Tag Archives: #gsoutdoors

Get your troop outdoors and earn badges for FREE

Girl Scouts of the USA is looking for troops at each Girl Scout level to participate in a research study on the use of outdoor badges, made possible by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project.

What’s Involved

Selected troops will:

  • Be assigned to complete one, two, or three outdoor badges between November 16, 2018 and June 1, 2019. You choose the dates, we choose the number of badges. Troops will be able to choose from a menu of four badges, including camping, environmental stewardship, art in nature, and naturalist badges.
  • Complete and submit to GSUSA a pre- and a post-program survey, or a one-time post-only survey (girls only) after the completion of badge(s). Surveys can be taken on paper or online; survey type will be assigned by GSUSA.
  • Complete an online volunteer survey (leaders only) after the completion of badge(s).

Who Can Participate

  • We are looking for troops at all Girl Scout levels (multi-level welcome).
  • Troops with any level of outdoor experience welcome. No outdoor experience required.
  • Troops that participated in the 2018 outdoor survey pilot study are not eligible.

Benefit to Troops

Participating troops will have the opportunity to help Girl Scouts of the USA understand how our programs benefit girls. Participating troops will also receive all earned badges free of charge!

How to Apply

Interested troops can apply here. A troop leader must complete the entire application by October 31 to be considered.

Service Unit 747’s first group hike

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Service Unit 747 held their first group hike at Devil’s Backbone in Loveland. Four Girls Scouts, two leaders, one parent, and five dogs joined the fun! It was a great day with great weather for a hike!

Our next group hike is October 7, 2018 at 9 a.m. at Hewlett Gulch. Please RSVP to ariellanetanya@gmail.com if you, your troop, or families would like to participate!

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Bailey Stokes, Buena Vista, “Teaching in the Outdoors”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In order to earn my Gold Award and make a difference in my community, I decided to make outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of teachers in schools across the state. I achieved this by making boxes that had lesson plans for eight to ten outdoor lessons, along with all the materials a teacher would need to complete them. The boxes also included a small tri-fold presentation board on the subject for student reference. I made two sets of three boxes covering three different subjects: investigations, habitat, and adaptations. The boxes are designed to meet the education standards for fourth grade science, but they can be adapted to be used with any age group. The goal of my project was to provide teachers with an easy and convenient way to bring outdoor education into their classrooms, because outdoor education provides students with many physical and mental benefits.

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

The first step of my project was to go spend a day at my local elementary school teaching a couple of my lessons to a fourth grade class in order to determine what worked with students and what did not. In the day that I spent at the elementary school, I impacted 70 students. When the school year starts, I expect to impact around 500 students a year through the constant use of my project.

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

My project will be sustained by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are two sets of my boxes and they are being kept at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices in Pueblo and Salida. The people at the offices will help ensure that my boxes are staying in good condition throughout their use. They will also help ensure that the boxes are going out into classrooms year after year.

Another way that my project will continue to impact the community after my involvement is through the help of the teachers that use my boxes. They will hopefully continue to use my boxes year after year, and they will also help spread the word about my project through the teaching community. I have also had teachers tell me that they want to recreate my boxes for their own communities.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

Instead of finding a way to make it so that teachers across the country could use my boxes, I decided to focus on encouraging other people to take action like I did. I wrote an informational paper about the importance of outdoor education and why it should be incorporated into schools. I did this in hopes that I would inspire other people to take action. There are also two sets of my boxes that are being stored in two separate locations so that they can be accessible for more teachers across the state.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, and I learned that I am capable of making a difference. I also learned that I have what it takes to be a teacher one day, and I grew an even bigger passion for education. During this project, I also gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities.

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

My Gold Award gave me hands-on experience in the field that I am wanting to enter. I am currently studying to be a teacher at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and this project gave me valuable classroom experience. What I learned through this project will help me as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in the first grade. In that time, I have been actively involved in many different Girl Scout activities, however, earning my Gold Award was the most valuable part of my Girl Scout experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to make a difference in my community, I also gained a lot of confidence and career experience. Earning my Gold Award was a life changing experience that showed me that I am able to accomplish anything I put my mind to. It was a lot of work, but in the end it was definitely a valuable part of my Girl Scout experience and I am extremely glad that I did it.

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

During this project, my leadership skills greatly improved. I stepped out of my comfort zone by leading people who weren’t my peers. My project may have impacted the community, but it also helped me become a stronger leader which is a trait I will need for the rest of my life. This project also helped me become a go-getter. I took action and I accomplished an amazing achievement that I am extremely proud of.

**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

Troop 70720 summits a 14er

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Three Girl Scouts from Troop 70720 hiked Mt. Bierstadt last month. This trail is 6.9 miles round trip and has an altitude gain of 2,729-feet. This is a Class Two 14er.

It was a chilly day with a lot of cold and strong wind gusts. Everyone was prepared with lots of warm gear, water, electrolytes, and food.

This is a difficult hike. The girls were amazing troopers! Two of the girls summited and one girl was so close being only .5 miles from the top, mostly missing the rock scrambling.

We have plans to try another 14er next summer!

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

Sister troops go backpacking

Submitted by Elizabeth Moore

Metro Denver

Conifer

The Cadettes of sister troops 2064 and 8242 went backpacking in the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area the weekend before Memorial Day. Seven girls and two leaders went on this challenging six-mile loop.

The girls were greeted with a massive thunderstorm five-minutes from the campsite, leaving them to take shelter in the forest until the lightning subsided. Once at the campsite, the girls took turns holding a large tarp over each others’ tents until they could be fully pitched with the rainfly on, preventing the inside from becoming soaked. Then, they worked together to gather and dry wood for a campfire. These Cadettes showed amazing teamwork in a tough situation.

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

G.I.R.L. stories: Troop 63572 goes backpacking and earns new badges

Submitted by Rebecca Lankford

Metro Denver

Broomfield

Girl Scouts from Troop 63572 completed their Primitive Camper (Cadette) and Adventure Camper (Senior) badges by backpacking to Sandbeach Lake in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. The girls worked on elements of the badges over the past few months building up to the trip. First, they learned what size and type of backpack works for them by visiting Jax in Broomfield. Then, they worked on learning about meal planning and cooking for backpacking, and how to find and reserve a location to camp. After a few trials with the backpacks, they did a day hike on the trail to Sandbeach Lake to gauge its difficulty. As the final step, they spoke to a ranger about safety in the trail area and learned about bear proof canisters for food and smellables.

Finally, the plan was executed and backpacking trip commenced. While the trip to the lake was a challenging 4.5 hours of uphill hiking, the views and beach at the lake were worth the effort. How often do you get to have dinner at the beach in Colorado? The group camping site is very close to the lake and far enough away from other camp sites to be quiet. It is absolutely beautiful!

Our troop recommends this hike for those who are interested in a personal physical challenge. Take your trekking poles, water filter, and binoculars and be prepared for an amazing trip!

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

Meadow Mountain Ranch self-guided tour and patch program

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Estes Park

Meadow Mountain Ranch (MMR) near Allenspark is launching a new patch program to be used in connection with the Self-Guided Nature Trail. A one-way, 21-stop trail through the high country Girl Scout camp gives individuals and groups a chance to explore the natural world and earn beautiful new patches to be placed in a colorful four-season display.

Here’s how it works. There is a guidebook for each season of the year.  Plan on spending at least two hours or more to complete the program on the trail. Right now, we are rapidly approaching the fall season, so pick up that fall pamphlet. Then, go down the main road to the west of the main camp area to the wooden kiosk on the right side of the road near the Nature Nook/Lyra Activity Shelter. Groups must have a property reservation to use the nature trail, and nature trail booklets are available on-site when groups check in for their reservation.

The trail takes you up the hill and through the aspen groves and pines up to a level stretch, and then a cut-off takes you up to Vista Spur at the top of the ridge on the north boundary of the camp property.  Stop at each numbered wooden post and read in the book to see what the focus of that stop is. There are things to see, smell, study closely, and generally immerse yourself in the natural world. The more time you have to experience everything the Nature Trail has to offer, the more you will come to learn about the history, biology, geology, math, and science of all kinds at the camp. Animals and plants, trees and flowers, rocks and grass, mountains peaks and valleys, stories, and songs are all highlighted. There are even some recipes for great snacks to create!

So, once you’ve completed the trail, you will be eligible to purchase that season’s quarter patch which can surround the circle patch in the center of the group. Anyone can purchase the center circle patch, just because you love MMR and like the whole idea of the Self-Guided Nature Trail. Patch pieces cost $1.50 each, for a total cost of $7.50 per complete set, and are available for purchase at the GSCO Retail Shop.

The idea is to come to MMR, walk the trail in all four seasons of the year, and expand your horizons with every experience. Time required runs from two to four hours and it’s recommended that groups of 10-12 or less would be optimum for all participants to enjoy each stop. Be prepared with a water bottle, season-appropriate clothing such as raincoat in the summer and warm jackets in the winter. Snowshoes might be needed in deep winter in those heavy drifts. Good shoes or boots are highly recommended and walking sticks might be good too. A snack is also a good idea so you don’t run out of energy before you finish the trail.

For further information, contact Penny Roberts or other trail creators or David and Julie Fischer, property managers at MMR.  Come join the fun!

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

Biking around town: End of summer fun

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern and Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

As an end of summer hoorah, some of the girls from Troop 70720 went on a 12-mile bike ride around Fort Collins. We stopped and played in the river for a little while and then, biked over to a local ice cream shop for a sweet treat. We headed back after that, but the girls went and played in a pool after their ride to cool off. Summer outdoor adventures are awesome!

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

Preparing for Reach for the Peak

Submitted by  Sharon Manning

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

Troop 73392 decided earlier this year to rise to the challenge of Reach for the Peak, a competition of traditional Girl Scout skills now in its 31st year. The girls spent the summer working on skills such as knots, lashings, orienteering, and more. After weekly practice sessions, Ashley, Sophia, Trinity, Charlotte, and Alyssa were ready for the challenges they faced the weekend of August 10 and 11, 2018. Everyone had a great time and learned a great deal about skills, team work, and personal growth thanks to the amazing volunteers who make this competition possible.

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

Camping fun at Magic Sky Ranch

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Troop 70720 spent the weekend enjoying  Magic Sky Ranch and spending some time in the great outdoors. Girls finished up working on their “Primitive Camping” badge, which they started in May. We love going up there and have been doing it since girls were second year Daisies.

Girls did all the set up, most of the year down, and a lot of the cooking and preparation this year. Love seeing them progress and get more independent every year.

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