Tag Archives: environment

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).

Troop 367 loves Earth Day, reminds others to appreciate the planet

[slideshow]

Submitted by Jessica Bloom

Thornton

Denver Metro

Each year our troop invites friends and family to join us in cleaning up the grounds around our home school, the goal is for each person to collect one bag of trash. This year, we got more than 14 bags full! Afterwards, we invite everyone to help decorate the sidewalks around the school with earth day chalk art. This morning, as students and parents arrived at the school they were greeted with art reminding then to love their planet!

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

Because of Girl Scout Camp … part 6

This week’s “Because of Girl Scout Camp” Entry is from Ash, who is our Art Program Director at Magic Sky Ranch! Sometimes it’s hard to tell who gets more out of camp…the campers or the staff and volunteers!

Cliff Lake 

As we came over that final dirt covered hill, our excitement began to build. I hadn’t been back to the crystal blue Cliff Lake in a whole year, and the anticipation was killing me. I was a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) at Magic Sky Ranch the summer before my junior year in high school. My unit was filled with girls who loved camping and nature, so I was excited to show them the lake. I hoped that the graham cracker beaches hadn’t changed, and that I could still stick my feet in the pockets of warmth hidden in the sand.

Thankfully it was as beautiful as I could remember. Its stone cold cliff raised high above the lake and left a stunning reflection on the surface of the water. It dwarfed the evergreen trees standing next to it like an army of soldiers preparing to protect their peace of utopia. I knew I was back, and I never wanted to leave again. We walked along it perfect shore until we came to a water-stained bridge that seemed as if it had been there since the beginning of time. It looked as if it was made of the same wood that protected the lake from all the elements, unfortunately the army of evergreens did not protect its wooden counterpart. We had to go across one-by-one in fear that the bridge might break loose of its screws and fall into the flawless water below. Once every girl had crossed the lake safely, we continued on a small

one

person

path

of

earth

that lead to the bronzed beaches I had longed for. We hopped across the limestone boulders to the center of the lake where the counselors and I pulled out the art supplies so the girls could draw whatever they desired in this slice of perfection. They dumped out the crayola crayons, and unexpectedly they rolled into the lake. Flashes of candy apple red, periwinkle, granny smith apple, and other crazily named crayons reflected in the water stained sand below. I knew that it would be my job to retrieve them. That was our jobs as CIT’s, we needed to protect out girls, and I wanted to make sure that none of their first memories of Cliff Lake were bad. I removed my digital watch, and thrust my hand into the sparkling water. A frosty chill crept up my arm, and a shiver ran through my body. The crayons were a great deal deeper then I thought they would be. It felt like it would take me an eternity to fetch the crayons from the bottom of the flawless lake.I thrust my hand deeper,

 

        and deeper,

 

                                                                    and deeper into the water until I felt my fingers wrap around the crayons. I jerked my hand up in a sharp, speedy movement until I could no longer feel the stabbing chill of the icy water against my arm. I opened my hand and the brown sand leaked from my palm as if it had never belonged there in the first place, leaving only the crazily named crayons behind. I put the crayons back in the box and closed it up while I instructed the girls to only take one crayon out of the box at a time. I hopped backed to the beaches, took my shoes off and plunged my feet into the sunburned sand I had longed for. The pocket of warmth heated my toes up to a toasty temperature. I sat basking in the warmth of my personal slice of perfection, dreaming of other moments in time as perfect as this one. 

Girl Scouts celebrate Earth Day

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Ninety Girl Scouts of all ages gathered at the Denver Girl Scout Service Center on Sunday, April 21st, for an Earth Day event. The participants learned how they can play a part in helping their planet Earth with activities including building a miniature “petal-powered” car out of recycled materials, learning about plants and the water cycle, constructing a water filtration system, conducting an energy audit of the Girl Scout office, and building solar ovens and mini-wind turbines. All activities were part of the It’s Your Planet – Love It! Journey program. Volunteers with the Energy Service Corps. helped plan and carry out this event. View more photos from the event here. Girl Scouts of the USA also was there filming footage for their video collection.

Posted by Amanda Kalina, PR Director, Girl Scouts of Colorado. Photos by Wendy Kent, Art Director, Girl Scouts of Colorado.