Tag Archives: Centennial

When things go wrong, but it’s actually a good thing…

Submitted by Kate Goodman

Metro Denver

Centennial

Sometimes, when I’m in the throes of planning meetings and activities, I wonder, “What are we really doing? Is all my work as a troop leader or volunteer worth it?”

This past weekend, I got an answer. I want to share a story about a recent service unit campout, and my A-ha! moment with my troop of 8th grade Cadettes.

It was a hectic week to begin with – a few weeks into the school year. Another leader was planning to take our four Girl Scouts up to Tomahawk Ranch for the service unit campout on Friday night, because I was coming home from a work trip late Friday. I would come up Saturday morning with the materials our troop was using to do a craft with the younger girls: a quick flashlight using copper tape, craft sticks, and those little lightbulbs- LEDs.

On Tuesday, my co-leader reported her car was out of commission, so we scrambled and found another parent who could shuttle the five of them to Tomahawk Ranch on Friday. With that settled on late Tuesday, I got up early on Wednesday and assembled the health and permission forms. I worked, then hurried home and caught my flight to a conference. I arrived home late Friday to learn everyone had gotten off safely to the campout. Relieved, I fell into bed, planning to quickly pack first thing in the morning.

I woke and began assembling my sleeping bag and day pack. A quick search of the craft materials sent my heart into adrenaline-fueled thumping – I couldn’t find two of the essential items – the copper tape and the bag of LEDs. I’d had to special order these – I wasn’t going to breeze through the craft store and get more on my way out of town. After a staticky call to my service unit leader up at camp to verify my daughter hadn’t packed these things, I resigned myself to needing to brainstorm a NEW hour-long activity for the younger girls, and began my hour-plus long drive to reach Tomahawk. In the meantime, my co-leader shared the trouble with the Cadettes, and the girls began brainstorming.

An hour later, I arrived at camp, found the location of our station, and started talking to my co-leader and girls and a bonus Cadette from another troop.

They didn’t need my ideas. They had come up with a name-learning game, appropriate song, and activity around fire pit safety and how to start a fire, complete with hands-on gathering of ‘dead and down’ tinder, kindling, and fuel. The younger Girl Scouts had a great time at our station. They asked good questions. They joined in on the song. And they set up mock camp fires, using the “log cabin” structure – wait no, my troop taught them it was the “hashtag.” (Aaaand now I feel old.)

Five rotations later (with a lunch break in the middle) my troop had educated more than 100 other girls on these concepts. Mostly, I had stood back and watched. I occasionally pointed out the time to help them stay on schedule. I didn’t need to design the craft for them. I didn’t need to tell them how to simplify certain concepts or to make it fun. I didn’t have to tell them to split up the leading time and make sure they included our bonus Cadette. They just did it.

That was my answer. I needed to say less, suggest less, and listen more. It took a panicked-filled hour-long drive from home to camp to come to terms with it, but there it was. Girl Scouting was working exactly as designed, and my troop was living proof.

That evening, when my daughter set up and lit the campfire for the entire service unit, nearly single-handedly*, the younger girls called out encouragement and concern (she had to sit inside the extra-large stone ring to set up and start the fire). Here, I realized, was the whole Girl Scouting mission in one day: older Girl Scouts drawing upon their knowledge and skills to teach the younger girls, and then showing them that they, not the adults had the ability to do things for themselves. It didn’t hurt that it all ended with roasting marshmallows for s’mores!

* This is a whole other story!

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

Power of cookie: Troop 64098 supports Special Olympics of Colorado

Submitted by Shannon Michel

Metro Denver

Centennial

Cadette Troop 64098 from Aurora/Centennial volunteered at the Special Olympics of Colorado’s Summer Classic in Colorado Springs. They brought 200 packages of Girl Scout Cookies donated through the Hometown Heroes program. These young ladies assisted at opening and closing ceremonies and events of tennis, bocce ball, and cycling.

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

G.I.R.L.s start running club to earn Silver Award

To earn their Silver Award, Girl Scout Cadettes Addison, Adie, and Scarlet of Centennial started an after school running club at their elementary school alma mater, Carl Sandburg Elementary School, in the fall.  The program was such a success that they were instrumental in its continuation this spring. The girls even secured a grant for their club through Kids Run the Nation. They are now serving as volunteers in the program they created.  Their model can also be easily transferrable to other elementary schools wanting to start a running club for their students.

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

Gold Award project helps bring computers for all

Submitted by Angela F., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver

Centennial

Hello, my name is Angela and I am working on my Gold Award project, “Computers for All.” My project is providing computers to those with few resources. I chose to work with Family Promise to help provide them with computers for the families they work with who are currently homeless or have recently found a home.

I learned about Family Promise through my church. Our church hosts families four times a year. I volunteer for them by making meals and by providing babysitting. I have met several homeless teens going to school without a computer. I couldn’t imagine not having a computer for school. This is what has helped me identify the need for my project.

In my search for computers, I found another non-profit, Denver Tech for All. Their mission:

Tech for All makes available to individuals in the community the means to become skilled and competent in computer use; we do this by gathering donations, collecting and reconditioning used equipment, identifying qualified recipients and placing the appropriate equipment with them solely for their use and at no charge.

Denver Tech for All has agreed to provide the computers to Family Promise families in need. Currently, more than 30 computers have been distributed since January.

I am also looking for additional teens in need by reaching out to local schools. Please email highestawards@gscolorado.org if you know others in need.

Additionally, I wanted to help Denver Tech for All by obtaining computer equipment for them. To date, I have found 80+ monitors, 30 desktops, several laptops, keyboards, and mouses. My goal is to collect more than two tons of equipment for them.

On June 2, 2018 I will be collecting computer equipment at Arapahoe High School for Denver Tech for All. Arapahoe High School is located at 2201 E. Dry Creek Rd Centennial, CO. The drive is between 10 a.m. – noon in the east parking lot. Please consider donating any computer equipment you are no longer using. Even if the equipment doesn’t work, we will accept it.

Below is a flyer listing all the computer equipment needed.
Thank you so much for your support!

40963114_computer_drive_flyer

Juniper Trail and Tawasi service units celebrate World Thinking Day

Submitted by Aimee Rogers

Metro Denver

Centennial

Friday March 16, 2018, Girl Scouts from the Juniper Trail and Tawasi service units celebrated World Thinking Day. This year, the girls learned about Japan.

Cherry Blossom festivals, trying new food, making Koinobori, folding origami, and learning the Japanese Folk dance Odon from the dancers at DBT Minyou-kai are just some of the things the girls got to experience at this amazing event.

Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 64229 planned and helped run this event of 263 girls. The older Girl Scouts also practiced their leadership skills while working on internship hours for their Program Aid certification.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Peyton Dailey, Centennial, “Spanish for One, Spanish for All”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue addressed by my project was unequal opportunity within my school for every student to learn Spanish. While traditional classroom style Spanish is offered, for differently abled students, there are not designated classrooms or hired staff to be able to offer these students the same opportunity to learn. My project created a coalition between Spanish Honor Society students and the ILC program (Independent Learning Communities), in order to provide ILC students the opportunity to learn Spanish within a one-on-one setting, and to allow Spanish Honor Society students the opportunity to share their accumulated knowledge. The root cause of this issue was a lack of human resources, specifically teachers, who have the time in their schedules to give ILC students a one-on-one teaching environment in order to enable ILC students to learn the nuances of a language. While the average class size in a public high school ranges from 20 to 30 students, classes at my high school can range upwards of 30 students due to its over 3,000 student population. For even the average student, these large class sizes can be challenging. ILC students face challenges with focus and in a large classroom, the noisy distracting environment inhibits their focus. The best learning environment for these students is a quiet room with only one or two other people. Unfortunately, most schools don’t have the means to accommodate this in terms of providing ILC students with private teachers, as foreign language is not a graduation requirement. My project addresses this issue by providing student teachers who are willing to spend the time to work one-on-one with these students. Since students have at least one free period, with the 100 members in Spanish Honor Society, it is easy to pair Spanish Honor Society members with ILC students in a way that fits both schedules. In order for ILC students to have equal opportunity to become bilingual and be set up for success in the job market after high school, it is imperative they are given individual attention to focus on becoming conversational in Spanish with this one on one teaching format. To accomplish this, I created an interactive Spanish curriculum unique to the learning needs of differently abled students, that can be used as a basis for all tutoring sessions. This curriculum covers a vast array of subjects including: time, seasons, family, food, school, classroom, conversation, activities, sports, colors, numbers, clothing, feelings, body parts, geography, animals, holidays, jobs and transportation. These subjects were chosen based on working with a Spanish teacher at my school to develop a holistic curriculum, comparable to that of a traditional Spanish 1 curriculum. This curriculum uses a plethora of media, including: presentations, videos, games, music, flashcards and worksheets, in order to reinforce the learning goals.

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

I gauged the impact of my project on my target audience by administering surveys to tutors and ILC students alike to measure how members rated the programs as well as what could be improved and how much Spanish had been learned. Furthermore, because three additional schools have already adopted this program and the number of participants from first semester to second semester has tripled, the impact of my project is exponential.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement through Spanish Honor Society. I created a Google Sites page with all the curriculum loaded on the page in order to make the curriculum readily available after my departure. Additionally, my school uses a site named “Schoology” in order to allow students to view content teachers have posted. I utilized this same site, and created a course name “Unified Spanish,” in which I uploaded all of the curriculum for the course. In this way, after my involvement, both the Google Site, and the Schoology page will still exist independently. The Google site was developed to share more globally for those outside of the Cherry Creek School District, and the Schoology page was developed for those within the District. Students in Spanish Honor Society all have access to these pages, and are able to continually upload new content and use the material for future tutoring. I also set up an independent email associated with the project, to use as a login for the Google sites, and created a manual for next year’s students to use to continue the program. This is now an established program at my school, and the Spanish Honor Society sponsor, Ms. Wisler, will continue to sponsor this program and guide future students in their endeavors. Each year, Ms. Wisler will allow any student interested to lead the program and incentivize new membership to the program through rewarding participants with service hours that are required by Spanish Honor Society. Additionally, a printed manual, which is also available online, has been created to guide the new head of the program in their endeavors. All of these materials are meant to be continually refined.

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

The other national/global link to my project is the Twitter page I have created to promote my project to others. Social media is the best way to reach millennials these days, and even businesses and schools have joined this movement so that almost everyone is digitally connected. Through this Twitter page, I have followed accounts of other schools and programs dealing with differently abled students. I have also posted a link to my Google sites website in order to provide universal access to the curriculum and program, in the hopes of growing this program. Furthermore, I have emailed other Spanish Honor Society sponsors (teachers) and ILC teachers within the district to promote this program. They have all received a link to the Google Sites page and have access to all course materials and guides to begin the program within their schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned from this project that being a leader is not an easy task. Leading requires constant communication with those you’re leading as well as those who are helping you. Some methods I learned that helped me lead this program is finding the easiest way for my peers to participate in this program. One of these ways was connecting digitally. Instead of sending them emails or requiring them to meet twice a week, I would send out group texts as reminders to sign up for tutoring or of updates with the program. Also, I learned the importance of touching base with the teachers I was working with. Even though I led the program, Ms. Wisler, the head of Spanish Honor Society, and Ms. Linda, the head of ILC, both needed regular updates from me in order to offer me tips or suggestions, so constant follow up with them has been key. I also learned that sometimes you need to try different methods in order to succeed. Last year, when I first started tutoring for ILC, I quickly learned that in order to reinforce a concept, using a variety of different methods is useful. I applied this same knowledge in the creation of this program. From finding the best meeting place to figuring out the best way to communicate with tutors, all proved to be tasks that required looking at the issue from more than one perspective. Concerning myself, I learned that I am a people person. I love making new connections and learning about new people and communicating with different people. In a school of over 3,000, most don’t even know every person in their own class let alone other classes. Through this program, I was able to meet and get to know students of all classes and demographics who came together for one purpose, to help others. I truly enjoyed getting to know teachers, staff, and students whom I never met before. Currently about 20 tutors are participating to teach all ILC students capable of participating.

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

I firmly believe that as a result of this project, I will be able to take on even more strenuous challenges in all facets of my life. Knowing that there are a multitude of ways to solve any given issue has also enabled me to look at perspectives other than my own and try a variety of methods to surmount any given obstacle. In turn, this has developed my communication and leadership skills and taught me how to work as a unified front with those on a team. I was amazed that while I can accomplish a lot as an individual, with the help of others, so much more can be accomplished. It takes more than one person to solve an issue like the one I’ve identified in my project. Without the help of others this project would not have reached the magnitude of strength it did. Leadership is more than about the individual, it’s about how an individual can unite and influence others to work together for a common cause. It’s certainly true that there’s strength in numbers, and my sharing my passion and hard work with others who value the Spanish language, I was able to inspire my colleagues and now friends to take action with me. I will continue to grow and learn from others I encounter in my life, and apply both the knowledge I’ve gained from this project, and future knowledge acquisition to grow as both a person and a leader.

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

I believe that my Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I was able to apply the values of the organization in a sustainable way. From when I started Girl Scouts in first grade, I began to develop the sense of what being a Girl Scout really means, being part of a larger community and developing ways to better that community as a whole.  Furthermore, through completing my Gold Award I feel as though I have gained a greater sense of independence as an individual, because of the strenuous nature of all the requirements of the award.

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

Attaining my Gold Award has helped me become a G.I.R.L. by allowing me to identify a challenge within my community and giving me the opportunity to be a go-getter by formulating a plan and putting it into action. The project has helped me become an innovator by applying non-traditional methods to reach desired results.  Not everything works the first time, sometimes it’s necessary to be creative and approach a challenge in a different manner.  I’ve developed my risk-taking skills by reaching out to people I hadn’t known previously and taking the chance that they would reject my ideas or project as a whole.  But by doing so, I’ve realized that the answer is always no unless you ask.  Risks are a necessary part of life to achieve success.  Finally, I’ve developed myself as a leader by working with students, faculty, and community members alike to unite for a common goal.  This was no easy feat.  I had to adapt my communication skills for my target audience and work in conjunction with an agglomeration of schedules to achieve success.

**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

Centennial Cadettes lead self-defense seminar

Submitted by Katie C., Eliza D., Megan L., Madison S., and Olivia R. of Troop 2732

Metro Denver

Centennial

We are the Cadettes of Troop 2732 and for our Silver Award, we educated fellow Girl Scouts about self-awareness and defense. We taught a seminar at Tiger Rock Martial Arts of Lone Tree under the guidance of Fifth Degree Black Belt Clint Asay. Leading up to the event, we spent many hours planning, researching, and training. Our hard work paid off with an amazing event on December 9, 2017. We also have a YouTube channel called “We Are Fierce GS” where people can go to watch our videos for many years to come. Check us out at: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCrHyKphCBUSE32BCAbx2rxQ. Also, check out our VLOG on our YouTube Channel where we tell you more about what we learned while completing our project.

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

Best Cookie video contest: Alice, Sophie, and Clara’s cookie video

Submitted by Alice, Sophie and Clara H.

Metro Denver

Centennial

We decided to make a video about our cookie selling. We are three sisters who are all Girl Scouts so we have to sell together most of the time and this is what it looks like when we go out. We’re trying to sell 1,000 boxes of cookies this year.

Alice is a 7th grade Girl Scout Cadette at Campus Middle School. Her troop completed the “aMAZE!” Journey and she is working towards earning a Silver Award. The troop’s Hometown Hero is Meals on Wheels.

Sophie is a 6th grade Girl Scout Cadette at Campus. She also does Outdoor Adventure Club and her troop hopes to camp this spring. Hometown hero is the military.

Clara is a 4th grade Girl Scout Junior at Willow Creek Elementary. Her troop is doing the new Outdoor Journey and hoping to do a few camping trips this year. The troop’s Hometown Hero is foster families.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Video.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Madeline Farr, Centennial, “Music Creates Community”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

For my Gold Award Project, I installed a piece of outdoor musical equipment called a “metallophone” on the playground at East Elementary and provided the school with lesson plans on how to use the new instrument. I educated my community about the importance of alternate recess activities for anxious young people by hosting a benefit concert at which student soloists played and I spoke about my project and the importance of music for youth.

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

I measured the impact of this project by interviewing teachers at the school who informed me that this instrument has already had the desired effect on students’ playtime behavior. “Students are never aggressive with this instrument. They love to share it with their peers,” one teacher said. I also had an opportunity to see students play on the playground, where I watched them interact joyfully with the metallophone without any conflict among each other.

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

I specifically chose a manufacturer that designed instruments made to withstand the elements and last outside for decades, so that East Elementary doesn’t have to worry about physical maintenance in the future. They have committed to maintaining the instrument for its lifetime where it will be used as playground equipment and in music classes. I also designed a website, musiccreatescommunity.org, which I have continued to promote online with the hope it will inspire other communities to install similar equipment. My website recently received so many visitors I had to increase its bandwidth! The school will also continue to use my lesson plans to promote the use of the instrument.

 What did you learn about yourself?

I targeted my project towards young students coping with social anxiety disorders that are taking drugs like Qualia, I looked for information in this Review of Qualia. As an elementary schooler, this instrument would have helped me make friends on the playground, and I hoped to provide the same thing for others. By choosing a project so close to home, I was forced to put my struggle with mental illness on display to people whom I didn’t even know, which was scary at first. This experience helped me learn that by opening up about my own struggles, I can help others who may be struggling with the same thing.

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

This project made me more aware of the needs of my community, and I’d like to continue serving and educating my community in any way I can looking into the future. I’ve even started conversations with my band director about organizing a 5k run fundraiser/awareness campaign for my band program to educate people about music education and its positive benefits. During this project, I learned to love being involved my community, which is something I will take with me throughout the rest of my life.

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

When I joined Girl Scouts in 3rd grade, I knew that I wanted to do it all the way through my Gold Award and beyond. The girls in my troop are some of my best friends, and even though we come from very different social circles and have very different skill sets, we’re connected by Girl Scouts. One of the major components of my Gold Award project was connecting people, and I think since I’ve been working on it, I’ve strengthened connections with my fellow Girl Scouts. I’m happy to be part of a troop full of love and support, and I think this project has made me appreciate that even more.

 How did earning your Gold Award help you become G.I.R.L.?

I would say that this project helped me become an innovator. In my project, I provided an alternative recess activity for elementary schoolers struggling with anxiety disorders. This metallophone helps students form meaningful friendships and find community on the playground. Alternate play is something that is not widely researched or acknowledged, and I hope my Gold Award will serve as a model for schools across the United States.

**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

Free nutrition presentations for all Girl Scouts

Metro Denver

Centennial

Natural Grocers was built on five founding principles, the first being nutrition education. Because of our commitment to this each Natural Grocers location has a highly trained and educated Nutritional Health Coach. Our Nutritional Health Coaches help to empower local communities to take charge of their own health through healthy habits and nutrition. We are always looking for opportunities to teach others how gratifying and fun it can be to adopt a healthier lifestyle. With several classes to choose from, you are likely to find a class that looks exciting and even meets badge requirements! Some examples of classes include:

Kids Class- Nutrition 4 the Win: Discover how the food you eat feeds your muscles, heart, bones, and brain. Build a better plate with tasty treats and fun activities! Parents/caregivers—please stay and play. We can all win when it comes to nutrition!

Building Meals for Superhero Health Nutrition Education: Learn basic principles of meal planning to help remove the kryptonite from your diet and help you experience the POW!

Can Your Food Choices Save The Planet?: How can one person influence change in the face of such a problem? Farmers who raise animals on managed pasture provide a beacon of hope and a way in which your food choices can save the planet!

Call your local Natural Grocers to speak with a Nutritional Health Coach to schedule an event. We kindly ask for classes to have 12 or more participants.

Find your local Natural Grocers: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/store-locations/

Rachel is a Nutritional Health Coach at Natural Grocers and is passionate about teaching the community about wellness and nutrition. She has worked with Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes to help them earn a Healthy Living badge. The South Broadway Natural Grocers store has a beautiful demonstration kitchen where Scouts and parents can come for an interactive nutrition lesson, followed by healthy snacks. Please contact Rachel to schedule a free private class for your troop at nhc.dd@naturalgrocers.com or 303-733-3033.

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