Tag Archives: environment

Project Learning Tree and Girl Scouts

Leaders, Caregivers, and Educators- Are you looking for a way to engage your Girl Scouts or youth in your lives with environmental stewardship? Check out these trainings provided by Project Learning Tree! They have resources and tools to help youth grow into responsible, resilient, engaged citizens who care for themselves, the environment, and their communities.

When:

  • May 24, 2021 from 1:30 – 3 p.m.
  • May 26, 2021 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Self-Paced online training available through June 15

Register Online: https://www.plt.org/alignment-to-standards/nonformal/girl-scouts/ Registration Closes May 20

Cost: $35/person

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What:

  • 96 Hands-On activities for science, reading, writing, math, and social studies
  • Ready-to-use lessons for virtual spaces
  • Optional 0.5 graduate credit from Colorado School of Mines

Why: It can also correlate with Girl Scout badges and Journeys to enhance your Girl Scout’s or troop’s experience.

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

New Castle Girl Scouts Earn Bronze Award

Submitted by Karen Campbell

Western Colorado

New Castle

It was an exciting time at Alder Park in New Castle on Sunday, April 11, 2021! Gracie, Sylvia, and Abby, three Girl Scout Juniors from Troop 10239,  officially completed the final installation of their Bronze Award project. Many family and community members came to help, including Ron Acee from Trout Unlimited; Tom Skutley and Sheldon Doonan from RFV Flyfishing Club; and Dave Reynolds from the Town of New Castle. The girls worked thru 2020 COVID challenges and winter weather delays. They finished strong with this important environmental project. Job well done, everyone!

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by Alder Park to read these valuable interpretive ecology signs, each written by Bronze Award Girl Scouts. If you are fishing at Alder Pond, please be sure to check out the new Fishing Line Recycle Bins. Recycle bins will be managed thru a partnership with the Town of New Castle and the Girl Scouts. Last, be on the look out for more fishing line recycling opportunities around the valley. With the help of local fishing club chapters, these girls donated three additional bins to the Middle Colorado Watershed Council and look forward to expanding the program. Special thanks to our community volunteers for bringing enthusiastic support, power tools, and great digging skills! Thanks also to Aspen Rent-All for the donation of a valuable generator for the day! We are thrilled to live in a place where our neighbors, businesses. and our city manager care enough to join a few motivated girls to get amazing things done!

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

 

Troops 40479 and 46327 Participate in the Arkansas River Cleanup

Submitted by Erin Wogaman

Pikes Peak

Canon City

Girls and leaders from Girl Scout troops 40479 and 46327 in Service Unit 436 were part of the volunteer effort to clean up the Arkansas River. The total weight collected was 1,580 pounds of trash. A generous resident gave the girls money to go to Dairy Queen for ice cream cones for giving back to their community.  The girls were thanked by many other residents along their way.

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

Saving the Animals by Saving the Climate

Submitted by Gracelyn R.

Mountain Communities

Cowdrey

My Take Action project for the Global Action Day Award stemmed from two facts. One, my mother is a veterinarian and strong believer in climate change, which means I am as well. Two, I had been recently reading The Story of Doctor Dolittle about one of my favorite characters in literature. The combination of these facts gave me the idea of my project, which talks about the Global Action topic this year: Sustainable Development Goal 13, Climate Action. As this is a large and complex topic, I chose to focus on only one facet: how climate change is affecting animals. I created a video explaining the dangers posed to certain species by a warming climate, and how doing small things like choosing a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one could change things, even if only a little. I also challenged myself to start doing things the green way, as I encouraged in my video. I intend to keep this going as long as I can, and I also hope to get other girls to join me. The full video can be found at my personal blog.

I sincerely wish you all will join me in my bid to save our beautiful animal neighbors. Remember, we are guests on this planet, not masters. It’s our job to give back to the planet for its hospitality toward us as a species. Best of luck.

I want to be one of those people who are remembered for their deeds and not their words. One of those people who stands up and leads their people to victory when the going gets tough. One of those people who is ready to leap off the edge because they believe in their cause, and ready to change the world, no matter how much they get knocked around in the process. I also think that every girl has that potential, if only we can show each and every girl how amazing she really is. I hope that, through Girl Scouts, every girl will have the potential to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader, In short, I hope that every girl will become a G.I.R.L.

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

New Castle Girl Scouts Earn Bronze Award

Submitted by Cindy Adams

Western Colorado

New Castle

Troop 10239 in New Castle, Colorado has three girls, Abby, Gracie, and Sylvia, who earned their Bronze Award in 2021. The Bronze Award is the highest award the girls can earn as a Junior. Girl Scout Juniors need to complete a Junior Journey, build a Bronze Award team, explore their community, choose a theme, and design and complete a community Take Action project.  The first step to earning a Bronze Award is completing a Girl Scout JuniorJourney and Take Action project.

Last summer and fall, the Girl Scouts earned their Outdoor Journey and started their Take Action project.  On the Journey, the girls held a clean-up activity at Alder Park, created animal habitats, hiked New Castle local trails, planned a camping trip, and created maps of Alder Park and waterways. The girls decided their Journey Take Action project will be a fishing line recycling program at Alder Park Pond.  This project was born from picking up trash at Alder Park and the girls picked up a lot of old fishing line. Fishing line is a frequent source of litter in ponds and rivers, and can cause injury and death to birds, fish, turtles, and many mammals. Monofilament fishing line takes 600 years to decompose (that’s 150 years longer than a disposable diaper!), but IT IS RECYCLABLE! Berkley Fishing provides free shipping boxes to mail in used fishing line to be recycled.

The girls built two fishing line recycling bins and will install them at Alder Park.  They also received three additional bins from the Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club, which will be donated to other community groups to install and manage as part of the program.

The girls were set to install their Take Action Project in November 2020, unfortunately COVID-19 regulations stopped them in their tracks, as girls from no more than two households could meet. The girls did not lose faith in their project, they just postponed the installation of their Take Action Project until April 11, 2021 now that COVID-19 regulations have allowed for groups to meet. The troop also has a COVID-19 plan in place with the Garfield County Health to meet in person.

Abby, Gracie, and Sylvia’s Take Action Project involved researching, talking with community members including Trout Unlimited and Roaring Fork Fly Fishing Club, presenting to the New Castle town council, building monofilament recycling bins, and installing them. The girls started their project in October 2020.  The girls received a donation from the Town of New Castle to help offset the cost of the fishing line recycling bins, as well as a donation from Trout Unlimited.

Since finishing the planning and construction of their Take Action project, the girls started to brainstorm ideas for their Bronze Award project. They had come to know Alder Park Pond, a neighborhood hangout, and decided that they wanted to build permanent educational signs for the community about the importance of the animal species, the wetlands, and the human impact on Alder Pond.  The girls said if people know and love a place, they will care for it! Sylvia, Gracie, and Abby presented to the Town Council their idea for both their Take Action project and Bronze Award project in October 2020 and both were approved.

Over the winter, the girls designed and produced three educational signs about Alder Park Pond by the end of February 2021. The girls plan to install both the signs and fishing line recycling bins on April 11.  These girls have learned so much about community involvement, planning, how a project that people get excited about can expand rapidly, and about perseverance.

Cooperating Agencies for the project included: Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club, Trout Unlimited, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Roaring Fork Conservancy, Town of New Castle, Berkley Fishing and BoatUS.org.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Sidney Barbier, Steamboat Springs, “State Park Waste Diversion”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project is focused on State Park Waste Diversion. However, a huge part of my project is focused on educating the public on the basics of recycling and waste diversion in hopes to inspire and empower future generations to make a difference and share their knowledge with the world! My project branched into a variety of pieces such as a staff orientation to educate staff at Colorado state parks on the basics of waste diversion so that they can help share their knowledge. I worked to create a Junior Ranger curriculum that includes reduce, reuse, recycle guidelines. I did my own in-person waste sorts with the public in order to bring awareness and get helpful data as an insight into the issue of recycling contamination. To help further knowledge of recycling, I developed and posted signage that is both sustainable and durable that will help educate people and empower them to make the right choice! Every piece of my project aims at sustainability of our amazing state parks for future generations of girls to enjoy.

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

My initial plan was to measure my project’s success at Steamboat Lake by doing a beginning and end waste sort, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I instead found success in my project based on the number of people I was able to reach and on all levels, from staff, visitors, the public, and Girl Scouts of all ages. I was able to see this based on the number of views on my YouTube Channel, blog, and Facebook. In addition, simply posting the signage made a huge difference in the amount of contamination in the trash and recycling as observed by park employee Eric Young. When I was at Steamboat Lake posting the signage, I had multiple staff members come up to me and say how thankful they were for my presentation at their staff orientation and how much they learned. I was visibly able to see the impact education truly has on people of all backgrounds and ages. People gained new knowledge on the basics of waste diversion, the what, why, and how of recycling, as well as what individuals can do in the community to help reduce their own waste. I taught many young girls how to do their very own waste sort at home and how to set up their own successful recycling systems. My impact was measured throughout my project in less quantifiable means then I had intended, but the overall impact was based on the overall increase in knowledge and education around where our waste is truly going. I started the conversion, and I will continue to help be a part of it.

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

In order to ensure the sustainability and longevity of my project beyond my involvement, I created and developed a letter of commitment that was signed by Kelly Cook, my project advisor and the administrative assistant of Steamboat Lake State Park, that ensures commitment by the state park to maintain the vision and goals of my project through a series of detailed and specific commitments. The letter of commitment lays out each part of my project and the resources available in order for the state park to continue my work. For each step of my project, I worked to make it sustainable for future use. For example, I uploaded videos of my staff orientation presentation to YouTube to be available for future use. I created a waste sort kit to be available to each seasonal interpreter for further use in park programs. I created signage that will last for at least two years and can be easily repurchased for continued educational awareness. I provided a PDF of resources from Yampa Valley Sustainability Council as well as the Junior Ranger program to be reprinted, reused, and recycled to continue the use of these resources for both the public, visitors, and young kids. By signing this letter of commitment, Steamboat Lake Park has committed to maintaining my project vision, goals, and mission beyond my involvement in order to increase waste diversion and recycling to make the state parks more sustainable for future generations to enjoy.

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

I met and coordinated with Girl Scouts of Colorado staff member Anna Danilla in order to find ways to share and integrate my Gold Award Project with the  Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend event. I ended up creating a blog post coupled with pictures that share the basics about my project and the relationship to state parks. In addition, I shared my Project Greenify YouTube Channel as online resources for the virtual piece of the Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend, September 12 and13, 2020. The blog information and YouTube link was posted on Girl Scouts of Colorado website, Facebook, and sent out in RSVP emails to reach potentially 1,000 girls and their family’s and share my project with Girl Scouts beyond Routt County.

What did you learn about yourself?

One of the biggest things I learned about myself throughout the whole project is that I truly do have the power to make a difference. Through perseverance, patience, passion, and hard work, I was able to make an impact on other people and the environment as a whole. I learned that I have the ability to lead and collaborate with others to create something achievable. I didn’t simply write down lofty goals, I achieved them. I learned that my passion for the environment and the human-environment interaction, is not something that will go away. It is a true passion that I want to continue to learn about, study, and share in my future and beyond. I learned what direction I want my life to take; I want to study environmental science and policy in college and beyond.

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

Earning my Gold Award has not only given me the confidence that I can change the world, but the tools to continue to make a difference. In my future, I will use my Gold Award experience as a segue into having a more lasting impact and continuing to share my passion for environmental science with the world. Being a Gold Award Girl Scout will help in every application and interview for college and beyond. It has given me the leadership skills that will apply to every situation life throws at me.

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

The journey towards earning my Gold Award was a truly unique experience and was a perfect cumulative experience of everything I have learned and gained from Girl Scouts since I was in kindergarten. I used the basics of the Girl Scout Promise to “use resources wisely” and turned it into a sustainable and achievable project. I took initiative and worked to serve my community as I had been taught to do throughout my years as a Girl Scout. I feel that earning my Gold Award was an achievement I had always dreamed of. Ever since I saw the Gold Award Girl Scouts as my troop received our Silver Award, I knew I wanted to one day stand up there and present how I used Girl Scouts as a forum for making a difference.

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

Throughout my Gold Award journey, I was able to strengthen and develop a multitude of leadership skills. I believe that one of the greatest skills I gained was in collaboration. I learned to practice balancing independence with reaching out to my team for help, support, feedback, and advice. Along with collaboration came innovation. In both dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and simply working towards sustainability for my project, I was able to demonstrate leadership in using my own confidence and delegation skills to continue my project moving forward. I continue to reach out to organizations and team members, and did not simply stand by idly during the strict period of quarantine. I became a real “go-getter,” as I used my drive and motivation along with a positive mindset to find creative solutions, by creating virtual material such as Project Greenify, finding ways to coordinate with Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend, and posting signage in a socially distant way. I developed skills in public speaking as I stepped up to a position of leadership and led waste-sort, staff orientation, public presentations, and Girl Scout events. I continually practiced accountability as I took responsibility for keeping up with my target dates, setting up my own meetings, and focusing on time management in order to accomplish each of my goals. I stepped up to become a coordinator, decision-maker, and active listener, as I became involved in other organizations such as state parks, and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. The Gold Award experience has truly brought out my initiative and commitment to taking a stand and becoming an influential G.I.R.L.

**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 Gold Award Project: The E-waste Recycling Exposé

Submitted by  Safiya D., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver

Aurora

* Safiya became a Gold Award Girl Scout, earning the highest honor in Girl Scouts, in January 2021.

I have been a Girl Scout for 10 years. Currently, I am working on my Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. The Gold Award focuses on addressing a community-based problem. My project, The E-waste Recycling Exposé, tackles the lack of education regarding technology recycling (e-recycling) in my city of Aurora. I am developing a curriculum for fourth and fifth graders that teaches them what technology recycling is and why it is important. 

When I was researching my project, I was disappointed to learn that in comparison to paper, plastic,  and glass recycling, only 20% of electronics actually get recycled in the United States. I thought that if I could educate kids and get them excited about e-recycling, it might make them think more about actually recycling their old electronics.

My curriculum is comprised of : 

  • An introductory video that shows me taking an old family computer to be recycled
  • A PowerPoint that explains the technology recycling process 
  • A video I created that shows how to take apart a laptop computer and find the recyclable parts
  • Interactive and hands on games that I created for the kids that will make understanding e-recycling fun
  •  Pre and post surveys to evaluate what the participants have learned from the program

In creating my curriculum, I had a few goals in mind. I wanted students to get excited about electronics recycling.  And most importantly, I wanted them to go home and talk to their families about its importance and encourage them to participate in the recycling of their old electronics. If we care about our planet, participating in technology recycling is important. When you look at the statistics, many landfills are filled with electronics and the more we care about this issue, the easier it will become to have a clean Earth.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Popkin, Colorado Springs, “Alternative Gardening at Palmer High School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I successfully obtained the necessary funding for and installed two hydroponic (meaning that they do not require soil) Grow Towers into the library at my school. These Grow Towers are currently growing a variety of herbs and vegetables that are being incorporated into a series of educational workshops meant to both educate students on the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options and allow the students to sample some of the actual produce grown. I also prepared a slideshow on how climate change impacts food supply and the need for locally sourced food that is being displayed next to the Grow Towers. Along the way, I established a central working committee of teachers, staff, administrators, and students to carry out my project and have involved representatives from two local community organizations doing similar work (the Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and the Colorado Springs Food Rescue).

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

Throughout the duration of my project (especially during and after the educational workshop that I hosted), I continually questioned my target audience to gauge what they knew before my project and what they had learned after seeing my project. Additionally, I was approached by many of my peers and teachers several times and informed that they have gained a greater understanding of the issue from my project.

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

My Gold Award project will be sustained by my project advisor, Mr. Chamberlin, and an environmental club at Palmer. Mr. Chamberlin will assist the members of the environmental club with the Grow Tower maintenance and will also continue to facilitate educational workshops with other groups of students at Palmer. The library staff will also help maintain the Grow Towers. Moving forward, the members of the environmental club will also explore additional ways to involve more students in other classes with the Grow Towers. Additionally, Mr. Chamberlin is spear-heading a new horticulture class that will be offered at Palmer.

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

To fulfill my global connection, I created an informational brochure about Grow Towers and my project and sent one to the New York branch of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), along with a short introduction of myself and a description of my project. WAGGGS is an international Girl Scouts organization that is assessable to Girl Scouts all over the world and highlights the projects of numerous outstanding Girl Scouts. My hope is that this organization will include my project on their website so that Girl Scouts all over the world can learn about my work and become inspired to complete a similar project of their own.

Additionally, my project inspired efforts to initiate a horticulture class at Palmer (my advisor is leading that effort). I also presented to a science class at Galileo Middle school about my project and inspired teachers there to work towards obtaining Grow Towers of their own.

What did you learn about yourself?

Along the way, I learned several things about myself:

  1. I possess a strong work ethic
  2. I possess the ability to excite others about my project
  3. I possess strong leadership skills (public speaking, coordinating meetings, contacting staff members and other community leaders, etc.)
  4. I am good at public speaking
  5. I possess resiliency, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to changing conditions during the various project stages

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

Upon completing my Gold Award project, I feel more educated about my issue (the impact of climate change on food production) and more inspired to pursue a career to help address this issue or a similar issue in the future. This project has helped me develop and utilize several important life skills such as public speaking, leadership skills, budget-making, and problem-solving. I feel confident that I will be able to tackle any challenge moving forward.

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

I believe that completing my Gold Award project was an excellent way to cap off my Girl Scout experience. I have been in Girl Scouts since second grade and have completed both the Bronze and Silver awards, a Journey, and many different badges. I believe that the Gold Award project was great way to put all of the skills that I have learned as a Girl Scout into action and complete a project that I really care about.

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

After completing my Gold Award project, I feel that I have become a better innovator and leader. Throughout this project, I encountered many different obstacles that required me to problem solve and innovate possible solutions. Additionally, I believe that I grew as a leader – this project required me to facilitate several meetings, phone calls, and presentations, work with my team to create several budgets and timelines, reach out to other community organizations doing similar work, and conduct a press conference with a local newspaper and news channel.

**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: Devyn Dhieux, Evergreen, “Reusable Grocery Feed Bags”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I made grocery bags out of animal feed bags. I then taught others how to prepare the bags to be sewn. I created a “How-To Manual” with instructions on how to make the reusable grocery feed bags. I then taught another group how to sew the bags, using my “How-To Manual.” I also asked the manager at Big R to allow me to collect empty feed bags so other groups could have a supply of bags to make more reusable grocery feed bags.

I started this project because I had a lot of feed bags from feeding my animals. I know that plastic is bad for the environment. I wanted to make a difference in people using plastic. I also volunteer at Joy’s Kitchen (food rescue). I noticed the clients using boxes to carry their food home. So, by making my reusable grocery feed bags I help the environment by reducing the number of plastic bags, by upcycling the feed bags into a multi-use product. By donating these bags to Joy’s Kitchen, I provide a service to those who cannot afford to buy bags.

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

I measured the number of reusable feedbags that were made by volunteers and the number of bags that were provided to Joy’s Kitchen.

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

By giving 40 reusable grocery feed bags to Joy’s Kitchen, I will have replaced 28,000 single use plastic bags. By teaching others how to make their own reusable grocery feed bags I am allowing others to replace single use plastic bags. When I taught a group of adults at EChO how to make reusable grocery feed bags, I am continuing the making and giving of more reusable grocery feed bags into the community.

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

Reducing the number of single-use plastic bags in the environment reduces the amount of plastic that is in our landfills and oceans. By educating others and providing a way to upcycle another plastic product, I am further reducing the amount of plastic being used and being dumped. Plastic does not have a nationality and ends up in the world’s soils and oceans which then gets into the world’s food supply and contributes to the world’s plastic pollution. My reusable grocery feed bags are the beginning of changing the way people use plastic and provides a way to upcycle plastic.

What did you learn about yourself?

From Devyn’s Troop Leader: Devyn has worked hard from start to finish, she has led her peers and adults. She has grown a tremendous amount in her confidence and her knowledge and understanding of why her reusable grocery feed bags are making a difference. She has a lot to be proud of and I feel that this process has stretched her and made her an example of Gold Award material.

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

From Devyn’s Gold Award Mentor:  Devyn learned a lot of valuable life skills through the Gold Award process, including important organizational and social skills, which will benefit her as she moves forward.

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

It forced me to do something difficult and help the environment and people.

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

From Devyn’s Gold Award Mentor:  Devyn truly embodied the full spirit of  G.I.R.L.:  She was passionate about her project and became a real go-getter to push her ideas through.  She was an innovator by creating the pattern to turn an animal feed bag into a useful item.  Devyn was a risk-taker, because she pushed herself outside her comfort zone day after day when dealing with strangers in her community, something that does not come easily to her.  And she demonstrated leadership by enjoining members of her community into her project by teaching them how to create her reusable bags.

**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: Jessica Sweeney, Highlands Ranch, “Just Breathe and Plant Some Trees!”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project “Just Breathe and Plant Some Trees!” addressed the issue of deforestation. I was able to gather 31 community members to plant 40 trees and shrubs, as well as two flats of sedges at CALF’s Lowell Ranch. I worked with the Douglas County Conservation District (DCCD), which was able to donate the trees and shrubs for my project using money they received from a grant to restore the riparian ecosystem we planted at. I chose to host a tree planting event because I wanted community members to get involved with something hands-on and take action on an important issue in our local, national, and global community.

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

In order to measure the impact of my project on my target audience, I had my tree planting volunteers take a survey before and after the event to see how much they learned. I gave a five minute speech at the event to educate my volunteers in hopes that they would learn something new, and that they could demonstrate this knowledge in the second survey. I also had a few questions in the second survey that asked if the event impacted them and if they would take any future actions to combat the issue of deforestation.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement through the Douglas County Conservation District (DCCD), which I worked with for my Gold Award tree planting event, and the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Office of Sustainability. Both organizations are willing to promote my website and possibly my Instagram page as well. My project advisor Mrs. Berry, who was my high school teacher, Sustainability Club sponsor, and Sustainability Trainer for the DCSD Office of Sustainability, is also willing to sustain my project through my high school’s Sustainability Club. “Just Breathe and Plant Some Trees!” will continue to impact others because the DCSD Office of Sustainability will be able to share my project with multiple schools in the district. Furthermore, I strongly believe the DCCD and DCSD Office of Sustainability formed a connection through my Gold Award project, as the DCCD is interested in getting in contact with Mrs. Berry and my high school’s Sustainability Club and plan tree planting events in the future, specifically for spring 2020.

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

One crucial global and national link my project has is that planting trees benefits everyone on planet Earth. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere we all share, and it helps benefit local ecosystems which promotes a healthier environment as a whole. Planting trees also helps maintain the water cycle, reduce soil erosion, and protect species biodiversity. Another global and national connection my project has is through my website and Instagram page. Though they haven’t gotten out to a significant number of people yet, the organizations that are willing to sustain my project will be able to promote my website on their website.

What did you learn about yourself?

Something I learned about myself through this project is that I’m prone to procrastination and disorganization. It can be difficult to overcome these, but I’ve found that if I’m passionate enough about what I’m working on, it can help me push through any challenges to see success and accomplishment. I also learned that I’m pretty good at making lists to prioritize tasks and get the most important work done first.

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

Earning my Gold Award has impacted my future, because I’ve acquired great leadership skills through this project, and have learned the process of hosting a successful event. I strongly believe I will be more likely to take on projects similar to this in the future, and continue to volunteer and help contribute meaningfully to my community. I can also put my Gold Award project “Just Breathe and Plant Some Trees!” on my resume, and write the skills I developed through this project (such as leadership, communication, time management, commitment, organizational skills, etc.).

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

I have been in Girl Scouts all thirteen years, ever since I was a Daisy in kindergarten. I suppose you could say I’m rather committed to Girl Scouts, as I’ve earned many badges and patches, as well as both my Bronze and Silver Awards. I feel as though my Girl Scout journey would not be complete without the Gold Award, and that the life skills and experiences gained through this project will be something truly memorable and impactful for the future to come.

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

One of the leadership skills I developed through this project was delegating tasks to my team members. Quite a few of my team members were experts in their field, so they were able to provide me with information about trees and shrubs. I also learned how to assign tasks to people, such as my troop member Meg who created my website, to alleviate some of the work I needed to do. Another leadership skill I developed was being able to effectively communicate with others. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone to talk to new people and reach out to different organizations to tell them what my project was about and ask them if they could help me turn it into a reality.

Through this project, I was also able to become a go-getter. The Gold Award enabled me to set a goal, list the steps I needed to take to achieve that goal, and finally host a successful tree planting event! I had so much fun at my event, and was glad to see all my hard work paid off in the end. It’s easy to get caught up simply thinking about what goals you want to achieve, but the Gold Award really pushed me to be a go-getter and turn my dreams into a reality.

**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