Tag Archives: Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Girl Scout earns patch from Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

Submitted by Erin B.

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

To celebrate Women’s History Month, my mom took me to CSU in Ft. Collins and I met my cousin Raechel. We all walked to the library on campus and checked out the exhibit on display about Colorado women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. It was really interesting. My favorite was learning about Susan Helms. How amazing to be a part of so many firsts for women! She attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where I’m from.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is excited to partner with Girl Scouts of Colorado to provide girls across the state an opportunity to learn the stories of women who have shaped our state and the nation’s history with courage, leadership, intelligence, and creativity. Girl Scouts are future female leaders of Colorado and the Hall of Fame recognizes and preserves the accomplishments of past and present Colorado women. – M.L. Hanson, Founder of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

Girl Scout alumna summits all 58 of Colorado’s peaks over 14,000 feet as solo climber

Submitted by Debbie Swanson

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Laura Clark, a Girl Scout alum and current troop leader in the Pikes Peak Region, summited all of Colorado’s 58 peaks over 14,000 ft. solo. She completed them in under 14 months, finishing in September of 2018. Laura is a Lifetime Girl Scout and contributes much of her success to the experiences she had in the Girl Scout program. In Girl Scouts, Laura found a space where she could be herself, unlike at school where she felt pressured to fit in. Laura became a Girl Scout in 1986 and was a member of Girl Scout Troop 1494 and later Troop 1503 in Mission Viejo, CA. Her leadership journey began as troop treasurer, collecting 50-cent meeting dues. Her troop rotated through leadership positions, learning how to run effective meetings, set agendas, keep accurate records, and plan activities. Because of Girl Scouts, Laura was able to try new things. If she was interested in sewing or hiking or camping or cooking or first-aid, there was always a Girl Scout badge where she could learn more. She made lifelong friends in Girl Scouts, of whom with many she’s stayed in contact. Her favorite Girl Scout experience was camp. And, of course, singing Girl Scout songs!

“Girl Scout Camp is where I first learned how to shoot a bow and arrow, start a fire, cook outdoors, use a compass, hike at night, rock climb, swim and canoe in a pond, tack and ride and care for a horse (while backpacking in all types of weather) and successful problem solving and conflict resolution strategies. I was encouraged to lead where I could and to try new things.”

Summitting all 58 of Colorado’s peaks over 14,000 feet usually takes years, if not decades, to complete. Laura credits Girl Scouts for the physical and mental strength, endurance, careful planning, determination, adaptability, high-risk tolerance, willingness to ask questions and research, and love of the outdoors, animals, and all types of weather needed to complete the feat. Laura carefully chose her ‘finisher,’  the last peak a climber needs to summit, to say they have summited them all, and it is usually chosen for a special reason. 14er enthusiasts are known for choosing their finisher well in advance. Laura chose Mt. Sherman in honor of Camp Sherman, the Girl Scout Camp in California that started her on her path towards loving the outdoors, adventure, goal-setting, leadership, and girl power.

Laura currently leads Girl Scout Senior Troop 2393 and the troop’s Outdoor Survival Team and has assisted seven girls in earning the Girl Scout Gold Award (and has several more working towards this goal). Last year, she led the first-ever Girl Scout Rocket Troop 46319.
Laura works in marketing and also writes for her blog where she reflects on hiking and Girl Scouts. Laura credits the interpersonal skills, business skills, goal- setting, and marketing she learned from the Girl Scout Cookie Program to helping her in her marketing career.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Aneida Slomski

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Aneida Slomski of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

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

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I got my daughters into Girl Scouts because I enjoyed being a Girl Scout when I was a girl. It’s a great program and after a couple years, the troop needed a new leader, so I volunteered.

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

I started out as a Brownie Leader, and then we became a multi-level troop and I went up through the levels with my daughters. I work with the Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors now and I’m the treasurer for our troop. I love working with this level because they’re so capable and have such good ideas. I have volunteered at day camps and service units. Now, I’m a service unit co-director. I’m on various committees on the service unit level to help plan our fall campout and World Thinking Day activities. I help coordinate summer activities with our troop, like campouts and trips to go caving (the crawling on your knees kind, not the walking kind) and whitewater rafting. We have camped at three different Girl Scout camps in Colorado through the years. I’ve also helped coordinate many trips to local businesses and organizations, so the girls can learn how things work in our area and the girls can get service project ideas.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I am a homebody. The girls really get me out of my comfort zone and I like it. I started out not even knowing how to start a fire. I had to learn to cook outdoors; I think sometimes I cook better outdoors than indoors! I learned PowerPoint and Excel to help the troop. The first spreadsheet I made added the phone number. I had to learn knots, map and compass, lashing, and other outdoor skills, so I could teach the girls for the Reach for the Peak camping competition. They learned from the leaders, and then they just ran with it. They got so good at it that they reached the point where they told the leaders where to sign and where to drive them and they won the highest award.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned to try new things. If a girl has an idea (and they always have amazing ideas), there are adults who will help them get to where they want to be, cheering them on. I hope the girls learn about the outdoors and how capable they are in that environment. In a multi-level troop, they really get the opportunity to work with girls of different ages and cultural backgrounds. I hope they have learned that our differences are no big deal.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Being a leader has taught me to be on the lookout for exciting things to share with the girls and to work with others to make them happen. As an innovator, I’ve learned to create events from scratch like day camps and cultural events. I am not the type to take a lot of risks, but I was a risk-taker and a leader when I organized a townhall meeting to save Sky High Ranch. I have never gotten involved like that before, and it was really amazing to see my adult daughters, the girls from our area, former camp counselors, and so many local leaders coming together to speak up and save our camp. Council listened, they were very supportive, and Sky High Ranch was open for summer camp again. We did it for the girls.

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

 

 

Celebrate World Thinking Day in Colorado Springs

Submitted by Melissa Stamps

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Still looking to celebrate World Thinking Day with your Girl Scout sisters? Join Service Unit 413 for an around-the-world showcase of countries! You and your troop can choose to represent a country with a display of facts, art, artifacts, snacks, etc. or to be tourists and just come enjoy the fun!

When:

Saturday, April 27, 2019

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Where:

Colorado Military Academy

Colorado Springs

Cost:

$1.50/per girl presenting

$5 per girl touring

Adults are free.

Questions? Contact Melissa Stamps at mcs9886@yahoo.com or (719) 551 – 0270 to choose a country and register, or with any questions.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Catherine Rice

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Catherine Rice of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

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

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer? 

I have fond memories of my short five years as a Brownie and Girl Scout and had wanted my daughter to have the same fun. I was the classic story of a busy, working  mother who attended an organizational meeting and said, “I cannot be the leader, but I will help.”  Of course, I was the only one who even said that much! Thus I became a leader, so that we could get a Brownie troop started (Daisies had not yet begun).  It was one of my wisest decisions. I happily remained the leader of Hawaii Troop 614 for 15 years, seeing nine girls earn their Gold Awards. When my daughter gave birth to a girl, we saw more green blood! We could not wait for her to become a Daisy, and I am now in year seven as one of the co-leaders with her mother of Colorado Troop 41002 and having fun all over again.  Why?  Because I believe completely in the Girl Scout Program which encourages girls to be their best and become leaders all while having so much fun and making lifelong friendships. I have seen my girls become international travelers, a media success, business owners, doctors, an active community volunteer, a national forest executive, and three of them are Girl Scout leaders, so I know it works!  Watching our younger girls grow so quickly and become G.I.R.L.s is such a thrill because I see the program still working.

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

During my first 15 years as a Leader, our school had a troop in nearly every grade. For several years, I was the liaison between the school and the Girl Scout Board and I was a member of the Girl Scout Board. Our service unit was very large and very active, so I was involved with the annual parades, calendar production and sales, and several large statewide camps celebrating Girl Scout milestones. I was very honored to receipt the Volunteer Appreciation Pin.  One of my more exciting adventures was as an adult chaperone for Melinda Caroll’s Girl Scout Choir. We traveled around the state and attended the National Convention in 1993.  And I accompanied one of my Gold Girl Scouts, who had created an educational traveling recycling project, to an environmental camp at the Edith Macy Center in New York attended by one girl and adult from each State. It was fun and interesting to see the many different sides of Girl Scouting. My role now is mostly as a leader, who tries to help wherever I can and being a retired grandmother allows me the freedom to attended most activities and trainings. I was able to help with recruitment events during the summer and fall and on the service unit level, I have helped to plan camps and World Thinking Day events. I am also part of the Girl Scout Travel Group.  Being a Girl Scout Volunteer has blessed me with many lifelong adult friendships as well.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

The girls are my inspiration!!!  Throughout my Girl Scout volunteer days, the girls have always been the more creative and motivational ones.  The leaders may give them ideas, but watching them run with those ideas is phenomenal.  Doing as much as I can to keep girls in the program through high school is my current goal because I have seen the doors that the Girl Scouting experience has opened for my first troop. There are so many opportunities for older girls. I have also learned that camping and selling cookies in warm Hawaii is so much easier than in freezing Colorado! 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

Hopefully, I have been a good role model for the girls, showing them that anything is possible and that doing crazy things is fun at any age. Living the Girl Scout Way is very important to me and I hope that they feel and act the same. Mostly, I want them to always remember their Girl Scout years with fondness, laughing at funny memories, proud of their hard work, remembering that Girl Scouts leave a place better than they found it, and that we always strive to make the world a better place.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Being a Girl Scout volunteer has kept me going in so many ways. Throughout a very stressful career in the financial world, it reminded me that “I got this” no matter the challenge. I’m not so sure I have been a great innovator, but I have learned from the girls! Girl Scouting has made me courageous and strong and always willing to try new things – that is the fun of it all. I was always a follower in school, but after being a Girl Scout leader I found that I could be the head of a group. I remember being so nervous in front of parent meetings that my voice would shake, but after many years of doing it over and over I am much more comfortable.

Thinking back through the years while writing this, I realize how much more I have gained from Girl Scouts than I have given. There were many late nights of planning and writing newsletters (typed in the beginning!), keeping the records organized, buying supplies, days of lugging everything to and from meetings, making sure everyone was safe, but I don’t remember those details. I remember my two sets of Brownies (30 years apart!) looking in the “pond” and seeing themselves, our brown and white situpons, my wonderful assistant leaders and helpful parents (still good friends), our hikes, going to camps, taking 26 Juniors to another island and Easter sunrise on the beach, sitting around our silly inflatable pool at a big statewide camp, 12 costumed Girl Scout parades through Waikiki, and being so proud listening to all of those Gold Award speeches. And my first girls will never let me forget the time I left the meat in my freezer before Easter Brunch at a large family camp! With my current troop, I will remember those darling little Daisies, our first Brownie sleepover, Wild Nights at the Zoo, crawling and sliding through the mud in Cave of the Winds, delivering our HTH cookies to Hope and Home, earning our MEdia Journey at a Hamp Hup overnight, teas, service unit amps, and many badge workshops. 

I am so thankful that those many years ago I said, “I will help”, and will always encourage others to do the same!

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

Hometown Hero: Project Angel Heart

Submitted by Meleah Williams

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Our troop worked hard this cookie season to collect Girl Scout Cookies to donate to our Hometown Hero, Project Angel Heart, a local organization that provides meals to people undergoing serious medical treatments. The girls were able to donate more than 50 packages of cookies to the organization, and also used a portion of their cookie proceeds to purchase cereal as part of a cereal drive. Between the girls’ cookie proceeds and generous donations from our troop families, we were able to donate more than 60 boxes of cereal. Our troop also decorated bags for meal deliveries. The girls had a great time partnering with this wonderful organization!

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Alyson Serio, Colorado Springs, “Photo-Shot Club”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I started a middle school-based club focused on learning Photoshop and photography. This club at Challenger Middle School raised middle school students’ interests in STEM– science, technology, engineering, and math. Throughout nine weeks, students gained skills shooting photos and enhancing them. At the end of the club, the students got to print out two photos to be displayed in the school. Though many middle schools do focus on art, they mainly focus on the traditional side. High school does offer more opportunities, but many middle schools lack these. Middle school is a time where students are figuring out what their interests are, socially and academically. My club opened their eyes to the digital arts and using technology creatively.

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

I had the students take a survey at the beginning and end of the club. In the start of the club, many of the students did not know have a main interest in graphic arts or STEM. The end survey depicted that students changed their opinions. Some students even said he or she wanted to follow photography into high school. Others were interested in graphic design and computer math. In the future, I hope to see more students going into the graphic arts, programming, and photography classes in the high school I go to, Pine Creek High School.

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

Next fall, I will be there to help, but will no longer run the club. The new leaders are a group of about five 6th and 7th graders who will work together to create new ideas in Photoshop and teach the new members of the club the program. I did a separate workshop for them that focused on learning how to problem solve the Photoshop program. I also went over how to be an effective leader. I provided my techniques, findings, and tips in a write up and gave it to the leaders to help as well. From now on, I will only provide guidance and oversee from a distance.

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

I wrote up a complete plan of how I implemented and ran my club with reports on expenses and supplies. I emailed my write-up to the Technology Departments in other districts including the Fountain Fort Carson School District, Academy School District 11, and Woodland Park School District. I sent it globally to the National Art Educators Association website coordinator. This website has blogs about teaching and ideas on how to do different projects. With the help of my Girl Scout leader, I also sent it to teachers in California.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can lead a class. I freak out or doubt myself about little things like standing in front of a group of middle schoolers. I learned that as a leader if you act confident and friendly people perceive you as such. They do not know that on the inside you may be freaking out. Acting confident makes you feel confident as well. This has been an amazing experience that gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I also learned how to talk to children. I am the youngest child in my family so I have almost no experience with younger kids. Though I am nervous around children, I have become more comfortable around them.

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

In the future, I am more likely to accept leadership positions. I also will be more confident and secure as a leader, knowing that leading others is not as scary as it seems. Mistakes can happen, and many don’t notice, forget, or forgive the mistakes. It helps to know that to be in a leadership position you do not have to know all the answers. A smart leader does not have all the answers, but has the confidence and humility to help people find them. Leading a group of people does not come with perfect confidence and presentation; it comes with wanting to teach and help others.

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

It is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Not many Girl Scouts achieve this award, and it makes me proud to say that I am a Gold Award Girl Scout. I was in Girl Scouts since I was a Daisy. This is the crowning achievement to all the badges and events I have done throughout those years. My Gold Award also made me grow as an individual. Without it, I would not have changed as much through the Girl Scouts program. It is an achievement that takes a lot to earn and rewards the work I have done in the community. Girl Scouts and my Gold Award allowed me the experiences and challenges to grow.

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

It helped me become a risk-taker, leader, and go-getter. I gained a lot of confidence through this club. I learned to stop doubting myself and just take risks. Less stress and more confidence allows me to step outside of my comfort zone. I can be a leader, I can be in the front a group of people, and I can be informative and authoritative. This to me is a really big step in the right direction. I can breathe a little easier now as a leader in group projects, presentations, and collaborations.

**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: Brooke Eshbach, Colorado Springs, “Service Dog Training Aids”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award Project, I researched, designed, and built training aids for service dogs in training with an organization called Paw Pals Assistance Dogs (PPAD). PPAD specializes in training mobility dogs to help people in wheelchairs or with stability issues. There is a lack of advanced trainers in the program, so my training aid will assist puppy raisers in teaching advanced skills, and advanced trainers in focusing on specialized skills for the service dog recipients. My aid incorporates six training skills, is light weight and transportable, and will be used to develop the highest quality service dogs for people in need.

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

I was able to measure the impact of my project the first time I saw it in action! I took the training aids to a PPAD class and got to watch all the dogs and puppies work with the tool. Some were using the shelf and touching the light switches; others were opening the door and retrieving through the hole. It was exciting to listen to the trainers talk about plans for my aids in upcoming training sessions. At that time, I was able to imagine the global impact my training aid will have on service dogs, their trainers, and recipients around the world.

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

The training aids will be passed on to puppy raisers and advanced trainers for many years to come. Currently, there are PPAD advanced trainers in Colorado, California, and Florida. An electronic design/blueprint of the aid is available to be replicated in case of the wearing down of the aids or demand for more.

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

PPAD has the blueprint of the training aid attached to its website. This makes it easy for other trainers within the Paw Pals organization, as well as other service dog training organizations, to find instruction on building an aid of their own. I created a YouTube video that is linked to the blueprint explaining how the training aid is to be used. Because of the widespread scope of the Internet, my training aid is available both nationally and globally.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can lead a major project and accomplish it by an established deadline. I was able to build a great team with the skills needed, and to consider and accept others’ ideas and suggestions along the way. I learned I’m able to manage my time, prioritize, and overcome challenges.

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

Through the Gold Award experience, I became aware of how much support I have around me. I’m much more comfortable speaking in front of a group and teaching others. It also showed me how much my time and effort can affect others’ lives. The leadership skills required to lead a team and earn my Gold Award will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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

Earning my Gold Award brought together everything I have been learning in Girl Scouts such as leadership, teamwork, patience, determination, and success. It was a really big factor in continuing my Girl Scout journey throughout high school.

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

Earning my Gold Award made me an innovator. I took an original idea, designed and built it, and used it to make a difference in my community and the nation.

**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 44429 honors Hometown Heroes

Submitted by Jennifer Jones

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

The girls in Troop 44429 picked the Security Fire Department for our Hometown Heroes this year. They were able to donate over 300 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to them.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Mckayla Nelson, Colorado Springs, “Ready for Kindergarten”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The overall theme of my project was to help prepare students for success in school. There were two parts to my project. With the help of kindergarten teachers from Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, I wrote a “Ready for Kindergarten” booklet that outlines important skills and behaviors necessary for a child to know before starting kindergarten. After receiving feedback from teachers and editing, I translated the booklet to Spanish and had it reviewed by a high school Spanish teacher. I also coordinated and led the high school club Student and Teachers Aiding Humanity (STAH) in a children’s book drive at my school to provide books to Skyway Elementary School for their reading intervention program. The teachers will distribute the books to those students who most need them.

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

I received positive feedback regarding the “Ready for Kindergarten” booklet from John Fogarty, Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement; Stacy Aldridge, Principal at Skyway Elementary School; Sandi Sessions, Skyway Elementary Kindergarten Teacher; Courtney Parker, Gold Camp Elementary Kindergarten Teacher; Stacey Merkel, Pinon Valley Elementary Kindergarten Teacher; and Landra Decker, Gold Camp Elementary Kindergarten Teacher. I was also thanked by Amy Babcock and the other interventionists at Skyway Elementary for the hundreds of books donated.

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

I provided Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 with both digital and paper files of the “Ready for Kindergarten” booklet for use at their annual kindergarten round-up. I also provided the booklet to several different school districts throughout the state so that they can use the project as well.

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

As a nation, we need every child to be well educated. Although every child in the United States has access to an education, many students start at a distinct disadvantage due to family situations and lack of access to other educational resources. I created my project to aid this situation in my community.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project, I learned to be more confident in myself and I improved my communication skills. I also improved my leadership skills and learned how to better manage my time.

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

This project has taught me so many life skills that I will use in the future. I learned how to better communicate with adults and ask for help, which had intimidated me before. I learned from all of the mistakes I made throughout the project and I will now be able to avoid them and learn from them in the future.

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

I think that this project help me grow as a person and as a leader and that I will be able to use the skills I learned to help me in the future. It was great to be able to come up with an idea and to be able to see it through to the end by leading other people in the project.

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

Throughout this project, I developed my leadership and go-getter attitude and learned how to better manage my time and how to work with a team to accomplish a goal. At the beginning of the process, I found it difficult to find the time to work on my project, but as the deadline grew closer, I started creating schedules and prioritizing tasks, which helped me complete the project. When working with other people on my team, I improved my communication skills and I learned how to delegate tasks to efficiently finish a job.

**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