Alumna Blog: Girl Scout license plates kick off 100th anniversary celebration year

By Penny Roberts, Colorado Girl Scout alumna and volunteer leader behind creating the Girl Scout license plate

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The Girl Scout license plate project began over two years ago, and followed a complicated and circuitous route to completion this last week, when the plates themselves were delivered to County Clerks’ offices across the state. The plates are a visual expression of our pride in our 100-year heritage of Girl Scouting and the impact it has had on girls and women all over the world.

If you are or ever have been a Girl Scout, if you are a leader, grandmother, businessman or anyone who recognizes the value of this important organization, you can display that support by registering the plates to any of your vehicles, including motorcycles.  The cost is a one-time extra fee of $50, and there are no additional costs or qualifications to obtain the plates.

The Promise Partners Northern Colorado alumnae group’s organizing committee toured the Territorial Correctional Facility this fall to watch the original issue of license plates being manufactured.  From the ink printer that put the colors onto the plastic roll at the beginning of the process to the plastic computer photo graphic of the design and numbering system through to the slipping of the plates into the plastic storage sleeves, the committee saw all aspects of production at the facility in Cañon City. An 80-foot-long machine eventually combined the colored plastic piece, the aluminum metal and the clear-coat cover, welding them together and then cutting them into separate sets of plates for distribution.

The committee was also privileged to see other aspects of production in the Colorado Correctional Industries, including the sign shop, the print shop, the machine shop and more. Most interesting and exciting is the part of the facility that is beginning to make custom motorcycles for sale. Yes, more than just license plates are manufactured here! In all, more 35 different products are manufactured, farmed or produced in prisons across the state.

So, you can see from the photos here that I finally helped complete the process by registering and installing the plates on my own car this past week. To find out more information about obtaining Girl Scout license plates, contact any County Clerk’s office. If supplies run low, ask them to order more. Help us celebrate Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary year in 2012 and watch for many more Girl Scout activities to highlight this exciting year in Girl Scouts!

Fort Collins Girl Scouts help seniors through Santa program

By Joyce Kohlmeier

The Senior Santa program was started about 25 years ago and has been run by different people. Troop 884 has always participated in this program. For the past 10 years, it has been run by a Troop 884 Girl Scout who graduated from high school in the year 2000.

The senior citizens that we help are seniors who are considered to “fall through the cracks” so to speak. They may own their own home and cannot get any help from other agencies because of that fact. The names come from a local church.

We are given a senior name and then we start collecting food and other household items through our troop. We talk about dietary needs of the seniors and what we could provide to make sure that dietary needs are met. We also spend time discussing the cost of different items and what might be a luxury item for our seniors that we would never think was a luxury item for ourselves.

This year, we were able to provide a couple eight boxes of food and household items. The seniors appreciated this very much and the girls felt good about being able to help someone in their community.

Young Women’s Forum highlights Girl Scouting at its finest

Photo of Rae Ann Dougherty & Eloise Golden with the Opening Ceremony candle

By Rae Ann Dougherty

In March 2011, I experienced first-hand the leadership development and growth of many young women as a facilitator at a special event held at one of our World Centers, Our Cabaña. The four World Centers (Sangam in India, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Pax Lodge in the United Kingdom and Our Cabaña in Mexico) are an important resource for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). WAGGGS mission is to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.

The Young Women’s World Forum (YWWF) 2011, the second in a series of three centenary projects for WAGGGS, took place simultaneously at all of the World Centers. 157 young women from 81 countries from every corner of the world was represented. It was exciting to have delegates from all five regions at every World Center at the same time! Myself and another volunteer with roots in Colorado (Eloise Golden) were the only Americans at the event held at Our Cabaña. For me it was a powerful experience. For the delegates it was life changing and enhancing!

The event began with the Opening Ceremony; thanks to technology all four World Centers were connected concurrently and Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from all over the world were able to join in the ‘virtual’ celebrations for the first time.

The focus for of this event was WAGGGS’ Global Action Theme, “Girls worldwide say together we can changeour world.” In doing so delegates addressed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The YWWF 2011 program focused on the three following MDGs:

  • MDG 1 – “End poverty and hunger”
  • MDG 3 – “Promote gender equality and empower women”
  • MDG 7 – “Environmental sustainability”

These topics were selected in consultation with the young women. The program included the opportunity to develop advocacy skills, the design of a process plan for change by each delegate when they returned home, and field visits with partners.

On the last day of YWWF 2011 each participant made a pledge to implement a project in their own country. Before an emotional closing ceremony, everyone shared their personal pledges. For example:

I pledge to… empower girls to make a change no matter how small – Kerri (Guyana)

I pledge to… train and inspire girls and women to take action on MDGs in their communities – Dominica (Jamaica)

I pledge to… Inform. Inspire. Innovate. – Mandy (Canada)

I pledge to… share my love, knowledge and skills to give hope to other girls and

young leaders, and together we can build a better world. – Nurnuha (Malaysia)

I pledge to… save the environment! – Hanna (Belarus)

As a result of the Forum, each delegate is aiming to realize the following:

  • Implement a community project linked to the MDGs
  • Advocate about the MDGs to their governments and the international community

Thanks everyone dedicated to the mission, these young women are reaching their full potential (and more than they ever expected possible) as they are now motivated to change not just their own lives but the lives of their peers and their communities. Girl Scouting at its finest!

Learn more, “Like”, and follow the events of all of the Young Women World Forum’s at www.Facebook.com/YWWFSite.


 

Girl Scouts make dresses, make the world a better place

From Bonnie Ledet, Adviser, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 84074

For some little girls, a dress made out of a pillowcase and seam tape wouldn’t mean much. But for little girls living in poverty around the world, a pillowcase dress may be their most prized – and sometimes only – dress.

That knowledge spurred Yuma Girl Scout Cadette Troop 84074 to learn to sew. They made forty dresses complete with a handkerchief doll, a note wishing the recipient well, and a new pair of underwear tucked in the pockets of each dress.  Four seventh grade girls, Brittany Ross, Tara Hickman, Destiny Sprouse and Jaeden Chavez, learned to thread a sewing machine, make straight and zigzag stitches, make a casing and insert  elastic, sew on seam binding, attach a pocket, and add lace or rick-rack to make the dress a little prettier. This was quite an accomplishment for girls who had never sewn before!

With the help of their advisors, Brenda Ross and Bonnie Ledet,  and mom, Liz Hickman, the girls started making dresses from pillowcases according to the directions from the Dress-A Girl organization. Dress-A Girl is a nonprofit Christian organization that offers templates and advice for making dresses out of pillowcases and seam binding. Dresses are then shipped to girls in Africa and countries in crisis, such as Haiti.

The girls soon switched from using pillowcases to making the dresses from new material donated by Pat Korf. Pat also gave many yards of rick-rack, lace and other notions. Center Pivot Irrigation made a donation that allowed the troop to purchase the other materials needed to complete the project.  The girls very much appreciate the help provided that allowed them to make the dresses at very little cost to the troop.

The Girl Scout mission statement says that Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. It took courage for the girls to use a sewing machine for the first time. They gained confidence as they successfully completed the dresses and showed their character as they took the time to make the dresses and dolls to be sent out to other girls around the globe, making the world a better place.

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sewingmachine.today

Bringing the Girl Scout National Convention home

From Jennifer Colosimo from Arvada who is an Assistant Troop Leader (Cadette Troop 316), Membership Connection Committee Member, National Council Delegate and representative to the Colorado Girl Scouts Board of Directors


"National Convention"

Many Girl Scout members don’t realize that there is National Girl Scout Council that is charged with giving broad policy direction to the future of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States.  The National Council, made up primarily of delegates from United State councils, convenes every three years to vote on business proposals, reflect on topics like women in corporate leadership positions and girl advocacy, and to have fun celebrating the Girl Scout Movement!

Colorado recently sent delegates, including three girl delegates, staff members, and additional girls attending the Girl Scout Leadership Institute to convention. This year’s National Convention, which was held in Houston in November, held special significance for Girl Scouts as the organization officially kicked off their 100th anniversary celebrations for 2012 and named 2012 the “Year of the Girl.”

As a Colorado delegate, we went to Fallapaloozas and held three webinars to obtain the opinions of the Girl Scout members in the state of Colorado on three proposals. We voted according to the feedback obtained across the state.

The first proposal passed and authorized local councils to charge an annual council services fee for girl members. Our council is not going to charge a general fee  (not to be confused with event-related fees for specific events like camp, council events or travel) at this time.

The second proposal didn’t pass. It was going to change the timing of when delegates were elected.  Many of the girl delegates said they couldn’t have been elected any earlier because, when they were 12 years old, they didn’t know what they might do when they turned 14!  (I feel the same way, and I’m in my 40s :))

The third proposal didn’t pass, but was sent to a task force. It was heavily debated as it would have created the ability of a council to have a rolling membership year for each girl that commenced on the date she first registered. Having been a leader for 8 years, I was interested in options for membership, but not the administrative nightmare of tracking each girl’s enrollment date!

But don’t think this experience was all Robert’s Rule of Order. OK, a lot of it was. But there was some fun! The 12 girls who attended from Colorado sang songs as we walked through downtown Houston the first night. All the Colorado adults and girls who attended experienced courage, confidence and character in another part of the country and had the opportunity to feel the strength of the Girl Scout Movement. The program keynotes included Lifetime Girl Scouts such as Katie Couric and Robin Roberts. The official 100th anniversary kickoff event was a huge party, and the convention floor featured tons of great stuff for girls and leaders.

If you’re interested in contributing in the same way in the state of Colorado, our Membership Connection Committee (MCC) is very active and looking for new members, particularly in the Denver metro area. Visit the Girl Scouts of Colorado website for more information. We’d love to have you apply, and maybe join us in Salt Lake City in 2014 for the next convention!

Girl Scout Gold Awardees make a difference

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Broomfield High School Junior Grace Forrey “battled the effects of relational aggression and media hype” for her Girl Scout Gold Award. She designed, organized, and implemented self-esteem workshops to help girls entering 4th-6th grade realize their worth and recognize what factors have us at their mercy. Grace said, “Boys take it out on the sports field, girls take it out on each other.”

Clear Creek High School Junior Nicole Moes “was distressed with gender differences in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields” so she did something to share her love of science for her Gold Award. Two events were held- one for 5th -7th grade girls on the fun side of science and a more career oriented event for high school students.

Are you an organ donor? Niwot High School Senior Katie Rose “set out to educate her peers on the need for organs for transplant” to earn her Gold Award. Katie said, “If tragedy strikes, your organs could go to help someone who would die without a transplant.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado congratulates these girls who recently completed the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award!

Sister troops team up for caroling, diaper cakes

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Submitted by Nikki G.

For the holidays this year, two sister troops from Aurora, Colorado teamed up to celebrate together. Daisy Troop 4526 and Brownie/Junior Troop 2551 threw a party together to get to know one another better and to enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. During the holiday party the two Girl Scout troops came together to do some caroling for a local retirement community and spent some time putting together diaper cakes for a local Aurora charity, Every Child Counts.

The first part of the party was practicing together as carolers with festive songs like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. The girls also adapted the popular Girl Scout tune, the Brownie Smile Song, into the Girl Scout Smile Song to encompass the various Girl Scout ages in the group. Once warmed up and ready to go, the two troops provided two performances in different areas of the Garden Plaza of Aurora community for residents.

With the caroling complete, the girls got together to create their diaper cakes. Every Child Counts serves children in need by providing clothing, toys, books and other items essential for a child’s well being. They cooperate with local Aurora hospitals to provide layette bags to new mothers and newborns, many of whom have nothing they need to care for the babies. The diaper cakes will be delivered to these new moms to help with the first few weeks of having a newborn.

The holiday party concluded with a hot chocolate bar and sugar cookie snack and a group of more than 20 Girl Scouts who had the opportunity to bond with each other and benefit the community at the same time.

 

Aurora Girl Scouts participate in self-defense workshop

From Angela Jenkins, volunteer mother

Girl Scout Cadette Troops 1281 and 3036 from Aurora participated in a self-defense workshop sponsored as a community service by the National Martial Arts Academy (www.wushunmaa.com). Master Instructor Shifu Jerry Silva (far right, standing) led the fall workshop, based on the teachings of Kung Fu martial arts and basic techniques to empower the teens to improve their confidence, knowledge and self-esteem in a defense situation.

Girl Scouts of Colorado