Tag Archives: Denver

Random Acts of Girl Scout Kindness

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Submitted by Kristin Coulter

Denver

Denver Metro

Being kind is a powerful thing. It is the look of astonishment and gratitude that you see in a person’s eyes or it is the satisfaction you feel in giving an anonymous gift. It makes you feel like you are making a difference in the world. The girls of Cadette Girl Scout Troop 3573 recently were able to feel that power. Their troop gave them each a box of Thin Mint cookies. The girls’ mission, which they chose to accept, was to give them away. Now this isn’t as easy as it might sound.

There were rules. Just what every sixth or seventh grade girl wants to hear, am I right? Like it or not, the girls couldn’t give their box as a gift to a friend or a family member. Bummer. The box was also not supposed to be a “hot potato” meaning something that they had to get rid of quickly. Double bummer. This was community service on a very personal level.

They had two weeks to look for an opportunity to be kind to someone that they either knew or that didn’t know. They needed to give it to someone who wouldn’t be expecting a gesture of kindness and they could accept anything in return. Below are some of their experiences.

“No one really likes substitute teachers so I gave my box of cookies to our substitute teacher.” Micaiah S.

“I gave my box of cookies to my house cleaner. I don’t know her well and thought that she and her family would enjoy them.” Jane K.

“I choose to give the box to my mailman because my dog has scared him and he has to deliver the mail no matter what.” Fiona S.

“A boy was sitting alone on the bus because his friends ditched him. He looked sad. To cheer him up I gave him the box of cookies.” Aspen R.

“I’m going to give my box of cookies to a girl that walks her dog past my house every day at 5 p.m. She just seems nice.” Lily L.

“I left my box of cookies in our milk box for our milkman. He has to work in the dark so I wanted to give him a treat.” Fiona G.

“I gave my box to a girl at school that helps me with guitar at lunch. She doesn’t have to help, but she does.” Hayley R.

“I live close to a fire station. I knocked on the door and gave the cookies to the fireman that answered. He didn’t really know what to say, so I just said ‘Thank you’ and left.” Ellie W.

“At school and I saw a boy who used to be my neighbor sitting by himself. I gave him the cookies and he just put them in his backpack. That’s okay because I know he liked them.” Waverly R.

“I gave my box to a boy I see everyday waiting at a bus stop. I thought he could use a picker upper.” Morgan W.

“I have a great math teacher so I gave my box of cookies to him.” Piper M.

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

Troop 1750 Finishes Up 12 Years of Scouting with Impact Colorado

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Submitted by Jody Allen Smith

Troop 1750 started as a Brownie Troop at Park Hill School – 12 years ago.  As seniors in high school at Denver School of the Arts and East High School, the girls decided to wrap up their scouting career with self-defense training provided by a local non-profit, Impact Colorado.  Through their Teen Workshop, troop members learned general awareness skills and physical self defense skills.  The girls also explored verbal strategies to establish boundaries with both strangers and people they know.  Troop 1750 thanked Impact Colorado’s staff and volunteers.  “Thank you so much for your time and efforts to help our troop.  Being empowered is really the greatest gift.”

The LEGO Americana Roadshow

Submitted by

Tiffany Baker

Lone Tree Girl Scouts

Park Meadows Mall is hosting The LEGO Americana Roadshow April 11-26 in Lone Tree, Colorado.  This is the only stop for the roadshow in our state.  National Monuments are located on the lower level of the mall.  Have your children grab a scavenger hunt map inside the LEGO store and locate facts about each LEGO Monument.  Return to the LEGO store at the end of the hunt to submit the form for a small free poster.

There is also an area with multiple LEGO tables set up for free building fun and two racing ramps to race LEGO cars with friends.  You might be fortunate and be able to speak with a LEGO Expert visiting with the roadshow.

Our Lone Tree Brownies visited for a special “scouts only” tour on Saturday, April 11th and earned a “Block Building” fun patch (with graphics of LEGOS) that can be ordered from the Fun Patches Catalog.  There are a couple of contests open to the public, such as guessing the number of bricks used to build the Nations Capitol and for best Instagram photos taken at the event.  A free Lincoln Memorial Mini Build is scheduled for the weekend of April 18-19 (12:00-4:00).  Lines are expected to be very long (1-2 hour wait time).

Remember to visit the LEGO displays along the hallways of the upper level of Park Meadows Mall as well.  These models are smaller in scale from the monuments, but have more detail including the famous LEGOS movie characters and Mount Rushmore.  Enjoy!

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Christina Bear, Golden, “Project S.T.E.M. Student Mentors”

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What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I initiated a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) introduction course for minority students at the Horizons Summer Program, a non-profit enrichment summer program, at Colorado Academy. I taught 3rd grade minority students Scratch programming for games and animations, Robot construction/programming, and mini-science experiments.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

In the United States, there is a shortage of minorities in S.T.E.M. education and careers. The goals of my Gold Award project were two-fold:

  1. To introduce minority children to S.T.E.M. topics, specifically technology and computer programming.
  2. To explore the role of high school students as S.T.E.M. Mentors for elementary school students.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

With pre- and post-questionnaires, the students reported a two-point increase on a five point scale for their ability to program a game, how to program a drawing pen, and their ability to make and program a robot. It is my hope that the students I taught have access to further enrichment throughout their schooling and to develop positive attitudes to S.T.E.M. education and careers. I wanted to leave a legacy for my school and for my community in developing Project S.T.E.M. Student Mentors. As a result of the project, Horizons Summer Program is working to incorporate S.T.E.M. into their yearly summer program curriculum, both locally and nationally.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I learned valuable life-skills of collaboration with my mentors and with experts in the S.T.E.M. field which enhanced my communication skills. Time management of juggling my Gold Award project, my academics, and sports sharpened my organization skills. I learned confidence and the value of preparation in planning the course. I had to use emotional intelligence skills of interfacing with diverse cultures, genders, and races and learned to appreciate diversity and inclusivity in my school and community.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I developed a web site (www.projectstemstudentmentors.com) and compiled an in-depth manual to guide future high school S.T.E.M. student mentors desiring to pursue this project. There are many S.T.E.M. volunteers, but most are adults. This project is unique because it encompasses a mutually beneficial guiding and teaching relationship of high school students and elementary students. I obtained a Proclamation from Governor John Hickenlooper proclaiming January 2015 as S.T.E.M. mentoring month. I donated $500.00 from my prior scholarship awards to cover future expenses for science experiments, instruction guides, posters, and folders. This donation is intended for Horizons to continue my vision for S.T.E.M. enrichment for minority students for at least the next five years.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My project addresses a national problem, which specifically is a lack of adequate graduates in S.T.E.M. fields needed to maintain America’s economic success and national security. An aim of my project was to help lessen the achievement gap and S.T.E.M. disparities all across the United States for race, gender, and socioeconomic status. From a global perspective, a diverse work force in S.T.E.M. leads to creativity and collaboration, which ultimately leads to innovation.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

Three things come to mind. I discovered the scope of my project was too large when I initially planned it. Focusing on a smaller slice helped to contain the project and make it impactful. I also learned the impact in a project to create change in my community can be measured objectively (via questionnaires) and subjectively (teacher commendation). Lastly, the challenge of making a project sustainable is subject to many variables and therefore an in-depth manual and web site are reasonable methods for sustainability.

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

The leadership skills I learned of collaboration, time management, adaptability, and inclusivity will help me to manage future projects with resilience and confidence. Knowing that I can scale a project to a small slice and still be a change agent for something I believe in is empowering. After reflecting on the impact of my pilot project, I envision scaling up the project for greater utility in S.T.E.M. mentorship. The process of the Gold Award, with the guidance of dedicated and nurturing mentors, has taught me to communicate with respect and accountability. I am grateful to the Girl Scouts of Colorado for inspiring me to become a leader in my community.

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

The Gold Award teaches valuable concepts of impact and sustainability that are not usually a part of projects that I do. As a result, I believe I can create lasting change that can improve my community. My coming of age has been dramatically and positively affected by the responsibilities required to complete a Gold Award. Most importantly, the Gold Award unexpectedly helped me to establish a lasting legacy to my school and 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

Super-selling troop Has Super Cookie Dad

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Submitted by Brynn Butler

Denver

Denver Metro

My dad, Tim Butler, is a great cookie dad because he is a hard worker and he always has a great attitude. Troop 51207 has sold almost 45,000 boxes of cookies over 8 years and we couldn’t have done that without him. His work ethic and outlook on life are great qualities to have in a cookie dad because he can always be there for the troop and me.

My dad is one of the hardest workers that I have ever known. He gives all that he has to everything that he does, including cookies. He does almost anything for the troop, including bringing cookies in a U-Haul to our house and loading them into the dining room. Additionally, he helps my mom count the money every night after we have a booth. He’s also set up and taken down countless booths that he didn’t work at.

When he’s working a booth, he always lightens the mood by telling jokes to make people laugh. He loves to talk to everyone, including the customers. He helps to make people not feel as cold by joking about how cold he is and making everyone laugh. Overall, my dad is always there to help the troop feel better when we need to, which is important with teenage girls.

The Girl Scout community needs dads like mine to help the older and younger Girl Scouts become women of courage, confidence and character that make the world a better place, and I am very lucky to have him.

If you know an awesome Cookie Dad, use this link to tell us about him: http://bit.ly/1vj3gZW

Run the Colfax Marathon with Girl Scouts

 

This the 10th year for the Colfax Marathon, Denver’s springtime race. And, there’s no better time than now to grab your sneakers and get ready to run (or walk) through Sports Authority Field, along 7 miles of rivers, lakes and bridges, and on America’s most famous main street. This year’s race is Sunday, May 17, 2015. Best of all, you can support Girl Scouts of Colorado while you run! We’re one of 150 Charity Partners.

The Colfax Marathon is more than a traditional marathon. It spans two days and includes seven races:

The only question now is: Which will you run? Click here to register today and be sure to select Girl Scouts of Colorado as your charity. Already signed up? Great! There’s still time to choose GSCO.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Nelly Grantham, Thornton, “Giving HOPE”

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What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Educated others about North Metro Denver homelessness and about families in crisis. I created a sustainable program for supplying personal hygiene items for Growing Home clients.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

If I had not been adopted, I could have been a homeless child and part of a family in crisis. I thank God I was adopted and this did not happen. My family and I have helped Growing Home for many years. After doing a survey of clients at Growing Home, I realized that they were in need of personal hygiene items. In fact, I heard one story where there were as a homeless girl. She had places to go to stay, food to eat, and could get food many places, but what she wanted most was personal hygiene items.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

To-date over 4,500 items have been collected and delivered to Growing Home for their clients. Growing Home clients who received those items potentially have better health and hygiene, were better able to get jobs, and had better self-esteem. People in our community were also educated about homelessness.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

Most of all I learned to think of others and not just myself! That even though I am mentally and physically disabled I could plan and complete a large project where I was able to help others. I also am now able to make and give better presentations, talk in front of people more easily, and use Microsoft Office products better.

How did you make your project sustainable?

Three organizations that I gave presentations to agreed to have collection boxes for ongoing donations. They were: Community of Christ Church of Brighton, Summit of Peace Lutheran Church Senior Youth, and GS of CO Northwood’s Service Unit. My mother also continues to advertise my project and keeps the ongoing collection box out on our front porch.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Homelessness and families in crisis is not a unique problem to the Denver Metro Area. More than 1.3 billion children live in extreme poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. I could be one of those statistics. But I am not! I can’t help everyone, but I can make a difference educating others and helping them by giving them hygiene items. Making a difference! One person, one family at a time!

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

That I was able to go to many hotels and dental offices, share my project with them and in return they gave many donations. That where I gave my presentation everyone was receptive and wanted to help. Becoming a Growing Home Ambassador by taking so many people on tours of Growing Home to learn more about ways they could volunteer to help too was a highlight! Additionally, the overwhelming positive response about my presentation and project by the Gold Committee when I gave my final presentation.

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

Because I learned that by working hard, being persistent, and with help of others I can do anything I set my mind to do. As I enter into the transition program this fall and into the job market soon many skills I used and learned as part of my project will help me get and keep a job.

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

It is an important culmination of experiences and learning after being in Girl Scouts for twelve years. It is like the Grand Finale! The ultimate project I have been building up to all these years to do for addressing an issue, thinking of others and not yourself, making a difference and leaving the world a better place, and having it continue to live on.

***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

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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.

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.