Tag Archives: environment

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

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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

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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.

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week

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Celebrate Earth Day with Girl Scouts! This Denver event on April 21st, presented in partnership with the Energy Service Corps, will be a fun and engaging day for all girls and volunteers. Girls kindergarten through twelfth grade will participate in activities, such as traveling through different stations in their “flower-powered car,” exploring the wonders of water and investigating the real food network. We are looking for volunteers to assist with each of these fun activities and more. Together we can learn how to take care or our planet. What a way to celebrate Earth Day! Contact Alli at alli.oswandel@gscolorado.org for more information.

Re-use Re-teach Re-learn- My Silver Award Journey

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Submitted by Jessica Mills
Colorado Springs

My Silver Award, a journey that I will treasure forever, all started with a simple act at the end of the school year. After my first experience, I never could get the idea out of my head that kids need essential school supplies to not only learn, but to thrive in this growing world. When I saw kids throwing perfectly good school supplies, including backpacks, in the trash at the end of the school year, I knew that I needed to take action. This was the beginning of Re-use, Re-teach, Re-learn — a program intended for student success and keeping supplies out of the garbage can.

I knew the perfect mentor for me, a devoted and passionate 6th grade teacher, and my math teacher. I had all the tools I needed, I was thriving. At the end of the school year, my Mom and I went on a ³shopping² trip to local King Soopers and Safeway grocery stores in search of apple boxes to collect gently used school supplies during the last few weeks of school.

My 6th grade year, we collected stacks of supplies, taking up a classroom wall, all sorted out by type. The supplies went to less privileged schools in our community, the counseling office at our school, and some shipped off to Mweruka Junior School in Uganda with a non-profit organization, Unite Our World (Learn more at Unite Our World.org). Creating a worldwide impact helped me realize that no goal is too big, and that if you have a dream, you can achieve your dream. This experience helped me realize how great Girl Scouts really is.

My 7th grade year went even better, with all of the quirks worked out, we were able to have an even more successful program. My previous mentor left for Australia for a year, coming back in December 2012, so I had to find a new mentor, my 7th grade science teacher. With the help of my friends collecting boxes and boxes of school supplies at lunch, and with the help of my teacher, I was yet another step toward achieving my goal. The school supplies we collected my 7th grade year went to a local school in need, and again, some stayed at the school counseling office for students in need.

This year, my 8th grade year, I will be handing off Re-use, Re-teach, Re-learn to a program at my school dedicated to the environment, while also helping students. Taking initiative helped me gain confidence in myself, and also helped me gain confidence in the world.

Thank you Ms. Lang, Mrs. Gaunce, my friends, Mom, Dad, Stephanie, and thank you Girl Scouts for helping me on my path to success.

Jessica Mills

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

Generation Wow! Girl Scouts complete service project

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More photos on Flickr

Generation Wow! Girl Scouts from Colorado met this last weekend, Aug. 20 and 21, in Colorado Springs and Denver to participate in a service project with Girl Scouts Women of Distinction, who are women leaders in the community. During this project the girls and women made worm composting bins that they plan to take back to their communities to help reduce landfill waste and produce a nutrient-rich soil good for fertilizing.

The Colorado Springs Gazette and Denver Post covered these events.

Mother of Generation Wow! honoree Kathryn Conrad also made a photo slideshow of the Denver service project day. Thanks, Stephanie!

Additionally, mother of honoree Cassidy Cheesman made a website about her experiences as a Generation Wow! Girl Scout. Thanks, Kristen!

Girl Scouts throughout the state and country will participate in similar Forever Green environmental service projects during Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary.

More information on Generation Wow!

Girl Scouts of Colorado recognizes 100 girls in honor of 100th anniversary

Girl Scouts is kicking off their 100th anniversary celebrations by naming 100 Colorado Girl Scouts as the leaders of tomorrow – the Generation Wow! Generation Wow! recognizes outstanding girls whose individual achievements in Girl Scouts, their schools and communities set them apart as leaders.

 

Girls who earned this honor exhibit a high level of volunteer achievement and make significant contributions to their community. They demonstrate strong leadership skills; participate in service and learning projects. They exhibit achievement in developing a healthy attitude, both mind and body, and demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills in teamwork, conflict resolution and goal setting.  They embody the vision of Girl Scouting. A committee of outside civic and community leaders from throughout Colorado helped select these recipients.

View the list of the 100 Girl Scouts who have been named to this honor as well as learn more about the activities they are participating in as well as the regional events where they will be recognized.

The Walmart Foundation awards grant to Girl Scouts

The Walmart Foundation recently awarded Girl Scouts of Colorado a $25,000 grant in support of Forever Green, Girl Scouts nationally-developed program that teaches girls how to lead their families, schools and communities in improving the environment and protecting natural resources. The program will be delivered statewide, and over the next year will coincide with activities Girl Scouts is planning around the organization’s 100th anniversary.

Girl Scouts of Colorado Forever Green activities this year will focus on three major projects—reduce plastic waste, Earth Hour and rain gardens. Through this program, Girl Scouts will develop and use their leadership skills to impact the environment by working with their schools and communities to improve energy use, water use and waste management—specifically recycling. Participants will take action on efforts to reduce the number of plastic bottles and bags in landfills, lower their CO2 footprints and encourage sustainable behavior change, increase green space and wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.

The Walmart Foundation initially seeded the Girl Scouts of Colorado Forever Green program in 2009.

Article about grant award in The Fort Morgan Times and the Sterling Journal-Advocate.