Tag Archives: environment

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

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

Girl Scouts learn about watershed conversation and the environment in Longmont

In partnership with Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) and Anadarko, a dozen Girl Scouts had the opportunity to serve as citizen scientists, anglers, and artists on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Izaak Walton Clubhouse in Longmont. The goal of the event was to help girls develop an appreciation for watershed conservation and the environment. This outdoor watershed experience employed STEM-education (science, technology, engineering, math), plus recreation and arts to explore a local stream. CTU volunteers led Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes in observing a stream, collecting flow data, sampling macroinvertebrates (aka aquatic bugs), fly tying, and fly casting. Girls also explored the natural area and recorded their thoughts and observations.

Special thanks to the Boulder Daily Camera for joining GSCO for this special event!

Colorado Trout Unlimited is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Colorado’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. With a grassroots base comprised of nearly 12,000 members in 24 local chapters across the state, CTU works both locally and statewide through advocacy, education, and on-the-ground restoration projects. For more information visit www.coloradotu.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout honored as Environmental Educator of the Year

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Estes Park

Gold Award Girl Scout and Lifetime Girl Scout Wendy Roberts, daughter of Jay and Penny Roberts of Estes Park, was recently honored with a prestigious award:  the 2019 Vern A. Fridley Formal Environmental Educator of the Year.  This honor was awarded by the Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE), and the awards presentation was held on August 9, 2019 at Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City.

Wendy was a teacher in the Estes Park schools for several years in the early 2000s. She began with her student teaching, followed by working as a private tutor and substitute teaching. After she was hired full-time, she taught classes in ESL, Alternative Education, and science to enhance her experience.

She moved from Estes Park to Liberal, Kansas, where she taught eighth grade physical science for two years at the middle school level.  She then moved on to Ogden, Utah, where she now teaches at the DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts, a public charter school. At DaVinci Academy, she teaches high school Biology, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college prep program for 7th-12th grades), and also includes electives such as Botany, Zoology, Aquatic Biology, Wildlife Biology and Current Issues in Science in her curriculum.  Previously, she had taught Chemistry and Earth Systems.  This year, she has added to her job description the role of Instructional Specialist for the teachers of 7th-12th grades and professional development training.

Wendy has also worked extensively with the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College; she instructs teachers how to use the Great Salt Lake in their science curriculum and how to take students on field trips there.  She has worked the entire water cycle into field trips by traveling from the top of the watershed to the entire length of the Salt Lake, showing students the magic and wonder of this unique environment.

In addition, she has worked through the Utah State University to acquire Master Naturalist certifications in Mountains and Wetlands.

Alex Porpora, Executive Director for USEE says, “We are so proud to acknowledge this year’s environmental education awardees and their contributions to our community.  These individuals are role models and inspire me to do the work we do at USEE.”  Further she reports, “Our mission is promoting excellence in environmental education by providing support, resources and networking opportunities to Utah’s community of educators.  Our vision is an environmentally literate society committed to a sustainable future.”

One of Wendy’s current environmental science students was also honored at the USEE awards ceremony, as one of Utah’s “5 under 25” for her work with air quality legislation at the city and state levels. Wendy says she was more in awe of her student’s recognition and levels of dedication than her own award. At the awards ceremony, Wendy said, in summary, “My mom was my greatest inspiration.  She made me look at things (in the surrounding environment) and then she told me that I needed to tell everybody else.  Yes, I make my students hug trees and I make my administrators stop buying plastic bottles.”

She attributes her love for the outdoors and education to her years of working with the Girl Scouts, primarily at Meadow Mountain Ranch near Allenspark.  It’s easy to see how that Girl Scout background has translated to the level of “master teacher,” as evident in her success which is now reaching beyond her own school and into the broader Utah community.

Wendy worked as Assistant Camp Director at MMR for three years, where she directed program and trained staff.  In addition, she participated with “The Milkweeds” in the adult trip to Our Cabana in Mexico where the group visited the Monarch butterfly preserve and helped with an International Festival and a community outreach service project.  Several years later, part of that same group of women, including Wendy, returned to Our Cabana this year to take part in Sea Adventure II, where they were awarded an opportunity to help with a project to protect and preserve sea turtles near Acapulco.  For Wendy, almost any outdoor project is a huge attraction, and she will continue to seek out similar adventures inside or outside the Girl Scout organization.

She helps her mom, Penny, with the program and promotion of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch every year, returning to her roots to reconnect with that very special wilderness environment.  Adventures are never-ending when she gets a chance to share with friends old and new on her personal “stomping grounds.”

Please join her parents in celebrating Wendy’s outstanding accomplishment. The future will continue to be bright and will reward her over and over as she works to further her personal and professional goals.

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

 

 

24 Girl Scouts learn about watershed conservation and the environment

 

In partnership with Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) and Anadarko, two dozen Girl Scouts had the opportunity to serve as citizen scientists, anglers, and artists on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Kassler Center in Littleton. The goal of the event was to help girls develop an appreciation for watershed conservation and the environment. This outdoor watershed experience employed STEM-education (science, technology, engineering, math), plus recreation and arts to explore a local stream. CTU volunteers led Girl Scout Juniors and Cadettes in observing a stream, collecting flow data, sampling macroinvertebrates (aka aquatic bugs), fly tying, and fly casting. Girls also explored the natural area around Kassler Center and recorded their thoughts and observations.

Colorado Trout Unlimited is dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring Colorado’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. With a grassroots base comprised of nearly 12,000 members in 24 local chapters across the state, CTU works both locally and statewide through advocacy, education, and on-the-ground restoration projects. For more information visit www.coloradotu.org.

Everything you need to know about the NEW environmental stewardship badges

From Girl Scouts of the USA

A Girl Scout doesn’t need to be told twice to protect our planet—being green is in her DNA. Since 1912, Girl Scouts across the nation have accepted the charge to get outdoors, respect wildlife, and take care of our environment. And our commitment’s only growing. Yep, we’ve got the passion, the projects, and the new badges to prove it.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve teamed up with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to expand our environmental conservation and stewardship offerings with five new badges! These badges are the first to specifically prepare girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and protect the natural world (our Junior Outdoor Eco Camper badge completes the lineup for all grade levels).

Major thanks to the Elliott Wildlife Values Project, whose funding made these new badges possible. Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of all the badges. Drumroll, please!

Daisy Eco Learner
Earning this badge is as fun as it is informative! Daisies will learn how to keep plants and animals safe through games, prepare to go on an outdoor adventure of their choice, and remove trash that pollutes the environment.

Brownie Eco Friend
As Girl Scouts, Brownies already take care of the environment whenever they spend time outdoors, but with this badge, they’ll learn more ways to treat outdoor spaces and wildlife with kindness and teach others how they can too.

Cadette Eco Trekker

After earning this badge, Cadettes will understand the important role they play in nature and be able to plan an eco trek. The experience will show the girls how to minimize their impact on the environment and teach them ways to conserve, preserve, and protect it.

Senior Eco Explorer
With this badge, Seniors will examine different environmental issues—from plastic pollution to wildlife preservation to shoreline erosion—and plan a trip to explore a specific issue. They’ll also learn to work in a team to research and create solutions.

Ambassador Eco Advocate
Ambassadors have already learned about the importance of the environment, but by experiencing firsthand how to advocate for nature, they’ll take their skills a step further and have a greater impact. As they earn this badge, girls will hear from environmentalists about issues such as endangered species and the destruction of rain forests and work to explore challenges, create solutions, and advocate for their cause. 

By earning these badges, Girl Scouts are taking action in big and small ways to make the world a cleaner, healthier place for all.

Now that’s a G.I.R.L. Agenda we can all get behind. Get out there and earn your new badge now!

10 ways to show our planet some love

From Girl Scouts of the USA

We’re Girl Scouts. We know a thing or two about being green!

It’s in our DNA. Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was a famous nature enthusiast—and we always encourage everyone to use our planet’s scarce resources wisely, for themselves and for everyone!

On Earth Day—and every day—you can take action to help protect and honor the planet we all call home. There’s only one Earth, but there are so many ways to celebrate it!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Go outside. Nothing says you love Mother Nature like spending some quality time with her! Take a walk. Smell a flower. Listen to the birds. Take photos in a national parkand share your best shots on Instagram and Twitter using #gsoutdoors. Then check out your photos—and others.

2. Recycle. Items made from glass, paper, metal, or plastic can all be recycled into new products instead of clogging our landfills or spoiling the environment. So don’t trash it, recycle it! You’ll help conserve resources, prevent pollution, reduce greenhouse gases, and make the environment healthy for future generations.       

3. Plant a garden. See firsthand how plants develop and thrive. Grow your own flowers, fruits, veggies, a tree, or all of them! You can start from seeds, cuttings, or potted plants. Go ahead—it’s OK to get your hands dirty for a good cause!

4. Say “goodbye” to plastic water bottles. It’s important to stay hydrated, but those disposable plastic water bottles are bad news for our animal friends and the environment. Just switch to a refillable water bottle you can carry with you. It’s healthy, environmentally friendly, and economical. Win, win, and win!

5. Flip the switch on energy use. Turn off lights, computers, televisions, game consoles, and other electronic devices when you’re not using them— simple, but so effective!

6. Go to an Earth Day fair. Find an Earth Day event in your community and go! It’s your chance to learn about environmentally friendly practices, products, and volunteer opportunities. Plus, you just might make new friends who share your interests or pick up a tip or two on how to be more environmentally aware.

7. Use less, reuse more. You can reduce waste by not creating it in the first place. Try to buy reusable items instead of disposable ones. Repair broken things instead of buying new. Do a good deed by donating unwanted clothing, toys, and other items to charity instead of tossing them in the trash.

8. Spark a conversation. Talk to your friends about environmental issues that interest you. Together, you can make a plan to have a positive impact on our planet. Or get in touch with elected officials and community representatives to share your ideas on the environment. Raise your voice and be heard!

9. Conserve water. Did you know that only 1% of the Earth’s water is suitable to drink? So let’s use it wisely. Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth. Take a quick shower instead of filling the bathtub. Be on the lookout for leaks at home and school. We can do this!

10. Organize a cleanup. Get your friends and family together and have some fun cleaning up your local park, beach, school, or playground. After you’re done, have a picnic to celebrate a job well done. 

And that’s just the beginning!

In Girl Scouts, there are plenty of ways to make every day feel like Earth Day! Girls can explore the It’s Your Planet—Love It! Journey—or work toward their Outdoor badges, find an awesome summer camp, or even be part of the Girl Scout Ranger Program in our national parks.

So let’s get out there and make this an Earth Day to remember!

For more information on Girl Scouts and the outdoors, check out the special report, More Than S’mores: Successes and Surprises in Girl Scouts’ Outdoor Experiences (PDF).