Tag Archives: Centennial

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: Angela Foote, Centennial, “Computers for All”

 What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project helps provide computers to families in need. My project works directly with Family Promise of Greater Denver. Family Promise of Greater Denver is an organization that is dedicated to serving families experiencing homelessness. I chose to work with Family Promise of Greater Denver to help provide them with computers for high school students enrolled in their program. My project then grew to getting computers for the entire family.

I learned about Family Promise of Greater Denver through my church. Our church hosts families four times a year. I volunteer for them by making meals and by providing babysitting when the families are at our church. 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.  Denver Tech for All has agreed to provide the computers to Family Promise of Greater Denver families in need. Currently, more than 100 computers have been distributed since January 2018.

I wanted to help Denver Tech for All by hosting a computer equipment collection. This allowed my project to help other individuals that needed a computer that are not part of Family Promise of Greater Denver.

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

One long-term impact for my target audience is learning computer skills that will serve them over their lifetime. Family Promise of Greater Denver shared this success story.

“A single mom and her two teenage daughters all got laptops.  Because of that, the mom (who had been unemployed) was able to search for jobs and apply online, and she got hired and is now employed full-time!  And her daughters are able to do their schoolwork at home now – and one of them made the honor roll and won an award for ‘most improved 9th grader’.”   

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

Denver Tech for All has agreed to provide computers to five families every week through Family Promise of Greater Denver.  These computers are free and the individual can come back to Denver Tech for All for technical support at any time.  Additionally, six companies have agreed to provide Denver Tech for All any computer equipment they no longer need.

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

I have shared the success of my project with Family Promise headquarters in New Jersey.  There is an article published on their website about this project (https://familypromise.org/category/the-latest/) and it was shared on social media.  Additionally, my project success has been shared with over 200 Family Promise affiliates around the United States.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I am a hard worker and I really enjoy helping in the community. I learned how to communicate with people and get my point across.

At the computer equipment drive, I learned I had great leadership skills. I helped organize the collection of the computer equipment and trained my volunteers.

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

Earning the Gold Award has prepared me not to give up, even if I receive rejection or run into obstacles. During my project, I had times when it became difficult, but I pushed past the obstacles and completed strong.  Knowing I can do this will be invaluable in my future.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I identified a need in my community and I found a solution. I have my troop to thank. The years leading up to my Gold Award, we did several projects and I learned a lot about completing projects. I was lucky to belong to a great troop full of love, friends, and support.

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

Earning the Gold Award helped me become a go-getter.  All of the goals that I set; I have surpassed. I wanted two tons of computer equipment for Denver Tech for All to be donated and so far, they have received 2.5 tons; I wanted all teens enrolled in Family Promise of Greater Denver to receive computers (about 20-30 teens) which they did plus computers have been given to all family members over the age of five enrolled in Family Promise of Greater Denver. I wanted to get five companies to continue donating computer equipment to Denver Tech for All and I have six companies.

**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

Media Stars go behind-the-scenes at WeatherNation

GSCO Media Stars recently got a special opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at WeatherNation in Centennial. Girl Scouts were the special guests of Meredith Garofalo, Girl Scout alum and meteorologist for the network.  During the tour, girls had the opportunity to do their own weather forecast on the green screen, watch a live weather cast, and see how weather casts are put together for television stations around the United States and in the Caribbean. After the tour, Meredith answered questions about her Girl Scout experience, how she got started in meteorology, how she has overcome obstacles in her personal life and career, and how Girl Scouts helped her become the G.I.R.L. she is today.

You can learn more about Meredith on the GSCO Blog, as she was recently featured as part of our Colorado G.I.R.L. campaign: http://gscoblog.org/colorado-g-i-r-l-meredith-garofalo/ 

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.