Tag Archives: Colorado Springs

Badge in a Day at the Catamount Institute

 

Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors are invited to explore the outdoors with Catamount Institute’s trained naturalists and earn a badge at the same time! Come for the morning, afternoon, or both! This is not a drop-off program. All Girl Scouts must attend with a parent,  caregiver, guardian, or troop leader. Girl to adult ratios must be met. Pack a picnic lunch if you plan on staying all day. The cost is $10 per session and badges are included in the cost of the program.

Brownie Badge Sessions: Senses, Bugs, and Outdoor Art Creator

Junior Badge Sessions: Space Science Investigator, Flowers, Gardener

Morning Session: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon Session: 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Register now: https://www.catamountinstitute.org/scouts/

COVID-19 Guidelines

Here are some of the ways we are working to create a safer environment:

  • This event is for Girl Scouts only to keep our group sizes small. Siblings are not allowed.
  • Activities will encourage social distancing.
  • Temperature checks will be done upon arrival.
  • Staff and adults must wear masks at all times. Girl Scouts will wear a mask in close contact and not up and moving around.
  • There will be hand sanitation stations.
  • Staff will be disinfecting of high contact surfaces and materials daily.

Please do not come to the event if you have been in contact with someone who has experienced symptoms or you have experienced symptoms. Check out this symptom tracker from the Colorado Department of Public Health: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid19-symptoms.

Questions? Email info@catamountinstitute.org.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Gretchen Solidum

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Gretchen Solidum from 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 Gretchen 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?

As a kid, I was a Girl Scout from Brownie thru Junior years and really enjoyed learning new things and loved going off to summer camp. The summer I was in third grade, I was so determined to earn my badges at home and marked up my badge book to see what I could do on my own with my mom signing off.  By earning the cooking badge, I really started to learn how to cook and it sparked a passion for baking that has continued to this day. I became a Girl Scout volunteer my daughter’s second year as a Daisy, three years ago. Our troop first formed with kindergarten/first grade girls and I had just changed jobs from Castle Rock to Colorado Springs and started to feel like I had more time to be involved with the troop.  Our previous TCM had just moved away and I was curious about how the cookie season worked and how our Daisies could become more confident speaking to others, making eye contact, and achieving their goals as individuals as well as a troop. It has been phenomenal to watch the more outspoken girls help the shy ones and the excitement they get when they make that sale or hit their goals. I’ve seen these achievements translate outside of cookies to how they interact in a group.

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

I have been our troop’s TCM the past three years, a co-leader the past two years, and this year, my husband and I were also the westside Cookie Cupboard in Colorado Springs. I like numbers and seeing what we can do to increase our funds for the girls to go on new experiences and I enjoy helping others. Being a co-leader has been fun and I’m grateful for my other leader, Betsy Douglass, to share ideas to engage the girls and help them grow. The cupboard has been more fun than I realized with a unique opportunity to meet other leaders, hear their troop’s goals and past trips, and make connections for future planning and opportunities.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

To give the girls the encouragement and freedom to make decisions, make mistakes, and just have fun.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that they understand that we all have something to contribute, something to say, and that we all have value. Our troop is still young and we hope that they continue to support one another and they see the potential that each of them has to make change. 

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Allison Graham, Colorado Springs, “School in the Woods Nature Trail”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I built a trail at a fourth-grader school in District 20 in Colorado Springs called School in the Woods. With the trail, I created a trail guide that anyone of any age can use when they walk around the trail. It includes different plants that can be found on the trail, which ecosystem they can be found in (montane, foothills, etc.), and ways for them to connect with nature by using their senses.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project on my target audience by asking those at School in the Woods to continue taking kids and their families on the trail. I also asked other volunteers at the school and the Nature Trail Committee what they thought of the trail. I hope that the kids who attend School in the Woods will be able to take their families on the trail and possibly learn something new.

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

My project will be sustained by the amazing people at School in the Woods. They have such an active program, and families who are always willing to volunteer and help the school with whatever they need. In the past year, there has been a committee formed between volunteers who are parents or avid volunteers from years past who have come together to work on the trails around the school. The Nature Trail Committee and Mr. Wuerth have agreed to help keep the trail intact. They will pull weeds, move rocks, and maybe expand the trail if needed.

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

With schools becoming more online and desk-based, students are struggling to find time to go outside and experience nature. We, as a nation, don’t know what the upcoming school year will look like. We know one thing for sure, we still need to get outside and take a walk. Students, elementary through college, have already been pushed to a desk job.

To get the word out about my project, I sent information about it to three different organizations that focus on outdoor education. I emailed the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Nation Environmental Education Foundation. I sent them the trail guide, which I gave to School in the Woods to use on the trail, the newsletter that was sent out to School in the Woods alumni, and general information about me, what I did, and what the Girl Scout Gold Award is.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned while making this project that I need a straight up deadline. I can’t really space out the work if there is not date deadline. I keep putting it off and off until I have a deadline. I know that this is something that I do need to work on, but I know that this drives me and is my motivation to do work.

I learned that if you are passionate about something, and you know you need to work on it more and need an extended deadline, that is fine. I was supposed to present my project a month earlier and I was disappointed when I was not finished. I felt bad and disappointed in myself. I now know that everything is not as serious as I think and that I should not be putting this much pressure and stress on myself. This is something that I should have never stressed that much about.

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

I think by earning my Gold Award, I gained a lot of confidence. I feel that I can go into the world and make changes. I also think that it will help me during job interviews because it gave me the confidence to talk to adults and know how to lead and work with a team.

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

I feel that the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it showed me that you can still be a Girl Scout even at an older age. It also showed me what being a Girl Scout truly meant. It showed me that what I have been learning through Girl Scouts over the past couple of years, from kindergarten til now, comes into play when doing your Gold Award.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a risk-taker in the sense that before this project, taking on big projects wasn’t my forte. I didn’t like asking others for help and committing to something like this was hard for me. This project for me was a risk that I decided that I wanted to take. I now am also a go-getter when it comes to something that I am passionate about. I know that when I really want to do something that I should work hard to achieve it, and that I should be proud of it as well.

**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.

Daisies Sprouting

Submitted by Jordyn A.

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

After 11 years of selling Girl Scout Cookies, I was given the opportunity to be a Cookie Captain. Like the troop I was helping to lead, I started out as a Daisy 12 years ago. I thought it would be a great opportunity to take this chance because I wanted to mainly focus on my Gold Award this year, but still be involved in the cookie selling season. Being a Cookie Captain was perfect because I was involved in a leadership roll, met a group of some very bright young girls, and still got to be involved in this year’s cookie season.

As a Cookie Captain, I attended multiple cookie booths with the girls, as well as a meeting to talk about importance of greetings, manners, and marketing when selling cookies. The troop was very smart and all understood how to act according to the Girl Scout Law. I would also make posters for booths, including holiday and special event posters. In doing all this, I still let them have full independence when speaking with buyers, handling money, and communicating with customers (with guidance if needed).

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Troop 42993: Bronze Ticket Winner

Submitted by Erin Ryan

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

We had one last cupboard pick-up to fill some last minute orders for one of our girls who’s goal was to sell 1,250 packages! Aby, a Junior, has rocked her cookie season going above and beyond at booths, and selling to friends and family. Our winning ticket was in a box of Trefoils.

We are a small troop of only 10 girls (multi-level), but a mighty one! Every one of our girls gave it their all and persevered this cookie season- even our first year Daisies! They did booths in -10° weather and found ways to sell despite pandemic restrictions. Our goal as a troop was 3,000 packages and we exceeded that goal, selling 4,618 packages! Winning this ticket was the icing on the cake to end our cookie season!

Troop Goal: 3,000 packages

Hometown Hero: El Paso County Sheriff’s Dept.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Elizabeth Gumper, Colorado Springs, “My Career Connections – Connecting You to Career Possibilities”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  A question easily answered by a 5-year-old, but more daunting as a high schooler, when truly faced with finding your initial career path. This problem inspired me to create an online resource website, www.mycareerconnections.com, that gives high school students a personal, insightful look at numerous careers available throughout society.  Overall, the project is geared to bridging the gap between the students who want to explore careers and the professionals in the community who wish to educate students about their careers.

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

Students’ usage is measured through the number of views of the videos contained on the website, and the professionals’ positive responses are measured from feedback both verbally and through emails after the numerous presentations I gave to local business clubs.  The repeated requests from new individuals wanting to be interviewed and included on the website also indicate a positive impact among my audience.  Also, included on the website is a “get-in-touch” area where students and professionals can send direct feedback regarding the website.

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

Sustainability exists because my website is linked to my school’s counseling website and my district’s Career & Technical Education website where students can use this resource for many years to come. The director of the CTE department is also planning on linking this website to other schools in the district through their counseling departments as well.

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

National exposure exists through my cousin, a high school teacher in North Carolina, who also presented the website to her students for their usage.  After one Rotary presentation I gave, a gentleman approached me about expanding this worldwide because to quote him, “This is a struggle kids worldwide have.”

Even though I am “done” with my project, I am exploring the possibility of expanding this further with assistance from some of the Rotary members.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have learned more from this project than any class could ever teach me.  Specifically, I have learned: the effective way to communicate with adults through emails and in conversation, that persistence is powerful and sometimes “no” does not mean “no,” but rather “not now,” and a good leader has a good team. I also gained a clearer understanding of what my future career may entail, definitely a career using my presentation skills because I love being in front of an “audience.”

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I bridged the gap between the student and the adult world, and I believe this will only help me as I move forward in college. No longer will I view adults as the only ones with all the answers to questions.  I have learned they have also sometimes struggled to find their answers too. This places me on the same plane as my college professors. It removes the barrier of them being someone above me, but rather someone who is beside me, helping me to realize the future waiting for me.

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

Reflecting on my Girl Scout years, I believe earning the Gold Award brought all of the skills I learned through the various badges earned, the camp-outs enjoyed, and cookie selling successes to one big test. The other girls in my troop have and will continue to be very important people in my life, and we all supported each other towards earning our individual Gold Awards. Now, celebrating our achievements together as we all graduate high school will be the cherry on top of 12 wonderful years together.

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

Without a doubt, this project helped me become a G.I.R.L.

G –Go-getter: By consistently reaching out to numerous professionals for interviews.

I – Innovator: Expanding my tech skills through building a website for the first time ever!

R – Risk-taker: I took a risk that I could complete this project and honor all of the professionals’ time they had given me through their interviews. You have to believe in yourself – even if you think you have “bitten off more than you can chew!”

L – Leader: Finally, through all of the presentations I gave, adults viewed me as a leader among my peers.

My hope remains, that when students visit my website, they will feel inspired and optimistic about the next chapter of their lives, and most importantly, confident in their career aspirations.

**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: Katie Ellenberger, Colorado Springs, “Painted Pianos Project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I wanted to create a space for the students at Timberview Middle School where they could learn how to play the piano or express themselves musically for free without having to join the band, choir, or guitar class. To do this, I, with the help of the art and music teacher at Timberview, created the Painted Pianos Club and a school wide design contest, where the students could come up with the design to paint on the pianos. We then got to work on prepping the pianos for painting, sanding them down, priming, and stenciling in the design. Additionally, I emphasized student learning with video tutorials on YouTube, piano lesson books, and note identifying stickers.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award by seeing how enthusiastic the students were about participating in the Painted Pianos Club. Due to COVID, the students are currently unable to access the pianos. However, in the long term, I will be sure to check back at the school to see what the students think of the pianos!

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

My Gold Award will be sustained beyond my involvement by the Painted Pianos Club run by my project advisor that is dedicated to art and music and will inspire other students to get involved as well. This club would help maintain the pianos by ensuring they get tuned once a year, making repairs, choosing new music every so often, and repainting if they choose to. This club will be provided with a sample lesson plan to ensure that if the current leader for it leaves, it can easily be picked back up by another teacher.

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

My national/global connection is a step-by-step packet on how to replicate my project sent to schools across America and international schools via connections that a team member has through other music teachers. Everyone should be granted the chance to learn to play an instrument. This specific project will be made available to music teachers around the world that participate in music based Facebook groups and Colorado Music Educators Association.

What did you learn about yourself?

From this project, I learned that communication is key when collaborating with many people and working with dependable people makes projects run smoother. My leadership skills have grown exponentially throughout this project, and I feel more confident being the executive of this project and maybe even more once I finish. I learned that I am adaptable to my circumstances (since I had to make changes to my project due to COVID) and I am more capable than I think I am at times.

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

Earning my Gold Award has impacted my leadership skills, which will continue to grow as I continue my journey through life. Additionally, it has taught me that helping a community is important to feeling accomplished. I am sure I will try to do other projects like this in the future so that I can continue helping communities.

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 it taught me so much about leadership and being in charge of a project. It taught me that there is usually more to completing a project than you originally predict, which will help me more accurately determine how long and what I need to do to finish projects in the future. It was also important for me to connect to a community, the nation, and the world by putting something good out there.

My grandmother, Penelope (O’ Neal) Moeckel , earned what was called the Curved Bar, which was the predecessor of the Gold Award. My mother, Melissa (Moeckel) Ellenberger, earned the Gold Award as well. This is another reason why earning the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience, to become a third generation earner of it is an honor.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a leader by being in charge of the students in the Painted Pianos Club and having to organize all of the aspects of the project. It also helped me become a go-getter, since this was a very high goal to accomplish! This will encourage me to achieve more and reach higher in the future.

**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: Megan Burns, Colorado Springs, “The Silver Lining Project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a website and social media presence made up of art created, inspired by, or created during the COVID-19 pandemic. I made it as a way for artists to express how they felt during this tumultuous time. I also created sticker designs in order to raise money for the website.

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

I knew my project has made an impact because I have gotten submissions from many different states and communities, all with different perspectives and ideas they wish to express through their art.

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

My website will stay active online after I have stopped receiving submissions. This is why I created my sticker designs. I also created a YouTube video as an advertisement to fully explain my project.

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

I have received submissions from Ukraine and the UK. I have also gotten a blog up on the WAGGGS website to reach the international community further.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I am more capable of connecting to dozens and dozens of people than I first thought I was. My time management skills were also strengthened as a result of this project.

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

I am planning to pursue a career in graphic design in college. I can point to this project as an example of my web design and organizational skills. It could also potentially help me get a job later down the road.

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

I feel as though this project was a really good, finalizing way to end my time with Girl Scouts. It represents all the things I have learned and all the friends I have made being a part of it. I’m so proud of all I have been able to accomplish.

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

I feel as though my project in itself was a huge risk. Cultivating an online presence is extremely difficult and there were so many times I wondered if this would even work at all. I’m so thankful to say it did. I was lucky enough to have a mentor and support system that helped me find artists willing to submit.

**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: Breanna Lewis, Colorado Springs, “Sewing for Humanity”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?  

I taught people how to sew and I also tied it in with a community service project.  This helped them learn the skill of sewing and then since we made pillowcase dresses, we donated the dresses to people who needed them.

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

I couldn’t have in-person classes, so I decided to measure my impact on how many people watched the videos I made on YouTube.  I had more than 1,600 views on one of my YouTube videos.

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

All my videos are on YouTube, so anyone can watch them at any time, and anyone can teach a class on how to make the pillowcase dress or a scrunchie.

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

The places that I’m donating the pillowcase dresses to are a church that goes on missionary programs. I’m also sharing my online class guide with Girl Guides in Germany and Italy. I also have videos online that anyone can watch if they have internet access.

What did you learn about yourself? 

I learned that teaching someone how to sew is hard and that you must be adaptable and go with the flow. I learned a lot, but I need to work on my communication skills for how to get the idea across. I also learned how to take charge of things and how to be a better leader.

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

I have always known that I want to help other people as a career choice. This is just giving me one step closer to achieving helping other people.

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

Since I did this my senior year, I feel like it’s just wrapping up Girl Scouts, in general, this is the last year to do everything to get it done. I think this is just the last hoorah of a Girl Scout.

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

I feel in a way I became a G. I. R. L. I’m an innovator because nothing went according to plan, so I always had to reinvent my idea to go about it a different way.  I think I’m a risk-taker because I have never taught a class before and it’s a hard thing to accomplish and so just trying to get the idea across was just hard and putting yourself out there is a risk. I also had to be a leader during this project because I had to teach other people and to be able to do that, I had to be a leader and have good communication on how to explain how to do each step of how to make something.

**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 Admission to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum during Girl Scout Week 2021

 

Celebrate Girl Scout Week 2021 at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.  From March 8 to 14, all Girl Scouts wearing their sash, vest, or a Girl Scout T-shirt will receive complimentary admission at the door. (Please note Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10 are closed to general admission, but groups can visit by appointment. Contact groupsales@usopm.org for more information or to schedule a visit.)

The 60,000-square foot U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs is dedicated to America’s greatest athletes and their compelling stories, with the artifacts, media, and technology behind the athletes who make the United States proud. The Museum focuses on the core values of the Olympic and Paralympic movements: friendship, respect and excellence; determination, equality, inspiration and courage.

For more information and contact information, visit https://usopm.org/.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.