Tag Archives: bullying

Bring “Power Up!” to Your Girls

We are very excited to announce the revision and reboot of the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s “Power Up!” program. “Power Up!” is Girl Scouts of Colorado’s anti-bullying program for youth in grades fourth through twelfth that engages participants to think critically about different types of bullying and encourages participants to stand up and speak out against bullying behaviors. Whether the elements of this program are used in a troop meeting or presented as a half-day session at a school, participants will leave the program with an understanding of their role in preventing the cycle of bullying. Through revisions by the Older Girl Advisory Board and feedback from pilot troops, we have taken what was already a great program and brought it to the next level to meet the current needs of girls in Colorado.

Who is this program for? “Power Up!” is for girls in grades fourth through twelfth.

How do I access the curriculum? Troop leaders can access the “Power Up!” Facilitator training online through their gsLearn account. They will have to watch a 15-minute video walking them through the facilitator guide, as well as provide information about the structure of the program. Questions on accessing your account? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Can girls lead this program? Yes! If girls have earned their Program Aide award or have significant experience leading girls through activities, they can facilitate the program to other Girl Scouts. Girls can charge a small fee for the program to cover their costs and earn money for their troop. Specific questions about money earning should be directed to GirlExperience@gscolorado.org.

Is there a patch? Yes! After girls complete the program, patches can be purchased through the Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop by calling (855) 472-7026.

Want an opportunity to attend a “Power Up!” course? Due to a grant through Rotary Club of Fort Collins Breakfast, we have an offering in Fort Collins on November 9, 2019. https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2019/power_up_.html .

Questions? Contact GirlExperience@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lauren Kettler, Thornton, “Popsicles of Positivity”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Popsicles of Positivity is a program that was created to help teach middle school-aged students about the need for kindness.  But, why is there a need for kindness?  One in seven students from K-12th grade are bullied, according to the http://antibullyinginstitute.org.  To defend these students from the threat of bullying, they need to learn kindness and perspective.  Popsicles of Positivity is a program that is designed to be a short activity that can be integrated into other programs.  The reason behind this theory is to help better fit into a class period or the time period of club or group.  While working on other programs, I have found that long programs have little effect on middle school-aged students, and they learn better when the subject matter is consolidated.  Through this program students will be focusing on dignity, bullying, self-kindness, and external kindness.  This program is a stepping stone to help students develop understanding and create habits of kindness.

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

I measured impact mainly through pre and post surveys to see how well each student understood the concept presented. After each presentation, I reworked Popsicles of Positivity to make the program better.

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

I have two confirmation letters from Immaculate Heart of Mary and Tomahawk Ranch saying that they will continue Popsicles of Positivity and implement the program into their curriculum. But, also the lessons in Popsicles of Positivity were created to make life long habits which will extend past the program into the student’s daily lives.

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

I was able to create a website that has all of my teaching outlines and other resources called https://popsicleofpositivity.weebly.com/. I have also been able to share my project with my service unit, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tomahawk Ranch, and Rocky Top Middle School.

What did you learn about yourself?

I am a perfectionist.  I had the assumption before my Gold Award that I wanted my work to be better than most people’s work.  But, the realization didn’t really hit me until I flat out didn’t want to do my Gold Award project anymore, because in my head it would not be good enough.  I was so hesitant to start and finish my project, because I felt like if I didn’t do it right the first time, then what was the point in trying at all?   After my first presentation to the Kindness Club at Rocky Top Middle School, I felt like even more of a failure, because to me what I was saying did not feel inspirational.  After speaking with my youth group, I felt dismayed that the middle school students were giving me blank stares the whole time.  https://popsicleofpositivity.weebly.com/  felt too simple to me and not good enough for anyone to actually use.  After looking at another girl’s Gold Award project in my troop, in my mind, mine did not seem like it was showing any significant signs of change. Explaining the idea of Popsicles of Positivity to friends did not sound inspirational enough.  In my mind I felt like if someone else were to do my project, they would have easily been able to do it in a week or two.  I was working in an environment that constantly made me feel like I was not good enough to earn my Gold Award. Ironically, I was going against the ideas that I was preaching to the students.  I was being such a hypocrite and I was acting in this way until I took a step back and asked for help.

It is extremely hard for me to ask for help.  I have always been the person with the answers and level-headed solutions.  But my own head was spinning so much that having an unbiased idea about my project and how to define success was extremely hard, almost impossible.  Sitting down and telling my mom all my struggles was tedious.  I came to the realization that I had so much misery connected with my project that even explaining my situation was difficult.  It took multiple days of thinking and processing my struggles to conclude that I was over critiquing myself.  But it took even longer to believe that my project was impacting other people’s lives.  Only after having talks with my Gold Award  Advisor and Tomahawk Ranch Camp Director Monica Gray, did I realize that my project could flourish into something grander than what my imagination could create.  They were both able to explain to me that any project or idea is a process, of course nothing will be perfect at first, but that is the beauty of imperfection.  The lack of perfection, the first time through shows how much we learn the second and third time through.  I know now that if my project did not affect anyone else, it at least changed me for the better.  It taught me that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be.

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

I have learned many skills through my Gold Award including risk-taking, understanding perfectionism, and perseverance. Each skill is very important to shape me in the future. Being able to explore new ideas while embracing the unknown. Understanding myself as I become an adult. And understand what it means to try and try again because that is more important than perfection.

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

I think sometimes people don’t take Girl Scouting seriously, people are very surprised when at the age of 18, I say that I am still in Girl Scouts. The most common response that I get is that “Isn’t Girl Scouts for little girls?” The common assumption is that Girl Scouts if for elementary-aged girls not for middle, high school, or adult aged women. As I grew up through Girl Scouting, I learned many skills and had a lot of experiences, yet none of my peers took the idea of Girl Scouts seriously. Once I started working on my Gold Award, the title of a Girl Scout gained some weight. I was now changing my community past selling cookies, I was able to work with students to make them better people, teach them how to be kind and trustworthy people. I hope that my small impact may change at least a few ideas of what Girl Scouting is and the true meaning of what we do.

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

The main skill that I learned through my Gold Award is risk-taking. Seeing that I am a perfectionist I constantly strive to make everything right the first time around. I get very nervous and disappointed when things don’t turn out how they are supposed to the first time around. So when my first presentation didn’t go how I wanted it to I wanted to quit right there. To me there was no point in trying again because the next presentation would end up the same way. I had to get over my fears of failure, take a risk, and try again. Without my decision to take risks, I would not have earned my Gold Award.

**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: Mykaela Ryan, Broomfield, “The effects and how to stop bullying”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The root cause of my project was helping people understand what it is like to have a speech impediment and how to avoid bullying people with disabilities.

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

I presented to high schoolers. The impact my project had on the students was they understood what myself and other people who stutter go through. I gave them a survey before and after my presentation for a total of 42 surveys. The pretest average score was 3/10-4/10 and two people got 10/10 and the after survey average score was 8/10-10/10. The teachers and students were interested and engaged during the presentation and said they learned more about stuttering. One of the teachers, Mrs. Stover, even said my presentation was a great example of how to engage an audience because I started out with a video clip of teenagers who stutter. The class also responded well to my own video of my friend at camp.

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

My Loyo (Living on Your Own) teacher and my speech pathologist will continue my project. In fact, after I gave my two presentations, Mrs. Shepherd asked my fifth period teacher if I could present my project to that class. The teacher said , “Of course!,” so I will be presenting my project again. My website is up and running and I have given my PowerPoint and brochure to Mrs. Shepherd for next year’s classes. I have a letter from Mrs. Shepherd saying she will do that.

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

I have my website up and running. My website address is  Http://mrryan02.wixsite.com?stuttersupports. I am working with Camp Say to have my website listed on their website.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned about other people’s reactions to people getting bullied because of their stutter. I learned a lot about myself. I pushed myself to find someone famous to come to my presentation. I faced my fears in making a video, reaching out in person to my assistant principal, asking my teachers if I could present, and working 80 hours on one project.  I learned I have what it takes to speak in front of my classmates and follow through on a large project.

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

Earning my Gold Award has taught me to be persistent in my goals and what I want to achieve in life.

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

Because it made me face my fear of talking in front of the class or in front of anyone.

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

Risk-taker because I took a risk of talking in front of the class and it turned out really well. People loved it.

**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

 

Troop 65659 raises cyber-bullying awareness with proclamation from Gov. Hickenlooper

Submitted by Jessica Spangler

Metro Denver

Denver

Governor John Hickenlooper issued a proclamation declaring October 2018 Cyber-Bullying Prevention Month. With the proclamation, Troop 65659 hopes to raise awareness about cyber-bullying resources. As part of the multi-level “Think Like an Engineer” Journey, Troop 65659 defined a need: cyber-bullying is a problem.

They brainstormed ways to meet the need. They decided cyber-bullying is hard to detect and victims need access to counseling and safe spaces. They wondered if there was already a designated day, week, or month for prevention of cyber-bullying.

One solution they brainstormed was to present information on cyber-bullying to the governor to raise awareness. They went home to do more research and met again to build the presentation together. They found cyber-bullying is a problem in Colorado. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey reveals 20.7 percent of girls report they have been electronically bullied compared with 9.5 percent of boys. HB 15-1072 (“Kiana’s Law”), signed into law in 2015, makes cyber-bullying a misdemeanor form of harassment, punishable by a fine of up to $750 and/or up to six months in jail. The State of Colorado’s Internet Safety & Digital Responsibility page lists resources on cyber-bullying, but parents may not be aware of these resources.

The girls also learned October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Colorado has proclaimed October Safe Schools Month and Cyber-Security Awareness Month, but these proclamations do not address cyber-bullying.

The girls designed a presentation to give to the governor to support the need for more awareness. They put their research onto a poster board, but not all the research fit. They re-designed several times and left some of the research off until all the important pieces fit onto two poster boards, which were connected. The troop leader then shared this supporting information with the governor’s office by delivering the presentation. Gov. Hickenlooper then proclaimed October 2018 Cyber-Bullying Prevention Month! If you are in need of cyber-bullying resources, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cssrc/internet-safety-digital-responsibility.

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

Pens for Bullies

Submitted by Kira Petersen

Parker

Denver Metro

For my Silver Award project, I decided to create pens with uplifting messages so that kids who suffer from a bully will hopefully feel better. To start, I contacted my local Elementary school and I asked if I could give a presentation to be 6th graders. Being in 7th grade, I noticed that bullying was a common problem at my middle school. So, I talked to the different 6th grade class and informed them of the bullying problem at the middle school. Once the presentation was over, I handed out pens with a piece of tape wrapped around them. I asked them to write one positive thing about themselves on the tape, and then asked them to share out. I got some great answers like unique, kind, friendly, and so much more!

The reason for this project was to make the 6th graders aware of the problem at hand so that when they moved up to middle school, they would help spread the word of kindness to hopefully stop the issue. Then once they became 8th graders they would pass the message on to the new 7th graders for them to teach the next group and so on. That’s what I did for my Silver Award project.

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

Girl Scouts take a stand against online bullying

I know I’ve said this a million times, but truly one of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to work directly with the girls, learn how they are making a difference and share that with the community.

Yesterday I had the great honor of attending a Silver Award presentation with Girl Scout Cadette Troop 51427 in Lakewood. The Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn at the middle school level, and just like all the Girl Scout Highest Awards, works to create sustainable change in the community.

The project that Troop 51427 undertook was very impressive. After being the victims of the frequent form of bullying in today’s society, online bullying, the four girls in this troop wanted to help the younger generation learn early on what they can do to protect themselves.

“I was bullied on the Internet through places like Facebook. I want others to have a better experience online. Being online is suppose to be fun,” said one of the members of the troop, Eilish Brennan, 13, who attends Creighton Middle School.

The troop partnered with Cheezo, which is the mascot of the online educational and safety program of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. These attorney’s have been fighting the xarelto lawsuit, if you or someone you know have been taking this medicine then check out the Side Effects of Xarelto. Members of Troop 51427 had heard Cheezo presentations at their school in the past, and knew the partnership would be beneficial for their project. The troop also had taken Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Power Up bullying prevention training, and the information learned in that training also helped with their project.

In April the troop organized an evening for the elementary school most of them had attended, Vivian Elementary, where they taught the students, through age-appropriate, real-life scenario skits, how to stay safe online.

“What’s so impressive about this project is these girls took this topic to a whole new level,” said Det. Mike Harris, who created and leads the Cheezo program along with his wife, Det. Cassandra Harris. “Kids are misusing online tools every day, and it is a life changing event. When we give our presentations we hope kids are listening. These girls did and took our presentation seriously, and are now making a positive, long lasting influence on other kids.”

In addition to the April event the girls also created a mural at the school so that the conversation on this important topic can continue.

“I am very proud to know I’ve made a difference,” said another troop member Amber Anderson, 13, who also attends Creighton Middle School.

The Denver Post’s YourHub also interviewed the girls at this event, and ran a story in their June 6th edition.

Denver Post recognizes Girl Scout project

Girl Scout Troop 3499 at an outing last summer

Girl Scout Troop 3499, who are fourth-graders from Arvada, might have set out to simply “earn their Speak Out Girl Scout badge.” But what they ended up with was an inspired and changed community, as well as a front page story in the Denver Post on Saturday, Feb. 11th, 2012.

“Kids Care Week” was developed by Troop 3499 to help change the stereotype that “Kids can be cruel to other kids.” The troop partnered with their school, Meiklejohn Elementary, and the school’s Student Council, to put together a week focused on activities to help remind kids to be kind and, hopefully, break the stereotype.

“It was interesting to watch how the girls brainstormed various stereotypes that they might like to try to change as part of their Speak Out badge,” said Troop Leader Deb Guiducci. “When someone came up with the idea to tackle the stereotype, ‘Kids can be cruel to other kids’, that seemed to resonate with all the girls. They all started telling stories about how kids had been cruel to them.”

“It was fascinating to watch how the girls created Kids Care Week,” Deb continued. “This truly was a girl led idea.”

The activities during Kids Care Week included:

  • Mix It Up Lunch Day: Sit with someone you don’t normally sit with at lunch.
  • Pay It Forward Day: Do a kind act for another student that you don’t normally play with.
  • Compliment Day: Give someone a compliment today that you normally don’t play with.
  • Mix It Up Recess Day: Play with someone at recess that you don’t normally play with.
  • Nice Note Day: Write at least one nice note at home to someone you don’t normally play with and give it to them at school.

“Kids Care Week gave me a chance to make new friends and to interact with new people,” said Girl Scout Olivia Quinn, who is a member of the organizing troop. “I also thought it was cool to see an idea we had turn into a school wide event.”

“I’m glad we did Kids Care Week as part of our Speak Out Badge,” said Girl Scout Elizabeth Guiducci, who is another member of the organizing troop. “I hope kids can stop being cruel and stop bullying each other. I hope other Girl Scouts will take our idea and do Kids Care Weeks in their schools. It would be great if this would spread all across Colorado!!”

“It meant a lot to me because it was nice to see everyone being nice to each other,” said Girl Scout Grace Drew, who is another member of the organizing troop. “We can teach that if you be nice to people, they will be nice to you.  If a lot of people do this, then the world will truly be a better place.”

In the end, Troop 3499 earned their Girl Scout Speak Out! badge. But the girls, their leaders, their school and the community at large gained much more during this successful project. In fact, Meiklejohn Elementary plans to hold the event next year.

“I think that the girls will take away many life lessons from this experience, but I  hope that one lesson  is that even a small group of people can help change something that they think is wrong if they join together and speak out,” said Troop Leader Deb Guiducci. “This has been an amazing experience for the girls in our troop, and, for me, having the opportunity to help these girls learn what I consider to be important life lessons is why I am a Girl Scout leader. I am so proud of these girls. They are amazing!”

Picture from the Kindergarten class at Meiklejohn Elementary during "Kids Care Week"

CEO Corner: Building Girl Scout Confidence

I got a phone call this weekend from a friend whose daughter is in my son’s 6th grade class. She says her daughter worries a lot about if she is liked by the other kids, especially the boys. She wants to wear makeup and clothes that my friend doesn’t think are age appropriate. That got me thinking about how hard it has to be a kid these days, especially a girl. How women and girls are shown in the media, especially on reality TV shows, has such a powerful impact on how we treat each other. In fact, a recent study by the Girl Scout Research Institute found that tween and teen girls who regularly watch reality TV “accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance.”

That’s why Girl Scouts of Colorado is ramping up our focus on giving girls the confidence and tools they need to navigate those tricky situations they move through every day – programs like Power Up, to help them understand and defuse bullying situations, and Fight Like A Girl Scout, to help them recognize and act when they’re threatened. It’s why we’re involved with efforts recently like The Colorado Clothesline Project, addressing issues of violence against girls and women. (View photos and video from this event.) And why we’re planning a Feb. 23rd viewing of the film Miss. Representation , which explores how the media influences perceptions – and misperceptions – of women.

As we ramp up these efforts, we’re looking to our community to support us by volunteering for one of these programs and/or making a donation to help offset the costs of providing them. To learn more about how you can volunteer for or donate, visit Girl Scouts of Colorado’s website.

We’d also like to ask you to show your support by weighing in on a “healthy media” poll put together by the Geena Davis Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Healthy MEdia Commission. This poll will hopefully get lawmakers and the entertainment industry thinking about just how much influence they have on building women leadership in this country.

It’s sad that girls like my friend’s daughter feel so much pressure when they are so young. Girl Scouts is all about helping girls to see that their value isn’t in what they wear, what others think of them or the girl drama. Join me and Girl Scouts of Colorado in helping our girls grow up to be strong, brave, capable leaders.

Girl Scout Troop 70239 publishes a book about bullying

Submitted by Lisa Wellington
Troop 70239 leader

Girl Scout Troop 70239 has published a book for their GirlTopia Take Action project. After doing research on issues facing girls and interviewing experts, the troop members decided that “girls being mean to each other” and “girls bullying each other” were the issues they cared most about addressing.

It so happens that this troop has also been teaching Power Up Bully Prevention workshops for three years. And the Power Up curriculum was in need of some updating. One part of the Brownie Power Up curriculum in particular needed updating: the coloring book that was used for the curriculum was out of print and more copies could not be obtained. Troop 70239 girls decided they would write a new book, even better than the old one, built up from their own childhood experiences and using their teenage wisdom. The first workshop using the new curriculum and the new book was held on Sept. 10 in Fort Collins and received great reviews. 100% of participants said they learned how to be a better friend, and learned ways to help a friend who is bullied. You can buy this 80-page book for $8 from CreateSpace.com via this link: https://www.createspace.com/3676197. (P.S. we wish we could offer the book to you all for less money, but the CreateSpace people keep 90% of the proceeds. We’d just like to earn enough to cover the cost of the proof copies we’ve had printed for ourselves throughout the publishing process. )

Back cover of book:

After Hannah says she doesn’t want to be Claire’s friend anymore, Hannah begins to bully Claire using a handshake that used to be theirs. Claire, distressed by the situation, doesn’t know what to do. I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend Anymore explores four different ways for Claire to deal with the bullying. Including multiple scenarios, tips for bullies, and paper dolls, this book is great for any grade school girl or her adult mentors looking to learn more about friendship bullying and how to deal with it.