Tag Archives: Buena Vista

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twelve 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.

  • Brittany Argo from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built a prayer garden at St. Michael’s the Archangel and aided in the construction of a prayer garden at a church in the Philippines.
  • Evyn Batie from Loveland, Mountain View High School, led a team of students to create the Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide, an electronic compilation of some of the best youth mental health resources across the region.
  • Bryce Civiello from Evergreen, Conifer High School, designed a pamphlet for teens that can help them take the first steps toward getting help from a mental health professional.
  • Angela Foote from Centennial, Arapahoe High School, developed a relationship between the organizations Family Promise of Denver and Denver Tech for All to ensure low-resource students and families have ongoing access to computers.
  • Madeline Ford from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to create a five-session literacy program, which promotes a positive reading environment and teaches children new ways to express themselves through books and poetry.
  • Littlepage Green from Breckenridge, Summit High School, created a lesson plan and video to educate students about food allergies. In-person lessons also included training on how to properly use an epi-pen.
  • Maya Hegde from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have. The program she developed also taught the girls how to sell sanitary pads in their own communities to tackle the stigma around the menstrual cycle.
  • Grace Matsey from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians, which was run by members of her high school’s Music Honor Society.
  • Annarlene Nikolaus from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon High School, oversaw the construction of a series of buddy benches for local K-12 public schools. Students also participated in age-appropriate lessons led by Annarlene about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends.
  • Bailey Stokes from Buena Vista, Buena Vista High School, created outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of fourth grade science teachers across Colorado. Topics covered included investigations, habitat, and adaptations.
  • Emma Lily from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a website, created a podcast, and wrote a children’s book celebrating the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory and its historical significance.
  • Katherine Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, taught elementary school students about the importance of bees and how to install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. 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.

“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.”

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: Bailey Stokes, Buena Vista, “Teaching in the Outdoors”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In order to earn my Gold Award and make a difference in my community, I decided to make outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of teachers in schools across the state. I achieved this by making boxes that had lesson plans for eight to ten outdoor lessons, along with all the materials a teacher would need to complete them. The boxes also included a small tri-fold presentation board on the subject for student reference. I made two sets of three boxes covering three different subjects: investigations, habitat, and adaptations. The boxes are designed to meet the education standards for fourth grade science, but they can be adapted to be used with any age group. The goal of my project was to provide teachers with an easy and convenient way to bring outdoor education into their classrooms, because outdoor education provides students with many physical and mental benefits.

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

The first step of my project was to go spend a day at my local elementary school teaching a couple of my lessons to a fourth grade class in order to determine what worked with students and what did not. In the day that I spent at the elementary school, I impacted 70 students. When the school year starts, I expect to impact around 500 students a year through the constant use of my project.

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

My project will be sustained by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are two sets of my boxes and they are being kept at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices in Pueblo and Salida. The people at the offices will help ensure that my boxes are staying in good condition throughout their use. They will also help ensure that the boxes are going out into classrooms year after year.

Another way that my project will continue to impact the community after my involvement is through the help of the teachers that use my boxes. They will hopefully continue to use my boxes year after year, and they will also help spread the word about my project through the teaching community. I have also had teachers tell me that they want to recreate my boxes for their own communities.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

Instead of finding a way to make it so that teachers across the country could use my boxes, I decided to focus on encouraging other people to take action like I did. I wrote an informational paper about the importance of outdoor education and why it should be incorporated into schools. I did this in hopes that I would inspire other people to take action. There are also two sets of my boxes that are being stored in two separate locations so that they can be accessible for more teachers across the state.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, and I learned that I am capable of making a difference. I also learned that I have what it takes to be a teacher one day, and I grew an even bigger passion for education. During this project, I also gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities.

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

My Gold Award gave me hands-on experience in the field that I am wanting to enter. I am currently studying to be a teacher at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and this project gave me valuable classroom experience. What I learned through this project will help me as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in the first grade. In that time, I have been actively involved in many different Girl Scout activities, however, earning my Gold Award was the most valuable part of my Girl Scout experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to make a difference in my community, I also gained a lot of confidence and career experience. Earning my Gold Award was a life changing experience that showed me that I am able to accomplish anything I put my mind to. It was a lot of work, but in the end it was definitely a valuable part of my Girl Scout experience and I am extremely glad that I did it.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

During this project, my leadership skills greatly improved. I stepped out of my comfort zone by leading people who weren’t my peers. My project may have impacted the community, but it also helped me become a stronger leader which is a trait I will need for the rest of my life. This project also helped me become a go-getter. I took action and I accomplished an amazing achievement that I am extremely proud of.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout Bailey Stokes awarded Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship

Gold Award Girl Scout Bailey Stokes of Buena Vista is the 2018 recipient of the Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship. She earned her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, earlier this summer for creating a nature program that will be sustained by teachers in her community.

Johanna Farrar’s husband and children started this scholarship in 2015 to celebrate all of her accomplishments, particularly those within the Girl Scout community. Born in London, England and raised in a small village on the south coast of England, Johanna was a Girl Guide in her childhood. She was also the youngest ever to have achieved the Queen’s Guide Award at that time, the English equivalent of the Girl Scout Gold Award. After earning a software engineering degree from Loughborough University, Johanna moved to New Jersey to work for Bell Labs. In 1985, she accepted a position with FedEx in Colorado Springs, where she met and married Gene Farrar in 1990. Johanna and Gene lived and worked in the Colorado Springs area, moving to Monument in 1992 when their oldest daughter, Hannah, was born. In 1995, after their second daughter, Rachel, was born, Johanna retired from a successful career as a Technical Advisor at FedEx for an even more successful and rewarding career as a dedicated full-time mother.

Johanna introduced her daughters to Girl Scouts at the first opportunity and became a local leader in Monument, then again after relocating to Buena Vista. When Johanna first arrived in Buena Vista, she learned Girl Scouts had all but disappeared in Chaffee County. Johanna believed so strongly in the values and skills that Girl Scouts develops, it became a passion to reestablish Girl Scouts for girls in the high Rockies. Known to many of her friends as the “Engergizer Bunny” because of her seemingly never-ending energy and indomitable spirit, Johanna provided the leadership and drive to rejuvenate Girl Scouts in the valley. Now, for the first time, there are troops for all ages.  Additionally, Johanna loved the outdoors, including skiing, hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and especially gardening – passions she loved to share and instill in young women.

 

 

Buena Vista Daisies deliver care packages to firefighters

Submitted by Cricket Hawkins

Mountain Communities

Buena Vista

Daisy Troop 55309 delivered three boxes of personal care packages to local firefighters who may have to be called out someday to fight forest and wildland fires in the region. The girls decided they wanted to give back to their community, shopped with troop funds, and assembled the packages for their local firehouse. During the visit on July 12, 2018, the girls also toured the firehouse and took a turn shooting water from a firehose!

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

OGAB expanded my Girl Scout experience

Submitted by Bailey Stokes

Mountain Communities

Buena Vista

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in the first grade. During the past 12 years, I have been heavily involved in Girl Scouts. I have completed multiple service projects including my Bronze and Silver Awards, and I am currently working on my Gold Award. I have also been going to camp since I was in the second grade, and most recently, I volunteered as a counselor in training. However, the Older Girl Advisory Board has been one of the most formative and impactful volunteer experiences I have had.

I decided to join the Older Girl Advisory Board because I was interested in expanding my Girl Scout experience. I was also looking for a way to make a difference in my Girl Scout community. In addition, I applied during the beginning of my junior year, and during that time I was looking for a way to find something that I could put on my scholarship applications that would set me apart from other applicants. Being a member of the Older Girl Advisory Board showed scholarship committees that I am dedicated to serving my community, and that I am a strong leader. I sincerely believe that it helped me be selected for the scholarships that I have earned.

Being a member of the Older Girl Advisory Board has enhanced my confidence in myself. It taught me how to confidently express my ideas. Due to the Older Girl Advisory Board, I also gained confidence in my ability to communicate with other people. It also taught me how to be assertive. Furthermore, the Older Girl Advisory Board allowed me to expand my Girl Scout experience outside of my own community and it gave me the opportunity to meet new friends. I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with other older Girl Scouts from all across the state.

Through the Older Girl Advisory Board, I was able to help make real life changes in the world and our Girl Scout community. For example, I was able to give my feedback about the cookie and Highest Awards programs. I also helped bring programs that focus on confidence building, and body image to new areas in Colorado. Through the Older Girl Advisory Board, I have also had the opportunity to inspire younger Girl Scouts. The highlight of my time on the Older Girl Advisory Board took place at one of our retreats.

We had just finished talking to the makers of Girl Scout Cookies about how we make a difference in the world, and when we walked inside the lodge at camp, we were all in our full Girl Scout uniforms. There was a group of younger Girl Scouts there, and I will never forget the look of amazement on their faces upon seeing all of us in our uniforms. I sincerely believed that I had inspired them. That moment was when I truly realized the difference that I am making on the world as an older Girl Scout.

Being a member of the Older Girl Advisory Board was an amazing experience that changed my life. I would highly encourage anyone to apply to be a member. It gives you the opportunity to make a difference, add to your resume, build confidence, expand your Girl Scout experience, and make new friends.

The Older Girl Advisory Board (OGAB) is a group of Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors from all regions of Colorado that provides feedback on projects that enrich the experience of Girl Scouts in Colorado.  Make your voice heard by applying today! Applications close on September 18, 2018. https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/ogab2018

Tight squeeze at -1

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Submitted by Cricket Hawkins

Mountain Communities

Buena Vista

Service Unit 505 received their cookie delivery Wednesday night! Wind-chill temps were below zero and affected the camera shutter as well as everyone’s fingers and toes. SUCM Tina Stokes had just enough room in the storage locker to slide to the back for Thin Mints.

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