Tag Archives: Colorado

GSCO Boating Program Receives Generous Kayak Donation

Marlene and Julie by the boats!
Marlene and Julie by the boats!

Boating Pic 2

Camp Director Silver

 

Boating Pic 4

The Girl Scouts of Colorado boating program is stronger than ever with the donation of kayaks and more in honor of a special volunteer. Early this summer Rocky Mountain Sea Kayak Club (RMSKC) members Marlene Pakish and Julie Rekart donated their first kayaks to the GSCO boating program  in honor of long-time RMSKC member Lou Ann Hustvedt, who recently lost her battle with cancer. Lou Ann, known as “Skipper” to the Scouts, had taught boating skills and knowledge to hundreds of young women in summer camps for more than two decades. Their generous donation included paddles, PFDs, spray skirts, cockpit covers and several other items. The boats were complete and ready to provide many years of service to the troop that Lou Ann loved and served. RMSKC’s Brian Hunter, called “Splash” while instructing at Girl Scout camp, picked up the kayaks from Marlene and Julie and gave them a good going-over before delivering them and other donated gear to the Scouts’ Summer Day Camp at Big Soda Lake in Bear Creek Park. Brian and Belle “Hedgehog” Bashaw (lead Girl Scout Kayak Instructor and a new RMSKC member) took the Carolinas for a test paddle. They agreed the boats were a perfect fit for the Girl Scout program: the kayaks accelerated quickly and were nimble on the water. They reported that they held an edge nicely and turned on a dime. In addition to the donations of boats, gear, and a RMSKC fund in Lou Ann’s name, Brian and Clark “Bald Eagle” Strickland taught for a week at Girl Scout Boating Camp this summer. Article written by Louise “Silver” Bashaw, Troop Leader and Volunteer Summer Day Camp Director, and Sue “Grendel” Hughes

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Rebecca Clark, Colorado Springs, “Color Guard Clinic – Guard is Great!”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I put together a performing arts clinic for middle schoolers in my district.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

There is a lack of understanding in the community (and world) about what Color Guard is, thus a lack of funding and participation.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

Many people were exposed to a sport that is my passion, and something they might not otherwise have known about. Students learned dance, movement, and how to spin and toss flags. Color Guard is a fun and supportive environment in high school. Students who join will have a supportive base and friends in high school.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I learned leadership skills, planning, and flexibility.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I made a Facebook page and YouTube page with pictures and instructional videos. I also made a flash drive with all clinic information, from permission slips to t-shirt orders and daily schedules to give to others who wish to hold a clinic.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Color Guard is a global sport, with very little recognition. My Facebook and YouTube pages will attract people to the sport with instructional videos on tosses and routines.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will most remember watching the veterans helping the new students, and the enthusiasm everyone showed toward the sport.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I have learned how to be a leader in my community: how to step up and lead a large group of people towards a common goal.

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

I feel the Gold Award is an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it makes me more confident in organizing and leading events. It is the highest award possible for a Girl Scout to earn, and I plan on being a Girl Scout for the rest of my life. It is the culmination of my Girl Scout experience.

***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

Calling all future leaders, advocates, & philanthropists: apply for the Girls’ Leadership Council

_MAR1202

Submitted by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado is now accepting applications for the 2015 Girls’ Leadership Council, a leadership and training program for girls entering their junior years in high school.

This one-week summer program on the University of Denver campus helps high school sophomore girls discover their own power and potential to assist and impact their communities.

The 2015 Girl’s Leadership Council will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Meet with Colorado business leaders and philanthropists and hear from expert guest speakers on issues impacting Colorado women and girls.
  • Discover the importance and impact of philanthropy by and for women and girls.
  • Build a network to lean on during your high school and collegiate years and beyond.
  • Live with and learn from a group of diverse girls who share your passion for improving their communities.

To learn more about the GLC and the application process, watch this video. The Women’s Foundation of Colorado encourages applications from girls with diverse backgrounds. Although academic performance is a consideration in the selection process, we are looking for girls who demonstrate passion, commitment and leadership in many ways. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, there are no fees for this program.

Eligibility:

Any high school sophomore girl in Colorado who will be a junior in fall 2015

Program dates:

July 26-Aug. 1, 2015

Program Location:

University of Denver Campus

Application Deadline:

March 6, 2015, 5 p.m.

Finalist Interviews:        

May 16, 2015

If you have questions, please visit the WFCO web site or contact Community Initiatives and Investments Manager, Alison Friedman at 303-285-2972 or alisonf@wfco.org.

Three things you can do on World Thinking Day

By Girl Scouts of the USA

When you’re a Girl Scout, you’re part of something much bigger than just your troop or group. Your “network” stretches across your state, throughout the nation, and to more than 150 countries in the world where Girl Scouts or Girl Guides are found. Together, you’re a powerful force!

Every February 22 on World Thinking Day, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world unite in purpose to focus on one issue, or theme, to make the world a better place. This year, the World Thinking Day theme is “Create Peace Through Partnerships.”

Here a few things you can do to make this World Thinking Day special:

Share your #guidinglight

Candles have always been a powerful symbol of friendship for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. This year, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides will light up social media with the glow of thousands of candles on World Thinking Day. So how do you participate? Here’s the short version: Light a candle. Take a selfie. Upload it to social media using the hashtag #guidinglight. Include a message that inspires others to do the same. And don’t forget to tag @GSColo, @girlscouts, @WAGGGS_world—and any other friends you might want to join you! Check out more details.

Show that peace is in your hands!

We all have the power to make changes for the betterment of our world. Learn about the international symbols for peace. Trace your hands and draw one of the symbols between them. If you want to start a conversation with members of your community, see if you can display your artwork at a community center, a local business, or house of worship. Invite community members to an “art opening” and talk about this year’s World Thinking Day theme.

Earn your World Thinking Day award!

Explore this year’s theme, “Create Peace Through Partnerships”! There are lots of ways to participate. Reading books, watching movies, constructing a “peace pole,” inviting a returned Peace Corps volunteer to talk to you about her/his experiences… Girl Scouts of all ages can participate in World Thinking Day. Check out our list of activities by grade level.

Questions about World Thinking Day? Learn more.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kayla Bernstein, Colorado Springs, “Sustainable Farming”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I planted a garden for all the residents of the Medalion nursing home to enjoy outdoor activities, blooming flowers, potted plants, vegetables, and landscaping.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

There are no locally grown vegetables for the residents to help assist in a balanced diet. Also, the gardens were not maintained and I felt this was just as important.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

Looking at how beautiful the front of the facility is with my help. Watching my eight containers grow from start to finish. Watching the flowers and vegetables bloom in the main garden. The food from the gardens were given to the staff and residents for them to enjoy all summer.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I learned life skills and how to work with older people and groups. I learned how to manage my time as well as others.

How did you make your project sustainable?

Residents can maintain this garden.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

The use of organic materials are becoming popular so using organic materials is what I chose to do. Just like the Girl Scouts theme of “Going Green”, using organic plants, helping the environment and giving back is very important.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

What I will remember the most is pulling weeds and maintaining the gardens for the residents and the staff members.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I think I will grow my leadership skills because this project taught me so much. I have learned how to budget my time, my resources, and team members.

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

I feel that every Girl Scout should do a Gold Award project to give back to our community.

***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

My journey to earn the Gold Award

Submitted by Dana Ruby

Confident, ready to tackle the day, and special – all of these are feelings that I get when I have a nice outfit on, but not everyone has the opportunity to experience this. When I decided I wanted to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award,  I wanted to work to solve this challenge. I worked to develop a plan for children, whose families may not have the resources to help themselves, receive clothing.

When some Girl Scouts pick out the issue they want to focus on for their Gold Award, it’s an easy decision. I, however, couldn’t think of an issue right off the top of my head. The process of picking an issue really made me think about what I have a passion for; what did I love so much that I could focus an 80 hour project addressing a community issue on? 80 hours is a long time. I didn’t want to lose steam and become less motivated to complete my project, and I didn’t want to lose the passion I had for my issue I picked. These were all factors that I had to consider when deciding what my project would be about.

After spending a long time thinking- and after discussing it several times with my Girl Scout troop- I finally picked what my issue would be about: clothing. Why something seemingly materialistic like clothes, you might ask? It turns out not to be as materialistic as you might think.

Although I have always had a passion for clothes, the interest really became evident when I started high school. That was when I realized that I have always felt way more comfortable tackling the day in a nice, put-together outfit that I felt confident in. It didn’t matter what the items of clothing were: just as long as I enjoyed wearing them. So, that was what I wanted my Gold Award project to be: an opportunity for people to feel the same way, but who might not have all the resources to help themselves.

Keeping this in mind, I narrowed down who I was going to help to primarily kids. This was for a multitude of reasons, but I really wanted the parents of these children to get the feeling that they were providing their kids this clothing, which is a need that can often take a back-seat in their lives. I also hoped that the kids would get the happiness from picking out their own clothing, just like in a store- that’s about half of the fun! As mentioned before, I wanted my event to help provide an easy access to a need that hasn’t necessarily taken priority: why would they be worried about what clothes they were wearing when they didn’t know where their next meal would be coming from? My goal was to make this need easier to access so it could become more of a priority.

After contacting several organizations, such as women’s shelters, transitional housing, and food banks, I received interest in return from Warren Village, a transitional housing organization in Denver, near Cheesman Park. That was an extremely exciting moment for me- one more step to making my Gold Award idea a reality! Through Warren Village I got a fantastic project adviser, access to contacts that helped further my project, and an opportunity to complete it, which I will be forever grateful for.

After I first met with the volunteer coordinator there, I had learned a lot more about Warren Village. This, I felt, was very important: how was I going to partner with them without knowing all there is to know? For one, I learned that on average, there are more than 80 families living at Warren Village, and the majority of those families only earn an annual income of $11,999 of less. With that income, a very minimal amount is probably spent on clothing. This was a very integral piece, for it helped me better understand the residents and Warren Village as a whole, and how much a need for clothing there actually was.

Through this meeting, I also received several contacts that could help provide clothes for my event. One of the contacts I received was someone who had provided clothing for events at Warren Village before. She is affiliated with Plato’s Closet, a popular second-hand clothing store primarily for teens. Plato’s Closet would give her clothing they no longer needed for these specific events. I immediately contacted her and we set up a time for me to come to her house and pick up some clothing. When my mom and I got to her house, we got more then just “some”; I was pleasantly surprised when I saw there were bags and bags- and more bags! Although most of the clothes were for teenage girls, I received the clothing for little kids and older boys afterwards, through a clothing drive I organized at my church’s Vacation Bible School this past summer, as well as donations from family and friends.

An integral part in making a Gold Award successful is having people who can help and support you. As it got closer to my Warren Village shopping event, I built a team to help me with the special day. Some were able to help hang and pack clothes the day before, while others were able to help with the actual event, whether it be setting up or breaking down the event space, giving out tickets or “cashiering”, or helping the residents pick out clothes. At the beginning of the day, I delegated everyone to complete tasks in order for everything to be set up before the event was supposed to start, and we were able to accomplish that without a hitch (well, mostly). On September 20th, with the help of my team, the event ended up going very smoothly! We provided clothing to the majority of the families that live at Warren Village. The leftover items (which had definitely decreased since the beginning of the day) were donated to ARC, and Warren Village was able to receive resident vouchers for all of the donations.

Along with the event, which was the primary aspect of my project, I did educational presentations to several groups at my church. I created a presentation to teach others more about Warren Village, the Gold Award, and overall homelessness in the United States. I am scheduled to do a presentation in January about my Gold Award journey to the troop leaders in my service unit, Centennial Star, in order to spread awareness, but also to give them an idea on a community service project to do with their own troops. At these meetings, I will then give the troop leaders an informational packet I created on how to put on my event. I am also planning on giving this packet to Warren Village and several high schools in my area (for their honor societies and other community service programs).

So far, working towards my Gold Award has been a huge learning experience for me! I have learned how to cold call (or email) people I have never met before, along with taking on the role of “project manager” for a large event. I have also expanded my ability to present in front of people who are older than me, developed my time management skills, and learned how to efficiently delegate people towards completing a common goal. These are only a few of the examples of how I have stretched myself these past 11 months, and I know I will continue to grow during the last chapter of my project. Before beginning this journey and now as I near completion, I absolutely had no idea the amount of learning and growing experiences I would gain from working to earn my Gold Award.

*** Earn your Gold Award by Feb. 28, 2015 and you could win the $1,000 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize! It will be awarded to a Girl Scout who has received her Gold Award in the current year and whose project is selected by an independent panel as an exceptional example of sustainable impact through leadership. To learn more click here.

Girl Scout volunteers as a STEM Student Mentor

Submitted by Christina Bear

Golden

The acronym of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is creating a buzz in K-Graduate education these days primarily because of the projected job availability, especially in computers and technology. A nationwide effort is happening to motivate younger students toward STEM education and STEM careers, especially for minority students including girls and women.

A recent US News article “Latinos aren’t interested in STEM fields” struck me, a junior at Colorado Academy looking forward to studying Computer Science in college, that there is a distinct a need in my community to change this inequity right here in Colorado.

I developed a project for my Girl Scout Gold Award to benefit the Hispanic students in the Horizons Summer Program, a non-profit that is sponsored by my school Colorado Academy.  I initiated an introduction to STEM for minority elementary students and taught them technology topics of Scratch computer programming and Lego robot construction and programming.  Over the span of a week from June 30 to July 3, 2014, I taught 14 third graders an abbreviated STEM curriculum. Getting the students to enjoy their first experience of computer programming and technology was my main goal.

The students expressed comments such as “Can we program in our free time?” and “Can we do this next summer?” leading me to conclude there is a clear benefit and need for after school and summer program STEM enrichment for minority children. I realized that high school students can develop themselves as STEM mentors in informal teaching using the knowledge they have gained in their schooling. For example, I found it helpful that my coursework in math, sciences, and computer science allowed me to comfortably conduct an informal teaching course in STEM.

Going for a Gold Award with Girl Scouts has been a fulfilling experience and unique from any other project I have done. In particular, the Gold Award process made me carefully think of impact on my community. The immediate impact was hearing the students’ positive comments and getting teacher’s feedback that the students expressed a new found interest in STEM.

The Gold Award also requires that I sustain my project, which is unique and challenging. The concept of sustainability is a real-world necessity especially if you want to bring change to your community. Working with a nurturing mentor, Ms. Rae Ann Dougherty with the Girl Scouts of Colorado, I learned professional tips such as to include an Executive Summary in my manual. It is also my hope to sustain the program at Horizons Colorado Academy depending on funding and student availability.

Given the potential value of high school students teaching younger students on a voluntary basis, I started Project STEM Student Mentors to motivate my peers to give back to their communities by volunteering to educate our younger students. I have prepared a manual from a student’s perspective on my experience and guidelines to initiate a program at your school accessible from my web site www.projectstemstudentmentors.com. Character, commitment and competence are all necessary ingredients to have a successful high school student STEM mentor program.

As for minorities in STEM, I believe that diversity brings out about creativity and that is sure to lead to innovation. This is what our students and really our country needs to become successful on a global scale. I am grateful to Girl Scouts of Colorado to complete a Gold Award project that changes my world for the better.

For more information about Project STEM Student Mentors, contact Christina Bear at cmbear37@gmail.com

*** Earn your Gold Award by Feb. 28, 2015 and you could win the $1,000 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize! It will be awarded to a Girl Scout who has received her Gold Award in the current year and whose project is selected by an independent panel as an exceptional example of sustainable impact through leadership. To learn more click here.

Registration for Girl Scout camp is now open

Camp slide

Registration for Girl Scout camp is now underway on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org! If you haven’t already picked your session or decided where you will be attending camp this summer, you need to act quickly. Some sessions will be full by the end of the day!

For summer 2015, Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce girls will be able to have those experiences — and hundreds more—at Sky High Ranch! Resident camp is returning to this beautiful rustic camp near Manitou Lake and Woodland Park for the first time since 2012. For many Girl Scouts, attending resident camp at Sky High Ranch is a family tradition.  Their mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers, in some cases, have fond memories of their summers at Sky High Ranch.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will also offer resident camp at perennial favorite Tomahawk Ranch near Bailey, southwest of Denver. Some of the activities at our resident camps include archery, backpacking, photography, and rock climbing. Our standard resident camp runs 6-days. We also offer 2-week camps , as well as mini 3-day camps.

Girl Scouts of Colorado camp programs are open to all girls throughout Colorado, whether they’re in a troop or not, and new campers get a 10-percent discount. Pay by April 30th for the best prices!

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Alexandria Bellas, Colorado Springs, “Shooting for the Sciences”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I did a Girl’s Science Event for girls in grades 6-8 that brought together exhibitors around Colorado to present a booth to the girls. Physics, aviation, space, and more were all addressed in the booths. Hands-on activities, as well as experiments, were used by the exhibitors to engage the girls and really interest them in the sciences!

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I pursued this project because I felt that the issue of the number of women in STEM fields needed to be addressed. As a little girl, I had always dreamed of being a scientist, pouring acids into beakers, wearing goggles, and creating chemical reactions. I want the same for every girl. I wanted them to be able to have the confidence and will to be able to aspire to achieve.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My Gold Award project affected girls at an earlier age and influenced them to pursue higher level science and math classes in high school and possibly even in college.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I gained invaluable leadership skills as well as better time management through earning my Gold Award.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I have passed on my project to the Key Club at my school, who will continue the event in future years. I also hope that the information that the girls gained at this event will be ever in their minds. My hope is that they, too have been inspired to inspire others.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My issue was not only a local issue, but it is also an issue nationally and globally as well. The issue is similar all throughout the nation, and many initiatives have also been taken, such as mine, to resolve that issue.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will always remember the girl’s smiling faces at my event. This gave me a feeling that I will never forget, one of accomplishment and success.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

My Gold Award has provided me with so many  valuable skills that I will be able to employ in the future in college and my future job as well. These skills seem to be unobtainable in any other way. Through my Gold Award, I have been able to achieve more, and gain the confidence that I need to achieve more in the future.

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

I feel that the Gold Award is essential to the Girl Scout experience because it allows you to take on a massive challenge, and for you to be a leader of it. This, to me, has been the perfect way to signify a change that I have made and a mark that I have left next to my Girl Scout name.

***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

Registration for Girl Scout camp opens Jan. 13

The countdown to the opening of registration for Girl Scout camp is underway! It starts Jan. 13, 2015 at 9 a.m. on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website.

On Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, Kim Petau, camp director for Sky High Ranch, and Girl Scout Anne Martens joined FOX21 in Colorado Springs to talk about registration for Girl Scout camp.

Here are a few “behind the scenes” photos:

Ask yourself, “Where will I…”

stand atop a mountain and take in the forever view?

feel my heartbeat in my ears as I zip down the zipline?

and, most importantly, where will I make friendships that will last a lifetime?

For summer 2015, Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce girls will be able to have those experiences — and hundreds more—at Sky High Ranch! Resident camp is returning to this beautiful rustic camp near Manitou Lake and Woodland Park for the first time since 2012. For many Girl Scouts, attending resident camp at Sky High Ranch is a family tradition.  Their mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers, in some cases, have fond memories of their summers at Sky High Ranch.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will also offer resident camp at perennial favorite Tomahawk Ranch near Bailey, southwest of Denver. Some of the activities at our resident camps include archery, backpacking, photography, and rock climbing. Our standard resident camp runs 6-days. We also offer 2-week camps , as well as mini 3-day camps. The summer camp schedule is live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website (girlscoutsofcolorado.org) so you can begin to review the 2015 offerings. Girl Scouts of Colorado will continue to offer day camping adventures throughout the state.

Girl Scout summer camp programs are open to all girls throughout Colorado who are over the age of 6. Registration begins Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org. Register early. Some sessions fill in just a few hours.

Girl Scout camp is a safe place for your girl to explore her world, make forever friends, and learn to be a leader.  Girls learn differently than boys and everything at Girl Scout camp is designed to meet girls where they are. No labels. No competition. No boys. There’s just a whole lot of “you go, girl!”

Girl Scouts has been helping girls shine for more than 100 years. Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to serve 25,000 girls across the state with the help and support of 10,000 adult volunteers! Learn more how you can be part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by visiting girlscoutsofcolorado.org, calling 1-877-404-5708, or emailing inquiry@gscolorado.org.