Tag Archives: Aurora

Volunteer Spotlight: Elan Robinson

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Elan Robinson of Aurora in the Denver Metro region was nominated by a GSCO staff member as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elan 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?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer because I wanted to spend more time with my granddaughter. I was a Girl Scout for seven years as a child and remembered all the interesting things I learned. I wanted my granddaughter to have those same experiences. Now, four granddaughters later I’m having the time of my life! I’ve never regretted the decision to become a leader.

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

I’ve been a leader for four different troops. I’m a GSCO trainer, I especially love doing PA training. I’m also part of the service unit leadership team, helping to plan service unit events. I’m the service unit fall product program manager, as well as the TCM and FSM for my own troop,

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a volunteer, I’ve learned that anything is possible as long as you’re following your heart and your dream. I’ve never expected that my girls would do anything that I wouldn’t do. I’ve learned that I can do anything because of that. I’ve learned to be comfortable talking in front of a group.  I’ve learned that it’s okay for things to not go exactly according to plan and it will be fine. I’ve learned that as long as you keep exploring you keep growing.

What do you hope girls have learned from you? 

I hope my girls have learned to be compassionate. I hope they’ve learned that they can do anything that they set their mind too. I hope they have learned that they can and will make a difference as long as they set their mind to it. I hope they’ve learn to explore the world around them to try to make a difference.  I hope they’ve learned to look around them at what needs to be done and do it because they want to make a difference in someone else’s life or the world that they live in. I’ve watched my older girls look at their world and decide how they can make a difference in their high honor projects. I’ve watched my Brownies look around their immediate world and make a difference by seeing what needs to be done and do it without guidance or question.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

As a volunteer I’ve learned to just step into the moment and make it happen. I’ve learned that not all things are going to go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that most things that are worth doing require some risk. Whether that risk is simply getting in front of a group of people or trying something that I never thought I would or could do. I’ve learned to be the best person I can be so I can be the best leader I can be.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scout siblings inspire cookie donation to Children’s Hospital

Submitted by Cindy Opong

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Daisy/Brownie Troop 43483 in Colorado Springs donated 192 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House in Aurora. The troop has a special connection with Children’s Hospital as two younger siblings of girls in the troop have been patients there this year and their families experienced first-hand the wonderful resources Children’s provides.

The troop honored their Sister Scout siblings by donating cookies plus “craft gift bags” to be handed out to patients. The cookies are already being enjoyed by patients in the hospital’s family resource room.

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

Troop 35 refreshes playroom at Joshua Station

Submitted by Nikki Goethals

Metro Denver

Aurora

A representative from Joshua Station in Denver came to one of our troop meetings to discuss their facility, a renovated hotel now used as housing for homeless families until they can transition back into their own housing. Our Brownie troop was SO moved by this idea that they chose to sponsor the new playroom that had been created in the basement of one of the buildings.

We did a donation drive with our families to collect new items such as board games, movies, and toys. That didn’t feel like enough so we made them our Hometown Heroes this year. Our girls weren’t playing around. We sold 489 packages of donated Girl Scout Cookies for the families and staff at Joshua Station!

In April, the troop visited the campus to drop off the 489 packages of Girl Scout Cookies AND $489 worth of toys, games, and decor for the shared play space. The troop got a wonderful tour of the grounds, almost entirely maintained by volunteers, AND we might have stuck around to play some games with the locals.

The troop was so inspired by this Take Action project that they are hoping to be able to do even more for Joshua Station next year.

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

Girl Scouts deliver cookies to Buckley Air Force Base

Submitted by Cassie Aymami

Metro Denver

Littleton

On May 10, 2018, three Girl Scout troops from the Denver Metro region delivered more than 18,000 packages of Hometown Hero Girl Scout Cookies to military and personnel at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. While three troops helped with the delivery, the cookies themselves were donated by at least a dozen troops, including: 62589, 65412, 61281, 60900, 65486, 13461, 61414, 65478, 60238, 65431, 64522, and 61053. Some of the cookies will also be delivered to Military Family Assistance programs.

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

Sisterhood of Strength

Submitted by Kristy Miller

Metro Denver

Aurora

Troop 60972 is hosting a free event as our Take Action project at the end of the “Mission Sisterhood” Journey. The girls have planned a morning of activities that they have titled a Sisterhood of Strength on Saturday, May 12, 2018. This event is geared toward older girls and a significant woman in their lives. We will have a panel of women in leadership, be teaching some basic self-defense moves, have a mindfulness/yoga session as a group, and then will have other self-directed activities for everyone to participate in while we strengthen ourselves and explore other relationships within our sisterhood. Registration is limited to the first 20 girls and we would love for you to be one of them. Please contact Kristy Miller directly at kristy@miller-rascals.net if you have further questions or to register. We look forward to seeing you there.

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

Golf Workshops for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors

Daisy, Brownies, and Juniors have a chance to try golf and earn badges in three workshops, May 5 and 6, 2018, planned by the Colorado Golf Association. Brownies can earn their Fair Play badge and Juniors can earn their Practice with Purpose badge. Daisies won’t earn a badge or petal, but will have a workshop specifically designed for their age group. All workshops will be taught by instructors through Colorado Golf Association.

Cost is $15 per Girl Scout for all workshops. Badges are included in the cost for the Brownie and Junior workshops. CGA will host the workshops at Common Grounds Golf Course in Aurora. Space is limited to 20 girls per session, so we anticipate these workshops will fill fast.

The Daisy golf workshop is planned for the afternoon of May 6 and the registration link is https://goo.gl/x1SB9S. The Brownies Fair Play badge workshop is planned for the morning of May 5. Interested Girl Scouts can register at https://goo.gl/uTqW8u. The Junior Practice with a Purpose badge workshop will be hosted on the morning of May 6. Juniors can register at https://goo.gl/zjvkZd.

Questions? For more information, please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org.

 

Girl Scout S’mores Booth Challenge: The winners are….

Thank you to all of the Girl Scouts who entered the 2018 Girl Scout S’mores Booth Challenge! We received dozens of entries from all across Colorado and are so impressed by your creativity and enthusiasm. Congratulations to the winners!

Girl Scout Brownie Troop 60061 is from Broomfield and their Hometown Hero is Broomfield FISH. The girls are in the second and third grade at Prospect Ridge Academy and Meridian Elementary School. Most of the girls set a goal of at least 150 packages of Girl Scout Cookies. They are hoping to use the money earned to do an overnight at the Denver Aquarium.

Girl Scout Brownie Troop 60035 is from Aurora. The girls chose Joshua Station as their Hometown. Their troop goal was 225 packages per selling girl and they surpassed it! At last check, the troop had sold more than 10,000 packages.

 

 

Aurora Cadettes go silver, lead state’s first vehicle smoking ban

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Five bold Girl Scouts—Makenna, Amelia, Julianna, Micaela, and Sofia—demonstrated the power and voices of a 100-woman army. How? This small but mighty group took on a complex and meaningful challenge to earn their Girl Scout Silver Award. As part of Troop 60789 from Girl Scouts of Colorado, the girls worked closely with their longtime troop leader Kristen Batcho and other community mentors for almost a year to champion and pass an ordinance that made smoking (whether tobacco, marijuana, or vaping) in a vehicle while a minor is present subject to community service or a fine. The ban, passed by the Aurora City Council, is the first of its kind in Colorado and an incredible accomplishment for these determined change-makers who are just 13 and 14 years old.

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Amelia, Makenna, Micaela, Julianna, and Sofia present their smoking ordinance to the Aurora City Council on September 25, 2017.

Before starting their Silver Award project, the girls completed the Breathe Journey, part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, focusing on how the environment, air, and noise pollution all affect people. After completing the Journey, the girls discussed what they would do with all of the new information they had just learned and then brainstormed how they could apply it to their Silver Award project. During these discussions, they kept coming back to the topic of smoking, mainly the many different ways that it harms adults and children—smokers and nonsmokers alike. The girls researched the topic further and decided to try to ban smoking in cars with minors to minimize the effects of secondhand smoke and to protect young people’s health.

“We wanted to give a voice to the kids who don’t have a voice to tell the adult person to stop smoking,” said Makenna, age 13.

“We chose this project because people smoking in cars might not only get lung cancer themselves, they could also be making their kids sick,” Sophia, age 14, added. “The kids breathe in the smoke and are affected too.”

To begin creating this important change in their community, Kristen and the girls reached out to Aurora City Council member Charlie Richardson for guidance. He was 100 percent on board! Charlie attended one of the troop’s meetings and educated the girls on the ordinance process. He then connected them to city attorney Nancy Rogers, who helped them write the actual ordinance in the most effective way possible. Nancy also came to a troop meeting and engaged in a lively discussion with the girls during which they asked questions and talked through how they wanted the ordinance to proceed.

Initially the girls wanted to make smoking in a vehicle with minors a primary offense. In other words, a police officer could pull someone over for that without any other reason. But when the original ordinance came back with an amendment to make it a secondary offense, meaning a person would have to be pulled over for another offense first before they could be punished for smoking in a car with a minor, the girls realized they had a better chance of getting the legislation passed if they accepted the amendment, so they did.

When it came time for the ordinance to be discussed in detail at a city council meeting, the girls asked several speakers to testify on their behalf, including representatives from the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, UCHealth, and National Jewish Health.

Kathleen Moreira, the representative from UCHealth and a tobacco treatment specialist and smoking cessation expert, gave what Kristen calls “quite a compelling testimony” on secondhand smoke and the effects it has kids, especially as they’re still growing. Because Kathleen is a former smoker, the child of a parent who smoked in the car often, a mom, and a proud Girl Scout alum, UCHealth felt she would be the perfect person to represent the hospital and support the girls in their pursuit.

    • CH-A-GS-Colorado Smoking Ordinance 4

      Kathleen Moreira, Kristen Batcho, and Girl Scouts Makenna and Julianna smile for the camera after being interviewed by 9News morning anchor Cory Rose about the girls’ Silver Award project.

    • CH-A-GS-Colorado Smoking Ordinance 5

      Sophia, Amelia, Micaela, Makena and Julianna are recognized by Senator Rhoda Fields at the State Capitol for their efforts and work passing the smoking ordinance.

 

“I was overwhelmed with this powerful message that [the girls] were trying to send and that they were able to advocate for,” Kathleen said. “These girls made health history at 13 and 14 years old, and although I loved being a Girl Scout, I never did anything this important. Interacting with these girls reminded me that the power of girls is alive and well. What the girls are able to do now, utilizing outreach and being able to get so involved in civic matters, there is just a strength and a presence to Girl Scouts now that I think has really evolved over time.”


“These girls made health history at 13 and 14 years old.”


Kathleen explained how she urged council members to use this opportunity to educate parents to make a different choice. “Maybe it’s not about asking parents to quit smoking,” she suggested, “but once they know that doing so in the car with children is really harmful, then they have the information to say, ‘OK, maybe I won’t quit, but I won’t smoke in the car.’ Most of us, when we know better, we do better.”

And it’s not just secondhand smoke that Kathleen is worried about. Thirdhand smoke is also dangerous, especially for babies and toddlers. What is thirdhand smoke? It originates from the particles of a burning cigarette that are left on surfaces, for example, the chemicals and nicotine that stay behind on doors, windows, and everywhere else in a vehicle when someone smokes inside it. This means that even when children aren’t in a car at the time someone is smoking, they can still ingest all those chemicals later on as they touch different parts of the vehicle.

Kathleen revealed that when children are chronically exposed to nicotine and smoke, their chances of becoming a smoker greatly increase. By passing the ordinance, the girls and city council members are helping prevent 2,200 kids in Colorado from becoming daily smokers, she further explained.

To every young girl who wants to make a change in the world but isn’t sure she’s capable of doing so, Kathleen says, “There is power in numbers, and an organization like Girl Scouts can really boost [girls’] confidence in their ability to make change, get things done, and stay motivated through the obstacles. I have a four-year-old daughter, and I can’t wait for her to start as a Girl Scout Daisy. I was so proud to show her that I was working with Girl Scouts and what they were able to do.”


“There is power in numbers, and an organization like Girl Scouts can really boost [girls’] confidence in their ability to make change, get things done, and stay motivated through the obstacles.”


Even with all of the support the girls were able to garner, they also encountered some negativity and opposition. After their first meeting with the city council, a few not-so-nice comments cropped up on social media and in the form of other complaints. Because of this, Kristen and her co-leader, Michele Malchow, were concerned about having the girls attend the final council meeting in which a final vote for or against the ordinance would be made.

“We had been trying to keep the experience positive for the girls,” Kristen said. “But when we talked to them about it, they said, ‘This is part of life, and we have to deal with it.’” Kristen was impressed with the girls’ maturity and courage and decided to let them attend the meeting; they would leave only if things got too heated.

“What I have learned throughout this process is that everyone has an opinion on everything and not everyone will agree with what you’re trying to achieve, but that’s OK,” Makenna said.

“I have seen [the girls] blossom so much throughout this entire process,” Kristen praised. “Here are these young women who are changing the world and doing big things for the community. They’ve asked such good and insightful questions. They’ve embraced the project wholeheartedly, remained focused, and they’ve been willing to listen to feedback and be flexible. They’ve also just been so gracious and grateful with all of the adults and mentors who have helped them along the way. I am so proud of the young women they are becoming.”

Through this process, both the girls and their troop leaders discovered just how much girls can accomplish when they put their minds to it. “This is what Girl Scouts is all about,” beamed Kristen. “The idea of being girl-led, promoting the G.I.R.L. Agenda, and embodying all of the different facets of being a G.I.R.L. I don’t think my girls had truly realized their power until they were able to get this ordinance passed and make history.”


“This is what Girl Scouts is all about. The idea of being girl-led, promoting the G.I.R.L. Agenda, and embodying all of the different facets of being a G.I.R.L.”


Can you imagine what Troop 60789 will be able to accomplish in the years to come? Congratulations, girls, on a job extraordinarily done!

Best Cookie Dad contest: Our “Cookie Man”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by Troop 60071

Metro Denver

Aurora

We have nicknamed him “Cookie Man” and he is the best. He is our troop’s biggest cheerleader! He isn’t afraid to be silly and show us that it’s okay to do the same. He gives really good advice and is always trying to help us reach our goals, not just at cookie time, but always.

He gives a lot of his time and energy to our troop and Girl Scouts. He volunteers to help with cookie pick-up day at the cupboard getting other troops their cookies and then makes sure each of us is set up too. When we did our Powder Puff Derby, he helped us with our car designs and supported us while we ran the show. At our drive-thru cookie booth, he got all of us energized (the sign twirling he’s got down, but we’re helping him with his high kick).

We wanted to share how much we appreciate him because he genuinely wants all of us to succeed. It’s good to have someone like that in your corner.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!