Tag Archives: Grand Junction

Girl Scouts announces 2018 Western Slope Women of Distinction: Three extraordinary women honored

This year’s honorees were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Sue Conry, Woman of Distinction ‘17, and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. They are shining examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for our female leaders of tomorrow.

  • Sister Barbara Aldrich SCL, VP of Mission Integration, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center
  • Jeni Brown, Chief Financial Officer, J.G. Management Systems, Inc.
  • LeAnn Zetmeir, Philanthropist and Community Leader

Since 2013, including this year’s honorees, Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized 18 women on the Western Slope as Women of Distinction. The Women of Distinction program brings together a group of women dedicated to raising funds to support Girl Scout leadership programs.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will publicly honor these inductees on Nov. 8, 2018 at the annual Women of Distinction Breakfast. This year’s event will be held at the Two Rivers Convention Center. The 2018 Event Chair is Stacey Mascarenas, Woman of Distinction ’17.

Event Sponsor: Gold Presenting Sponsor, US Bank.

For information regarding tickets and sponsorships, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/wodgj or contact Cindi Graves at 970-628-8003 or cindi.graves@gscolorado.org.



Bronze and Silver Award Girl Scouts honored at Highest Awards celebration in Grand Junction

More than 100 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction on May 6, 2018, to honor the more than 1,300 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn. For the 2017-18 Girl Scout awards program year, nearly 1,000 girls across the state and 40 in the Western Slope and Southwestern Colorado region earned the Bronze Award. 13 girls across the Western Slope and Southwestern Colorado region earned the prestigious Silver Award.

2016 Gold Award Girl Scout Katie Otto served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“Girl Scouts is an amazing community and organization. The skills that you learn through Girl Scouts will give you the skills to succeed further in life. Girl scouts teaches girls: courage, confidence, and character,” she said.

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Silver Award project: Free Little Library

For their Silver Award project, Girl Scouts from Troop 14013 Megan T. and Hailey T. in Grand Junction designed, built, and installed a Free Little Library at Lincoln Park. The girls love reading and wanted to share that love with their community. The library was immediately used by children and adults.

Mandy Beilman was at the girls’ event because she has been visiting Free Little Libraries around the country. GSCO asked her a few questions about her personal connection to Free Little Libraries.

When did you get started doing this?

I remember seeing Little Free Libraries in online articles, but never seeing one in person. I saw my first one in the summer of 2016 in Homer, Alaska. My family was there for a deep sea fishing trip and I spotted one with a mermaid on it. I swapped out the book I had brought along for the trip with a new read. After that, I started noticing them more places and being intentional about seeking them out.

Where have you experienced these?

In many places! I’ve visited several in Anchorage, AK, as well as the one in Homer. The farthest east I’ve gone is Topeka, KS. I plan to continue seeking them out whenever I got to a new place. My daughter and I like to take photos of them and I have an album on Facebook. My favorite ones so far are the ones that I find by accident. There’s a bit of magic in finding one and seeing what books it holds!

What is your interest in LFL?

I’m a high school English teacher, so literacy is important to me. I love the idea of giving out free books, it’s a great community service! Plus, I think the libraries are cute; I enjoy seeing all of the different styles. I can’t wait to put one in my front yard.  (As soon as I sign the closing papers on my first home).

What made you come to this one?

I saw the girls putting it together and thought I’d come over and visit! I’ve never been the first patron before, my daughter and I really enjoyed that.  The one the girls designed is beautiful, and it has a perfect location, right next to a park.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jenni Grossman

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jenni Grossman of Grand Junction in the Western Slope region started out as a troop support volunteer, but quickly took on more volunteer roles, including troop cookie manager. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jenni to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I first became a Girl Scout volunteer to allow my own girls to get involved in Girl Scouts. We were living in Denver and they needed another adult body to help the troop. I agreed and mostly observed. The girls liked the activities they were participating in and I liked the idea of girls becoming leaders. Then, we moved to Grand Junction. My two daughters wanted to continue Girl Scouts. So, we got them signed up to find out that they needed a leader for them to participate. I was hesitant to jump in, so I agreed to co-leading and have never looked back. I now have four girls participating in Girl Scouts (Daisies- Cadettes).  I lead the Cadettes group and have been the troop cookie manager for the last three years. I learn as much from the girls as I hope they learn from me. Girls need positive adults in their lives, especially as they get older and I want to give them one more adult they can trust, laugh with, talk to, and learn from. I never have a day where I don’t feel like going to our troop meetings- being met with hugs from the girls makes it all worth it.  I also get to spend time with my own girls, letting them blossom, and learn things in the Girl Scout program. 

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

Right now, I help with part of a constantly growing troop of 34 girls.  We have girls in our troop from the Daisy level through Cadette.  I currently am the Cadette leader.  This role has helped me turn things over to be girl-led. My Cadettes pick the badges they want to teach and they teach their sister scouts. It is incredible to watch them become teachers, gaining confidence, courage, and life skills along the way! 

I have lead at the Brownie and Junior levels as well. I also have been the troop cookie manager for the last three years. I have helped support some of our newer leaders and helped them become more comfortable at the Girl Scout level they are guiding. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned that girls are powerful! They can do anything they put their minds out to accomplish. One of my proudest moments so far was seeing my oldest daughter earn her Bronze Award last year and I was one of the leaders who helped facilitate the girls pursuing the award. She earned that award and immediately thought of what she might like to do to earn her Silver Award. If we as leaders guide the girls into reaching and dreaming for their potential, we have accomplished so much. I have also learned that no matter where girls come from, even though some may come from hard places, if they have leaders cheering them on and supporting them, they will grow. 

My Brownie daughter did not enjoy selling cookies last year as she too was scared. This year, she lead the way to decorate the wagon for door-to-door sales, wore a cookie costume with excitement at booth sales, and sold cookies nightly at her own stand in front of our house.  Girl Scout volunteers help change lives for Girl Scouts!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls see that the world is a bigger place than just their family and their school. I am also a foster mom and I have brought this aspect of my life into Girl Scouts as well. We had a little boy with Autism come into our family and I shared Girl Scouts with him. He also helped teach our Girl Scouts about differences and disabilities. This experience made our Girl Scouts so much more patient, understanding, and opened their eyes to how they treat others. His brain did not work the same way and the girls learned so much from him.  We extended it and earned an Autism patch. The girls learned that just because others might act different, say things that might be unusual, or use their bodies differently, they are still humans just like the girls and need love and understanding. This lesson for Girl Scouts in my troop was powerful!  

I also hope the girls have gained confidence from being in my troop. My kindergarten Daisy daughter did not have positive experiences with adults. She went into cookie season terrified to talk to adults. Her sisters  challenged her to sell cookies and I encouraged her. We went to our school and she was supposed to go to every staff member in the building to sell cookies. She was terrified to do the first couple. She looked at the ground when she asked them to buy cookies. When she was asked how much cookies cost, she would shrug her shoulders. We practiced and role played at home. After a few more sales, she began to look customers in the eye, stood taller with confidence when she talked, and sold almost 100 packages of cookies. She learned to count on her fingers how much more than one package of cookies would cost. She learned to look others in the eyes and make eye contact when you talk instead of looking at the ground. She learned that adults do not have to be scary but can be your customers, and her self-confidence and positive self-image blossomed!

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

My Girl Scout Cadettes have challenged me recently. We have done a troop camp for a couple years. The girls said that this year, that is not good enough. They want to dig deeper into camping and hiking by going backpacking to earn their Trailblazer and Primitive Camper badges. This is totally out of my comfort zone. I am learning things about backpacking right alongside the girls and am taking a risk. I am fearful for this backpacking trip, but I told myself that I can’t expect the girls to try new things if I don’t expect the same of myself!




Courageous and strong women visit troop meeting

Submitted by Jenn Jurgens

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Our troop had a special treat. We had some volunteers including some moms who dressed up as courageous and strong women from history, including an active Marine mom come talk to our Daisy Girl Scouts about being courageous and strong and how these Daisy’s can grow up to also be courageous and strong too.

Our visitors were Temple Grandin, Rosie the Riviter, Jane Goodall, Emiline Pankhurst, Ruth Bater Ginsberg, Ruby Bridges and Major Ross from the Marine Corps.

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

Girl Scout Cookies delivered to Justice League of Hope

Submitted by Anna Campbell

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Troop 17108 from Grand Junction passed on their cookie donations to their hometown heroes, the Justice League of Hope. As a thank you, Kid Pool and Hershel the Hobo did a magic show and helped us celebrate Kayla’s sixth birthday. This was a great day for our troop and we all hope our cookie contribution helps the Justice League of Hope pass on some unbreakable smiles.

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

Best Cookie Dad contest: Why my dad is the best cookie dad

Submitted by Maddie G.

Western Slope

Grand Junction


Our dad has four Girl Scouts this year: a Cadette, Junior, Brownie, and Daisy. He helped us walk through the neighborhood with our cookie powered wagon. He helped us at cookie booths, too. When we needed to make change for customers, he was patient while we did our math. Most dads can’t say they are the best cookie dad, but our dad is!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!

Best Cookie Dad contest: Troop Cookie Dad of the year

Submitted by Lauren and Taylor E.

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Lauren: This is my dad’s third year as my troop’s cookie manager. He’s also been our cookie coach every year! He helps my troop make sure we all have enough cookies to sell to reach our goals, helps shuttle cookies to all the booths, and makes sure we know what to say at the booths to our customers. He does a really good job and my troop leaders love him, too! He takes me to his morning networking meetings so I can do my cookie sales pitch and sell to all of his friends- that’s awesome because I’ve gotten to sell a lot of cookies that way! Our dad’s awesome!

Taylor: When I first started selling cookies, I was very quiet and not very sure of myself. My dad worked on my cookie sales pitch with me, practiced what to say if someone says no, and helped me build up my confidence. He’s funny and always knows how to help keep me going!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!

Creativity sells (and tastes pretty good)

Submitted by Victoria Gigoux

Western Slope

Grand Junction

It’s that time of year again. Cookies! We all know, for the most part, our beloved Girl Scout Cookies sell themselves. An adorable first grader in a little blue uniform simply bats her lashes and people are yelling “take my money!” But, as girls get older it seems to get more and more difficult to sell by traditional means. As a troop leader of Cadettes and Seniors, who have been selling for nearly 10 years, it’s also difficult to motivate when they know it isn’t going to be as easy for them now as it was before. But, I truly believe, there is ALWAYS a way.

Ironically, as it gets harder and harder for the girls to sell by traditional means, they are also trying to save for bigger and bigger things. Our troop has been saving for an international trip for a couple of years. I have three daughters selling, who are going on this trip. Older girls = more challenging plus the fact that I have three in my very own family. FUN….right?!? So, last year we sat down as a family to map out ways to increase our sales to help the girls pay off their trip, in addition to our already tapped out door-to-door, booth, and family-friends online “attacks.” Like my husband likes to say “we need death by a thousand paper cuts” (translation – hit them from every direction!)

The girls thought we should find ways to sell to local businesses in ways that were more than a package or two at a time. Who is going to need a whole package, or more, in one sitting? Immediately, restaurants came to the top of our list.

After verifying all rules we needed to adhere to through GSCO, the girls reached out to three, locally owned, businesses last year. We stayed local for many reasons, including no corporate red tape and the fact that it is easier to sit down with a decision maker. After the girls’ discussions, two businesses decided they could find ways to use Girl Scout Cookies in menu items during cookie season. One was so successful, this year we had an immediate multi-case order on day one.

The secret to this success…What isn’t to love about ice cream? Add in Girl Scout Cookies, and BAM! Our best, and now repeat, customer is Graff Dairy. Graff is a locally owned and operated, family friendly micro creamery. It has been an institution in the Grand Valley for many, many years and their product is divine. According to their website, Graff is “not just about the product. We are a place for families. A business that believes in our community and providing opportunities for our employees.” Making an impact on our local community is such a huge part of the fabric of our troop and of Girl Scouts in general. Shopping and engaging with local businesses is yet another way to make an impact.

While we have had a great success, it’s important to remember there is definitely work involved in creating partnerships like this. There is much more preparation and discussion needed, many more “selling skills” than just “would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” But, sitting down, face-to-face, with a decision maker also enhances the skills we are teaching our girls every time we discuss cookies or leadership, or courage and confidence.

Parents and leaders alike, I want to encourage you to sit down with your girls and make a plan. Get creative! Think of just ONE WAY, each year, that you can do something DIFFERENT in your sales plan and I can almost guarantee you can’t fail. What our family has learned is that you can’t always go with the flow. Most successes in life come from thinking outside the (cookie) box.

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

Girl Scouts are invited to “Expedition Alaska” screening

Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited to a screening of “Expedition Alaska,” on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 in Grand Junction. Learn the story of a seven-day, non-stop endurance race that took place through the Alaskan wilderness and meet the film’s director. The documentary follows 20 teams of four in a 350-mile competition as they mountain bike through the sharp peaks of the Kenai Peninsula, traverse mountain ranges and crevasse-filled glaciers, and paddle countless life-threatening rivers and rapids. With only a map and compass as their guide, endurance athletes brave the Alaskan wilderness for the competition of a lifetime. Expedition Alaska tests the boundaries of teamwork and human determination.

All Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited. The film will be shown at the Colorado Mesa University Ballroom, located at 1100 North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501. The movie starts at 6 p.m. and is followed by a Q &A with the film’s director, Brian Leitten. Cost is $5 for Girl Scouts/youth and $10 for adults and are purchased at the door.

To learn more about the film, check out a trailer at this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rcDpNYqZ6k The documentary is the product of the Production Master Class at the University of Cincinnati. The class focuses on experiential learning in documentary film production. Students traveled to Alaska to work with alumni, teachers, and professionals while braving the Alaskan wilderness alongside the racers. They faced many of the same challenges as the racers and still managed to capture some of the most compelling footage of adventure racing ever seen.

Questions? Please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org.