Troop 4258 delivers surprise holiday wrapping kits

Submitted by Kristi Gulley

I just wanted to share a fun activity my troop did. At our last meeting, we assembled over 100 holiday wrapping kits. Then, we went Christmas caroling around one of our local neighborhoods and left the kits on the doorsteps. It was a fun night and to see the surprise on the faces of the people who were home was priceless! We asked for people to share on social media. This was posted on a local community site:

“Looking for Girl Scout Troop 4258 – I think they played Santa! Last night, I found a roll of holiday wrapping paper and some gift wrapping supplies on my porch with a delightful note from Maya with Girl Scout Troop 4258. I can’t be totally sure whether this was intended to be delivered to me, but I really want to thank Maya and her troop. Problem is, I have no way to contact them. They are also trying to follow their gifts on social media which seems like a totally cool holiday activity. I’ll be posting that pic in a few.”

A few other neighbors responded that they also got them and yes, it was intended for her! It was such a great experience and a great opportunity to share random acts of kindness with the girls.

“Me and My Guy” is by far the most cherished weekend my daughter and I share

Submitted by Orin Levy

“Me and My Guy” is by far the most cherished weekend my daughter and I share all year!  It is direct one-on-one time where there are no distractions and nothing else to do but enjoy each other’s company.  We’ve come to Lazy Acres and “Me and My Guy” camp for five straight years starting the very first year my daughter was old enough. We plan on returning every year until she ages out and even then, we’ll beg to come back as volunteers. The counselors for the weekend, Nerd and Purple, are two of the most dedicated and special people I know! They genuinely enjoy being there and that enthusiasm is both infectious and truly part of what makes the “Me and My Guy” program so incredibly special each and every year.  I keep a pretty busy schedule including a fair amount of travel during the year. But, this is the one weekend I have made a solemn promise that nothing will break, that no matter where in the world, quite literally, I find myself I WILL make it home for this weekend!  If I can offer one final encouragement to the men in their daughter’s lives it’s that we matter more than you can possibly realize to your daughters. This is a special time in your child’s life that she will always remember that you cared enough about her to put aside whatever was going on in your life to make her and her alone the most important thing in your life.

*** “Me and My Guy” at Lazy Acres is July 17-19, 2015. The Girl Scout summer camp schedule is now live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website girlscoutsofcolorado.org. Register online starting Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. Register early. Some sessions fill in just a few hours.

“Girl Scout camp is better than anything ever”

Submitted by Mary Ward

I recently returned to the place where I became myself: Sky High Ranch. “Rustic” is the fancy word I used to read in the description of this majestic place in the camp brochure. This is the only place I’ve ever been where a hole in the ground is politely referred to as the “ladies room,” where we all sing grace together before every meal, where girls don’t wear makeup, where we do so many fun things without anyone updating their Facebook status about it, and where no matter how many years pass, the memories will always linger on my heart.

I found myself thinking back to my days at Girl Scout camp, and how the friends I made there are the ones I still keep in touch with. I remember looking forward to camp from the time the brochure appeared in my mailbox until I stepped out of my mom’s minivan at the base of Cardiac Hill. It’s so rare to find friendships where you can go nine months without talking and then pick up right where you left off, but those are the kinds of friendships that are formed at Sky High Ranch. These days, I think it’s hard for kids to form quality relationships with one another because they are so distracted by the over-stimulation that’s occurring around them all the time- devices at their fingertips to always keep them entertained, the TV is always on, ear buds in- it’s a miracle that anyone is able to get anything done.

Girls today need Girl Scout camp more than any other generation. This place is not just a way to keep girls busy for a week. It’s not just a place where girls have fun and explore. Yes, they do those things, but it’s so much more than that. This is a place where girls learn about themselves and their world. A place where girls grow passionate. A place where girls step out of themselves and into something bigger- into a sisterhood that lasts a lifetime, into the freedom to create their own identity, into the chance to help other girls learn who they are and feel good about themselves.

We used to say that living with someone for a week is equivalent to knowing someone for a year. That sounds a little crazy, but to this day I still believe that. We met on a Sunday, and within 24 hours, I’ve seen your crazy morning hair, found out how funny you are, discovered that you snore, learned many things that we have in common, noticed your picky eating habits, stumbled across your pet peeves, and found a new sister. We might be friends for a summer, or we might be friends for a lifetime. But, we will always be bonded together in some way by this shared experience.

I hear parents saying that their daughter won’t be returning to camp because of other activities: basketball camp, band camp, sports teams, but I just can’t keep my mind from wondering if those places will be as enriching as the place I grew up in. The truth is that I know that they won’t be- they just can’t. Girls need to be free to run wild, to explore, to smell the rain as it pours onto the beautiful evergreen trees that surround the property, to jump into a freezing cold pond first thing in the morning- just because they can.

And that’s the thing I learned at Sky High that probably changed my whole life- I can.

*** The Girl Scout summer camp schedule is now live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website girlscoutsofcolorado.orgRegister online starting Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. Register early. Some sessions fill in just a few hours.

Girl Scouts celebrates the return of resident camp to Sky High Ranch

Girl Scout camp is a place where a girl can be a girl—and a girl can be anything she imagines. She can stand atop a mountain and take in the forever view. She can feel her heartbeat in her ears as she zips down the zipline. She can bow to her fellow campers as they applaud her first bullseye.

For summer 2015, Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce girls will be able to have those experiences — and hundreds more—at Sky High Ranch! Resident camp is returning to this beautiful rustic camp near Manitou Lake and Woodland Park for the first time since 2012. For many Girl Scouts, attending resident camp at Sky High Ranch is a family tradition.  Their mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers, in some cases, have fond memories of their summers at Sky High Ranch.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will also offer resident camp at perennial favorite Tomahawk Ranch near Bailey, southwest of Denver. Some of the activities at our resident camps include archery, backpacking, photography, and rock climbing. Our standard resident camp runs 6-days. We also offer 2-week camps , as well as mini 3-day camps. The summer camp schedule is live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website (girlscoutsofcolorado.org) so you can begin to review the 2015 offerings. Girl Scouts of Colorado will continue to offer day camping adventures throughout the state.

Girl Scout summer camp programs are open to all girls throughout Colorado who are over the age of 6. Registration begins Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org. Register early. Some sessions fill in just a few hours.

Girl Scout camp is a safe place for your girl to explore her world, make forever friends, and learn to be a leader.  Girls learn differently than boys and everything at Girl Scout camp is designed to meet girls where they are. No labels. No competition. No boys. There’s just a whole lot of “you go, girl!”

Girl Scouts has been helping girls shine for more than 100 years. Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to serve 25,000 girls across the state with the help and support of 10,000 adult volunteers! Learn more how you can be part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by visiting girlscoutsofcolorado.org, calling 1-877-404-5708, or emailing inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Design the t-shirt for Girl Scout Camp 2015

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Girl Scout Camp is a place where YOU can be YOU! That’s why we want YOU to design the t-shirt for Girl Scout Camp 2015.

As the designer, we want you to choose the theme, words, etc. Requirements:

  • T-shirt must be designed by an active Girl Scout, who is between the ages of 7 and 18-years-old
  • Designer must be an individual Girl Scout (this is not a group/troop project)
  • Design must be in black and white and should be a clear, bold representation of Girl Scout camp
  • Entries must be received by January 25, 2015

All entries should be emailed to Betsy Till with the subject line “Summer Camp T-shirt Contest.” While you may enter as many designs as you like, each design must be submitted in a separate email with the following information:

  • Your first and last name
  • Age
  • Girl Scout level
  • Hometown
  • Phone number

You may include a brief description about your design, but it is not required. The winner will be announced by January 30, 2015. Questions? Email Betsy Till.

*** The Girl Scout summer camp schedule is now live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website girlscoutsofcolorado.org. Register online starting Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. Register early. Some sessions fill in just a few hours.

Women’s Week and Core Camp for troops offered in July 2015

Submitted by Penny “Pan” Roberts

Meadow Mountain Ranch near Allenspark, Colorado, will be the site for two very special events in the summer of 2015.

Women’s Week launched for the first time in the summer of 2014, and nearly 45 women from all over the country gathered for three days of fun, food and fellowship. There was such a resounding expression of support, enthusiasm and encouragement that it’s easy to offer it again. This event is open to any adult women, ages 18 and up, in any location, even out of state. It is not necessary to be registered Girl Scouts, just have a love of camping, the Colorado High Country and meeting and having fun with new and old friends. So bring your daughters, friends, neighbors, old camp buddies, GSCO Staff members, or just yourself whether or not you have ever attended camp, or always wanted to!

We most enjoyed playing like we were campers again – – – doing crafts, hiking, experiencing nature activities, singing all times of the day and night, archery, tai chi in the meadow, campfires and most especially, the outdoor cooking. The weather cooperated so we could cook out every single meal and we experimented with old favorites like stick cooking, one-pot meals, bean-hole cooking, and a special chili cook-off! There was even a Coffee Queen who made sure the brew was fresh and hot at all times of the day and evening.

Early morning hikes took us to the top of Vista Spur, a big circle tour acquainted and reacquainted all of us to the larger view of MMR and a few even ventured into Rocky Mountain National Park to see how the old familiar trails, bridges and natural settings had fared following the 2013 floods.

The History Group of GSCO launched a permanent history display in the Homestead House and we also reinstalled the Time Capsule near the lodge for another 25 years.

Core Camp for Troops is being offered for any Girl Scout troop who wishes to have a special experience in Colorado’s High Country. The Women’s Week and other alumnae volunteers will be available to help with program and coverage support if needed. Core Camp used to be offered every summer after resident camp was over, and this provided a time for troops to come up with their leaders, and have special programs offerings by experienced camp staff. We are offering two sessions for flexibility of scheduling, and Core Camp is open to all age groups Brownies through Ambassadors.

Anyone with questions or who needs information can contact the volunteers listed on the flyers at any time. We hope a lot of you can join us to make these events a huge success!

2015 Womens Week publicity flyer

2015 Core Camp publicity flyer

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kirsten Brandes, Parker, “Beauty Is…”

Kirsten Brandes

Parker

Chaparral High School

“Beauty Is…”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I designed the curriculum for a series of workshops that fostered self-worth and self-esteem in teenage girls. I then presented the workshops to groups around the state.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I spent the last seven years attending, then aiding, and most recently instructing at Girl Scout water camps. I spent my summers surrounded by preteens in swim suits, and it’s never easier to read a girl’s insecurities in public than when she’s in a swimsuit. I watched confident, carefree 11-year-old girls become self-conscious at 13, and self-hating at 15-years-old. So, I decided to dedicate my project to teaching girls to be kind to themselves, that they are capable of so much more than being looked at.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?
It started girls on the long journey towards self-love, and gave them the tools to face down insecurity with optimism.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I had scouts volunteer to take over the presentation for older girls at future recruitment events and leadership workshops. I’ve trained them in how to run and present it, and will leave with them a condensed guide to the workshop.

What was your connection to the national or global community?
My project began in Parker, Colorado, with four high school freshman and me in my living room. At this first workshop, a family friend was impressed with the presentation and its message, asking me to present it again in Arvada, which I did two weeks later. At the Arvada presentation, a separate scout leader was present and she has asked if I could present it at statewide recruitment events. I have no doubt that, even without my direct involvement, the project will continue to grow, expanding its influence.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?
While I’ve never been one to shy away from crowds, I’ll be honest: I was nervous about presenting in front of teenage girls. I’d been a teenage girl; I know how they think, and more importantly, I have intimate knowledge of the year or so when they convince themselves it’s not cool to care, where insensitivity is synonymous with strength. But for my project to work, that barrier had to fall, and I found the easiest way to do that was to lead the way, and systematically deconstruct my own. Allowing them into my struggle with self-esteem and admitting my own insecurities was difficult, but effective. It created the necessary environment to address issues of such a personal nature. Leaders aren’t strong because they’re impervious, leaders are strong because they wear their insecurities like armor, acknowledging that it is not our faults that weaken us, but a failure to accept them and grow. I won’t soon forget that.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?
In the literal sense, the accomplishment of my Gold Award will allow me to enter the Air Force a rank higher, as an Airman, as opposed to the standard Airman Basic. Thanks Girl Scouts.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I feel as if I’ve achieved ultimate Girl Scout status, like the Gold Award is a cape tied around the neck of my scouting experience. And I spent so much time promising myself I was going to put on that cape someday, so to finally be able to feels absolutely super.

***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 offers fun for the entire family this winter

Submitted by Cortney Kern

Looking for great family events this winter?

Join us at the Pepsi Center in January and February to cheer on the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets with special Girl Scout activities and ticket prices.  January 4 from    6-9 p.m., the Avalanche will face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Before the game, Girl Scouts and their families can participate in a skating clinic with the talented Ice Girls. After the game, you can take pictures and play on the ice. All ticket holders enter into a drawing at random to get to watch the Avalanche players warm up from the Penalty Box.

If your family likes basketball, you will not want to miss the Denver Nuggets match-up against the Utah Jazz on Friday, February 27. Not only will girls get to watch the game, they get to sleep over with their families at the Pepsi Center, watch a movie on the jump Pepsi Vision screen, and enjoy a midnight snack and breakfast. There are two level ticket prices for this event. You can sit at the upper level for $22 or get up close at the lower level for $64.

The top three Girl Scout troops who sell the most tickets to the Nuggets game will get a very special opportunity to have a cookie booth after the game where you will get great visibility and an opportunity to make sales. The two troop runner-ups will get to present the colors during the National Anthem.

These two events make for a great family friendly evening.  A portion of tickets sold for both events goes to help provide more girls the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

To get tickets to the Avalanche game, click here. For questions, contact Kiley Long at   (303) 405-7625.

To get tickets to the Nuggets game, use this link:

http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/activities?find=1&filter-month=&filter-year=&filter-date_start=&filter-date_end=&filter-format=grid&filter-zip=&filter-distance=&options%5B%5D=&filter-keywords=nuggets&types%5B2%5D=2&types%5B6%5D=6&types%5B7%5D=7&types%5B3%5D=3&types%5B4%5D=4&types%5B5%5D=5&types%5B1%5D=1&types%5B8%5D=8

For questions, contact Abby Stewart at (303) 405-1139.

 

If sports aren’t your favorite, the Denver Art Museum will have free admission for all kids under 18 during winter break. The museum will have activities, art making stations and theatrical performances throughout the December 20th to January 4th.

My best memory with my dad happened at Girl Scout camp

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Submitted by Allison Ellington

I love Girl Scout camp! I was fortunate enough to sell cookies and earn enough to be able to attend Meadow Mountain Ranch several times. Each time, I had such an amazing experience. I did things I had never done before and enjoyed every moment. Some of those firsts included the ropes course, hiking to the top of Meadow Mountain, and sleeping under the stars in both tee pees and cabins. I also rode horses (my favorite’s name was Pantyhose), and hiked over to a creek that had a rock that was slick enough to be a slide into a pool! What an awesome experience I had with the fun-loving counselors (one named “Bananas”) and girls I met from all over Colorado. I went to MMR as an individual girl, with my troop, and once with my dad. I truly had a fantastic, life changing time every time I went to  Girl Scout camp!

One experience at Meadow Mountain Ranch stands out as one of my best memories ever- as in top 10 experiences of my life! So many of my Girl Scout experiences were with my mom, who was a troop leader and cookie mom for many years. I treasure those moments and will have to write about those another day. The memory I am talking about now is one I had with my dad.

We had the pleasure of going to a “Dad and Me” weekend at Meadow Mountain. My dad and I were so looking forward to the weekend because it was a Horse Wranglers weekend. He and I both loved horses and what a perfect time to spend some quality time together! We arrived and met all of the other campers. I took my dad down to the stables and was showing him around. One of the horses was laying down and my dad knew that something wasn’t right.  He talked with the stable manager and head wrangler. She was busy making sure the horses were taken care of and that all of the campers that weekend would have a great time. After some talking and investigating, they discovered that some of the hay the horse had eaten was moldy. That can be bad news for horses – serious stomach ache and could prove fatal if the horse continued to lay there and not move. So, the stable manager and my dad talked about what the best course of action was. I was right there learning about the care of horses and how serious this whole situation could be! I was in awe of my dad’s knowledge. They decided that the horse would have to stay in motion or he would just lay down again. Of course, my dad volunteered us to do that, they also decided to hire the NJ Mold removal Specialists to make a full inspection around the stable.

I have to admit, at first I was a little miffed at not being able to go back with the other dads and girls. They were doing some really great activities! So, for the next few hours and then some more the next day, my dad and I were in charge of walking this horse all around camp. Did I mention that it rained every afternoon in the mountains? Yep, we even walked through the rain! We walked and talked for hours about my dad’s time as a cowboy and hunting guide, enjoyed the peacefulness of the camp, and bonded. I learned so much about the care of horses and my dad’s own experiences in his life. That time was truly priceless! I couldn’t believe that we had saved the horse’s life. That was very impactful for such a little girl.  It may not have been the weekend with my dad that I was expecting, but it turned out to be so much better! Little did I know how much spending that time with my dad would resonate with me my throughout my life. I learned about horses, my dad, and that sometimes it’s ok to vary from the plans you’ve made. You never know what you may learn by taking a different path! Thank you Girl Scouts and Meadow Mountain Ranch for making such a difference in the lives of girls and their families. I can definitely see the difference they have made in my life!

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Madeline McWhorter, Colorado Springs, “Golden Paths to Great Meals”

Madeline McWhorter
Colorado Springs
Pine Creek High School
Golden Paths to Great Meals

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I created a cookbook for Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank, using ingredients that are primarily donated to food banks. My cookbook contains 60 original recipes, menu ideas (for holidays, too), high altitude baking instructions, and helpful cooking tips. I also made tri-folds containing different holiday menus for Care and Share Food Bank, Mercy’s Gate Food Bank, and Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I pursued this project because I have a passion for cooking. Meals with my family are so incredibly important to me, and I wanted to give other people the resources and skills they needed to do the same, no matter how much money they make.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My project gave people the skills and resources they need to put creative and healthy meals on the table for their families. People that receive food from food banks will feel more confident when cooking for their families and friends, even during the holidays.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I gained the skills it took to talk to people I didn’t know. I had to call, email, and meet with a lot of people that I didn’t know. At first, it made me very uncomfortable, but soon, I grew more confident in my ability to speak to people I didn’t know.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I gave Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank the rights to reproduce my cookbook for their clients. Also, Mercy’s Gate and Care and Share will reproduce the holiday meals tri-folds for their clients.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

There is a huge increase, nationwide, in the number of people relying on food banks, especially because of the recent wildfires in Colorado, California, and Oregon. There is also a huge national push towards making sure children have healthy meals, no matter what their families’ financial situation may be. My project connected to those two national issues, and I hope it will make a difference in my community.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will most remember the feeling of completing the project. I was overwhelmed with happiness, relief, and pride when I completed my cookbook. I hope it will touch many lives, and I will never forget the amazing feeling of completing a task of this size.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

Earning my Gold Award has increased my confidence in ways I never thought possible. The project also taught me time management, which I will definitely be able to use in college and in life. I also hope that potential employers will see that I have completed this award, and they will know that I am hard-working, dedicated, and passionate.

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

The Gold Award is the culmination of my 13 years of being a Girl Scout. The award gives you a huge sense of pride and accomplishment. It is important because it gives you the confidence to know you can take on any challenge that is thrown your way.

***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 of Colorado