a lunch, sponsored by AT&T. At the lunch, these legislators were inducted in their Honorary Troop 2012 with a pinning ceremony. Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Board Chair Stephanie Foote, as well as Girl Scout Christina Bear spoke about local Girl Scouting.

“This is a momentous occasion for Girl Scouts, and AT&T is proud to sponsor this induction of Honorary Troop 2012,” commented the president of our sponsoring organization, Bill Soards of AT&T Colorado. “For 100 years the Girl Scouts have made it their mission to teach that next generation to take the reins and drive their own destiny. You have taught that through hard world and perseverance, you can make the world a better place for this and the next generation.”

Troop 2012 symbolizes that the leadership possibilities for girls and women in this country are endless. The Capitol Troop 2012 forms a partnership between Girl Scouts of Colorado and the women members of the state legislature to address issues that impact girls. It also broadens the presence of Girl Scouts of Colorado at the State Capitol to recognize the depth and breadth of our work.

Below we have a video of the event at the Capitol, and there is a link above to the photos taken from the day. We are also excited about the Girl Scouts who visited hospitals around the state to induct the baby girls born on Monday into the Honorary Troop 2012 as well. Check out those blog posts to learn more. (Blog #1; Blog #2) Additionally check our blog and Facebook Page for other posts on Colorado Girl Scouts 100th anniversary festivities.

Girl Scouts of Colorado honored Western Slope Generation Wow! Girl Scouts at a special ceremony with the Mayor of Grand Junction on Monday, March 12th. Here is a quote from one of the attendees of the event, Susan Alvillar, who is a supporter of Girl Scouts:

“Inspirational, impressive and fun! The girls each told the audience what inspired them to make a difference, which included things like being empowered to stop bullying, the honor of being in a troop with awesome sister Girl Scouts and making a difference in their community. The event was attended by two members of the City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Pitts, who is the father of three former Girl Scouts and five granddaughter Girl Scouts, and Councilman Bennett Boeschenstein, who is the father of two former Girl Scouts. Parents and other family members snapped pictures and enjoyed cookies and milk at a reception following the event.”

We are also proud of the recent 100th anniversary media coverage Girl Scouts of Colorado has received. Here are some highlights:

I’ve been a Girl Scout for about as long as I can remember, and this is a day and moment in history I won’t soon forget. I’m glad I had a chance to be part of it!

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It’s A Girl! – Happy 100th Anniversary, Girl Scouts!

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In honor of Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, I was given the opportunity to celebrate with Troop 2227 by participating in the ‘It’s A Girl’ Service Project. More than 25 troops assisted in this project at different hospitals all over the state of Colorado. To participate, each troop adopted a hospital in their respective area, then made special items for the baby girls born on March 12, 2012, Girl Scouts’ official 100th anniversary. These gifts included care packages, blankets, hats, scrapbooks and more!

Troop 2227 adopted University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colo. I was able to meet with the troop leader, Lynette Harper, her daughter Paige, fellow troop member Brianna Bullock and her mother, Toni. The Girl Scout Seniors showed up in their sashes with pink blankets to present to two newborn baby girls.

The Media Relations Coordinator at the University of Colorado Hospital, Dan Weaver, met us at the Inpatient Pavilion. Like us, he was very excited about this project. He even arranged for 9NEWS to come and interview the girls! After he walked us up to the Maternity section of the hospital, we walked into the first hospital room to meet newborn Jenise Williams and her mother.

With the 9NEWS cameras rolling, Brianna and Paige presented baby Jenise with her Honorary 2012 Troop certificate, which allows her to come to Girl Scouts when she is five years old and have a free year of membership as a Girl Scout Daisy. The girls also presented her with her new baby blanket. In the second room, they met baby Zareah Boulden and her family. Second time around, Brianna and Paige were pros at explaining the certificate and baby blanket!

I hate to sound cheesy, but being a part of this particular service project on Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary was truly magical. Being able to watch the girls present their gifts to the newborn baby girls was very humbling, and you could tell it made the families special day even MORE special. Also, I felt such a large sense of pride watching these Girl Scout Seniors show these families first-hand what an amazing organization Girl Scouts is. These newborn baby girls are being brought into the world with so much promise and possibilities, and the Girl Scouts will always encourage them to follow their dreams.

In addition, Troop 1944 visited Rose Medical Center in Denver and presented the newborns with fun gifts as well! These troops were lucky to be able to get a peek of these brand new baby girls too!

If your troop did a similar project, we’d love to see your photos. Submit them to us on our website.

Girl Scouts Drop Off New Baby Basket, meet new Mom and Baby

Submitted by Jeri Webb

Sunday, March 11, 2012: Senior/Ambassador Troop #70611 from Greeley dropped off a “New Baby Girl Scout Basket” they had made to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts to Northern Colorado Medical Center. As they were waiting for the nurse to come, a set of new grandparents came in. The girls were talking to them and found out the baby was a girl! Right there the girls decided they wanted to give their basket to this new baby girl (even though she was a day early!). The girls were just going to give the basket to the grandparents but found out that the new Mommy wanted to meet them. So, making it all all an even cooler experience- the girls got to go in and meet Mom and Baby and take some pictures with them. What a great experience for all involved! Troop 611 would like to officially welcome little Jillian Elizabeth to the world!

This story was submitted via our Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too!

Girl Scouts of Colorado