Tag Archives: gardening

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate installs “Grow Tower” at high school in Colorado Springs

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Emma P.  installed the first of two “Grow Towers” in the library of Palmer High School in Colorado Springs on September 30, 2019. Emma is working to earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

Emma describes her project:

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been deeply interested in climate change and determined to help address it. For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I wanted to pick a project that would help address climate change in my community. I decided the library at my high school, Palmer High School, would greatly benefit from a new environmental project, the installation of two hydroponic ‘Grow Towers,’ an indoor alternative growing system. ‘Grow Towers’ are vertical, hydroponic (plants grown in liquid instead of soil) growing systems, which grow various herbs, vegetables, and other plants in less than 3 square feet. This project has many important ramifications for my entire school. The cafeteria and culinary classes will utilize the fresh herbs and vegetables in their programs. I also plan on tying these towers into some science classes and am considering starting a new horticulture class to further educate and involve students in similar projects. Along the way, I have been working with teachers, administrators, and student groups to help maintain my project and work toward expansion. I have also met with and arranged for representatives from two community organizations (Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Colorado Springs Food Rescue) to give presentations at my school about their organizations’ work. I am hoping students will feel more connected and interested in similar local work. Ultimately, I am hoping these towers will help the Palmer community learn about the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options within schools and students will feel a sense of empowerment in addressing climate change.”

A special thank you to the Colorado Springs News-Gazette and Fox21News/KXRM-TV for joining Emma for this event and sharing her story.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Kyra TerLouw, Grand Junction, “Container Gardening Initiative”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created vegetable container garden kits which included soil, seeds, nutritional information, and a bilingual “how-to” brochure, after experimenting with container gardening myself. I partnered with Community Food Bank to distribute the kits to low-resource families, with the hope of inspiring them to eat healthy produce at low or minimal cost, as well as teach their kids about good nutrition.

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

I kept track of the number of kits distributed and collected personal testimonies from family members who received them, as well as gathered feedback from food bank volunteers. A total of 39 kits were given to families in the community.

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

Families can continue and expand upon the container garden idea, so that friends, neighbors, and future generations will be positively impacted. My container garden brochure will also be distributed to future Community Food Bank families to inspire a greater number of people. A local church plans to duplicate my garden kit project next year. Library displays placed in Grand Junction High School and Central High School were donated for future educational use.

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

Healthy eating and living on minimal resources are global issues. People all over the world, not just in my community, struggle with limited access or affordability of healthy food choices.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to believe in myself and ask for what I need, that organization is a strength of mine, and communication is very important to getting things accomplished on schedule. I learned that an idea can become a reality with hard work and perseverance. I also learned how to project my voice… becoming more confident and believing in myself helped.

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

The Gold Award helped strengthen my leadership and communication skills, both of which are needed in the “real world.” Opportunities to take charge, speak publicly, and help others are everywhere. Earning my Gold Award has made me more self-confident.

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

The Gold Award personalized my Girl Scout experience. I was able to work on a project that I was passionate about, while making a difference in the community on a much larger scale than I had ever done before.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator. Using vegetable container gardens to address the need for low cost, healthy eating options among families with minimal resources was a new idea in my community. I took my love for gardening and shared it with others who could benefit from growing fresh produce. Another way I became an innovator was through the process of searching for support materials. I realized that much of the published materials about container gardening were for flowers, not vegetables. This discovery led me to develop my own informational brochure.

**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 candidate fights hunger with container gardening kits

Girl Scout Ambassador Kyra T. from Grand Junction is working to earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. For her project, she partnered with the Grand Junction Community Food Bank to provide their clients with vegetable container gardening kits. Each kit contained soil, seeds, nutritional information, and a “how-to” brochure, which she created after experimenting with container gardening. GSCO asked Kyra to describe her project in her own words. She wrote, “By creating and distributing container gardening kits, my hope is to influence healthy food choices among low-resource or struggling families so they are able to provide their children and themselves with healthy produce at low or minimal cost, as well as teach their kids about good nutrition. Container gardens are suitable for a variety of plants and can be grown on a windowsill, a front porch, or balcony, making them suitable for many types of living environments and easy for families to use.”

Thanks to News11/KKCO-TVand Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for sharing Kyra’s story with their audiences.

Troop 2692 earns Bronze Award with Xeriscape Garden project

Part of being a Girl Scout is learning the skills needed to plan, coordinate and execute projects that contribute to your community. Junior Girl Scout Troop 2629 displayed their leadership by planting a Xeriscape garden at Pine Grove Elementary to earn their Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award is the highest award possible for Junior Girl Scouts. The pursuit of this award began in early 2009 and finally came to fruition during Memorial Day Weekend. All 12 girls worked over the holiday to ensure this project was completed before summer break.

The girls selected a Xeriscape garden because part of the Girl Scout Law is to “use resources wisely.” The girls know that is the purpose of a Xeriscape garden and want their work to serve as a shining example of how lovely a Xeriscape garden can be.

The garden would not have materialized without the support of the Pine Grove staff and especially Principal David Minter. Over a 2 ½ year period, Minter championed this project with the Douglas County School District to gain district approval.

In addition to DCSD, several organizations made this project a success:

* A grant from Colorado Garden Show, Inc made this project possible

*Underground Sprinkler Corps donated the installation of our sprinklers

*Master Gardener, Julie Pfankuch, donated her expertise and countless hours

* Nick’s Garden Center donated plants

* Pine Lane Nursery Garden Center donated plants

* Tagawa Gardens donated plants

* Walmart supplied most of the compost

Troop 2629 is proud to be of service to the Parker community.


Row 1: Kelli M.; Meredity M.; Ashley L.; Mary D.
Row 2: Emily V.; Olivia R.; Abby U.; Lauren M.; Leah M.; Katelyn K.; Kristen H.; Macy D.
Row 3: Troop Leader Wendy R.; Troop Leader Suan H.; Troop Leader Kim L.