Girl Scouts march in Veterans Day parade

Girl Scouts of Colorado partnered with the Colorado Veteran’s Project to show veterans how much we appreciate their service by marching in the Denver Veterans Parade on Saturday, November 11, 2017. We believe that honoring our service members is one way we can say a big “thank you” to those who committed to serve their country. This year, we had record 150 registered participants sign up to march in the parade!

Our fearless leader Lucy, Girl Scout Senior, called out commands to the Cadette-level  flag bearers Brooke, Emily, Emma, Faith, Cailet, Ada, and Zandria. The color guard posted seven flags: the current USA flag, the Colorado State flag, Girl Scouts of Colorado flag, a 48-star flag to represent the period between WWII and the Korean War, a GSUSA flag, and a Brownie Flag, in addition to many personalized troop flags and banners. A huge thank you to the Honor Guard representatives from the Douglas County Sheriff and Arapahoe County Sheriff offices. Their team educated our color guard on flag etiquette for the parade. The Girl Scouts started on the sidelines to cheer the first half of the parade and set the mood with chants of “U. S. A!” Throughout the day we raised morale with rounds of “Make New Friends” and renditions of “Old Glory.” When we arrived at the review stand the Girl Scouts wowed the judges with a recitation of the Girl Scout Promise.

We also want to thank the GSCO History Committee! They provided authentic historical uniforms from 1939-1953, ensuring that our entry was historically accurate between the WWII and Korean War entries. The history committee is committed to educating the community on Girl Scout history and traditions. Consider working with them for your next event or to complete your Troop Excellence Patch.

Girl Scouts know the importance of teamwork and also partnered with Saluting America to deliver Tribute Cards to veterans. Each Tribute Card has a patriotic image, inspirational quote, and personal message from a Colorado-based school student. Our Girl Scouts delivered tributes to veterans observing and participating in the parade and festival. This was a great opportunity to facilitate a discussion about “who is a veteran?” Our girls realized that anyone can serve their country and the best way to learn if someone was a veteran is to simply ask!

Would your Girl Scouts like to march in a parade? Join us for the Olde Golden Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9! Your troop can select current or historical uniforms—and troop banners or wagon floats are encouraged! Sign-up before November 24 to get in on the fun: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d45aaac22abfe3-join

GSCO STEM events this fall

Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison

More than 200 Girl Scouts, friends, and family enjoyed Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge on Oct. 14, 2017. Girls met several badge requirements by doing hand-on activities with different STEM organizations and toured the fossils at Dinosaur Ridge. One of the best things about this event is that it is both a Girl Scout and a family event. While the event was geared towards Girl Scouts, there was something for everyone.

GSCO would like to thank the Molly Brown House, Western Interior Paleontological Seaway, National Park Service, Libby Talks, the Great Denver Gem, and Mineral Council and Women in Mining for providing great activities for our girls!

A BIG thank you also goes to GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist Toni Dondero for helping with registration! More than 70 percent of our participants paid through a walk-up registration, so Toni’s help was invaluable. A BIG thank you goes to Erin LaCount at Dinosaur Ridge and her amazing crew of volunteers that hosted a great event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering Day with the Society of Engineers at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden

More than 100 Girl Scout Juniors earned the first part of the new Robotics badge at Engineering Day hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden on Oct. 7. SWE students planned and taught the whole event. A favorite activity was asphalt cookies, yummy treats made of chocolate and oats by rolling the ingredients between waxed paper and canned goods which girls brought for the activity and later donated.

Girl Scouts also had fun at over 10 different STEM stations where they made binary bracelets, lava lamps, engineering machines, and towers, statistics (thanks to the use of Skittles), and how germs spread at the Oogie Boogie table. The activities were taught by some of the most active SWE students as the Colorado School of Mines’ SWE chapter is the largest in the nation. A big thank you goes out to Jenna Lucas, SWE’s Engineering Day Chair; Agata Dean, faculty advisor, and the members of SWE who hosted this great event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford Girls Fast Track Race, Fort Collins

80 Girl Scouts from Northern Colorado and the Front Range raced pine wood derby cars at the Ford Girls Fast Tracks race on Sept. 30 in Fort Collins. Girls made their own cars, fine-tuned their car’s design with the help of a Ford Engineer, and competed fiercely to win.

Ford generously sponsored the race and GSCO was one of eight councils nationwide that received a grant to host the event. Girls received a free car kit, t-shirt, food, and a special event patch. Check out the racing action in this video aired on Fox 31/KWGN-TV here . Two Ford engineers were onsite and counseled girls on ways to alter their cars to win. A favorite part of the race was seeing each girl’s car and the thought and creativity they put into each design. Another favorite part was seeing the proud smiles of the girls racing their cars!

A BIG thank you goes to Julie Gallagher, Gayle Richardson, Elise Barrios, Carol Griffin, and Amy Myers for being the GSCO Race Pit Crew! We’d also like to thank Ford and their team for a great race day.

Upcoming Events

Check out these fun GSCO Events! GSCO Staff are welcome to stop by these events to check out what our Girl Scouts are doing first-hand or enjoy our Girl Scout discount at these sports and entertainment events.

Nov. 18 – Project C.U.R.E., Denver. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (troops can choose 1 of 3 sessions). Cost: $6 per kit donated. Come learn about Project C.U.R.E. and pack a kit for donation. Fun activities and event patch included. Register here. This is our biggest event of the year, so GSCO staff members are welcome to stop by and check out what the girls are doing!

Dec. 2 – Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey, Westminster. 3:45 p.m. game start. Cost is $1+ teddy bear/stuffed animal to donate/person or $5/person without a teddy bear. Cheer on Metro State at they take on CU Hockey. Participants will toss their bears on the ice when Metro State scores their first goal. To register, please contact Victoria Fedorco atmsuvictoriaf@gmail.com  with contact info and number of tickets needed. She will follow-up with further instructions.

Dec. 8 – Disney on Ice, Denver. Cost: $17.75 + online fees. Disney on Ice presents “Follow Your Heart.” Post-performance Girl Scout clinic will highlight the Tech Crew and the special work they do to put on the show. Event patch included. Ticket information can be found here.

Outdoor Adventure Club weekend at Tomahawk Ranch: Single event registration is now open

Registration is now open for single event passes for a weekend at Tomahawk Ranch December 15- 17, 2017 with the Outdoor Adventure Club. At this event, girls will learn wilderness survival skills, practice outdoor cooking, tour the Tomahawk farm, and go mountain biking.

Registration closes December 1 and the fee is $100 for the weekend. To register or for more information, use this link: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2017/outdoor_adventure_cl_1805802475.html

Questions? Email Marissa Rooney at Marissa.Rooney@gscolorado.org

About the Outdoor Adventure Club

The Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) is GSCO staff-led program for older Girl Scouts offering monthly high adventure activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and skiing.  Passport sales for the OAC have closed, but girls can register for individual events with single passes. Single event passes for the OAC Explorers (6th grade) are $100/ girl, and single event passes for the OAC Trailblazers are $75/ girl. Sign up at the links below to be notified as soon as single event registration opens for a program:

For more information and to see a list of upcoming events: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/adventure

Volunteer View: November 2017

Grow your troop and you could win sweet prizes! Help us unleash the power in more G.I.R.L.s by pledging to add one or more new girls to your troop by March 1, 2018. Pledge takers who share how their troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda will be entered to win prizes, including the chance to be featured on GSUSA’s Facebook page!

The pledge closes November 15, 2017, so don’t wait!

Take the pledge

Camp sessions go live on Dec. 1

Get ready for another fun summer at Girl Scout Camp! Sessions go live on December 1, and camp registration opens on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.

Can’t wait for summer? Check out events coming up through the winter and spring at our camp properties »

New activities in the Volunteer Toolkit

Troops can use the Volunteer Toolkit to plan out their whole year and have a roster of all troop member information, accessible via computer or mobile device, as well as tools to facilitate communication between parents and troop leaders. VTK now allows you to access 18 activities, including a Get Outside option.

For Daisy, Brownie, and Junior troops, VTK comes with pre-populated plans for every meeting. All new STEM and outdoor program content is available!

For Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops, a fully customized year is available, allowing older girls to take charge of the planning, along with program curriculum under the Resources tab.

Learn more

Get ready for cookie season

Thank you for an amazing fall product program! Girls should deliver fall product items this week, and rewards will be delivered to service units during the week of November 27.

Is your troop ready for the 2018 Cookie Program? Make sure you have a completed ACH and a troop cookie manager with a signed TCM Agreement. New TCMs should start their background check process as soon as possible as they can take up to four weeks to finalize.

Troops that sold at least $350 in online sales during the Fall Product Program will be eligible to join the S’mores Club and can earn Pandora™ bracelets if they have a selling girl average of 300 packages during the cookie program.

New! Conflict Fluency training

Want to feel confident about handling conflict situations in your troop? Log on to our e-learning site to access our Conflict Fluency training. The class offers guided instruction on managing and resolving disagreements, and will equip you with how to handle issues as they arise.

Go to e-learning »

Get outdoors with OAC this winter

The Outdoor Adventure Club has two events opening up to single-event registration this month:

Sign up to be notified when single-event registrations open for OAC Explorers or OAC Trailblazers.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 18: Packing for Impact with Project C.U.R.E.
Girls will fill Kits for Kids, engage in fun activities with medical personnel and other Girl Scouts, and learn about children around the world that they will be helping.

Dec. 2: Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey
Everyone is encouraged a bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to toss on the ice when Metro State makes their first goal. Bears will be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Denver and Aurora.

Dec. 3: Sky High Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony & Brunch
Come to Sky High Ranch to help us celebrate our annual Tree Lighting. We’ll have a buffet, family photo ops, crafts, ornaments, hot drinks, and of course, goodies!

Dec. 10: Tomahawk Brunch at the Barnyard with Santa
Join us for brunch with Santa and meet his furry barnyard friends. Eat a delicious brunch buffet, savor sweets and lollies aplenty, take photos with Santa, and warm up fireside with hot cocoa and cider.

Want event details delivered to your inbox weekly? Sign up for the Events email at gscoblog.org.

Mesa County Commissioners commend Girl Scout Troop 2214

Submitted by GSCO Team Lead Cindi Graves

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Mesa County Commissioners commend Girl Scout Troop 2214 for its devotion to the Girl Scout mission and values, and for earning the distinction of Bronze Award Girl Scout. The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve by completing a girl-led project to benefit the local community.

Charlotte A., Megan F., Braeleigh M., Preslee R., and Elizabeth S. have become Bronze Award Girl Scouts through recognizing a need for teens and tweens entering foster care and creating care packages filled with items to help with the difficult transition for youth entering foster care.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Girl Scout Troop 2214 for their innovative and compassionate effort to serve the youth in foster care in Mesa County.

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

Support Girl Scouts of Colorado on Colorado Gives Day

Year-round, you support our efforts to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.  On December 5, 2017, you can make your gift go even further. Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide effort to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving. To make giving even easier, schedule your donation TODAY by using this link: https://www.coloradogives.org/GirlScouts/overview

By supporting Girl Scouts of Colorado on Colorado Gives Day, your donation dollars go further than they would on any other day of the year. That’s because the FirstBank Incentive Fund increases all donations made on December 5!  Every nonprofit receiving a donation on Colorado Gives Day receives a portion of the incentive fund, which increases the value of every dollar donated.

Schedule your donation today or give on December 5 at https://www.coloradogives.org/GirlScouts/overview. Once you do, share one of these two images on your social media accounts and be sure to tag Girl Scouts of Colorado.

Volunteers needed: Parade of Lights

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, Colorado’s largest holiday parade, is in Downtown Denver on December 1 and 2, 2017. We are currently looking for volunteers to participate as costumed characters, banner elves, and grandstand ambassadors. These volunteers (12-years-old and older) will be assigned to a unit and specific costume and face paint. The volunteers will march the two-mile parade route (under the supervision of a unit captain) in character while waiving at the thousands of locals who come to watch the parade each year.

Persons interested in participating in this year’s parade should go to www.denverparadeoflights.com and fill out an application as soon as possible. Positions are filling up quickly!

Recruit parents to help your Girl Scout troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

You know those parents who always step up, lend a hand, and bring the fun to your Girl Scout troop? Wouldn’t it be amazing if more followed their lead and signed up to volunteer? 

Girl Scout troop leader Richel Newborg is never short on volunteers, but not because she’s lucky—she puts in the effort to bring them into the fold. After reading her tried-and-true tips on Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog, The Trailhead, we knew we had to spread her wisdom throughout the Movement. Check out Richel’s advice in her own words below, follow her lead, and watch as your troop gets all the support you could ever need!

1. Set an expectation that everyone volunteers and we are in this together.

My first opportunity to let parents know I need their help is when new members join the group. We always welcome each new member and their family at the girls’ first troop meeting. I introduce key members of our troop leadership and I let parents know that they will be asked to volunteer for at least one thing. Usually I list in writing which things I know I’ll need help with and a brief description of what duties are involved. This way parents are free to select what interests them. 

Some of these jobs might be helping pack for the camping trip, cookie mom, bringing snacks, or cutting out pieces for SWAPS. Your troop will have different positions depending on how you expect your year to unfold, so customize your own list according to your needs. Let everyone know that by pitching in and helping even with a small task means no one is responsible for all the work and it balances out across the board. It’s an important lesson for the girls to learn too. 

A few jobs you might need filled in your troop are: 

  • troop treasurer
  • cookie volunteer
  • initial cookie check-out assistant
  • snack planning
  • carpool drivers
  • camping lead
  • SWAPS volunteer
  • recruitment supporter
  • community outreach
  • event planning (bridging ceremonies, holiday parties, Court of Awards, etc.) 
2. Use a family talent survey and require every family to fill one out.

This is a survey where parents are asked about their own Girl Scout background as well as what talents and tasks they may be able to help with. From this you can learn a lot about who’s on your team! When my girls’ parents completed their surveys, I quickly discovered we had tons of parents with camping gear and the skills to go with it. We also learned 10 parents were CPR certified and two worked in the medical field. Go through your roster and make sure every parent has responded, and remind non-responders that this is one way you can get to know them and learn how they all can support the troop. 

3. Plan a family event and then fit the job to the personality.

When you host a fun family event, you’ll quickly learn a lot about the parents in your troop. It’s true that some folks love to be in front of kids, some have great teaching skills, while others are terrified, and don’t know what to do. At our family events we make sure to have a mix of activities, games and team building-type activities that everyone participates in with their girls. 

This gives everyone an opportunity to have fun together and you’ll quickly know everyone’s personalities from how they participate. 

4. Ask parents personally for their help.

In the age of social media and email, avoid the mistake of asking for volunteers by a broadcast email. That approach almost never works and will only cause you frustration. It’s also important that you refrain from complaining publicly about a lack of volunteers in your troop. Honestly, nothing scares off helpers faster than someone that’s complaining!

Instead address parents in a small group or in a one-on-one conversation. Make sure you speak with a positive tone and avoid being confrontational. Campouts, BBQs, and events that are geared to be “mixers” are a perfect time to ask, because parents tend to be relaxed and not stressed about their other obligations. Don’t feel like you have to fill every role by the end of your first month of meetings. Some people may need to get to know you and your group before they step up. 

5. Once someone says yes, follow up and set them up for success.

As soon as you can, you’ll also want to contact the volunteer to give them all the information they need to be successful. You’ll also need to let them know if there is any training specific to their position that they will need to attend or complete such as a council background check. 

For instance a dad that wants to take the lead on camping trips needs to not only register as an adult and get a background check, he’ll also need to take your council’s required training. A mom who said she wants to help with cookies might need to attend an online training or come to a service unit meeting to get information on how a Girl Scout Cookie Program works. Since some of these trainings can be done online and some must be done in person, it’s important to provide them with this information. Check with your council for the best online resources, and to find out about in person trainings. 

6. Recognize the volunteer right away.

Once someone says they will help, make sure you thank them. I like to write a personal note and hand it to them at the next meeting. Also at the next troop meeting, in front of all the parents and girls, announce the new volunteer’s role. Then ask everyone to thank him or her for stepping up and helping support the troop. This makes the newcomer feel great about volunteering and makes it a bit tougher to back out! It also lets the girls know they have a team supporting their Girl Scout experience throughout the year! 

Follow these tips and keep a positive attitude and you’ll quickly learn that there are many parents that want to help!

Girl Scout Gold Award: Cheyanne Bridges, Colorado Springs, “Cans can help”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I created a program within high schools. This program is both a recycling and donation program. The students’ empty soda cans and other aluminum cans are placed in the collection bins placed throughout the school. Once the collection bins are full (approximately every two weeks but differs for every school), a volunteer for the local animal shelter picks them up and brings them to the shelter. The animal shelter then recycles the aluminum cans for profit. I also created a program guide, educational posters, and wrote morning announcements to develop and implement the program.

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

The aluminum can profits will go directly to the Pikes Peak Humane Society Animal Medical Fund. In 2016, the shelter medicine expenses were $1,393,781. This amount includes $10,431 spay/neuter operations, emergency surgeries, and medical attention from cruelty and neglect cases. In 2013, the aluminum cans generated $7,573.30 for the Humane Society. Over a course of two weeks, the high school gathered $1.05 in aluminum cans. Within a year that will add up to $27.30 for the Animal Medical Fund.

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

Cans Can Help will be sustained at Liberty High School through the active participation and management of the student council class through an agreement made with the student council advisor. This class will continue to collect the aluminum cans and prepare them for pick up by a volunteer from the humane society at regular intervals.  The pick-up schedule is managed by communication between the humane society and student council management team. The student council will continue to promote my program by creating a class competition to paint the collection bins. The competition will bring awareness to the collection bins and hopefully decrease the amount of trash found in them. The competition will have an animal theme to promote the cause that the aluminum cans are for.

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

I have created a program guide which was distributed to multiple schools in the community and in a different state. I have distributed my program guide to Rampart High School, Pine Creek High School, Air Academy High School, and Orange High School in North Carolina. I have distributed the program guide by email and presentation. I have emailed Pine Creek, Air Academy, and Orange High School. I have gotten a response from the building managers at Pine Creek and Air Academy. I have also gotten a response from my cousin from Orange High School. I presented my program guide to Rampart High School and have gotten a positive response in return.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I have a passion to pursue a college degree and career that helps animals. I also learned that I know a lot more about animals than I had previously thought. I learned that my leadership can help save animals in the future and the present. I’ve developed leadership skills such as communication and relationship skills.

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

The many presentations that I have conducted have strengthened my confidence and preparation skills and therefore will help my leadership skills in the future. These skills will help me in college and eventually in my career. This experience has changed me as a person by helping my confidence grow. It helped my confidence in presenting and confidence for making new friends. This experience has challenged me to ask for help. Asking for help has never been easy for me especially when it comes to academics or anything related to academics. However, this project has helped me see that asking for help isn’t as hard as I have always thought.

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

Earning a Gold Award is a perfect representation of my life in Girl Scouts. I believe my program is worthy of a Gold Award because it has helped me grow as a person and helped me realize more things about myself than I would have never seen. Earning this award also means a lot to me since it has helped me learn what I love most in this world. The Silver and Gold Awards introduced me to parts of the humane society I would have never been a part of without participating in these awards.

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

My Gold Award project helped me become an innovator. I introduced a new program into a high school that links both the high school and local animal shelter and I innovated a way to make that program benefit the humane society with items high school students use every day and end up throwing away.

**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

Girl Scouts perform in The Nutcracker

Submitted by Alison Jaramillo

Metro Denver

Westminster

Treat yourself to a magical evening with Clara and the nutcracker as Littleton Youth Ballet casts a spell over your family with its captivating production of The Nutcracker. A number of Girl Scouts are participating. Show times are Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3 at noon and 4 p.m. Performances will be at the Joanna Ramsey Theatre at Westminster High School 6933 Raleigh St. Tickets range from $20 to $36. Parking is free. Please call (303) 794-6694 for tickets or visit the website at www.littletonyouthballet.org.

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

Girl Scouts of Colorado