Girl Scout ‘goes for the Gold’ in Hungary


In mid-September, Girl Scout Paige Witter from Denver traveled to Hungary to compete for Team USA in the Modern Pentathlon Youth World Championships. Pentathlon includes competitions in fencing, running, shooting and swimming. A total of six USA athletes competed.

Paige’s journey to Hungary only began in the summer of 2011.

“I started pentathlon last summer when I began fencing,” said Paige. “My fencing coach heard that I had been swimming for seven years, so she sent me down to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for a Pentathlon camp. I competed in Nationals that summer, and continued to train throughout my junior year of high school. This past summer I again competed in the National Competition, and placed 2nd, and qualified for the Youth A World Championships in Tata, Hungary.”

Paige says she trains five to six times a week. Her training routine includes swimming three to five times, fencing and shooting three to four, and running every day she trains.

“I really like pentathlon because you can never get bored. By training for multiple sports, every part of your body is tested,” said Paige. “Swimming is very physical, but in a different way than running or fencing. Fencing is also very mental, while shooting requires concentration.”

Paige has also managed to find time for Girl Scouts in between school work and her pentathlon training. She got involved in Girl Scouts as a Brownie in first grade. Her troop is very active in service projects to benefit her community. In fact, in October Paige will be completing the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award, which she earned by organizing a tutoring program between her high school, George Washington, and Smiley Middle School.

“I really like my troop and troop leaders,” said Paige, who is a senior in high school this year and been with the same Girl Scout troop since 3rd grade. “Through my Gold Award I have worked to not only help kids succeed in middle school, but to provide role models and examples of success in high school and beyond.”

Paige placed 60th at the 2012 Modern Pentathlon Youth World Championships in Hungary. For more information on Pentathlon visit

Girl Scouts of Colorado recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

Hi. My name is Marcela Gaete, and I am a Membership Manager with Girl Scouts of Colorado based in our Denver, Colo. office. I’ve worked for Girl Scouts of Colorado for six years. I was also a Girl Guide in Chile when I was growing up. Girl Guides made a difference in my life by:

  • How to have strength in difficult times, overcome any situation and never give up.
  • Discipline, respect (everyone deserves respect and to be heard), knowledge about how to survive on my own, knowledge of the world, and how positive thinking would help me overcome anything, even if it seems impossible.
  • How to be a team player, socialize and how to identify that every individual has something to bring to the world.
  • How to be authentic, real and proud of my heritage.
  • How to always keep learning from the people around me, but also from the world.
  • Lastly, friends that would last forever, no matter the distance or the path your life takes.

And as a Membership Manager with Girl Scouts of Colorado, I am excited to be passing what I’ve learned through Girl Guides/Scouts to our next generation of Hispanic women leaders.

From September 15th through October 15th, the United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, which in part recognizes the positive contributions that the Hispanic population has made in this country.

Here at Girl Scouts of Colorado, I am planning to blog three times over the next two weeks showcasing how Colorado Hispanics are participating in Girl Scouting.

To start, I want to share this video we recently put together in partnership with Entravision, and assistance from the Beeler Community Garden. I think this video showcases very nicely how the Colorado Hispanic community is participating in Girl Scouting.


Check back later on this week for more information on a Day of the Dead event, which is an important Mexican holiday, Girl Scouts of Colorado is planning in Denver on Nov. 1.

For more info: or

Girl Scouts of Colorado’s property challenges and creative solutions

Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) has nine camps/rental properties that are amazing assets but that also cost the council money every single day. Our fixed overhead costs include utilities, care and maintenance, water, insurance staff and other expenses.

  • Currently GSCO property occupancy and revenues are low, not coming anywhere near covering our costs.
  • GSCO is facing a $650,000 revenue shortfall due to closing Magic Sky Ranch and Sky High Ranch resident camp sessions this summer in the wake of devastating wildfires.
  • Nationally, both inside and outside of Girl Scouts, participation in resident camp programs is on a declining trend.
  • The popularity of volunteer and staff-led troop camp and family camp is increasing.

So what are we going to do about these challenges? We’re going to offer programs that match what people want to do and get more members and friends to enjoy these beautiful properties! Girl Scouts of Colorado is committed to being careful stewards of our resources on behalf of the girls we serve. We are being responsive to the circumstances we face and the trends in the industry. We’re committed to diversifying and increasing our property revenue streams. We must do this to preserve the quality and service of our leadership programs for girls.

Girl Scout councils around the country are facing similar challenges, and many have had to sell properties to help alleviate financial pressures. That’s not what we want to do. Girl Scouts of Colorado is trying other solutions to more strategically and creatively use our property resources.

Effective October 15, all GSCO properties are open for use by our members and families as well as other groups and organizations. If there is not an existing Girl Scout camp in session or reservation, properties will be available for others to rent and enjoy. Our properties can accommodate family reunions, trainings, outdoor education, retreats, weddings and more. We hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to spend some time relaxing at our wonderful properties. Visit the property section of our website to learn more.

Teepee camping for Troop 4545 in Norwood

Submitted by Jennifer Perkins

In August, 18 girls from troop 4545 in Norwood camped in teepees at Red Cone Retreat in Norwood, Colorado. Girls had fun taking on the roles of hops, mops and slops. The Juniors were team leaders, and helped show the younger Girl Scouts what needed to be done. Girls roasted hot dogs on a stick, had S’mores, and sang campfire songs. The girls loved the teepees, fully equipped with cots and air mattresses. There was a fully stocked kitchen, an outhouse, ping pong, swings, hammocks, a volleyball court and sandbox. The girls also identified wildflowers, and pressed flowers they found. We’d highly recommend this place to any troop. Cost was $17.50 per girl/per night.

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

Ready to Quest?

By now you have most likely heard about ZisBoomBah and the Live Healthy, Lead Healthy Challenge! But you may be wondering what exactly is a “quest?” Quests are stories with goals that help the kids learn about health, nutrition, fitness and more. You can assign quests developed by ZisBoomBah to the members of your troop, and they earn rewards for completing their quests. ZisBoomBah and Girl Scouts have created customized Quests that work with the Girl Scouts of the USA journeys and badges. You also have the option of writing your own quests and assigning your own rewards!

Quests feature the ZisBoomBah mascots Zis, Boom and Bah in short stories that illustrate the quest topic, and then missions that are activities the girls can take on individually or as a group. Girls can check off the missions as they complete them, and get point rewards when they finish the quest.

If you’re ready to get started, contact Sloan Moore ( to get your troop signed up!

Learn more about ZisBoomBah.pdf

Colorado Gold Award recipient named Girl Scout Great

Girl Scouts of the USA recently named 2010 Colorado Gold Award recipient Erica Vlahinos from Castle Rock a Girl Scout Great. Girl Scout Great recipients are featured in a national 100th anniversary public service announcement campaign for Girl Scouts of the USA. (View the ad here: Erica_20120815)

Currently Erica is a Junior studying Musical Theatre at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music. Any time she hasn’t been in school, she’s been working professionally as an actress. After she graduates from college in two years she plans to move to New York, which is really excited about!

According to Erica, “Girl Scouts, and receiving my Gold Award, showed me the possibilities that come with sheer determination. There are so few immovable limitations on what a woman can achieve if she is willing to work for it. Whatever your goal, mine clearly being to be a successful stage actress, you CAN and WILL achieve it. My journey in Girl Scouts and my Gold Award all seemed daunting and impossible at one point. But if you decide that you are going to do something, achieve something, and that you are going to fight until you do, it will happen. This lesson has served me well. And I’m sure it will continue to expand my future. (And hopefully the futures of those whose lives I cross.) The more I’m growing and meeting so many new people I’m realizing we’ve all figured out things that feel like the big secret or missing link to happiness or success. The more we share our ‘secrets’ selflessly, the more we can all move together towards a bright future.”

Having struggled with Dyslexia herself, for her Gold Award, Erica created a Dyslexic Learning Tools Library in her community. She provided the Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock 36 audio and visual books, all recorded by people passionate about or affected by learning disabilities themselves. Her number one message to those using the resources was “You may have Dyslexia but Dyslexia does not have you.”

Michelle Bellows recognized for service to Girl Scouts


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Today Girl Scouts of Colorado bestowed a high Girl Scout honor on one of our board members. Michelle Bellows from Fort Collins received the Thanks Badge II , one of Girl Scouts of the USA’s highest adult volunteer recognition honors which recognizes outstanding service made to the Girl Scout movement on a national basis. Michelle has served on the Girl Scouts of Colorado board since the formation of the council in 2007. Through her hard work, Girl Scouts of Colorado has a one-of-a-kind council governance system, known as the Membership Connection Committee, which work hand-in-hand with the board of directors on council policy decisions and ensuring our membership has a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Prior to her leadership with Girl Scouts of Colorado she held voluntary leadership positions with the legacy Mountain Prairie Girl Scout Council in Fort Collins.

Michelle received a standing ovation from the Board of Directors when she received her pin at their annual meeting today at the Denver Service Center (a few tears were shed too).

Michelle’s term is also ending on Girl Scouts of Colorado board today, but we know her service to Girl Scouts of Colorado is far from over! We truly thank Michelle for all she has done to help pave the way for building girl leadership through Girl Scouting in Colorado!

2012 Girl Scouts Women of Distinction honored in Colorado Springs


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Last Thursday evening, Sept. 13th, Girl Scouts of Colorado honored their 2012 Pikes Peak Women of Distinction and Women to Watch at the Thin Mint Dinner at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. A group of nearly 225 gathered at the event, which raised money for local Girl Scouting programs as well.

This dinner event spotlighted Girl Scouts’ Live Healthy, Lead Healthy initiative, focusing on self-esteem, good nutrition and exercise that will help prevent health issues and other serious ailments that affect girls and women. Premiering at the event was a video on healthy living created by Colorado Springs Girl Scout Troop 3810. View the video here.

Nancy Saltzman, who recently published Radical Survivor: One Woman’s Path Through Life, Love, and Uncharted Tragedy, was the keynote speaker, and Craig Eliot from KOAA-TV and Katie Carroll from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado were the emcees. U.S. Olympic bobsledding athlete Emily Azevedo, who placed 5th in the 2010 Olympics, signed autographs and posed for photos with guests as well as spoke about healthy living and the impact Girl Scouts had on her life. The event was a three-course dinner featuring the creative use of Girl Scout Cookies. Event chair was Mary Lou Makepeace, the 2002 Girl Scouts of Colorado Mary Jean Larson Community Service Award recipient.

Girl Scouts of Colorado honors top women leaders in our community as Girl Scout Women of Distinction or Women to Watch. These women have reached remarkable levels of achievement as business, philanthropic, government, education and community leaders. They are committed to making the world a better place for the girls of today and tomorrow. They donate their time, talents and experience to Girl Scouting and also support Girl Scouts financially. Since 2000, 43 women have been named as Pikes Peak Women of Distinction and raised more than $300,000 for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

2012 Girl Scouts Pikes Peak region Women of Distinction are: Claire Garcia, Rosemary Harris Lytle, Dee Vazquez Sabol, Mary Thurman and Linda Weise

2012 Girl Scouts Pikes Peak region Women to Watch are: Liz Denson and Amanda Mountain (This was a new honor in 2012 recognizing emerging women leaders under 40.)

Special thanks goes to the following sponsors of this event: FirstBank, Cricket Communications, The Gazette, Ent Federal Credit Union, Mido Printing, Delta Dental of Colorado, El Pomar Foundation and BKD LLP.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Women of Distinction program, visit our website at The Colorado Springs Gazette also did a nice post event article with photos in their Sunday, Sept. 30th, edition. There was also an article in the Oct. 12th Cheyenne/Woodman Editions.

Posted by Amanda Kalina, Director of PR, Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts of Colorado honored at Ally Awards celebration

Girl Scouts of Colorado was proud to be one of four recipients honored at the Second Annual Ally Awards to honor allies to the LGBT community. The signature event of One Colorado Education Fund, The Ally Awards celebrate allies because of their tremendous ability to change the hearts and minds of Coloradans and because of their courage. Girl Scouts of Colorado was honored for being an inclusive organization and welcoming all girls. Girl Scouts was in good company with our fellow recipients Faye W. Tate, Dr. Christopher Urbina, and Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center.

Girl Scouts have a connection to Colorado’s State Rock

You may or may not remember the story, but back in 2004, a group of Girl Scout Juniors from Lakewood, who were working to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award, helped designate Yule Marble as Colorado’s State Rock.

One of the most powerful lessons the girls learned is that you can make a difference, no matter your age. Now Girl Scout alumnae, these young women recently looked back on their journey in a video produced by the Colorado Channel of Open Media Foundation.

Listen to the video here.

How are Girl Scouts in your community making a difference?

Photo courtesy of Larry Scott’s Flickr Page

Girl Scouts of Colorado