Tag Archives: boulder

Volunteer Spotlight: Theresa Szczurek


Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Lifetime Girl Scout Theresa Szczurek of Boulder recently received the Volunteer Service Award from GSCO for decades of service. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Theresa to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I joined Girl Scouts as a 4th grader in Cicero, IL and participated through high school.  Now, I am a Lifetime Girl Scout.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I love being a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts builds girls with courage, character, and confidence and prepares girls to be leaders. Over 64% percent of today’s women leaders in the United States in civic, corporate, political, and entrepreneurial arenas were once Girl Scouts including Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and many others.

At first in New Jersey in the late 1980’s even before I had children, I was a Girl Scout Cadette leader for a few years to help build strong girls. After returning to Colorado and when my daughter entered first grade, I helped organize her Brownie troop at her elementary school. I wanted my daughter to grow strong, make friends, learn new skills, build her confidence and courage, strengthen her core values and character, and see the world through the experience of this powerful, world-wide organization.  Being a Girl Scout volunteer is for me a pursuit of passionate purpose — it is in line with my values and gifts (or passion), helps me work toward the purpose of growing girls with courage, confidence, an character, presents many opportunities to pursue this purpose and assess progress along the way.

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

I have been a Brownie, Junior, and Cadette leader in Boulder. I currently am and have been since 2010 a Senior and Ambassador Girl Scout troop co-advisor for super Troop 70007, which has Girl Scouts from throughout Boulder County.  I enjoy being the Gold Advisor, among other things, helping our Girl Scouts earn the highest award.

I have been a member of the Zephyr Service Unit leadership team since 2013. It supports Girl Scout troops throughout Boulder and beyond. I help coordinate the program and calendar and serve as the Highest Award advisor to the SU. 

I was the Keynote speaker at the Leadership Summit in Boulder in Fall 2016.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?

One of the most important lessons for me to learn, was to let go of being the Troop Leader and instead become the Troop Advisor by letting the Girl Scouts lead.  This role as an adult volunteer evolves as a troop moves from Brownies to Ambassadors and the Girl Scouts grow in their abilities.  It means that sometimes the girls will do things differently then I envision.  I recall when our troop was running Outdoor Skills Day Camps. My daughter Annie was the overall Camp Coordinator that year.  A big snowstorm was forecast for the Saturday of one of our camps. GSCO decided to cancel all activities that day, but let our troop make its own decision on running our camp or not. While I would have decided to go along with GSCO and cancel the camp, Annie made the courageous decision to run the camp. It was a huge learning and leadership experience for her. The storm was not as bad as forecast and 70 younger pre-registered Girl Scouts had a fabulous time rather than being stuck at home.  Annie also decided to give parents an option to pull their girl out and get a refund.

It means letting them fail and learn from it, if they don’t step up to lead.  One year our Senior / Ambassador troop decided it wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise leaving from Florida. The girls did not step up to do the research and make the decision in time. That trip did not happen, but instead they were able to get organized and go on a Colorado camping trip. Here are a few other lessons learned:

Four Practical Pointers from Girl Scout Travel.  

  1. Open and Be Flexible. Annie had been raising money for two years to go to the India Centre, Sangam. She sold 1000’s of packages of Girl Scout Cookies and wrapping paper, led outdoor skills day camps as fundraisers, and even applied for (and won) a Look Wider International Travel Scholarship from Girl Scouts of Colorado. This council-wide trip to Sangam, for high school age Girl Scouts from across the State of Colorado, did not come together as it should have.  So in February, Annie and I regrouped, assessed the situation, and concluded – Why not go as a mother / daughter team to Our Chalet, the oldest WAGGGS Centre located in Switzerland, and Pax Lodge in UK?  By being flexible with a broader vision, we pivoted and took action to go to Europe.  We are glad we did! 

Here was the Attraction Strategy at work –hold a broad intention and open to opportunities that are everywhere, while thinking, feeling passionately, and taking action to get what you want.  How can you attract an alternative solution when you are stuck?

  1. Pack Lightly. Note, packing includes your attitude as well as your bag. Once you have packed your bag, evaluate if you really need each item, and reduce by at least one third. Pack even lighter. Oh how we wish we would have done this on our Europe trip. 

We arrived at 7 p.m. by train into Bern, Switzerland, the lovely capital, after a long traveling day that started in Iceland at 6 a.m. We could not find the information booth to get a map.  With the hotel address in hand, we started walking burdened with our backpacks – it is not far, people  said.  45 minutes later, tired and hungry, we searched for a taxi.  Finally, we found one.  As we were about to put our heavy bags into the cab, the driver pointed,  “Just walk that way 100 meters.” Finally 300 meters later, as despair was about to set in, we saw our hotel.  While indeed we had packed many positive items, next time we will come without as much gear. 

Here was the Pack Strategy – when embarking on a path of passionate purpose, pack energizers that encourage you along the way and unpack hindrances that discourage you.  How can you lighten your personal or professional load? 

  1. Are You Ready? Are You Prepared?  Finnish Girl Guides respond to these questions, “Born ready!  Always prepared!”  Part of our adventure included reaching the summit of three peaks.  Our goal was to summit Bunderspitz.  We prepared through the week with increasingly longer hikes day by day.  Using the divide-and-conquer strategy, we started hiking around 7:30 p.m. on the first segment and arrived at the Cheesemaker’s Hut at 9:30 p.m. where we got a few hours sleep.  At 2:30 a.m. in total darkness and silence, we were ready for the assault.  We accomplished the overall goal piece by piece – first to the highest barn on the mountain where we ate an early breakfast, then through the fog to the saddle, and then on through the final stretch to the summit for sunrise at 5:35 a.m.  While the clear, panoramic view we yearned for never appeared, we did catch glimpses of the majestic mountains.  Then slowly we descended five hours back to Our Chalet feeling exhilarated. 

Here was the Persistence Strategy in action:  mindfully persevere with focused determination using a divide-and-conquer tactic. Try tackling your next big project using the divide and conquer approach of the Persistence Strategy.  

  1. Make New Friends, But Keep the Old. With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the world, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world.  We share common values of building girls with courage, character, and confidence and taking action.  Recently WAGGGS launched a Global Action Theme whereby girls worldwide say “together we can change our world.” This awareness raising programme is directly linked to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (https://www.wagggs.org/en/what-we-do/sustainable-development-goals-and-global-action-theme/).  One SDG is:  promote gender equality and empower women. 70 percent of the world’s 1.2 billion people living in poverty are women, and 45 million girls around the world are being denied an education. WAGGGS believes that ‘empowering girls will change our world.’

At Our Chalet and Pax Lodge we made new international friends, reaffirmed our values, had fun singing songs, challenged ourselves physically and mentally, built a new skill by taking lots of photos, rejuvenated, and much more.  In addition to precious mother / daughter together time before Annie left for college, we even met the WAGGGS commissioner from Taiwan. 

Here was the Connections Strategy at work – build relationships with and bring along on life’s journey the proper people and support network and lessen the impact of improper ones.    Who is or should be part of your support network?

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

There are so many memories from seeing two Girl Scouts helping each other in a magical moment learn to fish, recognizing the scouts grow in their abilities to run their own cookie business,  the younger girls progress in outdoor skills from short hike to backyard camping to lodge overnights to tent camping to backpacking, working with other leaders and parents, traveling domestically such as canoeing on the Buffalo River in Arkansas and internationally such as a 10-day adventure and service trip to Costa Rica, and helping scouts establish a plan and execute on it to earn their Highest Awards.   I have been so honored to be the troop advisor to nine (9) scouts who have earned their Gold Award with three more now at the Gold Candidate stage — WOW! 

My favorite memory, if I had to choose just one, is the mother / daughter trip to Our Chalet, the oldest WAGGGS Centre located in Switzerland, and Pax Lodge in UK.  I highly recommend going to the international centres. 


What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Being a Girl Scout volunteer is for me a pursuit of passionate purpose — it is in line with my values and gifts (or passion), helps me work toward the purpose of growing strong leaders, presents many opportunities to pursue this purpose, and give a chance to assess progress and learn along the way. 

Volunteers, recognize the important work you are doing in helping girls pursue their passions and grow with courage, confidence, and character.  I hope you agree, there is nothing more meaningful and important.  That is why I love being a Girl Scout!

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

Register for the “Advanced Outdoor Skills” day camp

Submitted by Theresa Szczurek

Northern & Northeastern CO


Are you looking for outdoor adventure? You are in luck! Senior/Ambassador Girl Scout Troop 7 is running an advanced outdoor skills day camp on April 29, 2017 at Mountain View United Methodist Church (355 Ponca Place, Boulder 80303) from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fourth Graders and up with prior camping experience will sharpen outdoor skills in first aid, knots, backpacking cooking, safety and set-up, orienteering, and more.

Register NOW:  https://sites.google.com/site/gsoutdoorskillsdayscolorado/

Questions to: girlscouttroop70007@gmail.com

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Juliet Spitz, Boulder, “Why Love One and Hurt the Other?”

Juliet Spitz

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

When I went vegan after learning the conditions animals are forced to endure for human use, I knew I wanted to focus my Gold Award project on educating others to inspire them to take action on this issue as well. I created a lesson for young adults to inform them of the conditions animals are forced to endure in factory farms, animal entertainment industries, and animal testing laboratories and provide them with alternatives to supporting these industries. In my lesson, I introduced the audience to the concept of speciesism (discrimination against other species), and I raised thought-provoking questions to encourage the contemplation of why our society values certain species (such as dogs and cats) above others. I presented my lesson to over 80 teenagers and young adults from various groups and clubs. I then posted a video of one of my presentations on YouTube and it is on AnimalActionNetwork.org, and has been shared on multiple Facebook pages.

I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to transition to a diet with fewer animal products, so the second component of my project was creating an email list that anyone can sign up for to receive one vegan recipe per week for eight consecutive weeks to make incorporating more plant-based meals into one’s life easier.

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

At the end of each of my presentations, before answering questions from my audience, I asked them one question: “What actions, if any, will you now implement in your lives to help animals?” I was happy to hear a range of answers, from “I will eat less meat” to “I will look for the cruelty-free symbol on body care products.”

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

A video of one of my presentations is posted on YouTube, the homepage of AnimalActionNetwork.org, and numerous Facebook pages. Not only can people continue to view this video in the future, but I hope that the audience members of my presentation will continue to share the information that they learned and inspire others to take action.

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

I have contacted 27 different vegan, vegetarian, and animal rights organizations with a description of my project along with a link to my YouTube video of my presentation. These organizations are all over the nation and world, ranging from Hawaii to Singapore to the Netherlands. Although I didn’t ask for a reply, nine organizations have sent me a response to say that they were glad I had done this project.

What did you learn about yourself?

I honestly didn’t expect to learn much about myself over the course of this project, but I did learn that if I have enough passion for something, I can convince myself to do almost anything that I would normally be too afraid to do. As someone that is normally petrified in front of a crowd, I was surprised that I wanted to pursue a project that required public speaking. Throughout my project, I continually reminded myself of my end goal: to inspire others to better the lives of animals. This simple reminder was enough to encourage me to follow through with my project, even when it was uncomfortable.

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

With the confidence, public speaking skills, and knowledge that passion can be a strong motivator, I know I will continue to be an activist for causes I believe in. I know that I have the ability to put together and follow through with a large project and that one person really can make a difference.

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

Since I became a Girl Scout eight years ago, everything that I’ve done through Girl Scouts has been with my troop— that is, until I pursued my Gold Award. The activities that I had done with my troop, while fun and fulfilling, weren’t necessarily what I would have chosen to do on my own. In addition, when completing a project as a part of a group, I felt less of a responsibility to complete as much of the project, since I felt that the responsibility could be shared among the group members. Completing my Gold Award gave me the opportunity to pursue an issue that I personally had a passion for and that I had full responsibility for.

**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 Scout Gold Award Project: Molly McPherson, Boulder, “Saving the World One Bottle at a Time”


Molly McPherson

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Bottled water has horrific environmental and health effects, and costs an absurd amount of money for buying water, a liquid that is most often close to free.  An average American uses 167 plastic non-reusable water bottles in one year, however, by being proactive we can reduce our impact on our environment including the air, and oceans specifically.  My role in this issue, was promoting the use of reusable water bottles, as well as uncovering the truth of the harmful effects of bottled water.  I created a 25 minute presentation on the subject that I had researched then I presented in 12 different places, including elementary, middle, and high school classes, as well as clubs, and a business.  I also created a website (www.savingtheworldonebottleatatime.com) and Facebook page. I informed at least 300 people about plastic water bottle pollution, and I gave out stickers with my website domain to people to spread the word about my project.

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

The most rewarding aspect of my project is that I have had numerous people come up to me and tell me that they just bought a reusable water bottle and are no longer using bottled water.  I work in an ice cream shop, and little kids whom I have given my presentation to, will come in and recognize me, and their parents have told me that their kids told them about my presentation and that as a family they have been inspired to eliminate their use of plastic water bottles.  The little successes of people telling me that they are thinking about their use of plastic and being conscious of what they are adding the environment shows that I have truly made an impact in people’s lives.

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

I have shared my presentation with over 300 people, and given them stickers with my website address.  People will always be able to view my website, and learn about the issue.  I will also be coming out with a short movie soon that I will share.  In addition, I have several presentations scheduled for the future, so I will continue to reach new audiences.

One of my presentations was for my school’s garden club in which I am involved.  They have agreed to continue my presentation for years after my involvement in the club.  I have shared my presentation with them and my note cards for each slide with all the information so that they will be able to continue the presentation.  In this club, we typically grow a garden, then harvest our crops in the summer, however in the winter we always try to learn more about the subject, and work to become more eco-friendly, and educated on the subject.  So this is something that they can learn about every year as new members join.

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

I have given my website and Facebook page information to friends and family across the United States, so they can research and also become educated on the subject.  I have involved many of my friends and family members to be a part in sharing my project, so it has been able to reach as far as cousins in England, as well as family in Wisconsin, Florida, Chicago, and California.  My website includes information on all the effects that I teach in my presentation, so anybody can easily learn about the subject.  Therefore, it is accessible to anyone who wants to learn more.

What did you learn about yourself?

I’ve learned that presenting in front of people is not as easy as it looks.  I found that I got really nervous when I started talking in front of people even just family, which is where I practiced first.  I practiced the presentation at least 20 times before I took it to a classroom, and finally my sentences started flowing better and I was able to form coherent sentences without using unnecessary filler words.

For the first three presentations I was very nervous, but by practicing in between them, asking people for constructive criticism, and filming myself, I improved in a short amount of time.  After about five presentations, I no longer got nervous, I felt prepared and confident, and I really felt comfortable. I have gotten really great at public speaking, and learned that practice is really important in projects like these.

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

Next year, I will be studying education at Fort Lewis College, because I want to become a middle school social studies teacher. Now when I have presentations, I feel that I am really great at leading the classrooms.  I have learned how to keep a classroom engaged in the subject I’m teaching, and how to answer questions that students have in a positive way to not steer away from the subject.  These presentations have taught me leadership and given me a taste of what it’s like to speak in front of classrooms and teach my own lesson, similar to what I will be doing when I’m a teacher.

In addition, I will be continuing with the subject of bottled water pollution.  I am currently in the process of making a movie about the subject, then planning on sharing it with my Facebook page, and website, where I hope it will reach many more people.  I also have scheduled presentations for the upcoming months, so just because I have completed my Gold Award, does not mean that I have finished making an impact with this project.

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

This project has inspired me to know that I really can make a difference in the world!  I have learned that if you have a true passion for something, you can make a change!  Knowing that even just one person listened to my ideas, and bought a reusable water bottle, and wants my sticker to put on it, is the best feeling in the world.  Knowing that I can be the one to get someone to choose to not use bottled water at a party, or school, or any sort of event, and instead bring their reusable water bottle around, shows that I am limiting the amount of bottled water being used, even if it’s just one person.  I feel the momentum that I have with this project, and I do not plan on stopping because I know I can make a larger impact! I have learned that change can start as small as you want it to be, but by being passionate, positive and hopeful, that change can turn into anything you want it to be!

**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


Outdoor Skills Day Camp

Submitted by Molly M.

Northern & Northeastern CO


Are you looking for outdoor fun and adventure? You are in luck! Senior Girl Scout Troop 7 is running outdoor skills days.

Get ready for camping fun! The Girl Scout Outdoor Skills day camps on April 22, 2017 (Thornton-regular) and April 29, 2017 (Boulder-advanced) prepare girls for camping and outdoors. Each girl will earn an outdoor skills patch, in addition to learning:

  1.  Knife craft and safety
  2. Compass use
  3. Outdoor cooking
  4. Fire building
  5.  Campsite Set-up
  6. Tent pitching
  7. Emergency first-aid and preparation

Regular Camp: April 22 (Thornton)

Who: 1st Graders and up. No experience necessary

When: 9:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.

Price: 1 Girl – $17 includes hot lunch and Outdoor
Skills patch

Additional adults: $5/day

Advanced Camp: April 29 (Boulder)

Who: 4th Graders and up. Must have prior camping

When: 9:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.

Price: 1 Girl – $18 includes hot lunch and Outdoor
Skills patch

Additional adults: $5/day

Register early. A sell-out is expected.

Advanced Payment Required

Website link to register both scouts and adults:

Contact Senior / Ambassador Girl Scout Troop 7


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

Girl Scout University


Submitted by Payton Buhler

Northern & Northeastern CO


At CU Boulder, we have traditionally hosted GSU, Girl Scout University. Come and join us, we have a maximum of 200 girls. Come hang out. It’ll be lots of fun. It is a day to be on campus and you can earn two badges while you’re at it. You’ll come in the morning and earn the first badge. Then, you’re served lunch on campus, and spend the rest of your day earning your second badge.

It will be hosted on April 22, 2017 and it is $35. To register please click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HGMJHY

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

CU Basketball offers two great Girl Scout events


Join us for two great Girl Scout events hosted by CU Athletics! Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited to CU Men’s Basketball game on Sunday night, Feb. 12, 2017. Girl Scouts can earn the “Ralphie Recycling” fun patch with Ralphie’s Green Stampede before the game. Come cheer on the Buffs as they take on the Washington State Cougars. Pre-game activities start at 3 p.m. with game tip-off at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at www.cubuffs.com/promoEnter the code 2017GIRLSCOUTS.

Celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with CU Women’s Basketball on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. CU Women’s sports teams will host a two-hour pregame skills clinic where Girl Scouts can perfect their sports skills and earn requirements towards their Athlete badges. CU’s Women’s Basketball will take on the Oregon Ducks, so come and root for the Buffs! The pregame clinic starts at 10 a.m. with game tip-off at noon. Children 12 and under are free. Children 12 and older and adult tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the door. Please note due to NCAA Recruiting Guidelines that only Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes can participate in the pre-game sports clinics.

Questions? Please contact Cassandra McCulley at cassandra.mcculley@colorado.edu or 303-492-4467. We hope to see you there!

GSCO Staff Tour CU Champions Center

Submitted by Lori Thompson

Northern & Northeastern CO


The University of Colorado Athletic Department staff recently hosted GSCO staff for a tour of CU’s Champions Center. The center is the home for CU Football, Athletic Offices, and CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center. The center opened earlier this year and features state of the art work out facilities, football team locker room, and lounge. There are also historic displays featuring team trophies and uniforms as well as event space with lovely views of the Flat Irons.

GSCO staff was onsite to visit about upcoming Girl Scout winter events with CU Basketball. We’re making plans with both CU Women’s and Men’s basketball teams, so Girl Scouts will have a chance to see two CU games this year. Plans for our game with CU Women’s Basketball are coming soon. Save the date for Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 for Girl Scout Night with CU Men’s Basketball. Plans for both games will include a special ticket deal for Girl Scout troops and families and additional fun Girl Scout activities to be announced. For more information, please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org.

A big thank you goes to CU Athletic Department staff for a great tour and for coordinating our upcoming winter Girl Scout events!

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

Songbirds Girl Scout Choir featured at World Singing Day

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Estes Park

October 22, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado was the setting for the 2016 World Singing Day, and the Songbirds Girl Scout Choir was one of several featured groups recruited to help lead the massive crowd of singers in uplifting songs.

World Singing Day was founded in 2012 by Boulder musician Scott Johnson and brings people together in their communities all around the world through the simple act of singing together.  It’s an opportunity each year to celebrate our global family through the international language of music.  “Our goal for 2016 is to have community sing-a-longs on all seven continents and reach over one million people through videos and social media,” said Scott.

Information about the Songbirds was prominently displayed in the lyric booklet passed out to all participants.

The famous Colorado acapella group FACE performed for the first half-hour and it was fantastic to be on stage with them when our turn came to lead our assigned songs.  They seemed happy to back up the Girl Scout Choir and were very energetic and engaging in their involvement with our singers as well as the whole crowd.

Other groups recruited to lead a total of twenty-two songs throughout the event were The Rocky Mountain Chorale, UNC’s Vocal Iron, and Up With People alumni.

The Girl Scout Choir stood out with their royal blue logo polo shirts, and were quite visible and distinctive in the crowd.  We also passed out programs at the beginning of the event and helped pick up and put away the booklets when the event was over.

The songs we were assigned to help lead everyone in singing were “What the World Needs Now,” “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Let It Be,” “La Bamba” (in Spanish!), and “America the Beautiful,” which spotlighted two additional newly written verses specific to Boulder.

Some special things happened throughout the event including some dancing among the crowd, some plastic blow-up guitars passed out to help folks get with the beat, and several professional photographers recording the entire event.  See Facebook for lots of involvement about World Singing Day 2016 in Boulder, Colorado.  Videos and photos can also be accessed on Twitter using #worldsingingday.

We hope to be invited back again next year and that even more choir members and others will join our group.  This was a great event for the choir and Girl Scouts of Colorado, as we were widely applauded and appreciated by those who came out for this great event.  It’s truly a great idea to unite the world in song.

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

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Recipients Honored at Highest Awards celebration in Boulder

More than fifty Girl Scout families and friends gathered at Mountain View Methodist Church in Boulder on April 24, 2016 to honor Colorado Girl Scouts who earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

Two Girl Scouts were presented the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. Brittany Jaros from Boulder, Holy Family High School, developed a program to educate middle school students about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention. Courtney Howell from Niwot, Silver Creek High School, organized a science, math, and engineering exploration day for middle and elementary school students to show them that science can be fun. Both described their projects and how earning the Gold Award has impacted their lives. Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 who earn the Gold Award demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. Several Silver Award honorees (the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn) also were presented their awards. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in grades 4th and 5th can earn.

Girl Scouts of Colorado COO Jacky Noden said the girls’ spirit and motivation inspires us all to think of the needs of others and take action to make the world a better place.

“You are strong role models for our community and our world,” she said.

Kaitlin Jaros, whose sister Brittany accepted her Gold Award, served as the celebration’s emcee. She earned her Gold Award several years ago for a project that focused on three areas of health: eating, exercise, and getting enough sleep. She teamed up with gym and health teachers at Casey Middle School, Sacred Heart of Jesus, and St. Louis middle schools. The teachers had students track for a week their food intake and the number of hours of exercise and sleep they completed. She took the data and created spreadsheets, showing where students could improve. She presented the information at each of the schools, explaining the importance of forming healthy habits early.

“Girl Scouts has ultimately shaped me into the person I am today by instilling values of courage, confidence, and character, ultimately giving us the mission to make the world a better place.” she said.

This year Girl Scouts across the country are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. 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. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will continue to honor this year’s Highest Awards recipients at ceremonies around the state. These events include:

  • May 1st at 2 p.m. at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver
  • May 6 at 6 p.m. at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion 1661 Mesa Ave., Colorado Springs