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Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twelve Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing Take Action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Brittany Argo from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built a prayer garden at St. Michael’s the Archangel and aided in the construction of a prayer garden at a church in the Philippines.
  • Evyn Batie from Loveland, Mountain View High School, led a team of students to create the Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide, an electronic compilation of some of the best youth mental health resources across the region.
  • Bryce Civiello from Evergreen, Conifer High School, designed a pamphlet for teens that can help them take the first steps toward getting help from a mental health professional.
  • Angela Foote from Centennial, Arapahoe High School, developed a relationship between the organizations Family Promise of Denver and Denver Tech for All to ensure low-resource students and families have ongoing access to computers.
  • Madeline Ford from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to create a five-session literacy program, which promotes a positive reading environment and teaches children new ways to express themselves through books and poetry.
  • Littlepage Green from Breckenridge, Summit High School, created a lesson plan and video to educate students about food allergies. In-person lessons also included training on how to properly use an epi-pen.
  • Maya Hegde from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have. The program she developed also taught the girls how to sell sanitary pads in their own communities to tackle the stigma around the menstrual cycle.
  • Grace Matsey from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians, which was run by members of her high school’s Music Honor Society.
  • Annarlene Nikolaus from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon High School, oversaw the construction of a series of buddy benches for local K-12 public schools. Students also participated in age-appropriate lessons led by Annarlene about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends.
  • Bailey Stokes from Buena Vista, Buena Vista High School, created outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of fourth grade science teachers across Colorado. Topics covered included investigations, habitat, and adaptations.
  • Emma Lily from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a website, created a podcast, and wrote a children’s book celebrating the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory and its historical significance.
  • Katherine Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, taught elementary school students about the importance of bees and how to install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. 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.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Madeline Ford, Englewood, “The Little Children Who Could”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Most children are uninterested in reading, so they lack the understanding of why reading is important. They do not like reading because they lack support and encouragement to read. Because of this, I created a program at the Boys and Girls Club that is a five-session literacy program to promote a positive reading environment by teaching books with good values and morals and then teaching the children about different authors and poets to show new ways to express themselves. I brought in several volunteers to create a small volunteer to child ratio, so children could get the attention they need to work on their reading skills. I also noticed that they do not like to read because it lacks physical activity, so I made hands-on activities to keep the children engaged and active. Afterwards, I created reading tool boxes that consist of 15 to 20 books and reusable activities that can be used alongside them. Through a book drive, I was able to collect more than 400 books that allowed me to make 22 tool boxes that were passed out to organizations that serve at risk children around Colorado. By encouraging a positive reading environment at an early age, children will develop a lifelong love for learning which will cause a positive impact in their future.

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

I created a survey the children filled out before and after the five-session program to get a sense of how they feel about reading. Overall, there was a 45% increase for the statement “Reading is Important” and an 18% increase for the question “Do I learn new things in my books?” Also, I interviewed the teachers from the Boys and Girls Club and they were very happy on how the program turned out. At that moment was when I felt like my project was coming together. I knew I had made a difference in a child’s life and that they learned ideas that will help them in the future. Seeing these results gave me motivation to write a program manual with all the activities so other children can be impacted as well.

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

The children of Godsman Elementary School brought home several projects that are reminders for the children to embrace themselves and show their best selves and to motivate them to read and write more. My school’s National Honor Society will continue my program using my step by step instruction manual in my school district so over one hundred children each year can experience this program.

I created 22 tool boxes that had 15 to 20 books inside of them with several comprehension activities from my five-session program to understand books better and gain excitement from them. They allow children who were unable to experience my five-session program to be able to try my activities and be inspired by them.

My five-session program and book tool boxes can be accessed on my website: www.thelittlechildrenwhocould.weebly.com

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

Reading affects children everywhere. There are several reasons why children do not take reading seriously, which is why it is important to look at each reason and find a solution to fix it. I shared my project to several national organizations such as Reach Out and Read, National Honor Society, and the Boys and Girls Club. They can do my program anywhere and affect children around the nation. I put all of the materials and templates on a website that organizations could easily access to make the program successful and efficient.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to embrace my creativity. Before my project, I was afraid to share my ideas because I believed no one would like them. However, having free reins on this project let me create whatever I wanted to promote reading literacy and I became very open with promoting ideas. I enjoyed bouncing off ideas with other people and receiving constructive criticism because it helped my ideas be more successful. I gained critical thinking skills that allowed me to create new and innovative ideas that made my project more appealing.

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

Working on this project helped increase my self-confidence. While working on this project, I began to branch out more in my community. As a result of this increase, I decided to apply for more leadership positions at my school. I became a board member for National Honor Society and Big Sisters and through these organizations, I am able to promote the values of this project to a bigger audience.  My Gold Award will always remind me that I take action and am able to create a better community.

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

The Gold Award was a perfect way to show my abilities and strengths that I developed through my years in Girl Scouts. Through Girl Scouts, I was able to create a stronger version of myself that pushed me to make my voice heard. Girls in a safe space gain confidence in themselves and they allow others to see their personalities and their abilities and I think that the Gold Award is a perfect way to challenge a girl in that way.  I gained knowledge and skills that will help me accomplish with any of my future endeavors.

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 an innovator. I had to come up with new ways to keep children engaged and involved while reading and writing.  I talked to several literacy aides and teachers to learn more how children focus and with their help I was able to create an interactive project. I enjoyed bouncing off ideas with other people and receiving constructive criticism because it helped my ideas be more successful.  I gained critical thinking skills that allowed me to create new and innovative ideas that made my project more appealing.

**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: Maya Hegde, Englewood, “Pad Power”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

After a recent trip to India, I learned that many girls don’t have access to sanitary pads and other important menstrual products. I was surprised by the effect of not having access to sanitary pads: falling behind in education and losing their standing in their communities. For my project, I partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and the Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have and to teach the girls how to sell pads in their local communities to tackle the stigma surrounding periods. This also provided more affordable pads to other women in their communities.

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

Over 130 girls in both orphanages have directly benefited by learning how to make reusable sanitary pads, using materials they already own, allowing them to continue going to classes on their period. Together, both orphanages have sold over 50 pads to other women, benefiting their communities through this cottage industry.

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

The directors at both orphanages have agreed to continue teaching girls how to make reusable pads for years to come. This project not only personally benefits the girls, but it allows them to get experience with sewing machines and sewing classes which they are already required to take. Both orphanages will also continue selling pads to other women in their communities and will donate reusable pads to those in need. In addition, my website includes instructions and templates that can be used by other organizations to get the same benefit. Website: https://padpower.weebly.com/

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

My project has a national connection because even in the United States, many women cannot afford feminine hygiene products. Even in developed countries, this lack of resources affects many women. In addition to being inexpensive, reusable pads are so much better for the environment.  The global connection my project has is that it gives access to pads for girls who otherwise would have to miss out on their education. The pads can even be made from old clothes and other recycled materials, reducing the price and eliminating the waste created by disposable pads.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project, I have learned how to lead others and delegate tasks in a team. I have also learned the importance of self advocating. This project was a little controversial, especially in developing countries, because of the topic of menstruation. I found that I would often have to advocate for the project and  convince cynics to keep the project going.

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

This project will continue to impact me in the future because I believe it has helped me become more confident. As I continue my education in the STEM field, where there are fewer women, I feel like I will be ready to take on any challenge that comes my way! I have a deep sense of accomplishment and am looking forward to taking on more challenges that will have wider impact.

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 I used skills that I had learned in previous Journeys and my Silver Award to reach a larger number of people and increase my impact. I feel like the Gold Award has shaped me as a girl and given me a lot more confidence that I otherwise would not have gained.

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 risk-taker because it pushed me outside my comfort zone. The biggest risk I took was basing my project in other countries: India and Kenya. This was risky because it was difficult to communicate with the directors and the girls directly due to the time zone differences. Another risk was that the topic because it is largely controversial and highly stigmatized, especially in developing countries. I went into this project not knowing exactly what the reaction would be, but I still went ahead with it.  In the future I will have the self confidence and the ability to take risks and go for what I believe in – even if I might fail or it is not easy. I faced a lot of obstacles throughout the project, but I believe this project has allowed me to face it gracefully.

**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

Girl Scout swim party at Pirate’s Cove

Join us at Pirate’s Cove for our annual Girl Scout Swim party, Sunday, June 10, 2018. All Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited! The event is planned from 6:30 -8:30 p.m. Cost is $6/person and there’s an optional event patch you can purchase for $3 during registration.

You can register at https://goo.gl/Qgbz8o. The registration deadline is June 6. Participants who register by the deadline will get faster entry into the park. We encourage everyone interested to register ahead of time as our walk-up registration at the event can take more time to get through. Please register by the deadline to save yourself time!

Pirate’s Cove is located in Englewood and offers a leisure pool with a large play structure, a 25-meter, 6-lane pool, a 35-foot slide tower with three slides, a lazy river, and more for summer fun! Participants are welcome to bring in snacks or a picnic. Concessions will not be offered onsite. No glass bottles permitted.

Questions? Please feel free to contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org. Hope to see you there!

Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Bruun

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Chris Bruun of Englewood in the Metro Denver region has served as a troop leader, troop support volunteer, and cookie dad. He is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

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

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

My daughter wanted to be a Girl Scout and there wasn’t a troop at her school, so I started one. She got a couple of other girls from her school, but we drew in most of the rest from the surrounding schools. It was a very active troop. Meeting every other week and field trip every other week. I did my best to make sure the badges were not earned by sitting in a cafeteria but by learning something in the cafeteria and experiencing it on a field trip.

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

I started as a troop leader, and was also the cookie dad and field trip planner that first year.  I had a blast doing it! This year, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be as active in the troop, so I closed the one I started and moved Emma to another one. This is a huge multi-level troop. I am still a volunteer with this troop and really enjoying watching the girls explore the world through Girl Scouts. I am going to be helping with camping for the troop this summer.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have never been in charge of that many young ladies at once or been responsible for pushing knowledge into kids heads. And while I realize it is a very obvious realization, they all needed it presented differently to take it in. I found I really like seeing that light of understanding come on when we were exploring new ideas through the badges!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I have done my best to teach the girls that failure is a part of life. The goal is to try, we will all fail once and a while. We have to dust our selves off and try again. We learn more from our failures then we do from our successes. Giving them a safe place to fail and then try again and succeed is truly a great feeling.

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

I am really amused at this question for obvious reasons.  Mostly because I am not a girl. That said the ideals that are encompassed in this motto are obviously applicable to both genders. Being a leader keeps you on your toes. These girls are eager to learn and experience the world and want to learn new things and earn new badges. As a leader, you have to keep at least one step ahead of them and to do that you need to be thinking out of the box. The lessen plans for the badges are a good first stop, but not the be all and end all to leading the girls. Once they get the idea in their head you need to be ready to move beyond the lesson plan to explore even more. Lots of the badges are just a taste of what they as Girl Scouts can go explore.  

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

Colorado 99s Aviation Patch Day

Submitted by Theresa Monroe

Metro Denver

Englewood

Juliette Gordon Low experienced her first flight eight years after the Wright brothers successfully flew the Wright Flyer I in 1903. The thrilling experience lead Juliette to introduce a Girl Scouts Aviation badge to the Girl Scouts Handbook.

Keeping with that tradition, on April 14, 2018, the Colorado 99s (an organization of all female pilots) is hosting Aviation Patch Day. This program is for Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors  interested in aviation-related activities. These include making and racing various paper airplanes, learning the language of aviation, understanding more about weather, hearing the history of aviation, and even sitting in the cockpit of an airplane.

Event details:
Saturday, April 14, 2018
1 – 4 p.m.
Centennial Airport’s Denver Air Connection
13000 E. Control Tower Road
Englewood, CO 80112

Cost of the event is $6 per Girl Scout
Use this link to register: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2018/_99_s_aviation_patch.html 
*** Last day to register is April 7, 2018.

Questions? Contact: 
Theresa Monroe
(719) 210-0890
monroetheresa@ymail.com

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

Volunteers needed: Cookie delivery day 2018

Delivery Day for the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program is fast approaching. The delivery sites are always needing more support and your help would be appreciated. If you haven’t already signed up for a time to support the delivery site, there is still time.

Broomfield **NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

1025 Eldorado Boulevard

Broomfield, CO 80021

Sign Up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-level1

*This is our largest site with the least volunteers signed up.

Red Rocks Community College

13300 West Sixth Ave.

Lakewood, CO 80228

Sign Up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-redrocks

Castle Rock- Castle View High School

5254 N. Meadows Dr.

Castle Rock, CO 80109

Sign Up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-douglas

 Summit Ridge Middle School

11809 W Coal Mine Ave

Littleton, CO 80127

Sign UP:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-redrocks1

Elitch Gardens

2000 Elitch Cir,

Denver, CO 80204

Sign Up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-summit1

Baileys Moving

11755 E. Peakview Ave

Englewood, CO 80111

Sign Up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-baileys

Buehler

16456 E. Airport Cir #100

Aurora, CO 80011

Sign Up:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d4dafae23a57-buehler

Northern Delivery/Loveland

5296 Harvest Lake Drive

Loveland, CO 80538

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f4fafa923a75-cookie2

If you are wanting to go to a delivery site that isn’t listed please reach out to the PPS for that region, to find out how to sign up. Don’t know who that is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

 

Troop 3453 experiences a “Day in the life of an artist”

Submitted by Tom Bielefeldt

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Six Girl Scouts from Highlands Ranch Troop 3453 participated in a wonderful “Day in the life of an artist” experience at Ouray Sportswear in Englewood on Saturday, April 8, 2017. The event, sponsored by the Ouray of Hope Foundation, provided an opportunity for troop members to collaborate with designers, production artists, and other members of Ouray’s creative team.

The Girl Scouts, along with participants from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, were guided through the creative process of contemplating shirt designs based on the “Bigfoot” or “Yeti” theme. Girls researched and designed a couple of small “thumbnail” sketches before refining concepts into their very own full-size design. Creative professionals offered meaningful insights and guidance along the way. “Ouray is honored to provide opportunities to young folks looking to learn more about ‘real life’ employment scenarios. We enjoyed being able to showcase our process and interact with the kids, it was a very enriching experience,” said event organizer, Bobby Small, Ouray’s VP of Information Systems.

Troop 3453 was also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ouray production facility, including massive screen-printing, embroidery, and laser cutting machines. Each participant then presented her design concept to the entire group, receiving suggestions and constructive feedback from an Ouray creative director. At the conclusion of the event, each Girl Scout received a special, custom-designed Bigfoot t-shirt commemorating the fantastic outing.

The experience is part of Troop 3453’s Media Journey, with the girl’s planning to use their newly acquired insights to design and produce their very own troop logo shirts!

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

Limited spots left for “Me & My Gal” strength weekend in May

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Submitted by Tiffany Stone

Metro Denver

Englewood

There are only a few spaces left for the Urban Trails Service Unit’s “Me & My Gal” strength weekend!

REGISTRATION CLOSES ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2017!

Where: Tomahawk Ranch Girl Scout Camp
When: Friday, May 12, 2017 – Sunday, May 14, 2017
Arrival time: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday
Departure: 10 a.m. on Sunday

Cost: $150 per woman-girl couple
$60 per additional girl,
(No additional adults please, one per every three daughters)

Bring your girl(s) along for a weekend of bonding and strengthening.
Mountain Berry Catering will provide meals, with a special Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday morning.

Activities will be provided all weekend, including archery, building, a dance, and more!

This camp is geared for mothers and daughters, but aunts, grandmas, or mother figures are welcome, along with girls (K-12).

Attendance is only confirmed upon payment.
Register at:
https://squareup.com/store/urban-trails-su-644

Volunteers are always welcome! Please email: urbantrailsdenver@gmail.com to volunteer!

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

 

Clothing bank clean up

Submitted by Tanner Palmer

Englewood

Denver Metro

My name is Tanner Palmer and I represent a charter school that serves over 2,000 children K-12 called HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op. Most of our students are considered come from low income families and are “at-risk”. Most of our students participate in free and reduced lunch programs.

We operate several “Learning Centers” for our students where they go to school Monday through Friday from about 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our students enroll with us because they’ve been bullied at other schools or have some other learning challenge which is better addressed in smaller learning groups.

Out of one of these Learning Centers, we operate a clothing bank from collected donations around several K-12 schools in the area. Our clothing bank is located on Colfax and Elmira at 1564 Elmira Street in Aurora, CO.

We have a small warehouse full of donated clothing that we desperately need help sorting out, in preparation for a free open house so our students in need and community members can shop for free clothing.

We are hosting a few clothes sorting events on July 29, August 3 and August 24. The actual date for the Elmira Clothing Bank open house is August 26/27 so we need the clothes sorting done well ahead of that date.

We would love to invite the Girl Scouts to participate in this wonderful community service event that will directly benefit the needy in our community.

Tanner Palmer’s contact information: 720-346-1903 or tanner.palmer@hopeonline.org 


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