Tag Archives: Gold Award

the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It is something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action. The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global), creates change, and hopefully, is something that becomes ongoing.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Charlotte Blish, Arvada, “Watering Communities”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Watering Communities started as an education platform for local elementary schools to discuss how the lack of clean water impacts socio-economic and education resources in parts of Africa while combining into the Jefferson curriculum of “how one person can make a difference.” I authored curriculum for the classroom setting, small workshops, large workshop venues, and an after-school club. In addition, I established a 501c3 nonprofit titled Watering Communities to extend the curriculum globally and to be able to send first-aid kits with water filters to countries experiencing natural disasters. I worked with international schools in Hong Kong and Taiwan, helping author STEM curriculum for their science, technology, and field-work courses; where students learned how to create various water filters, code a problem-solving game while learning how water impacts education and health, and compete a curriculum workshop so students could apply their knowledge in a field-type setting outside of the classroom.

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

Depending on the setting, it was measured by growth of knowledge either with a survey or group discussion. I measured if the students were able to apply the knowledge they had gained by recreating water experiments, building water filters, and applying the skills they had learned out in the field.

How is your project sustainable?

Watering Communities is sustainable two different ways:  As a 501c3 nonprofit with a board of directors and by a signed letter of commitment from Think International Primary. By establishing Watering Communities as a 501c3 with a board of directors, the board is able to proactively set goals on how to expand the educational components into additional overseas schools or organizations as well as monitoring water crises at the international level to send first-aid kits with water filters. Think International Primary enjoyed the custom-curriculum I wrote for them so much they are continuing to implement it at the fourth-grade level in their STEM classes. Students will learn about how water crisis can limit opportunities both physically and mentally, learn the science of water through an eight-week course, built prototype water filter models, and then apply the water filters into real world situations in a field setting. Think International Primary was inspired to also take on a fundraising component to help local children in their community.

What is your global or national connection?

Think International Primary of Hong Kong saw the webpage for Watering Communities and was curious about the curriculum specifically because it was oriented to towards elementary-age kids and was hands-on learning.  They reached out to me and we discussed what their needs were curriculum-wise, what additional resources I could help them with, and how the curriculum could apply to real life experiences outside of the classroom. Think International Primary asked me to custom-author a program to fit inside their eight-week STEM lesson plan based on learning about the scientific aspects of water, the properties of water, and how water affects people’s lives socially and economically. I built lesson plans to create water filtration systems, authored a software program to teach coding to students that emphasized the socio-economics of water in Africa, and planned workshop activities where the students could use all the skills they learned during a week-long camping expedition (think Outward Bound meets Outdoor Lab).  The students were so inspired by Watering Communities and working with me that they in turn wanted to help others. They hosted two fundraising events; one for recycling and one financial where the proceeds purchased water filters to be sent to a nonprofit in Thailand. It was during these additional events that Taipei Kuei Shan School heard about the program and adopted it in their curriculum as well. Taipei Kuei Shan School is also working with Watering Communities using the curriculum as a resource in their spring semester for 2020 and plans to again in 2021.

What did you learn about yourself?

When I began interviewing prospective candidates to be on the board of directors for Watering Communities, I felt confident and accomplished. I had taken every skill that I had learned throughout the years of Girl Scouts, from planning to problem solving, to delegating and taking the initiative, that I felt like the president of a company. I set out to educate my five local elementary schools about how something as simple as access to clean water can impact someone’s life and it grew beyond my wildest dreams to being a working 501c3, as well as making connections internationally in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. I initially thought I would run a couple of fun workshops and it grew into working hand-in-hand with our local teachers to supplement their curriculum, into authoring curriculum that is being used internationally in Hong Kong and Tawain, and into coding software for a game. Being able to see kids’ faces light up when they talk about their experiences with the curriculum was amazing.

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

By earning my Gold Award, I realized I can use a multitude of skills that will impact my future. I can choose from a variety of leadership skills like project management, delegating, training, and team collaboration. I can use soft skills like interviewing, giving positive feedback for reinforced behavior, and showing kindness to others. I know how to develop networks and how to build up those resources. I can author original curriculum and then customize it to be flexible in different learning environments. I know without a doubt I can take all these skills, and many, many more that I learned along the way while I earned my Gold Award, and apply them for the rest of my life.

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

I was very lucky that I had a leader who whole heartedly believed in Girl Scouts being a girl-led experience. She allowed us to plan. She allowed us to problem solve. She allowed us to be in charge. She encouraged us to see outside of the box and to travel; we camped almost every month of the year. Our troop did a group project for our Bronze Award by hosting a garage sale to raise money to purchase pet food and we also organized a blanket and towel donation program for the local pet shelter, and I loved it. I loved organizing and leading the other girls.  For our Silver Award, our troop decided we would earn our Silvers as individuals. When the Navy deploys a submarine for six months, families are allowed to send one shoebox of goodies to be opened at the mid-way point.  Because only 65% of families send shoeboxes, I organized a drive to collect paperback books, treats, snacks, card games, etc. for sailors who would not receive a box. I was able to send enough shoeboxes for two submarines and every sailor onboard also received a box of Thin Mints or Samoas. I knew I could work hard, plan a project from start to finish, and grow my leadership skills. When I worked on my Gold Award, I used all of the skills from making good eye contract during workshops (thank you cookie sales), learning about water as a resource (traveling to Costa Rica, Girl Scout Destinations), planning and organizing events (Father-Daughter dance with 200+ attendees per year, 2013-2018), being grateful (countless charitable experiences with Girl Scouts), and so many more experiences that I can’t list them all that I’ve had with Girl Scouts.  By earning my rank of Gold Award Girl Scout, I was proud of not just what I did to earn it, but of all the experiences that helped to make me the leader I am today.

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

I view myself as all of these things. Girl Scouting and the Gold Award helped me to become a well-rounded leader who has to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable. I could have simply run workshops and educated others about the impact of lack of access to clean water in rural Africa, and that would have been good enough to earn the Gold Award. I took a risk and authored curriculum for my local area schools and was inspired by the students’ questions and curiosity that I wanted to do more, so I set up and ran Watering Communities as a 501c3 nonprofit to try to get the word out. I had to innovate and custom-write curriculum for an international school in Hong Kong and then again in Taiwan. I had to be a go-getter when I was planning for how Watering Communities would continue function when I left for college.  Interviewing accomplished business leaders and selling them on the idea of being part of the dream so we could continue to work internationally was mind-blowing. The Gold Award process allowed me to use all my skills that I learned throughout scouting to accomplish the original goal and grow it into something grand.

**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: Meredith Neid, Denver, “Self Care Club and Processing a Pandemic”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

For my Gold Award project, I first implemented a self care club at my high school to healthily address rising levels of stress amongst my peer group. Because the end of the year was cut short, the club was not able to fulfill all of its original goals, so I adjusted my self care club to a project that I titled, “Processing a Pandemic.” I took the information I learned about mindfulness and personal care and shifted it to a lens of societal care, which drove me to lead intentional Zoom conversations with high school seniors about processing the period of COVID-19 and what it means to grow up during this time.

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

For my self care club, I gave club members a pretest that measured their awareness of self care, their understanding of mindfulness and their calmness level before the club, and then, I had them take a post test with the same questions in order to track their growth. For my Processing a Pandemic project, I had participants of the conversation take a survey detailing what they learned and their takeaways from the calls.

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

With both of my projects, I created and dispersed written final products that detail the key learning that was accomplished through my projects. For my self care club, I created a PDF with self care tips that will be used by my greater community. For my Processing a Pandemic project, I created an outline to the Zoom calls that will be used as a future lesson plan for different organizations, and I published a piece called “Pandemic Wisdom: Five Lessons Learned From High School Seniors.”

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

I was able to include greater connections through dispersing my written pieces through the national Girl Scout community. Additionally, a component of my self care club was a social media presence that gained a national following.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned so much about myself from this experience. Most importantly, I learned how to be honest with myself about how to persevere when things did not go as expected due to Coronavirus. Further, I was able to adopt many leadership traits like distributing responsibilities and asking for help.

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

I plan on using my Gold Award experience as a reference for creating a project that addresses an issue I’m passionate about and seeing it through. I will use these skills to become a social innovator in the future. Also, I intend to put my Gold Award on my resume to help with my post-college job search!

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

I have been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, so earning the Gold Award was a lovely culmination of years of experience that felt as though they were training me and leading me to pursue a big project such as this. Also, I was able to use my connections from my Girl Scout troop to further my project, showing how important and useful Girl Scouts has been in forming lasting friendships!

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

I think my Gold Award helped me become an innovator. When COVID interrupted my original plans, it was a wonderful opportunity to go back and get creative and figure out a good way to move forward in new circumstances. I think innovating with projects like this is an important sign of flexibility and adaptability that ultimately lead to success.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Bringing Global to Girls

Submitted by Beatrice L., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate


Northern & Northeastern CO

Bringing Global to Girls is a FREE event for Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies to begin developing their skills as a global citizen and their connection to the rest of the world.

This workshop was developed as a part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project, and I will be hosting two events to promote this workshop and global thinking.

On Saturday, September 12, 2020 from 10 – 11 a.m.,  Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies can participate in a Bringing Global to Girls workshop!

Register your girl HERE!

On Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 10 – 11 a.m., older girls and adult volunteers are invited to learn how to run the Bringing Global to Girls workshop, so they can run it as a money-earning activity, with their troop, as part of their LiA requirements, or more!

Register you or your older girl HERE!

If you have any questions regarding Bringing Global to Girls or these two events, please contact bringingglobaltogirls@gmail.com.

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.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: The E-waste Recycling Exposé

Submitted by  Safiya D., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver


I have been a Girl Scout for 10 years. Currently, I am working on my Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. The Gold Award focuses on addressing a community-based problem. My project, The E-waste Recycling Exposé, tackles the lack of education regarding technology recycling (e-recycling) in my city of Aurora. I am developing a curriculum for fourth and fifth graders that teaches them what technology recycling is and why it is important. 

When I was researching my project, I was disappointed to learn that in comparison to paper, plastic,  and glass recycling, only 20% of electronics actually get recycled in the United States. I thought that if I could educate kids and get them excited about e-recycling, it might make them think more about actually recycling their old electronics.

My curriculum is comprised of : 

  • An introductory video that shows me taking an old family computer to be recycled
  • A PowerPoint that explains the technology recycling process 
  • A video I created that shows how to take apart a laptop computer and find the recyclable parts
  • Interactive and hands on games that I created for the kids that will make understanding e-recycling fun
  •  Pre and post surveys to evaluate what the participants have learned from the program

In creating my curriculum, I had a few goals in mind. I wanted students to get excited about electronics recycling.  And most importantly, I wanted them to go home and talk to their families about its importance and encourage them to participate in the recycling of their old electronics. If we care about our planet, participating in technology recycling is important. When you look at the statistics, many landfills are filled with electronics and the more we care about this issue, the easier it will become to have a clean Earth.

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.

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend: Project Greenify, a Girl Scout Gold Award Project


Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend is coming up September 12 – 13, 2020! This year, girls can participate virtually or in–person by visiting select Colorado State Parks to participate in self–guided activities like nature trails, junior ranger programs, activity backpacks, and more! RSVP and learn more here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2020/girl_scouts_love_sta.html

Leading up to this event, we want to showcase a fantastic Girl Scout Gold Award project related to state parks, “Project Greenify,” from Sidney B.  Read on to learn more about Sidney’s project:

My name is Sidney. I am currently a Junior in high school at Steamboat Mountain School. I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten and am currently working towards earning my Gold Award, which is the highest honor you can receive as a Girl Scout. My project is focused on state park waste diversion. However, a huge part of my project is focused on educating the public on the basics of recycling and waste diversion in hopes to inspire and empower future generations to make a difference and share their knowledge with the world! My project branched into a variety of pieces such as a staff orientation to educate staff at state parks on the basics of waste diversion so that they can help share their knowledge. I worked to create a Junior Ranger curriculum that includes reduce, reuse, and recycle guidelines. I did my own in-person waste sorts with the public in order to bring awareness and get helpful data as an insight into the issue of recycling contamination. To help further knowledge of recycling, I developed and posted signage that is both sustainable and durable that will help educate people and empower them to make the right choice! Every piece of my project aims at sustainability of our amazing state parks for future generations of girls to enjoy.

As you may know, September 12 and 13 is Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend! This is a chance to celebrate our state parks and the amazing opportunities and wild spaces they protect while giving way for changing our environment for the better.

As a piece of my Gold Award project, I have created a YouTube Channel called Project Greenify to share fun and educational videos for Girl Scouts across Routt County and Colorado. I have created a series of three different videos along with attached resources. The first is a general overarching introduction to waste diversion and recycling, and teaches the basics of environmental stewardship. The second video teaches how to do your very own waste sort at home and learn why our waste matters. The third video is a fun activity called “Birds and Worms’ and is designed for young Brownies and Daisies. By watching these videos and completing these activities, Girl Scouts are continuing the legacy of environmental stewardship, using resources wisely, and making the world a better place! In addition, Girls will be able to work towards earning their “eco” badges.

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.

A Bright Spot: Girl Scout Gold Award Project

Submitted by Peyton R.

Northern & Northeastern CO


Hello! I just graduated high school and will be attending CU Boulder in the fall. I am a Girl Scout Ambassador and in my last year of Girl Scouting. I have been a Girl Scout since I was a Brownie in first grade. Since then, I have worked on many projects that have built up towards the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

For my Gold Award, I am starting a program called “A Bright Spot,” which will provide parents experiencing homelessness the means to throw their child a birthday party. I have partnered with BeyondHome, an organization in Denver that aims to help families on the road to self-sufficiency.

A Bright Spot is an “adopt a birthday child” program. This means that a person or family will “adopt” a child and then donate birthday party supplies (such as cake, a present, and decorations) for that child every year on their birthday until they are an adult or until their family leaves BeyondHome. The goal of this project is to allow the parents to throw the birthday party, so volunteers will only be responsible for mailing or delivering the items to BeyondHome. In order for this project to succeed, I need more than a hundred volunteers to “adopt” children at BeyondHome. If you are interested, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org and a Girl Scouts of Colorado staff member will connect us.

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.

Virtual Latinx/Hispanic STEM Event

Submitted by Genesis R., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver


[Details and forms available in Spanish and English. Detalles y formularios disponibles en español e inglés.]

Have an empty spot on your calendar on June 27, 2020 from 9-11:30 a.m.? Do you have a second-fifth grader interested in learning more about STEM? Come join us for a Virtual STEM Event!

This event was created as part of a Gold Award project aimed to get more girls from Latinx and Hispanic communities involved in STEM. Did you know that in 2015/2016, Latinas only represented 3.8% of STEM Bachelor’s Degrees across the United States?
(“Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Quick Take.” Catalyst, 14 June 2019, www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem/)

We will be talking about what STEM is, the impact and benefits of it, and doing some hands-on activities. If you are interested, please have a caregiver fill out the sign-up form with the attendee. Registration closes on June 20 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT) or when we have reached our capacity.

Calling all PAI’s and PA’s! Do you want a chance to practice your leadership skills? We’re looking for PAI’s and PA’s to help lead our camp. PAI’s can complete three out of six activities towards their PA pins. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out a form below. We will be accepting entries until June 17 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT).

We will be hosting this event through Zoom. A few days prior to June 27, we will send a reminder email, and the link to join. Capacity will be limited, so sign up soon! In addition, we would appreciate you filling out the survey below before attending the camp! If you would like to reach out to us, please feel free to email latingirlsandthefuture2020@gmail.com. Thank you!

¿Tiene un lugar vacío en su calendario para el 27 de Junio de 9 a 11:30 AM? ¿Tiene un alumno de segundo a quinto grado interesado en aprender más sobre STEM? ¡Únete con nosotros para un evento virtual de día STEM!

Este evento fue creado como parte de un proyecto del Reconocimiento de Oro destinado a involucrar a más niñas de comunidades Latinas y Hispanas en STEM. ¿Sabía que en 2015/2016, las Latinas solo representaban 3.8% de los títulos de licenciatura de STEM en los Estados Unidos?
(“Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Quick Take”. Catalyst, 14 de junio de 2019, www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem/)

Hablaremos sobre qué es STEM, el impacto y los beneficios, y haremos algunas actividades prácticas. Si está interesado, pídale a un guardián legal que complete el formulario de registro con el asistente. (Solo necesita completar 1 de los formularios a continuación). La inscripción cierra el 20 de Junio a las 11:59 p.m. (MDT).


¡Llamando a todos los PAI’s y PA’s! ¿Quieres una oportunidad para practicar tus habilidades de liderazgo? Estamos buscando PAI’s y PA’s para ayudar a dirigir nuestro campamento. Los PAI’s pueden completar 3 de 6 actividades para sus pines de PA. Si está interesado en ser voluntario, complete los formularios a continuación. Aceptaremos entradas hasta el 17 de Junio a las 11:59 p.m. (MDT).

Organizaremos este evento a través de Zoom. Unos días antes del 27 de Junio, le enviaremos un correo electrónico recordatorio y el enlace para unirse. La capacidad será limitada, ¡así que regístrese pronto! Además, le agradeceríamos que complete la encuesta a continuación antes de asistir al campamento. Si desea comunicarse con nosotros, no dude en enviarnos un correo electrónico a latingirlsandthefuture2020@gmail.com. ¡Gracias!

Download PDF Flyer

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.

Watch Now: 2020 VIRTUAL Highest Awards Celebration

Thank you to everyone who joined Girl Scouts of Colorado on Saturday, May 16, 2020 for our first-ever VIRTUAL Highest Awards Celebration! We honored more than 1,200 Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts across Colorado. Missed the live event? That’s OK! You can watch the video on our Facebook page or YouTube channel. A transcript of the celebration is below.

There’s still time to go to our KudoBoard to share congratulations for your troop and help our Highest Awards Girl Scouts feel even more proud of their huge accomplishments. Also, be sure to share photos and videos of your Highest Award Girl Scout with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo.

Questions? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

2020 Virtual Celebration Script Transcript

44 Colorado Girl Scouts earn Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts





This spring 44 Colorado Girl Scouts received the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. These young women are challenged to change the world – or at least their corner of it. Gold Award Girl Scouts are making the world a better place. They’ve completed a large-scale project that solves a community problem not only in the short-term but for years into the future. By doing so, they’ve gained extraordinary skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

Colorado Gold Award projects benefited communities around the world. Topics varied from mental health, improving the environment, increasing literacy rates among children, menstrual equity, bullying, access to technology, and more. The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 44 statewide who earned the prestigious Gold Award between March 2, 2019 and March 1, 2020:

  • Lakin Altman from Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Christian School, created “Baby Bundles,” a program to provide low-resource families with clothes and necessities for their babies. She also designed a resource guide for new mothers, so they could know where to go if they need help.

  • Kaitlyn Barto from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, painted a large, colorful (16’ x 27’) map of the United States on the asphalt near the playground at Peyton Elementary School. She also created multiple lesson plans for each grade level (K-6), as well as eight games that allow the map to be used in a fun and interactive way to learn geography.

  • Blakeley Bennett, from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, created a workshop for middle and high school students, in partnership with Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, that spreads awareness about the impact humans have globally on the environment.

  • Kate Bleyle from Highlands Ranch, Kent Denver School, designed a creative writing curriculum for students K-12. It is available for students of any background (e.g. homeschooled, low-income, the average student). Kate also taught her curriculum with Boys and Girls Clubs.

  • Christine Bolt from Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs High School, organized an annual summer camp for children with autism. Each day focused on an aspect of camping and outdoor skills, including building a fire, setting up a tent, and wildlife awareness. Christine is the 2020 Stephanie Foote Leadership Prize winner and will receive $1,000 cash gift to recognize her sustainable impact through leadership.

  • Bianca Bryant from Woodland Park, Woodland Park High School, worked with city leaders to build the community’s first dog park, which is now maintained by the city and a volunteer group.

  • Faith Carino from Colorado Springs created a lending closet band students can use for concerts. She collected, sorted, and organized clothes that everyone now has access to, eliminating extra costs for students’ families.

  • Devyn Dhieux from Evergreen made dozens of reusable grocery bags out of animal feed bags. She also taught others how to prepare the bags to be sewn and even created a “How-To Manual” with instructions on how to make this type of reusable bag.

  • Emma Downing from Colorado Springs, Rampart High School, remodeled the children’s space for a non-profit that helps women, children, and other victims escaping abuse. Emma also provided inventory boxes for the residents that can be used to store and catalog their personal belongings.

  • Emerald Doyle from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, held a series of drives and collected items to benefit One Nation Walking Together. To date, she has collected more than 3,000 pounds of food, 375 pounds of feminine hygiene products, and 844 pounds of furniture and clothing. Emerald is recognized with this year’s Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award for her confidence, resilience, and courage in succeeding in life.

  • Hanna Ellis from Vernon, Wray High School, worked with city leaders to increase the number of pet waste dispensers around the town. She also educated others throughout the community about the adverse health effects related to pet waste.

  • Heather Fleming from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, knows first-hand how children of alcoholics can feel lost and alone, so she developed a series of materials to help families affected by alcoholism. These resources are being distributed by the Colorado Mental Wellness Network and at rehabilitation centers here in Colorado and across the country.

  • Renee Gangwish from Boulder, Fairview High School, led a group of volunteers to restore fences at the historic Walker Ranch Homestead in Boulder County. She also created a curriculum to educate others about the importance of Colorado’s open spaces.

  • Emma Gibbs from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, brought together different organizations at her high school to create an ongoing incentive program as part of an effort to increase school spirit and boost attendance at school-sponsored events and activities.

  • Fiona Goe from Denver, East High School, designed a project to address the lack of informed voters at her high school and in her community. She created a survey to help the participants understand if they are most closely aligned with the Republican, Democrat, or Independent political party.

  • Inspired by her own struggle with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder, Emma Graziano from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, started a support group for teens living with celiac disease for the Denver Celiac Support Group, a local chapter of the National Celiac Association (NCA).

  • Joslyn Hays from Gunnison, Gunnison High School, promoted the game of Ringer within the community of Gunnison and with tourists. She also built a kiosk by the Gunnison Marble Rings explaining the game of Ringer and its history in her community.

  • Avery Hendrick from Parker, Ponderosa High School, constructed a permanent StoryWalk Trail with 16 signs and six rotating stories at a nature trail. The National Honor Society at her high school is now responsible for the rotating of the signs, changing the story, two or three times a year.

  • Abby Kennedy from Lakewood, Lakewood High School, created a music tutoring program for elementary school students. Students not only improved their performance, but their interest in continuing their music education was increased as well.

  • Lauren Kettler from Thornton, Horizon High School, developed “Popsicles of Positivity” to teach middle school-aged students about the need for kindness and perspective. The program is designed to be a short activity that can be integrated into other programs, such as a class period or club/group meeting.

  • Samantha Kucera from Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs High School, created a wilderness skills program for children. Through this program, she ran numerous educational events for more than 230 children, created an online skills guide, and has a booklet available as a Wilderness Junior Ranger Program at Steamboat Lake State Park and as a patch program with Girl Scouts of Colorado.

  • Alexandra Lanucha  from Divide, Woodland Park High School, built a satellite library outside of the Pikes Peak Community Club. Her goal is to help elementary school students develop the six key literacy skills, which are essential building blocks for reading and being successful in school. Those skills are: vocabulary, print motivation, print awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness.

  • Madelyn Letendre from Colorado Springs, Palmer Ridge High School, created a “Buddies Club” at her school. It partners a student with disabilities and a non-disabled peer to form a long-lasting friendship, improving social skills, and reducing stereotypes.

  • Bella Lucero from Thornton, Horizon High School, created and hosted a half day therapeutic horseback riding camp for kids with disabilities in her community, focusing on kids from low-resource families who would not otherwise have an opportunity to try horseback riding as a therapy option.

  • Audrey Pass from Thornton, Eagle Ridge Academy, partnered with detectives and victims’ advocates to create a video and website with accurate and sensitive information regarding sexual assault.

  • Emma Popkin from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, installed two hydroponic Grow Towers at her high school. These Grow Towers are currently growing a variety of herbs and vegetables, and are being incorporated into a series of educational workshops.

  • Ellie Schueler from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, addressed a decrease in interpersonal neighborhood connections by writing a book about her neighborhood.“This is Patty Jewett: The History and People of the Neighborhood” includes information on the history of the neighborhood), as well as personal stories from its residents.

  • Taylor Sich from Lakewood, Lakewood Senior High School, created “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends) a program for teenagers to help identify and reach out to their peers when they are in need of mental health support . She also established many peer-facilitated groups at school, as well as created a website for parents and children to find resources and read about the stories of others who are going through the same thing as they are.

  • MariAnna Smith from Berthoud, Berthoud High School, addressed bullying at her former middle school. She installed “bullying boxes” in each of the grade hallways, so students could have a safe and anonymous method of reporting bullying and asking questions.

  • Cassandra Sterns from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, developed and taught ongoing technology classes through her local library for independently living seniors to help them learn how to use their Android smartphones. Each class taught the attendees how to use different apps on smartphones such as messages, camera, email, and Internet.

  • Jessica Sweeney  from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, addressed the issue of deforestation through her ongoing tree planting initiative. She gathered 31 community members to plant 40 trees and shrubs, as well as two flats of sedges at CALF’s Lowell Ranch in Douglas County.

  • Kennedy Taylor from Elbert, Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy, built an obstacle course for the non-profit Thunder Cliff Shires to help train their horses more effectively.

  • Olivia Tighe from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, provided military families, who have a family member deployed, gifts for their family during the holiday season and throw a Christmas Party for them all to help relieve the stress of the holiday season.

  • After experimenting with container gardening  herself , Kyra TerLouw from Grand Junction, Grand Junction High School, partnered with Community Food Bank to create vegetable container garden kits that are available to members of her community. They included soil, seeds, nutritional information, and a bilingual “how-to” brochure.

  • Amy Tomshack  from Northglenn, Northglenn High School, addressed the topic of emergency preparedness in schools. She did this by organizing and running a Hands-Only CPR and Stop the Bleed first-aid class, as well as organizing and running an ongoing supply drive to collect supplies to expand her school’s first-aid kits.

  • Julia Trujillo, from Arvada, Arvada West High School, asked Colorado Representative Brianna Titone to introduce a bill on her behalf. House Bill 1131 aimed to create a grant program to provide funding for free and accessible menstrual products/product dispensers in Title One Colorado schools. Julia was named 2020 Stephanie Foote Leadership Prize Honorable Mention and will receive a $250 cash prize for her project’s impact.

  • Bri Wolle from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, partnered with SCOPE International to share her love of music with children in Kenya. She bought and shipped 60 recorders, 15 to four schools, in addition to recorder books. Nine months later, she visited the schools and learned that her hope to spark a passion for music into the lives of the children half a world away was achieved.

Each year, Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible to earn the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. This award was made possible through a generous gift to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Endowment by Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie A. Foote. “I am proud to recognize Girl Scouts whose Gold Award projects have made a lasting impact,” Foote said. In addition, the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award is given in memory of Girl Scout Gold Award Mentor Debbie Haskins, who had a passion for working with older Girl Scouts. It recognizes one outstanding Gold Award Girl Scout from Colorado who exemplifies the Girl Scout spirit through courage, confidence, and character.

This year, all Gold Award Girl Scouts in Colorado are being honored with a special gift. Thanks to a very generous donation from a family foundation, each Gold Award Girl Scout will receive a custom Gold Award necklace and cash award. Members of the family want to ensure that each Gold Award Girl Scout in Colorado has a cherished and unique memento of her experience and is rewarded for her tremendous efforts.

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.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Foote. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.”

2020 Virtual Highest Awards Celebration is May 16

Don’t forget! Girl Scouts of Colorado’s virtual Highest Awards celebration is scheduled to air live on our Facebook page on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 2 p.m. Aren’t on Facebook? That’s okay.  Watch on GSCO’s YouTube channel!

We encourage families to make the live event feel special for their Highest Awards Girl Scout in any way possible! Dress up with your Girl Scout vest/sash, decorate your  home, or maybe bake something special. You can also share photos and videos from your celebration at home with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo.

We also welcome you to access our KudoBoard to share congratulations for your troop and help our Highest Awards Girl Scouts feel even more proud of their huge accomplishment.

Questions? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org.