Tag Archives: Girl Scouts of the USA

Because of Girl Scout Camp … part 7

This week’s entry comes from Julie “Pecos” Fischer, the Statewide Horse Director for Girl Scouts of Colorado:

Because of camp. . . . .I’ve made my life around teaching scouts to joys of horses 😉  I have been a scout since I was 4 years old and was basically born into scouting.  My parents are big into scouts and outdoors but neither were horse people.  I was lucky enough to be influenced by local ranchers where we grew up.  One of the ranchers also taught riding at our council GS camp and I worked hard every year to sell enough cookies so I could go to two weeks horse camp and learn from her during camp as well as year round. . . .because of her influence I remained with horses throughout my life and worked at my council camp along with her after completing the WIT program.  I continued to work with horses at scout camps through college.  I loved what camp brought regarding opportunities and how big influence it had in my decision to share my skills and show other girls how much fun camp and horses can be 😉 

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






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. 

Denver Metro Girl Scouts – International Campers Needing Host Famlies!

Calling on Colorado Girl Scouts in the metro Denver area!

Do you have a daughter between the ages of 11 and 13?

Would you like to be a host family for a girl between these ages (11 – 13) from the People’s Republic of China?

Five girls, participants of the CAPABLE TEENS program in China, are coming to the Denver for three weeks 17 July – 4 August 2013, chaperoned by Capable Teens representatives.  Host families in the metro Denver area are needed to provide room and board for a Chinese girl for approximately 10 days before and after Girl Scouts of CO (GSCO) resident camp during the three weeks.  By spending time with your family, these girls from the Suzhou area of China (near Shanghai) are hoping for a thorough immersion into American life.  The Chinese girls are already signed up for GSCO resident camp at Magic Sky  (“Moose Magic”, July 21-26) and for Girl Scout day camp (“Science in Our World”, Clement Park, Littleton, July 29-August 2).  Either girls will bring their own equipment or it will be provided by Capable Teens USA.

CAPABLE TEENS, modeled on the Boy Scouts of America scouting program, are bringing these young Chinese girls for an American girl experience as an American Girl Scout.  We need your help in welcoming these young girls to CO and the US and introducing them to the GSUSA way of Girl Scouting.  Small stipend per family available.

For more information and for an application, please contact:

Linda Fuller
Girl Program Coordinator, Capable Teens USA




Girl Scouts celebrate Earth Day


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.

National Girl Scout Cookie Day – Feb. 8, 2013

f3a3935f92ba42049f634558dac8e3a9Girl Scouts of the USA has officially named February 8, 2013 as National Girl Scout Cookie Day! On this day we will celebrate Girl Scout Cookie time, teaching the community about the lifelong skills learned through selling cookies as well as spreading the word on how to purchase cookies.

These efforts will be supported nationally through media and public service announcement placements. Girl Scouts of the USA is also planning a social media campaign. They’ve also put together a fabulous new Girl Scout Cookie website (a Spanish version of the site will launch in January), which encompasses the themes that will be emphasized on National Girl Scout Cookie Day.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will be marking the National Girl Scout Cookie Day with Cookie Social Media Day, which was previously announced on Nov. 30th (read that blog). We also are planning media and public service announcement placements for the Girl Scout Cookie season, which runs Jan. 27th through March 3rd.

We hope you will support Girl Scout Cookie time by getting involved in the National Girl Scout Cookie Day activities!

How to help our Girl Scout sisters on the East Coast

Our thoughts are with our Girl Scout sisters on the East Coast as they deal with Superstorm Sandy aftermath!

As of Nov. 7, 2012, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has lifted the fundraising restrictions to enable girls to raise money for Girl Scouting recovery efforts in the eight councils. (It is still not permitted for Girl Scouts to raise money for other organizations.) We encourage you to give to Girl Scouting for recovery in these eight councils. Contributions may be directed to a specific council or councils through their online giving sites. GSUSA also will establish a Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund to help address the needs of councils affected by the storm, and these funds will be directed to those councils once they have assessed their needs.  To give, go to donate.girlscouts.org/hurricanerecovery where you will find links to the online giving sites for all eight councils, as well as the giving form for the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.

GSUSA and the councils on the East Coast thank everyone for the outpouring of support. For now, the affected councils ask for time to assess and focus on their specific needs and to get back up and running. While we know you wish to support the affected councils, please be patient and hold off on calling or contacting the councils directly, so they may keep their attention focused on the highest recovery priorities. Although material donations and Girl Scout troop offers of assistance are appreciated, the councils are not currently in a position to process and organize them. The moral support and encouragement has been appreciated. The GSUSA team will be in touch on how you can further assist councils/Girl Scouts in their recovery efforts as the time becomes right. Girl Scouts have displayed tremendous courage, confidence, and character during this trying time, and we know they will continue to do so as the region continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Want to collect “stuff” for Sandy relief? Here are links to a couple of projects we recommend:

  • A collection in the Denver Metro Area of needed supplies for the Barrier Island communities, including Long Beach Long Island, NY. Organized by Troop Leader Jan Mazotti and her company ICOSA. Contact her at JanM@icosamag.com or janbo47@comcast.net for more information. Collections will go to the East Coast the week of Nov. 12th. They are also encouraging Girl Scouts to send “thinking of you notes” with the items.
  • Operation Be A Sister

Colorado Gold Award recipient named Girl Scout Great

Girl Scouts of the USA recently named 2010 Colorado Gold Award recipient Erica Vlahinos from Castle Rock a Girl Scout Great. Girl Scout Great recipients are featured in a national 100th anniversary public service announcement campaign for Girl Scouts of the USA. (View the ad here: Erica_20120815)

Currently Erica is a Junior studying Musical Theatre at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music. Any time she hasn’t been in school, she’s been working professionally as an actress. After she graduates from college in two years she plans to move to New York, which is really excited about!

According to Erica, “Girl Scouts, and receiving my Gold Award, showed me the possibilities that come with sheer determination. There are so few immovable limitations on what a woman can achieve if she is willing to work for it. Whatever your goal, mine clearly being to be a successful stage actress, you CAN and WILL achieve it. My journey in Girl Scouts and my Gold Award all seemed daunting and impossible at one point. But if you decide that you are going to do something, achieve something, and that you are going to fight until you do, it will happen. This lesson has served me well. And I’m sure it will continue to expand my future. (And hopefully the futures of those whose lives I cross.) The more I’m growing and meeting so many new people I’m realizing we’ve all figured out things that feel like the big secret or missing link to happiness or success. The more we share our ‘secrets’ selflessly, the more we can all move together towards a bright future.”

Having struggled with Dyslexia herself, for her Gold Award, Erica created a Dyslexic Learning Tools Library in her community. She provided the Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock 36 audio and visual books, all recorded by people passionate about or affected by learning disabilities themselves. Her number one message to those using the resources was “You may have Dyslexia but Dyslexia does not have you.”

Michelle Bellows recognized for service to Girl Scouts


View more photos

Today Girl Scouts of Colorado bestowed a high Girl Scout honor on one of our board members. Michelle Bellows from Fort Collins received the Thanks Badge II , one of Girl Scouts of the USA’s highest adult volunteer recognition honors which recognizes outstanding service made to the Girl Scout movement on a national basis. Michelle has served on the Girl Scouts of Colorado board since the formation of the council in 2007. Through her hard work, Girl Scouts of Colorado has a one-of-a-kind council governance system, known as the Membership Connection Committee, which work hand-in-hand with the board of directors on council policy decisions and ensuring our membership has a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Prior to her leadership with Girl Scouts of Colorado she held voluntary leadership positions with the legacy Mountain Prairie Girl Scout Council in Fort Collins.

Michelle received a standing ovation from the Board of Directors when she received her pin at their annual meeting today at the Denver Service Center (a few tears were shed too).

Michelle’s term is also ending on Girl Scouts of Colorado board today, but we know her service to Girl Scouts of Colorado is far from over! We truly thank Michelle for all she has done to help pave the way for building girl leadership through Girl Scouting in Colorado!

Follow-up from the Colorado delegation: Our Girls’ World Forum experience!

Written by Colorado’s Girls’ World Forum delegation

Hello from the Colorado contingent to the Girls’ World Forum!

All of us feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in a global Girl Scouting event – the Girls’ World Forum being hosted jointly by Girl Scouts of the USA and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

While Abby and Leina were busy learning about the UN Millennium Development Goals related to poverty and hunger, gender equity, and saving our planet – I (Heather) participated in the Chaperone track, where we were able to learn new skills and share ideas to be of better support to the girls on our return to our homes.

It is only in Girl Scouting that one can sit next to someone new (Madagascar, Liberia, Costa Rica, Maine, Portugal, Alaska!), strike up a conversation and only remember half-way into the conversation to introduce yourself! This became a common experience among all the participants. Beyond these moments of sisterhood, it was encouraging to experience all the girl participants, including our own Colorado delegation, process and work through the information they were given all week-long. To see how all the girls were taking in this knowledge and turning it around into something they can use back home was incredibly inspiring! This event was not just a reminder, but a public declaration that all it takes to make a difference in the world, is a girl.

And as a side note, my favorite (and the only real) complaint from our Colorado girls was not having enough time to process and complete their Take Action plans. Way to go Colorado!

Abby and Leina also have some thoughts to share after the close of the forum.

Leina: My experiences at the Girls World Forum are some of the best in my life, and this event is something I will remember for the rest of my life. Personally, my favorite thing about this forum was getting to meet so many fantastic girls from all over the world. I have made some great friends from places I had never even thought about visiting. Now, it seems like wherever I go, there will always be someone there for me to contact. Another great thing about this forum were all of the amazing speakers and everything I learned from them. Every single speaker there was very inspirational and they all taught me something new. I also learned a lot during all of the breakout sessions I was in. It was really interesting and educational to listen to the problems that were in other countries. Some of the things I heard were very surprising. Despite some frustrating times, I loved every minute of this forum.

Abby: Participating in the 2012 Girls World Forum in Chicago was a once- in-a-lifetime experience. All the people I met and all the things I learned are part of a great experience I will never forget. Some of my best memories are the parties we attended, the international night and the closing party. Girl Scouts know how to party to say the least! I made friends all week, and when it was time to leave I felt like I was losing a big group of sisters. However, I now know I have sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world. Learning about the three Millennium Development Goals was not only informative, but inspiring. Hearing the speakers and going to the breakout sessions gave me great ideas and changed the way I think about these issues. Overall, the week was great and I will miss everyone I met and the experiences we shared.

We encourage everyone to find a way to be involved in our global sisterhood through WAGGGS! Your life will never be the same!

Colorado Girl Scouts receive grant from MetLife Foundation

Girl Scouts of Colorado recently received a $20,000 grant from the MetLife Foundation Hispanic Leadership Fund to support its growing statewide Hispanic Initiative. This statewide effort focuses on bringing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to more Hispanic girls and volunteers in key population centers throughout Colorado. Local advisory committees will be established with the help of the Hispanic community and business leaders.

The fastest growing ethnic population in Colorado is the Hispanic/Latino community. In Colorado, approximately 30 percent of girls ages 5-17 are Hispanic, and in the last 20 years the Hispanic student population has grown by more than 180 percent in Colorado—20 percent of the total population. To help serve the growing Hispanic population, Girl Scouts of Colorado implemented its Hispanic Initiative in 2010 to provide a more focused approach in serving this population. Funding provided by the MetLife Foundation Hispanic Leadership Fund will assist Girl Scouts of Colorado in developing a stronger infrastructure to support girls and adults, strengthening advisory teams, enhancing partnerships and providing program through Girl Scouts series pathway.

The MetLife Foundation teamed with Girl Scouts of the USA to make the Hispanic Leadership Fund available to Girl Scout councils across the United States, including Colorado. To get involved in Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Hispanic Initiative, please contact Kristin Courington at 720-288-1615 or at kristin.courington@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scouts was founded nationally in 1912, and is today the premier all-girl leadership development organization in the country. Girl Scouts offers girls a variety of leadership-based programs and activities that promote self-esteem and confidence, life and academic skills, healthy lifestyles, team-building, community service and much more. This year marks Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, known as the “Year of the Girl.” There are many ways to get involved in supporting Colorado’s current 30,000 Girl Scouts and 9,000 adult volunteers in fulfilling our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Learn more at girlscoutsofcolorado.org or by calling 1-855-726-4726.

Article about the grant in the Denver Post.