Tag Archives: Gold Award Girl Scout

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lexi Vaille, Dillon, “Battling the Stigma Against Mental Health”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award, I partnered with Building Hope and started a Hope Squad program at Snowy Peaks High School.

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

I measured the impact my project made by creating a Google form, asking questions about what resources the student knew about before and how they think Hope Squad will be helpful to students in the future.

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

Connor Catron, Summit School District social worker, and Justin Holms, Snowy Peaks teacher, will keep the program running for at least the next four years and hopefully continue after that. Connor and Mr. Holms signed a commitment letter stating that they will help keep the program going. This program will be something that every student can join.

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

My project’s global link is the lack of awareness on the topic of mental health and how it affects people.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am good at public speaking in front of large crowds, over Zoom, and in person.

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

Earning my Gold Award means a lot to me. My dad and older brother both have their Eagle and I wanted to be able to earn my Gold Award. I am the first in my family to earn my Gold Award. In my future, I will be able to inspire younger girls to achieve their Gold Award because it is such a big honor. Creating a mental health program will inspire me to use those resources in my future and to become someone anyone can talk to when I become a teacher.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my experience because it allowed me to take the lead on a project and do something based on what I am passionate about.

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 a G.I.R.L. because I was a go-getter by not giving up on my goals and pushing through to make sure I got them done. I was able to be an innovator because I got to figure out what program would work best and change it as needed. I was a risk-taker because I had to present to many people I did not know or feel comfortable around, so I took the risk and was able to do it. And, I was a leader because I got to use my leadership skills in starting the program.

**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: Ruby Boswell, Colorado Springs, “Closet of Confidence”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created and implemented a closet into my high school office that held various feminine hygiene products and resources, called the Closet of Confidence. Along with the closet, I began open and honest conversations with faculty, students, and parents about the discomfort felt in young female students coming to school on their periods and not feeling prepared. My project overall addressed the issue of the lack of availability of feminine hygiene products in middle and high schools, and the statistically low self-esteem gained when a young woman is on her period, which can lead to her missing school days and prohibiting her from getting a full, uninterrupted education. The Closet of Confidence ensures that a young woman will never have to limit her education by a circumstance she cannot control and provides her with confidence and assurance to learn without barriers.

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

The Closet of Confidence has been used by several high school girls, and in talking with them about the closet’s impact, they have stated that the product’s presence has eased their mind about coming to school on their periods. My audience learned that being on their period doesn’t mean they have to stay home and miss out on their education. They have products there for them to equip them to have the confidence to get a good education. The Closet of Confidence has been publicized and will have even further use going into the coming school years

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

I partnered with the National Honor Society at my school, and they have agreed that any products brought in for the closet will be counted for service hours, depending on how much product. Along with the National Honor Society, the Parent Teacher Organization will be contributing. They plan on evaluating every semester if the closet needs refilling and will place in products via their own funds or run a PTO sponsored donation drive for the closet. My project advisor, Jana Wilson, works in the school office and will ensure that product gets placed.

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

For my national connection, I have been in contact with several educators around Colorado and the country who are eager and willing to help encourage their communities to implement the Closet of Confidence into their school districts.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this whole process, I learned several things about myself. I learned that I am fueled by what I am passionate about. Uplifting young women and giving them the resources they need to be successful and confident gives me great joy and encourages me to continue on a path of persuing passion. I also learned a lot about what confidence truly is, where it comes from, and what it means to me. Confidence does not come from an outside source or someone telling you you’re worthy, it comes from a deep knowledge that the authentic you is worthy and capable, which gives you the confidence to be bold and be yourself. This is definitely the biggest insight I gained in doing my project.

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

In earning my Gold Award, I have gained an experience in leadership, management, and service that will benefit me in my academic and professional careers as I continue toward my goals. My interests and passions were reinforced, and I intend to continue my journey to uplifting and empowering women of all ages. Above all, in the midst of a pandemic, and an extremely challenging year, I saw this project to completion. I had to dig deep to make it happen and I did it. I am confident in my ability to see future projects to completion as well.

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

I have been involved with Girl Scouts since first grade and have met some of my best friends and have gained experiences that I will treasure forever and look back on with gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned. The other girls in my troop and my troop leader have truly inspired me, and we all have offered love and support for one another these many years. Completing my Gold Award is the best way to conclude a phenomenal Girl Scout experience.

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

Earning my Gold Award undoubtably helped me become a G.I.R.L. I learned how to reach for my goals for the Closet of Confidence as a go-getter. I saw the need for a change and something new in my school system, so I took action in creating it as an innovator. I entered into conversations about topics that are considered taboo, such as feminine hygiene, and encouraged open discussion, teaching me to be a risk-taker. Finally, I learned how communication, cooperation and management are what make a good leader.

**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.

2021 Virtual Highest Awards Celebrations: Watch Now

Thank you to everyone who joined Girl Scouts of Colorado on Sunday, May 16 for the 2021 Highest Awards Virtual Celebrations!  Missed the celebrations? That’s okay. You can watch the recordings now on the GSCO Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Facebook Links

YouTube Links

Whether you joined us live or are watching the recordings at a later date, we encourage troops and families to make these events feel special for their Highest Awards Girl Scouts in any way possible! Dress up, have your girl wear her Girl Scout vest/sash, decorate your home, or maybe bake something special. Also, be sure to share congratulations for your troop and help our Highest Awards Girl Scouts feel even more proud of their huge accomplishments. You can also use these Highest Awards social media graphics or share photos and videos from your celebration with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo.

Honor Your Highest Awards Girl Scout

Honor your Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Girl Scout by making a gift to Girl Scouts of Colorado to help us continue to support older girls who are making the world a better place! Make your donation here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/donate.html

Questions? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

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: Sophie Reynolds, Castle Rock, “Exploring Biotech”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created a patch packet for Girl Scouts of different ages, ranging from Brownies to Ambassadors, and designed and produced an actual patch that can be purchased at the GSCO Retail Shop.

I also developed a few workshops for teachers and created a website that shares these resources, as well as testimonies of women in biotech with the purpose of addressing the local, national, and global issue of the gender barrier in different science fields. I addressed this issue by creating and sharing fun educational activities that allow students to explore some of the mysteries of biotechnology and hopefully, make them want to become future scientists in this field of science. I hope that the testimonies on my website will spark an interest in young girls and help them decide if a career in biotechnology is for them and what path they should take in college.

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

To measure the impact of my Gold Award project, I created two different surveys. One is answered by students/girls in the beginning of the workshop, and the other is taken at the end. I was able to assess the knowledge they gained after comparing their answers before and after.

I also used the data from my website’s dashboard that allows me to see that my website was visited more than 200 times from 27 different states, eight different countries, and three continents in less than a month.

I am also receiving feedback through the contact me page on my website.

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

My project is being sustained by the TSA (Technology Student Association) club at Castle View High School. They will introduce my workshops and website to incoming club members every year, as well as promote the Exploring Biotech website during eighth grade nights at CVHS. The Exploring Biotech Website is on a free website platform, so no financial maintenance is required for the project. The website resource can be accessed by people around the world for the foreseeable future, https://sophier314.wixsite.com/exploring-biotech

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

The issue of the gender barrier in the science field is noticed around the globe in numerous ways, and there are a lot of institutions that support the idea of empowering more women in science. I contacted a lecturer at the University of Kentucky who shared my website link with the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) K-12 team, as well as on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I emailed the SUCM (service unit cookie manager) in Castle Rock, and she shared the link on the service unit’s Facebook, as well as on the Service Unit 652 website. I also contacted a senior research associate at Twist Bioscience, who shared my website and patch packet with two Girl Scout troops in Northern California. I emailed a former Gold Award Girl Scout and a CU Boulder student, who shared my link on her website and with a Biochem club at the campus.

What did you learn about yourself?

Working on the Girl Scout Gold Award has been an absolutely wonderful and enriching experience for me. During this process, I definitely improved my leadership skills, communication skills, and my business etiquette skills. While working with my team members, I learned what it means to be a leader, and I tried to do my best.  A good leader is a good listener and is able to make executive decisions while coordinating and delegating different tasks. Though I still have room to grow in perfecting my leadership skills, I believe I learned a lot. I also gained confidence in myself and learned to be more patient. While working on my project, I realized that I am better at handling stressful situations than I thought I was. I am sure the skills I learned from working on this project will help me in the future.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I have learned more about the branch of science that intrigued me since I took the biotech class a couple of years ago. It helped me decide what career I want to pursue. I interviewed numerous women in biotech and realized that working in this field includes a wider variety of jobs than I initially knew about. I also realized that if you want to see a change in the world, you need to act to help this happen. I want to study biochemistry or biomedical engineering in college, and use my leadership skills and experiences in science to hopefully one day inspire girls find their passion in science.

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

I believe the Gold Award was a wonderful culmination of my Girl Scout years. It gave me the opportunity to demonstrate the tech skills I had previously known as well as improve some of my leadership skills. I am so happy that I was able to create a project that comes from my experiences and can help others. While working on my Gold Award, I was able to utilize the skills I learned at camps and from earning badges.

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

This project definitely helped me become a G.I.R.L.! It inspired me to become an innovator. For this project, I created a website about biotech. This is something that I haven’t done before. To succeed, I had to learn new technical skills. Also, I had to get creative about how I could present it to the participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that I grew as a go-getter, as I didn’t give up when I met numerous obstacles during my project due to the constantly changing pandemic environment. I am definitely a risk-taker, as I dove in to the issue of gender bias that I believe is a relevant problem in our society. I improved my leadership skills and learned that a good leader must listen to others and delegate. I am very thankful for the help I received from my team. I hope this project will empower more girls to follow their dreams, and I am certain I will use the skills I learned from working on my project in the future. I love being a 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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Madison Seckman, Centennial, “Your Level Reading”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Girl Scout Gold Award is a website created Your Level Reading that is intended to demonstrate ratings for teachers, parents, and students to know if the material is appropriate for their own or others’ reading level and age. In particular, some parents feel they are not informed enough about material their children are reading and are sometimes unsettled by this. Using the website created in this project, parents can simply look up the title of the book their child is reading and see its maturity. Likewise, the project addressed students – middle schoolers in majority – who may feel uncomfortable reading certain material. They too can look up the book title or author to prepare themselves for what may be in that novel. The website also benefits teachers because they can decide on appropriate reading material when choosing novels.

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

My audience now has an understanding of book ratings for four, distinct age groups. Teachers, parents, and students learned that they can use the website as a resource to prepare themselves for books. I measured the impact using Google Analytics to count how many views my website gathered in one month; I wanted 20 views. Another measurement was having 15 volunteers read and rate books for my project in order to involve the National Honor Society community in my project as much as possible. In order to spread the word, I needed one Girl Scout troop to commit to my website as a resource for a minimum of one year. I measured the website Analytics after one month to see the website view count. To measure the amount of volunteers, I held Zoom meetings and kept track of each person who attended the training and rated at least one book – one volunteer read seven books. Once the website was running, I sent the link for the website to my Girl Scout service unit and waited for a response from a troop saying they would use the website as a resource. My goals were to have 15 student volunteers, 20 views on my website in one month, create an accessible and easy to use website, involve the National English Honor Society (NEHS) in the sustainment of the project, and gain commitment from one Girl Scout troop to use the website as a resource for one year. To measure the ease-of-use of the website, Chuck Blish, a formal information technology worker, helped me look over and format the website. NEHS agreed to maintain my project by directing student volunteers to the website where they can fill out a Google Form to rate books. The commitment from the Girl Scout troop (Troop 63227) was written in an email.

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

The National English Honor Society (NEHS) at Cherry Creek High School (CCHS) plans to help sustain my project for at least one year by sending volunteers to read books through the viewers rate books option on the website. The rubric is available on the Google Form for them to look at while they fill in information for a variety of questions. They are required to enter the author’s first and last name, title of the book, overall age range, and levels for all categories of profanity thorough drugs/alcohol/smoking that are in the rubric. It is very simple and straightforward, so anyone can use it, even middle school students. As NEHS keeps adding books onto the website, viewers will be able to access a wider variety of books that have been rated. In addition, it will help with subjectivity in ratings since more than one person may rate one book.

Also, Keats Community Library in London, England is going to promote the website. I sent them an email asking for their help in the global connection and sustainability of my project, and they were extremely interested in my project. It was very exciting because many libraries are reluctant to introduce a rating system to their members due to the prospect of creating banned books. Thankfully, Keats Community Library was excited to endorse my project and agreed to publish the link to my website for their members to see. I am going to send them a few poster designs over email for the website for them to print out and put up on their library walls once they are open to the public again.

Lastly, Girl Scout Troop 63227 has promised to use the website as a resource. The members of the troop are going to use the website to look up book titles for upcoming literature in their school’s curriculums. Furthermore, I informed them that they can add ratings to the website if the book they are planning to read is currently unrated. That way, the next student who needs to read that book can see a rating left by a previous reader of that book. The troop can search for new books to read based on their appropriate age range. For girls who are 11-years-old, they can use the “young” books filter to find an arrangement of books that are appropriate for their reading level.

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

I wrote to Keats Community Library in London, England to promote my website and the importance of age appropriate reading material in a different country. They plan to present my website to their library members by mentioning it in a newsletter, and I sent them poster designs that they can print and put up in the library once they are open to the public again. Also, I will have the help of the Cherry Creek High School (CCHS) National English Honor Society (NEHS) to promote and continue the project among their volunteers across the nation. The head coordinators at CCHS of NEHS are going to send the link for the website to their eager volunteers, so they can rate books and keep the project thriving. On the website, the volunteers can find buttons saying, “Take action! Rate your own books” or a tab on the homepage that says, “Rate your own books”. It is a simple, easy to use Google Forms Survey that anyone on the website can fill out. The responses automatically transfer onto a google sheet that is on the website – under the tab, “Other viewers’ book ratings”.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project I learned that I can be an exemplary leader and strive to succeed when I put my mind to it. Ever since I began Girl Scouts eight years ago, I have learned many leadership skills. I can speak up for my beliefs and make genuine changes in my community. One of my beliefs is books have the potential to be inappropriate; and currently, there are no large organizations that create a warning system, or rating, for those books. So, I took initiative and put my leadership skills to good use. I worked hard and finished this project that I knew would make a difference. By seeking to make a change, I discovered that I do have what it takes to be a leader and put a plan into action. The hardest thing was discovering my perseverance. It was a very long road to finish this project, but a very rewarding one. At one point, when the website was not working, and I had no idea how to write the code, I came to a brick wall. I actually considered quitting the entire project and switching to a new one. But, as they say, when the door closes, a window opens. My Girl Scout mentor gave me the contact for a previous Girl Scout, Delaney Fitzsimmons, who introduced me to a different way of creating the website. I needed to persevere and keep my head up for this project in order to finish it. So, I switched my focus and strove to succeed at a different kind of website making. After switching over to Google Sites, I created a beautiful website and kept up my hard work on the project all the way until I finished it.

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

I hope that the leadership skills I learned from my Gold Award will help me in my future. The leadership skills I apprehended from my project were ambition, perseverance, boldness, optimism, and compassion. My project was founded on my ambition to succeed and lead a team of willing and able volunteers to self and team success. I harnessed my ambition to create this project out of passion for reading and understanding for the unpleasant experience of non-appropriate material. I pushed myself to persevere when training my volunteers because of my social anxiety. Often, I find myself getting shaken up at the idea of public speaking, but I put that behind my and stood up to the task of leading my volunteers to success. In order to persevere, I had to be bold and put my fears to the test. I cannot say the first training session went 100 percent smoothly because it simply did not. But, the more I practiced and put myself in front of the amiable volunteers, the more confident and bold I became until I was able to speak and train them with excellence and excitement. The whole time throughout the project, I maintained my optimism that I would succeed; that I would achieve my goal of manifesting a searchable database for many people to exploit. At the end, I was compassionate towards everyone who existed as a part of my team. I know I could not have done it without them. Each person who took the time to listen to and help me made my project materialize into the amazing resource that it thrives as now. All of these skills will help me in the future with any profession I may choose, working with a team on projects, and to simply be a helpful and involved person in my communities. I hope that all of the great work I demonstrated in my project will assist me in my college admissions process. The requirement officers will see the dedication, excellence, and leadership that I demonstrated in this project, and hopefully be more inclined to invite me into their college.

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

For anyone considering if they should complete their Gold Award, I say go for it. I have been a Girl Scout for the past eight years, and never before have I had the opportunity to experience something as great as the Gold Award. The Gold Award showed me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, even if it seems impossible. I never could have predicted that I would make an entire, functioning, and searchable website, and I know I could not have done it without the Gold Award behind me. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience that taught me many skills and built on the skills I already have. Most of my time in Girl Scouts was spent camping or earning badges, but to have the honor of working on my Gold Award was by far the best thing that I ever did as a Girl Scout. It simply made me feel important and worthy of wearing the Girl Scout title.

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 a G.I.R.L, and more specifically, an innovator because I had to use more creativity than I have ever used before in my life. Ever since I was little, I have loved to create. This project helped me bring that to the next level. Not only did I have to be creative by coming up with the project to begin with, – book rating levels are not exactly common – I had to keep the dearivity going throughout the entire time I worked on it. I had a lot of struggles and obstacles in my Girl Scout project: having too many books and not an equal amount of volunteers, not knowing how to code using HTML, and many other things. Nonetheless, everytime I hit a brick wall, I looked for another approach. I completely innovated the website using a template I found on Google Sites after the HTML coding came to a stop, and I can say that I crushed it. It took me many hours to make the website clean and professional, but I did it. This project helped me expand on my ability to innovate and demonstrate my creativity.

**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: Peyton Roeder, Erie, “A Bright Spot”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

Many parents experiencing homelessness feel as though they cannot provide enough for their children and many of these children feel unvalued. Additionally, many people want to help those experiencing homelessness in their community, but do not feel as though they can. Birthday parties can help solve these problems because they allow parents feel as though they are able to provide for their children, help children feel valued, and allow the community volunteers to support those experiencing homelessness. A Bright Spot provides families experiencing homelessness the means to throw birthday parties. Community volunteers signed up to donate birthday party supplies every year for a child’s birthday, which allows the parents to throw their child a birthday party. For this project, I partnered with BeyondHome, an organization in Denver that aims to help families on the road to self-sufficiency.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award project made on my target audiences through the use of surveys. After the parties, I asked the parents if they felt they were able to provide something special for their child, the children if they felt valued, and the volunteers if they felt they were able to support those in need. I found that all of these groups were positively impacted by A Bright Spot.

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

My project is sustainable because BeyondHome will continue to run the program even though I am no longer involved. Additionally, the volunteers have committed to donating more birthday supplies as the need arises. Finally, I distributed directions on how to run A Bright Spot to other organizations so that they can start the program for their own children. My project will continue to have a positive impact on both  families and community volunteers for years to come as more and more children are able to have birthday parties.

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

My project has a global connection because homelessness is a global issue. Additionally, communities all around the globe want to support those experiencing homelessness, so I directly addressed a portion of the global issue. Finally, I spread the word about my project through a website, flyers, and newspaper articles as well as sending directions on how to start A Bright Spot to other organizations.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am capable of managing a large-scale program like my project. I also learned that I am able to come up with an idea for a program and make it a reality. Additionally, I learned that I really enjoyed providing birthday parties to the children. I chose this project because I thought I would like it, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Finally, I learned that I enjoyed providing the volunteers with the opportunity to do something special.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in the future because I learned many invaluable skills while completing my project. This will help me as I continue my education and in my career. Additionally, I will always be happy to know that I was able to positively impact people through my project.

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

My Gold Award was the culmination of all of my past experiences in Girl Scouts. My badges, Journeys, and camps taught me the skills I needed to complete this project. Additionally, my Gold Award taught me new skills that I can use alongside what I learned from previous years of Girl Scouts.

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

My Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L. by allowing me to develop my skills in each of these areas. I was an innovator when developing a plan for the project, modifying the plan to account for COVID-19, and managing the program. I was a go-getter and risk-taker when trying to convince people and organizations to volunteer to participate in the project. Finally, I was a leader when working with my team members on various aspects of the project.

**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: Lily Goudreau, Monument, “Affirmations in Lewis Palmer Middle School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I addressed the problem of bullying in schools. I painted affirmations throughout Lewis Palmer Middle School and created a monthly affirmation chalkboard that’s in the main hallway. With the constant positive affirmations around the middle schoolers, it can help to make them be more positive towards themselves and others.

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

I measured the success of my project by creating a survey. I surveyed some students in  the school. I asked if they read the affirmations, if the affirmations impacted them, and if there should be bright paintings affirmations in all schools. I received a lot of positive feedback from this survey from the students, staff, and principal!

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

My project is sustained beyond my involvement through the monthly affirmation chalkboard I started and a guidebook I created. The students part of an anti-bullying group put a new affirmation on the chalkboard every month for everyone to read. In the guidebook, I created a checklist of all the supplies I needed and the steps I took.

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

I shared my project globally through a guidebook I created. I shared a checklist, the steps I took, and pictures. I shared the guidebook with schools globally to inspire them to put up colorful affirmations in their schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project I learned to take initiative. Before this project, I didn’t have the confidence to talk to strangers to ask for help. I had to talk to a lot of people I didn’t know and I have become more capable of speaking up for myself.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in my future because it has prepared me for the real world. I spent a lot of time and commitment on this project. There were difficulties with it and I was able to overcome those difficulties. Earning the Gold Award is a very rewarding experience because it’s something you invest a lot of time in.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I knew it would be a very rewarding experience when I was done. I knew I would feel very accomplished because I completed my biggest project yet and I feel prepared to do bigger things now. I wanted to do the Gold Award project because I enjoyed doing my Bronze and Silver Awards, and wanted to continue to help my community.

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

Earning my Gold Award has made me become a G.I.R.L., specifically a go-getter. I have learned to speak for myself instead of having others do it for me. I really had to come out of my comfort zone to speak to people I didn’t know to get what I needed.  This project also had some difficulties and I was able to overcome those to complete my project.

**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: Allison Graham, Colorado Springs, “School in the Woods Nature Trail”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I built a trail at a fourth-grader school in District 20 in Colorado Springs called School in the Woods. With the trail, I created a trail guide that anyone of any age can use when they walk around the trail. It includes different plants that can be found on the trail, which ecosystem they can be found in (montane, foothills, etc.), and ways for them to connect with nature by using their senses.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project on my target audience by asking those at School in the Woods to continue taking kids and their families on the trail. I also asked other volunteers at the school and the Nature Trail Committee what they thought of the trail. I hope that the kids who attend School in the Woods will be able to take their families on the trail and possibly learn something new.

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

My project will be sustained by the amazing people at School in the Woods. They have such an active program, and families who are always willing to volunteer and help the school with whatever they need. In the past year, there has been a committee formed between volunteers who are parents or avid volunteers from years past who have come together to work on the trails around the school. The Nature Trail Committee and Mr. Wuerth have agreed to help keep the trail intact. They will pull weeds, move rocks, and maybe expand the trail if needed.

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

With schools becoming more online and desk-based, students are struggling to find time to go outside and experience nature. We, as a nation, don’t know what the upcoming school year will look like. We know one thing for sure, we still need to get outside and take a walk. Students, elementary through college, have already been pushed to a desk job.

To get the word out about my project, I sent information about it to three different organizations that focus on outdoor education. I emailed the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Nation Environmental Education Foundation. I sent them the trail guide, which I gave to School in the Woods to use on the trail, the newsletter that was sent out to School in the Woods alumni, and general information about me, what I did, and what the Girl Scout Gold Award is.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned while making this project that I need a straight up deadline. I can’t really space out the work if there is not date deadline. I keep putting it off and off until I have a deadline. I know that this is something that I do need to work on, but I know that this drives me and is my motivation to do work.

I learned that if you are passionate about something, and you know you need to work on it more and need an extended deadline, that is fine. I was supposed to present my project a month earlier and I was disappointed when I was not finished. I felt bad and disappointed in myself. I now know that everything is not as serious as I think and that I should not be putting this much pressure and stress on myself. This is something that I should have never stressed that much about.

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

I think by earning my Gold Award, I gained a lot of confidence. I feel that I can go into the world and make changes. I also think that it will help me during job interviews because it gave me the confidence to talk to adults and know how to lead and work with a team.

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

I feel that the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it showed me that you can still be a Girl Scout even at an older age. It also showed me what being a Girl Scout truly meant. It showed me that what I have been learning through Girl Scouts over the past couple of years, from kindergarten til now, comes into play when doing your Gold Award.

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 a risk-taker in the sense that before this project, taking on big projects wasn’t my forte. I didn’t like asking others for help and committing to something like this was hard for me. This project for me was a risk that I decided that I wanted to take. I now am also a go-getter when it comes to something that I am passionate about. I know that when I really want to do something that I should work hard to achieve it, and that I should be proud of it as well.

**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.

Celebrate Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards on Social Media

Celebrate your Highest Awards Girl Scout or your achievement of earning one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards on social media! Use any of the graphics at the bottom of this post to let friends and family know that you earned or are the parent/caregiver of a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Girl Scout. Be sure to tag us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo, #GirlScoutsGiveBack, #gsGoldAward, #gsSilverAward, or #gsBronzeAward.

Don’t forget to join Girl Scouts of Colorado on May 16, 2021 to celebrate our 2020-2021 class of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award Girl Scouts in Colorado!

Virtual Highest Awards Celebrations

  • 1 p.m. Bronze Award Celebration
  • 2 p.m. Silver Award Celebration
  • 3 p.m. Gold Award Celebration

These celebrations are an opportunity to recognize the outstanding Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts who have earned their distinction in the last year. All troops and/or girls who have earned their Bronze, Silver, or Gold since March 2019 are invited to participate in a celebration of their choice.

You do not need to register for this event! The celebrations will premiere live on our Facebook and YouTube channels at the event start time.

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: Gayathri Budamgunta, Longmont, “Warm and Fuzzies”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

While I was in middle school, I really struggled with my self-esteem and my body image. There are so many images on the internet and on social media where people have seemingly perfect bodies or lives, but a lot of the time, these images are photoshopped or people only share the positive parts of their lives. It wasn’t until I went to high school when I realized that the uniqueness of every individual is what we should be seeking. My Girl Scout troop also conducted a selfie project many years ago in which people could go around a room and write kind notes to others based on one of their selfies, which I think really opened my eyes to the harsh realities of the internet. And, I recognize that many people eventually come to terms with themselves, but I wanted to start that process at a young age, so that adolescents aren’t struggling with their identities especially with the presence of technology. “Warm and Fuzzies” addresses the issue of low self-esteem and body image in middle school students ages 11-13 and it is a way for individuals to connect to each other through meaningful notes/letters that they write to one another while engaging in positive reinforcements. Initially, this project was going to be in a live setting such that the students could hand write each other notes, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, I switched to a virtual version in which students each had their own Padlet boards where they could leave messages for their peers. With this project, students were able to build meaningful relationships with their peers while understanding the importance of self-confidence and body image.

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

As a means of determining the impact of my project, I asked the students to fill out both a pre-survey and a post-survey regarding their self-esteem and body image in addition to conducting individual interviews with some of the students. Through these surveys and interviews I found that there was a 34% increase in the overall self-esteem of the students. These results were achieved through the discussion of the negative effects of social media and technology use on adolescent self-esteem. I discussed concepts such as the prevalence of Photoshop, and how oftentimes what people see on social media isn’t actually reality. Furthermore, students were able to write each other meaningful and positive notes which promoted interaction between students and also provided positive reassurances. Many times, individuals are more likely to agree with a statement presented by others rather than themselves e.g., a student does not think they are hardworking, but when a classmate tells them that they are, there is a higher chance that they will believe it.

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

In order to sustain my Gold Award, I have created a “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide” which I have distributed both to some of the 8th grade Altona Way students, as well as to some administrators. This how-to guide includes both the live and virtual versions of my project with logistics as well as tips and tricks on how to successfully implement the “Warm and Fuzzies.” The Altona Way students expressed their passion for helping address adolescent self-esteem and body image issues from an early stage given that many of them have or are struggling with similar issues. I conducted two workshops with some of the 8th grade Altona Way students and taught them the process that I followed in order to conduct the weekly presentations for the students to learn about various themes. They have since been working together to develop numerous lessons that they can then present to more teachers throughout Altona to spread the project not only throughout the 7th grade class, but also to the other grades.

With the help of my “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide,” individuals can take on the role of starting a Warm and Fuzzies program at their local schools or within their Girl Scout troops.

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

Upon creating my “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide,” I reached out to a few national non-profit and organizations whose missions encompass the themes of adolescent and young adult self-esteem, confidence, and mental illness. I discussed the purpose and results of my project and shared my successes with these organizations along with my “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide.” I reached out to three national non-profit organizations including “The Youth Mental Health Project,” “BeYOUtifully,” and “Active Minds.” “BeYOUtifully,” more specifically, is an organization that is centered on supporting middle and high school girls through their journey toward self-confidence. They recognize that with the increased pressure from social media, peers, and friends, girls are overwhelmed with negative images and stereotypes regarding their identity and appearances. They support young girls and provide them with space to truly express themselves as individuals without the external pressures that they are faced with in the world. I strongly believe in the values of this non-profit organization because they perfectly coincide with my project as well as my passion for promoting self-confidence in adolescents, and specifically, girls. I cannot wait to hear back from them and soon hope to join “BeYOUtiful Me” sessions in which I will be able to connect with other young adults and young girls that struggle with similar self-esteem issues as me and many other young individuals.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award, I learned that I am able to overcome the obstacles I am presented with, as long as I am committed and I have a support team. I initially had a clear plan for my project, but for a period of time, everything was up in the air and I needed to reorganize the entirety of my project because I could no longer follow through with anything in a virtual setting because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, instead of completely abandoning my project, I worked with my team to develop a virtual plan that I could still implement despite the restrictions. In addition, there were many times throughout the course of my project when I was overwhelmed with my school and personal life, however, I was committed to my project and was able to persevere through such challenges with the support and reassurances from my family, friends, and mentors. There were times when I was working on college applications, school work, extracurriculars, chores, and my Gold Award. I became overwhelmed, but with a support team, some time management, and commitment I was able to successfully manage and work through all of these items. In addition, I have learned that I love helping adolescents and young adults in many different aspects of life. For example, I was able to connect with some of the students who were participating in my project and learn about their experiences and answer any questions they may have had regarding high school or even if they simply wanted to talk. I found that being able to connect with individuals from various age groups is extremely important and I have come to value such relationships.

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

My Gold Award has taught me many valuable lessons, especially with regard to leadership. With strong communication and organizational skills that I have learned, I feel that I am equipped to take on challenges that may come my way, including other projects, though they may not look exactly like my Warm and Fuzzies project. I have also gained a lot of experience with working with others, which in my opinion is a valuable skill that I will take with me into my future endeavors.

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

Like many Girl Scouts before me, I began my journey as a Girl Scout while in Kindergarten as a Daisy. I engaged in various activities including badgework and cookie sales. As I grew older and progressed in Girl Scouts, I worked through Journey books, Take Action projects, and my Bronze and Silver Awards. Similar to my Bronze and Silver Awards, my Gold Award is a large milestone in my overall Girl Scout experience. Like other aspects of Girl Scouts, the Gold Award is centered around growing as an individual and developing life-long skills, however, it is unique because as a Girl Scout, we are expected to follow through with this project as an individual, but we are thoroughly supported along the way. I feel that the Gold Award process has helped me grow as an individual and develop important leadership skills that are important to my success as a Girl Scout.

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

With the aftereffects of the unpredictable coronavirus pandemic, I was forced to reevaluate my Gold Award and remain committed to my project. Given that my initial plans of conducting my project in person were no longer viable, I became an innovator and developed a virtual version of my project. I spent hours communicating with my team and developing a model that fit best with the virtual realm. This allowed me to think creatively and work around obstacles in order to successfully conduct my project. Furthermore, earning my Gold Award has helped me develop my skills as a leader. As mentioned before, the coronavirus pandemic led to many changes with my project, especially with regard to communication. I was unable to physically meet with anybody from my team and was forced to communicate solely in a virtual manner. However, I felt that I was able to develop my communication skills through email and other modes in order to adapt to this barrier. I also learned the importance of being flexible in order to accommodate changes beyond my control as well as to support my team throughout the implementation of my project.

**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.