Our troop visited Arvada Fire Station No. 9 at the beginning of the 2018 school year. The firefighters made such a difference to the girls that they wanted to make them their Hometown Hero! During the Girl Scout Cookie Program, the girls worked hard to collect packages for their firefighter heroes. The firefighters came to our location to show their appreciation for collecting so many cookies for them! We gave them over 50 packages of HTH cookies. We are so proud of Troop 68170 from Arvada!
Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Julie Southern of Arvada in the Metro Denver region currently volunteers with her daughter’s troop and the Outdoor Adventure Club. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Julie to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.
Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?
When my daughter joined Girl Scouts, I just naturally volunteered to be with her and experience the activities with her. I had not been a Girl Scout, so I was not sure what to expect. I continue to be overly impressed with the entire organization and lovely women in the program. The quality of programming and adventures that are planned for these young women is awesome. I am a middle school teacher and I truly appreciate that my own middle school girl has these opportunities. Therefore, I want to give back to this wonderful group and help out in anyway possible.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I volunteer with the troop and also with the Outdoor Adventure Club. When I volunteer with the troop, I take on many different roles from leading meetings, to traveling with the troop to Girl Scout properties and being a camp leader, and just being a support for our leaders.
With the Outdoor Adventure Club, I have had the amazing opportunity to support the girls in the countless adventures they have been challenged to accomplish. I have lead small groups, games, night time discussions and recaps, and just been their to support the organization. Anna Danilla has planned such amazing opportunities for these girls. I have been by the Girl Scouts as they encouraged each other through small cave spaces, down the face of a mountain, bouldering up a rock field, biking through the field, dog sledding, swimming, wilderness survival skills, archery, and so much more. To witness the growth, leadership, and encouragement that these girls give to each other is an honor.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I have learned as a Girl Scout volunteer that being able to be by the sides of these young women is an honor. If I can continue to turn the responsibility of the experience and problem solving on the girls, they will learn and grow. I have to be willing to step aside and let these girl’s thrive. They never cease to amaze me.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope that the Girl Scouts learn that anything is truly possible if you keep trying. I also hope they learn to set personal goals, to try THEIR best, to do THEIR hardest, and to have FUN! By focusing on doing their own best, then they can achieve their goals.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
See answers above. I know that working with Girl Scouts has challenged me as well. Trusting that the girl is going to safely handle a bow and arrow, a kayak, to hold the line as you mountain climb is truly being a risk-taker. Also, the Girl Scouts are so encouraging of each other and of the adults that are choosing to take the challenge by choice. In the cave, we all had to guide each other through the crevices and tunnels because you literally could not see what was up in front of you. This made me be very clear in the directions and questions to the girls around me to help me get through the experience as well.
In nature, you can make plans and be prepared, but sometimes you have to adjust to plan C and plan D. I think that is when the natural innovator in me and the girls comes out. It is so great to have the girls modify and come up with solutions when the first ideas get washed away with the weather. It is such a great experience to be by these girls as well and I continue to learn from them.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brownie Troop 66532 chose first responders as their Hometown Heroes to receive Girl Scout Cookies this year. Each girl took one of the local fire and police stations. We delivered Station 5 their cookies and they spent two hours answering all of her questions and giving us a tour of the station and all the equipment. They were grateful and so are we for all that they do to keep our community safe!
Troop 63572 of Broomfield is hosting two day camps this summer.
Skills and Thrills June 25 – 29, 2018 at East Interlocken Park in Broomfield and She’s Too Crafty July 30 – August 3 at Arvada United Methodist Church in Arvada. The cost per girl is $175. Adult volunteers are needed to help the camps be successful and you can be reimbursed for two girl fees if you volunteer for either week.
Skills and Thrills is planned to teach girls camping skills and help them gain confidence in the outdoors. Our troop has participated in Reach for the Peak and gone on many camping trips and we would love for more troops in our area to get outdoors!
She’s Too Crafty will include a variety of crafting fun plus visits to the Arvada Center and Majestic View Nature Center. This is a new location for this camp and we are excited about all of the opportunities the campers will have nearby. Since this camp takes place late in the summer much of it will be indoors, but girls will be outside every day.
My dad supports me when I am selling Girl Scout Cookies. He is there when I need help. I know that he is there for me when I need him. He has helped me do cookie booths and door-to-door sales. I’m happy when he helps me sell cookies. He has helped me sell cookies for three years now. He likes to buy cookies from me and eat them too!
Hailey is in her second year of selling Girl Scout Cookies and has big goals. She is trying to sell 1,000 packages of cookies to go to horse camp this year. Last year, she was a big help in getting her first year troop to cookie camp and they all had so much fun. This year, they would like to plan a camping trip for their troop and a sister troop. She loves taking the lead in her business and being a great Girl Scout.
She is a go-getter because she does not let the weather stop her, and she works every booth she can to ensure her troop reaches their goals.
She is an innovator because she encourages her troop to dance and sing cookie songs at booths. She finds people would rather buy from Girl Scouts who are really enjoying selling cookies.
She is a risk-taker because she always puts her self out there and supports her troop by helping teach the younger and new girls some of her tips and tricks.
She is a leader because she is always ready to help get her troop going and coming up with new ideas.
Where: Arvada United Methodist Church, 6750 Carr, Arvada
Theme: Winter ball
Dress Code: Go classy or go corny. Suit and ball gowns, or winter themed costumes
Cost: $25 per couple ($30 at the door). Please reserve and pay for your spot by Jan. 15.
*Also, please bring canned goods to be donated to the Arvada Food Bank.
This is a “sell out” annual event that is WAYYYY TOO MUCH fun! Girl Scouts and their friends attend a dinner catered by White Fence Farm and dance to fun music. The cake decorating contest is cakes that the girls have made and decorated and are judged by the other girls in attendance. Prizes flow freely and door prizes are everywhere! This year’s theme is “winter ball,” so get those fancy dresses out, grab your special guy, and put a tie on him! There is a special photo op spot for you to capture the “special” night with your special guy. Special guys can be dads, uncles, grandpas, special men in the girls’ life that will treat her to a “special” date!
To reserve your spot, please email Judy Curtis at email@example.com. Be sure to include a list of the girls attending and the name of their special guy. Make checks payable to: Troop 3301 Send them to Judy Curtis at: 14237 W 58th Pl., Arvada, CO 80004
Colchin Automotive is hosting a car care workshop for Seniors and Ambassadors (grades 9-12) on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 6 – 8 p.m. in Arvada. Learn the basics of car care and maintenance, so you can be road ready and safe when you hit the pavement.
Parents/guardians are welcome to attend with their girl. Seniors will earn their “Car Care” badge through completion of this workshop. If you have any questions about this event or have trouble completing registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-404-5708.
Twenty-five Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing take action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.
Meg Bleyle from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, worked to increase the bee population by teaching children about how people need and depend on bees.
Beth Bolon from Longmont hosted a workshop for sixth grade girls to help them improve their communication skills and bolster their confidence when interacting with others.
Cheyanne Bridges from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with the Pikes Peak Humane Society to support their animal medical fund by providing a sustainable source of donations from her school.
Tara Butler from Denver, Overland High School, created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens to educate them on how to use their smartphone and better understand the technology.
Kayleigh Cornell from Aurora, Grandview High School, started the Colorado Book Bank and collected more than 1,300 new and gently used books for students in a summer lunch program.
Victoria Delate from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, created a four-week self-defense course to give her fellow students the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual assault.
Emma Deutsch from Denver, Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, improved the cat rooms at the Denver Animal Shelter. By creating a more welcoming and colorful space, she encouraged more people to adopt cats.
Kamaryn Evans from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, worked to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and for the Crisis Center, which works to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention.
Rose Goodman from Boulder, Boulder High School, created a lesson plan, which meets common-core standards, to educate second grade students about the declining bee population and how they can help bees.
Elizabeth Hoelscher from Aurora, Grandview High School, partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage victims of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls.
Ashlin Hult from Niwot, Niwot High School, created a series of materials for middle-school girls to encourage healthy body image and increase self-esteem.
Zoi Johns from Golden, Lakewood High School, coordinated the installation of three 10,000-liter water filtration tanks in a school in rural Uganda.
Makayla Kocher from Monument, Colorado Springs Christian School, created an art program for nursing home residents.
Kayleigh Limbach from Niwot, Niwot High School, wrote aguidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academic future.
Alexis Montague from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, hosted a panel discussion so girls could learn more about career opportunities in STEM.
Sarah Ness from Centennial, Eaglecrest High School, hosted nearly two dozen after-school art therapy sessions to help kids at her school relieve and manage stress.
Gwyneth Ormes from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, organized a series of after-school workshops to teach elementary school girls Processing (a basic programming language), along with the foundational concepts of computer science.
Emma Parkhurst from Centennial, Littleton High School, revitalized The Lions Cupboard, a local clothing closet, to make the space more accessible for families in need.
Makala Roggenkamp from Arvada, Faith Christian Academy, partnered with Hope House and created book templates for children to develop a love of reading.
Abagail Sickinger from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to help high school students get a job. Topics included: resume writing, what to wear, conducting yourself during an interview, and how to answer interview questions.
Katrina Stroud from Boulder, Niwot High School, created an activity booklet for The Butterfly Pavilion to teach children about Monarch butterflies and bumble bees.
Grayson Thomas from Lyons, Lyons High School, designed a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM community for Lyons Middle/Senior High School.
Marieke van Erven from Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.
Melissa Wilson from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, developed several materials to educate people who can hear about how to interact with those who are deaf.
Inspired by her mother’s battle with cancer, Susan Wilson from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a media center for cancer patients undergoing treatment at Parker Adventist Hospital.
The Girl Scout Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project.
“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”
About Girl Scouts of Colorado
Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.
Gold Award Girl Scout Emma Albertoni of Arvada was a featured speaker at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction Thin Mint Dinners in both Denver and Colorado Springs. She told the audience of Girl Scouts and supporters how Girl Scouts helped her find her voice.
As a 2017 Gold Award recipient and winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence, I am excited to share not only the work I have done through Girl Scouts, but the work that Girl Scouts has done for me.
I started Girl Scouts in first grade – a whopping 12 years ago. I joined Troop 1721 of Arvada, which met in the teacher’s lounge at my elementary school. All 17 girls in that troop would run around playing games, make a mess on the table doing crafts, and discuss cookie season with mouths full of snacks. I went to camps in the summer, learning a lot about myself along the way. After a rainy mother-daughter camp experience, I learned my mom and I are more of a “spa-day and hotel” kind of campers than the “soggy sneaker and cold tent” kind of campers. I remember how I sold cookies, setting goals for the number of packages that I wanted to sell, and making posters for our booth– all while strategizing how placing cookie packages in the ROYGBV order would make our booth look enticing to customers. I remember making very… unique… outfits for World Thinking Day on my troop leader’s sewing machines, hoping that we didn’t mess up with the limited fabric we had. But the ‘fun’ things were not all that I did in all my years of Girl Scouts. Of course, I sold cookies, earned badges, and went to camp, especially when I was younger. But, these ‘fun’ things helped me later on, and I have come to realize the magic of Girl Scouts is how the things you do impact you on a deeper level.
My Girl Scout experience evolved as I got older and my troop began working on our Highest Awards. So you can understand the scale of each award, I’ll compare them to a body of water. First, the Bronze Award. Think Lake Michigan. For the Bronze Award, my troop paired up to do a “Charity Convention.” Each pair picked and researched a charity. We made posters, so our guests could learn about each one, what to donate, and how to donate. Next up, the Silver Award, which is like the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike other girls, my troop and I had difficulty coming to an agreement over what our project should be, so to appease everyone, I split off and did my project on my own. To earn my Silver Award, I collected more than 150 old t-shirts and upcycled them into bags. I gave these bags to an organization that was providing sanitary supplies to homeless women so it would be more private. I also gave some to a food bank in Arvada, and one in San Diego.
Last, but definitely not least (in any sense of the word), was the Gold Award. My Pacific Ocean. The Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouting. It requires you to find an issue in your community and develop a solution. The Gold Award must be sustainable, connected nationally and globally, show leadership, and educate the public. Daunting, right? Ideas came and went, but nothing panned out. I finally found my project by looking at my own life. I was 16- years-old, buying my first car, looking at college tuition, and working a summer job. I was dealing with larger sums of money than ever before and I realized, I didn’t know anything about using it wisely. Talking with my parents about credit scores, loans, and budgeting made me wonder, where did they learn it all?
My project began by researching financial education in Colorado. I found fiscal topics are “woven” into K-12 classes, but the curriculum does not teach the students how to apply this knowledge. I discovered, through surveys and interviews, students didn’t even realize these principles were being taught. Since students weren’t learning the practical application, they would just leave the information behind. I didn’t believe this was right. Everyone needs to understand how to be responsible with their money, and that was not being addressed in Jefferson County schools.
I started by meeting with the principal and Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) teacher at Ralston Valley High School. The FCS class covered some financial literacy topics. But, it was an elective course taught to only 30 students/year. The teacher allowed me to create a new unit on financial safety online. It included PowerPoints, videos, discussions, and quizzes about things like identity theft, hacking, and password security. The teacher is now teaching my unit every year. I didn’t stop there. I proposed to the JeffCo School Board to make financial literacy a required class. The school board is now taking a closer look at how financial literacy is taught. Finally, I began working with Colorado legislators, including State Representative Lang Sias. They are interested in providing guidelines for educators on teaching financial literacy, as well as hosting a Financial Literacy day at the state capitol.
Finally, my brother and I started Down With Dough, a 501(C)(3) organization that seeks to inspire and advance knowledge of financial literacy through supporting, sharing, and improving education. Down With Dough will continue to partner with legislators, as well as other sponsors in order to one day see the improvement we need in education surrounding financial literacy. We have received tax exemption status, and are now looking for donors to help us fund curriculum development and further our work.
As I now look back, I see that Girl Scouts taught me skills that I never would have learned elsewhere. The magic of Girl Scouts is how the things you learn when you’re younger amidst all the fun, build on each other until you can accomplish a Pacific Ocean sized goal. The crafts we made in the teacher’s lounge helped me find individuality and creativity. The camps taught me how to make friends, be confident, take risks, and work as a team. I learned leadership through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which included getting myself out of my comfort zone to sell a product by developing marketing strategies. The Cookie Program also taught me how to be a go-getter by setting small goals in order to achieve a large goal. And, sewing outfits taught me how to solve problems and be an innovator. All these qualities I learned through the fun of Girl Scouts, and they all helped me get to where I am today.
Before Girl Scouts, I was very shy. In fact, I was talking with my troop leader the other day. We joked about how out of the five girls still in our troop at graduation, no one would’ve guessed it would be me standing here today. But, Girl Scouts brought me out of my shell. I was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. I met amazing young men and women from all across the country who are doing great things for their communities, just like I am. They taught me about different subjects like nonprofit classification, grant writing, and each other’s passions. I was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Scout of the Year Award, where I stood in awe as veterans stood and applauded my hard work and dedication. I stood in front of Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps and Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett with a confidence I would not have had, had I not been a Girl Scout. Because of Girl Scouts, I had the drive, passion, and confidence to audition for the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, where I am now a Classical Violin Performance major. I look forward to going through school, into my career field, and my future with Down with Dough with passion and leadership skills to be successful. Girl Scouts gave me a safe place to speak my mind and share ideas – it gave me the opportunity to find my voice.