Tag Archives: Grand Junction

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.

G.I.R.L. Stories: What does it mean to be a sister to every Girl Scout?

Submitted by Melisa Bruens

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

For those of you who don’t know my Lucy, she is a really remarkable person. She had a rough start in life. The person who was supposed to love and keep her safe failed her. As a result of her neglect, Lucy nearly died. She came to me just nine-days-old, tiny and defeated and struggling to live. The consequences she pays everyday for being starved and neglected are devastating to watch. Her body doesn’t always move the way it should, she sometimes needs a wheel chair, she struggles with social boundaries, she fights to keep up with the other kids. She knows she is “different” and her heart is broken daily because she wants so badly to be “normal.” She just wants to belong like everyone else. She is my miracle and she inspires me every day. I wish everyone saw her through my eyes.

Lucy has had a rough year at school. She feels like an outsider. She begs not to go to school. She comes home angry… EVERY day. Last week was her school music program. She was very nervous. When she got on stage, she panned the crowd searching for her family. Holding her body tight so she wouldn’t do anything to make her stand out. Her face so serious and worried, her body language so closed.

What she didn’t know was that sitting in the crowd was her troop. After the show, they ran up to the stage and surprised her. She was overjoyed. For the first time in weeks, Lucy’s face lit up and I saw true happiness shine from her. These girls and moms and siblings drove clear across town (Lucy’s troop is in Loma and we live on the Redlands) to support her. They showed up to show her she wasn’t alone, or different, or unworthy. One of the girls and one of the leaders, who couldn’t make it, called before hand and wished her luck and let her know they believed in her.

I can never express the difference this simple act meant to a 7-year-old girl with a disability. To me this is what being a sister to every Girl Scout means.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout delivers featured speech at Women of Distinction Breakfast

Gold Award Girl Scout Kathleen Otto of Fort Collins was a featured speaker at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction Breakfast in Grand Junction.  She told the audience of Girl Scouts and supporters about her journey through Girl Scouts.

My last 12 years as a Girl Scout has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow, making me the person I am today. This morning, I’m thrilled to share my amazing experience in Girl Scouting with you.

I remember the first Girl Scout meeting I attended. I was in first grade and a new Brownie. My troop would meet in the library of my elementary school and I remember we would have tables lined up in a big “U” shape so we could all see one another. We spent time learning the Girl Scout Promise and Law—and at every troop meeting we would stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance and then the Promise and Law to remind ourselves of how to behave toward one another and our community every day. Of course, being 6-years-old, I did not yet realize what a remarkable family and community I had joined.

Being a Girl Scout helped me learn important business and people skills and one of the most well know skill building opportunities is, as you all probably know, selling cookies. The first thing I learned about selling cookies was to be charming! This tip works well when you are still a Brownie, but as you become older, it gets a little trickier. Once I reached middle and high school, selling cookies door-to-door required connections and loyal customers that had known me since I was a little Brownie. But, the best way to earn and sell cookies was always at a booth. I remember I was in 4th or 5th grade, it was January, and snowing. My friend and I stood at a cookie booth outside of Safeway for 30 minutes, which seemed like forever at that age.  Over 45 minutes passed and we thought to ourselves, “Why did we sign up for a two-hour booth?!” My friend and I were shivering in our boots and snow pants, we were so bored, and no one was coming to buy cookies. Eventually, I was so cold and tired that I decides to let out my pent-up energy, by singing and dancing.

My journey through Girl Scouts did not stop at cookie booths. During my Junior and Senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

The Gold Award gave me the opportunity to teach people about a topic that is very important to me – dyslexia. I wanted to educate both parents and teachers about dyslexia and how it impacts children in school settings. This is an important topic for me because I am dyslexic and without the teachers I had, who knew about dyslexia, my school experience would have been so much harder. Without the support system I had growing up, and the teachers I had I don’t think I would have graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA or would have been as prepared as I feel for college.  My Gold Award was a two-step process. First, I organized a viewing of the documentary “The Big Picture – Rethinking Dyslexia”, a story about of people who struggle with dyslexia, and their stories of how they overcame their disability. After the movie, I held a panel discussion with dyslexia experts, who included: a doctor, who specializes in diagnosing dyslexia; teacher, who works specifically with children with learning disabilities;  student and lifelong friend, who suffers from dyslexia; and representative from the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association. The panel discussion was eye opening for everyone who attended and gave people the chance to connect with others in the community, whom they might have never met without my project. Many parents with children who have dyslexia were able to come together and find understanding with each other and help each other find support for their children.

Step two of my project was to create a Little Free Library in my neighborhood to promote literacy among both adults and children. In all the books that are in the library, I put informational bookmarks provided by the Rocky Mountain branch of the International Dyslexia Association in the hope that I could not only encourage people to read, more but also to continue educating people about dyslexia.

Through earning my Gold Award, I learned many skills required of a successful leader. I learned how to best communicate with my peers and adults, along with programing, public speaking, and marketing skills. I had tapped into each of these skills throughout my years as a Girl Scout and perfected them through earning my Gold Award.

These are the concrete skills that Girl Scouts has taught me, but it also opened doors to see the world. Last summer, I had the chance to go on one last trip with my Girl Scout troop and we decided to go to Europe. With the funds, we earned from the Girl Scout Cookie Program, along with our own money, we went on a 15-day trip across Europe. We went to amazing places and saw wonderful things. My favorite part of our trip was going to Adelboden, Switzerland, and visiting Our Chalet – one of five World Centers of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The beauty of Our Chalet and the town of Adelboden was incredibly stunning and peaceful. learning the history of how Our Chalet was founded was truly a learning experience and showed me that Girl Scouting really is an international sisterhood.

In addition to traveling around Europe, I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at Tomahawk Ranch, one of the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s summer camps. After being a camper almost every summer and then a counselor in training, becoming an official counselor at 18 just seemed like the natural next step in my relationship with Girl Scout Camp. Becoming a counselor, I could, make sure that younger girls had the best summer possible. I remember the Director of Tomahawk, Monica Gray, aka Obi Joe, told us during our training – “Camp is a safe place for girls to come and be themselves.” That is what camp was like for me as a child and that is what I wanted camp to be for girls today. Working at Tomahawk is like being in a totally different world. The Director Team at Tomahawk does such an amazing job at making camp a wonderful and amazing experience for every girl. 

One day, half-way into a two-week session, all of the counselors are living off of coffee at this point I thought to myself at lunch, “I knew someone would do it! I knew someone would dip the lettuce in the chocolate!” This might seem completely odd statement, so let me explain. 

For lunch, we were having fondue and there was a chocolate fountain for dessert, our chef spoiled us, with all the fixings you would expect – strawberries, pound cake, bananas, and more. But, these desserts were set on a bed of lettuce, and I thought to myself watch one of these girls dip the lettuce into the chocolate and eat it up. Sure enough, one of my girls came back to the table with chocolate covered lettuce, and everyone started laughing as she began to eat it! I can tell you now that chocolate and lettuce is not a good combo, but everyone laughed, smiled, and tried something new and surprising.

This is the point of Girl Scout Camp – it is random and funny and sometimes completely unexpected. But, no matter how unexpected things are, you’ll always be met with a welcoming smile. Camp is one of the safest places for girls to go where they can be themselves without being branded weird or different. Girl Scout Camp is a safe place for girls to grow and find out who they would like to be and all the amazing things that they are capable of.

Each of these stories describe what Girl Scouts has done for me. Girl Scouts has been the place for me where I can be myself and grow into a person that I didn’t know I could be. Girl Scouts is the reason I can stand before you and speak clearly and with confidence. Girl Scouts is the reason I know I will always have a home and a family no matter where I am. The skills that Girl Scouts has taught me, has given me the self-confidence to live on my own, to start my freshman year of college with only a little trepidation.

This year, I am a freshman at Colorado Mesa University. As of right now I am just starting my core education classes, but my plans are to go into the medical field as a nurse. Girl Scouts has shown me that I love people and enjoy helping my community. Girl Scouts has help teach me that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.

I want to remind you all the mission of Girl Scouts, “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” I stand before you this morning, a Girl Scout for over a decade and a woman with the courage, confidence, and character to continue becoming the best person I can be and make the world a little better every day.

Thank you all so much.



Mesa County Commissioners commend Girl Scout Troop 2214

Submitted by GSCO Team Lead Cindi Graves

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Mesa County Commissioners commend Girl Scout Troop 2214 for its devotion to the Girl Scout mission and values, and for earning the distinction of Bronze Award Girl Scout. The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve by completing a girl-led project to benefit the local community.

Charlotte A., Megan F., Braeleigh M., Preslee R., and Elizabeth S. have become Bronze Award Girl Scouts through recognizing a need for teens and tweens entering foster care and creating care packages filled with items to help with the difficult transition for youth entering foster care.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Girl Scout Troop 2214 for their innovative and compassionate effort to serve the youth in foster care in Mesa County.

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

Packing for Impact with Project C.U.R.E.

Join us for Project C.U.R.E. and Packing for Impact this month! Girl Scouts in the Western Colorado and Metro Denver regions will collect basic medical supplies to create kits for Project C.U.R.E. Packing for Impact will have two events, one in Grand Junction on Nov. 12 and one in Denver on Nov. 18. Girls participating in both regions will get a special event patch.

Girl Scout troops in Western Colorado kick off our 2017 Packing for Impact event on Sunday, Nov. 12. Area troops will gather from 1-3 p.m. at the Girl Scout Service Center in Grand Junction to pack their kits, enjoy fun activities, and learn more about Project C.U.R.E. Interested Girl Scouts will want to sign-up for supplies to bring at https://goo.gl/YavfSG . Please sign up quickly as spots are filling fast. A big thank you goes to the Mesa County Service Unit and Troop 10065 for organizing this event and sponsoring kits!

Our Packing for Impact event continues Saturday, Nov. 18 as troops in Metro Denver gather at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in downtown Denver to bring their donated supplies and pack kits. Girls will learn more about the countries that Project C.U.R.E. serves, first-aid, and safety through fun activities. There’s still space for this event and volunteer opportunities, but Girl Scouts will want to sign up quickly as this event has sold out quickly in the past. Cost for the Denver Project C.U.R.E. event is $6 per kit. Please note this event’s fee is per kit, not girl. Troops can decide how many kits they would like to donate and pay the fee for those kits. To register, go to https://goo.gl/UJNto5 and choose from three different sessions.

We still have spots for older Girl Scouts to volunteer at the activity tables. This is a great volunteer opportunity for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors and especially, to fulfill Program Aide internship hours. To volunteer, please go to https://goo.gl/ehzwdj . Questions? Please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scouts honors 2017 Western Slope Women of Distinction

Thursday, November 2, 2017, Girl Scouts of Colorado honored the 2017 inductees into the esteemed Women of Distinction program on the Western Slope during a breakfast at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. A group of nearly 275 gathered at the event, which raised more than $20,000 for local Girl Scout programs.

This year’s honorees were:

  • Carma Brown, Personal Lines Manager, Home Loan Insurance
  • Sue Conry, Director, Hilltop Home Care
  • Stacey Mascarenas, Community Development Director, Family Health West

These extraordinary women were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Susan Alvillar, Woman of Distinction 2015, 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.

The morning’s featured speakers included Gold Award Girl Scout Katie Otto and Silver Award Girl Scout Anela Cronk, who shared their stories of growth and leadership through Girl Scouting. Paula Reece, Woman of Distinction 2016, was this year’s event chair and Betsy Bair, Woman of Distinction 2014, was the event emcee.

The Women of Distinction program began on the Western Slope in 2013. Including this year’s honorees, Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized 12 other women on the Western Slope with this honor.

Thank you to our Gold Presenting Sponsor: USBank and Silver Presenting Sponsor: Chevron and FCI Constructors, Inc, and to our Media Sponsor: Townsquare Media.

For further information, contact Cindi Graves at cindi.graves@gscolorado.org or (970) 628-8003.

View the event on Flickr.

Think you know Girl Scouts? Think again!

Disappointed by the way Girl Scouts are often portrayed in the media or viewed by the public, Naomi Allen, a go-getter from Grand Junction, took the lead to set the record straight. She wrote the following letter to the editor of her local newspaper, The Daily Sentinel. The letter was published both online and in the paper’s printed edition.

Portrayal of Girl Scouts in editorial was off base

I wanted to point out misinformation in your editorial about the Eagle Scout award and how it relates to the Girl Scouts. I have been a Girl Scout for more than seven years, and I have learned how to tie knots, shoot arrows, taken a cyber-security class at the Grand Junction Police Department and trained with a former female Spartan athlete at Girl Scouting events.

The one and only time I have sewed anything in Girl Scouts is stuffed bears to send to Syrian refugees. Home economics is an incorrect and outdated comparison to what Girl Scouts are like today and, as an active Girl Scout, I was deeply troubled to learn that this is how Girl Scouts are viewed.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is a prestigious award, though less recognized than the Eagle Scout Award. It is an 80-hour award that must be sustainable and benefit the community. Having your Gold Award can earn scholarships, assist with college applications, and automatically puts you one rank higher in the military.

Eagle Scouts may be astronauts, CEOs and powerful politicians, but female Scouts are in positions of power all over the world. The CEO of IBM is a former Girl Scout. Sally Ride, and the majority of female astronauts were Girl Scouts. Five out of six female governors in the United States are former Girl Scouts. And cookies? I’ve sold thousands of dollars worth of cookies, learned money management skills, and cold calling selling skills. We will use that money to go to Costa Rica with my Girl Scout troop where we will be performing local service projects.

Girl Scouts aren’t just cookie-selling little girls. We are strong leaders, CEOs, astronauts, engineers, and, most importantly, we are the future.

Grand Junction