Tag Archives: denver metro

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Sarah Ness, Centennial, “Destressing Art Sessions”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was created to address the high amount of stress seen in the student body at my high school, Eaglecrest High School. I held art sessions after school in the art rooms in order to help kids at my school be able to relieve stress. I worked with the National Art Honor Society and Art Club, along with the teachers that sponsor both of those clubs, in order to hold the art sessions. At the end, I had held 23 sessions.

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

I measured my impact by giving students a survey I had made and asking them if they were feeling stressed and if they thought that the session helped to relieve their stress. In the surveys, 100% of the people surveyed answered that they were feeling stressed, with the reasons why being “family,” “schoolwork,” “work,” “sleep or the lack thereof,” and “expectations for the future.” Along with that, 100% of the survey takers said that the session did help them feel less stressed.

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

My global/national connection is made through the access to free downloads of a manual for the sessions, and some project examples, on the website teacherspayteachers.com. I’ve also created an Instagram account that is dedicated to examples of project ideas and step-by-step instructions for how to do the projects.

What did you learn about yourself?

I’ve learned that I’m a lot more adaptable to situations that I wasn’t expecting and that I’m more capable of being a leader than what I was expecting.

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

I think earning my Gold Award will help show others that I am a hard worker and very dedicated. It has also taught me better ways to deal with stress around me and to help others around me deal with their stress in a healthier way.

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

I think the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it allowed me to use all of the skills that I have gained through my years of being a Girl Scout, along with helping me gain new ones, to make a lasting difference in the world. It helped me draw on all of my past experiences and really make the most out of everything that Girl Scouts has taught me.

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

My Gold Award helped me become a

-G (Go-getter): by forcing me to do what I needed to do right now and not allowing me time to procrastinate or not try and do something that was needed.

-I (Innovator): by making me come up with ways to describe every step of an artistic process so that even someone who might think he or she isn’t artistic is able to do the same project as everyone else.

-R (Risk Taker): by causing me to step out of my comfort zone with talking to large groups and teachers, even though I knew that there was a chance that no one would want to help me. I also took a risk with doing an art-centered project because many people aren’t interested in the arts or don’t believe that they could do any projects, so I was taking a risk in the possibility that no one would even come to my sessions.

-L (Leader): by making me step into a leadership position and have to become a kind of teacher to the other students in the sessions along with having to come up with all of the projects and getting ready all of the materials that might be needed to do each of the projects.

**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

Volunteer Spotlight: Tara Szabo Maxson

Tara Maxson 1 copy

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Tara Szabo Maxson of Troop 65477 in the Denver Metro region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO volunteer. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

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

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I was a Daisy and a Brownie as a child.  I have been a volunteer since 2015.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I wanted to get to know other families in our school community.

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

I lead a second grade Brownie troop and am starting a kindergarten Daisy troop in the fall.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? 

I have learned that every girl is truly different and special.  It is amazing to see that even the little ones are already quite diverse in their strengths and talents.  It can be hard with a large troop, but I try to capitalize on this as much as possible.

I have also learned that your team of parents is invaluable.  I have three awesome co-leaders and an amazing cookie mom who make my life easier for sure!  We are surrounded by a fantastic group of parents.  We have had a waiting list to join our troop for the past two years and I attribute that to having a great group of parents who work hard to provide a positive experience for our kids and who also network on our behalf in the neighborhood and at school.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that girls live by (not just memorize) the Girl Scout Promise and Law.  We have focused a lot on learning how to take care of the earth and all of its inhabitants and also the importance of taking care of one another by being a sister to every Girl Scout.  I hope my girls do this outside of Girl Scouts throughout their whole lives.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

As a child, I grew up in Aurora, so I camped at both Tomahawk Ranch and Sky High Ranch.  I recall the summer between second and third grade, walking back in the dark to our bunks after our evening campfire, holding hands with my life-long best friend and feeling a little scared of the dark woods, but safe with my camp buddy and my troop.  It was a special feeling of bravery and independence, but achieved in a safe setting, which is what I think Girl Scouts strives to provide all girls.

As an adult, it has been special to me to share Girl Scout activities with my daughter.  I cried a little when she was inducted into Girl Scouts during a ceremony led by a neighboring middle school troop.  I also recall fondly holding my own daughter’s hand while we hiked the trails behind the Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch for our troop’s second year Daisy Earth and Sky Journey.  Also, our troop brainstormed ideas for our Take Action plan this past spring and then voted on each other’s ideas.  My daughter suggested we take care packages to Children’s Hospital and her idea had the winning vote.  I was so proud of her thought process, as she really considered how we could use our cookie funds to “make the world a better place.”  I am proud of all that my older daughter has accomplished in Girl Scouts and I look forward to seeing what both of my kids do in in the future.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

  1. Seek help if you need it.  The staff at council doesn’t always know what you need, so you must ask!  They will help you if they know the answer or find the answer if they don’t.  Also, attend your Service Unit meetings at least periodically to network. Leaders of older girl troops have already walked in your shoes and can give you the best practical advice.  You can also go to them if you have issues with girls or parents to ask how they handled similar things in their troop in the past.
  1. Plan your calendar out in advance for the school year.  I plan our troop’s events around our school’s master calendar when it comes out each May and then we can hit the ground running in September.  Even if you don’t know exactly what you might do on a given day, at least get it on the calendar for your families to plan ahead.  This will help with attendance and parent participation.
  1. Don’t be afraid to do things your own way.  Girl Scouts provides enough leeway that you can build your own curriculum and let your girls lead the way to do what they want to do. 
  1. Build your village.  Keep asking parents if they will sign up as support volunteers and encourage them to renew each year.  Get to know the people who manage the buildings where you host your meetings (and give them a few HTH packages each year for thanks for all they do for you!).  Recruit at your school’s “Back to School” night. Most importantly, find awesome partner leaders and cookie managers!  The more adult support you have, the better your experience will be and the richer the experience will be for the girls in your troop!

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

Daisy Troop 65742 Take Action project

Submitted by Rebecca Lipman, GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist

Metro Denver

Denver

This past year, Troop 65742 from Cherry Creek Challenge School discussed numerous Take Action project ideas and the girls kept going back to the idea of planting flowers in a garden. We have expanded on this idea throughout the year and a seed was planted as we began to collaborate with other organizations and sponsors. One sponsor that our troop collaborated with was CampExperience™. Their mission is fundraising and contributing money to non-profit organizations in Colorado. Creating a community garden at St. Anthony’s North Health Campus has been a goal of both the hospital and CampExperience™. Our troop leaders asked how our troop could be involved in the community garden project. In meetings and discussions, we started looking at the idea of having Daisy Troop 65742 decorate/paint terra-cotta pots that CampExperience™ would have at the Health Summit. The artistic pots decorated by the girls and local artists were gifts for individuals who donated to the community garden.  The project was supported by Home Depot and Lowes who together contributed over 100 terra-cotta pots. All the art supplies used during troop meetings to decorate the pots were donated by Guiry’s. Many other individuals and artists contributed to making this project possible. Troop 65742 participated in financially contributing $5,000 to St. Anthony’s North Health Campus Community Garden. The girls were present at the Spring Success Health Summit to present the work they did and share what they learned from this project!

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award recipients celebrated in Denver

Nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Denver Marriott Tech Center on May 7, 2017, to honor the more than 1,400 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. Giving back is in their blood. So is standing up to the challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.

2016 Gold Award recipient and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“I cannot remember a day when Girl Scout flags, supplies, sashes, cookies, and girls planning events weren’t covering multiple floors of my house. We (the girls in my troop) each earned our Bronze and Silver Awards, while constantly practicing the leadership skills necessary to passionately lead, serve, and change the world,” she said. “Girl Scouts and in particular the Gold Award has given me unique opportunities to become courageous, caring, and confident, while actively practicing leadership skills that greatly impact the world. Girl Scouts also gave me the opportunity to identify and pursue my passion. I found that following your passion is the key to choosing and accomplishing highest awards projects.”

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

I guess I’m doing something right

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Submitted by Marti Shuster

Metro Denver

Westminster

My kindergarten granddaughter has been in my Daisy troop for the past year. She had a school assignment to say what they want to be when they grow up. Most kids said doctor or police. This is what my granddaughter wrote. I guess I am doing something right.

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

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award recipients honored at Highest Awards celebration in Loveland

More than 300 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Loveland on April 23, 2017, to honor the more than 1,400 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. Giving back is in their blood. So is standing up to the challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.

2016 Gold Award recipient and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“I cannot remember a day when Girl Scout flags, supplies, sashes, cookies, and girls planning events weren’t covering multiple floors of my house. We (the girls in my troop) each earned our Bronze and Silver Awards, while constantly practicing the leadership skills necessary to passionately lead, serve, and change the world,” she said. “Girl Scouts and in particular the Gold Award has given me unique opportunities to become courageous, caring, and confident, while actively practicing leadership skills that greatly impact the world. Girl Scouts also gave me the opportunity to identify and pursue my passion. I found that following your passion is the key to choosing and accomplishing highest awards projects.”

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Before the celebration, Stephanie Foote presented Gold Award recipient and 2017 winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence Emma Albertoni with an engraved silver medallion from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Emma, from Arvada and senior at Ralston Valley Senior High School, was named one of Colorado’s top youth volunteers of 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. This is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. As a State Honoree, Emma will receive $1,000, the medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. She will join top honorees from other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2017.

 

Older girl opportunity: Colorado Girls Elevated Reach Your Peak Expo

Submitted by Katie Singleton, Girl Experience Manager for Girl Scouts of Colorado

Join Girl Scouts of Colorado at the Colorado Girls Elevated Reach Your Peak Expo on Sunday, April 23, 2017. This event, which is specifically for girls ages 11-19 and their parents, will take place from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Arapahoe County Fair Grounds Expo Center. This annual event, which is produced by The Aurora Sentinel, Mix100 Radio, and KMGH Denver 7, is free to the public.

The event will feature powerful seminars, a runway fashion show, STEM activities, and inspirational speakers. There will also be a number of interactive exhibits and workshops focused on topics such as cyber safety, healthy relationships, body image, distracted driving, and more!

Contact Katie Singleton at katie.singleton@gscolorado.org with questions about this older girl opportunity.

Troop 66542 delivers cookies to Arvada Food Bank

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Submitted by Michelle Lucero

Metro Denver

Arvada

Our troop more than quadrupled last year’s Hometown Hero numbers and delivered 665 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to the backpack program at the Arvada Food Bank. One of our Girl Scouts (Marlee L.) sold 434 packages of Hometown Heroes cookies for the backpack program. The backpack program at the Arvada Food Bank sends food home over the weekend for in need kiddos from area elementary schools.

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

Basic self defense workshop

Submitted by Shawna Fisch

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch/Denver

Come participate in this fun and informative event lead by a Girl Scout whose mission now is to empower girls and women in teaching basic self defense awareness, knowledge, and skills!

This workshop is appropriate for Girl Scouts 12 years and older (as well as moms!) However, there are only a handful of remaining spots open; and we expect this event to sell out very soon! Register BEFORE April 8, 2017 to get your tickets for just $25 per person.

Topics will include:

-How to walk confidently
-How to use your voice with authority (in a Self Defense situation as well as in everyday situations)
-How to avoid a potentially dangerous situation
-How to stick up for a friend who is being bullied
-How to assert yourself in asking for help when necessary
-How not to be identified as a potential victim
-What are “good instincts” vs. reactions that we can change when necessary and informed?
-What is a “must fight” situation?
-What are the four most important striking targets and how to strike when absolutely necessary?

Some non-strenuous exercises for beginners during the second 1/2 of the one hour Workshop. Wear comfortable clothing. We do not go into advanced techniques.

Register/tickets available at ironcladfit.zenplanner.com

Hosted by: Iron Clad Fitness (Shari Wagner): 2171 South Trenton Way, Suite 225, Denver
720-900-IRON
info@ironcladfit.com

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Presenter: Sensei Shawna Fisch: Girl Scout, 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor; Certified Basic Archery Instructor:
720-290-7398. See the Anytime Activities/Athletic section to book your own private session for your troop at Sensei Shawna’s state-of-the-art home Dojo or on-site. Content is modified for younger Scouts.

Girl Scouts will learn that being empowered comes from knowledge, awareness, fitness, confidence and action.

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Victoria Fedorco, Aurora, “Caring Cots for Senior Pets”

Victoria Fedorco

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was manufacturing and providing raised PVC pipe pet beds to help senior pets be more comfortable in shelters as they await adoption.  I decided to make these type of beds because they are beneficial to pets and shelters in that: the elevated design allows the dog’s weight to be evenly distributed and keep them off any cold, hard floor. They worked great for both dogs and cats. The light, durable nature of these beds also allows them to be easily placed outdoors as well. They were durable and can last for a long time.

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

The way I measured my impact was when I helped people and their families realize that there are challenges that exist when owning a senior pet, they asked questions and wanted to help me with my project.  I witnessed their understanding that leaving these animals in a shelter, for whatever reason, that there are factors that can hinder the senior pet’s quality of life. Specifically, I saw that I had impacted Troop 550 the most in that: they are going to work towards their own Gold Award Projects and work to make a difference in their community.

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

My project is sustainable in that these beds can be easily built and are already in use by the shelter I worked with. In addition, I have provided a master copy of instructions for the shelter to use when building new beds for themselves along with sharing that list with others, spreading the word of “Caring Cots” further. My project will also be sustained beyond my involvement by a signed letter of commitment by Andrew Brooks, the Lead Volunteer Coordinator at the Adams County Animal Shelter in Commerce City.

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

I have created a Powerpoint presentation/tutorial that has a materials list and step-by-step instructions on the construction of these beds along with a some pictures to go along with it. I have posted a link to the powerpoint on my Facebook page to spread my project through this social media platform. The same link has been posted to my Pinterest page, available for all the view. Both of these pages have been created as a Gold Award Project.

What did you learn about yourself?

What I learned about myself is the level of determination and focus that I have. “Caring Cots” has helped me improve my leadership skills by having me organize an entire workshop and overnight for my building team. This allowed me to really get a sense of being in charge and having to instruct others. This project has also helped me improve my public speaking skills; I’ve started to feel more comfortable talking in front of a group of people about my project and my opinions.

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

By earning my Gold Award I have cemented my name in the Gold Award Hall of Fame and proven to myself that I am capable of doing amazing things to give back to my community. This project will also be on my resume, which will help me get into college and get the job I’m looking for. I also think this project will impact my future in that I will be an example to other girls working on their own Gold Awards.

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

I’ve earned my Bronze and Silver Award previously and getting my Gold Award was a huge goal for me. I absolutely love everything about Girls Scouts and I feel that earning my Gold Award was the perfect way to show my love and appreciation for this organization. I feel extremely honored to be a recipient of the Gold Award and I feel that my Girl Scout experience has made me a Girl Scout for life.

**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