Tag Archives: Gunnison

Volunteer Spotlight: Deena Buffington

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Deena Buffington of Gunnison in the Western Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Deena 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?

My youngest daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts and the troop here in Gunnison is parent and girl-led and they needed volunteers.

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

I have been helping lead the troop since 2016 and started as the Fall Product Program Manager and Cookie Manager in the 2018/2019 seasons.I now serve as the fall product, cookie, and service unit manager.  We are a small town and small community, so many people take on several roles.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned how to handle many different situations, personalities, and ways of dealing with them all. There have been so many funny, fun, and interesting situations. I’ve learned a lot about different troops and people who have been Girl Scouts at one point in their lives.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned hard work, life skills, fun crafting, traveling, and also dealing with different personalities and situations. My favorite time was last year when we took the troop on a cruise… to see the excitement in the girls’ eyes as some of them had never been on a plane much less a cruise ship. It was great to share that excitement and fun with them.

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

There is so much that goes into everything from planning a meeting to taking care of cookies, start to finish.  It’s fun to help girls set goals and help them achieve them.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org. 

The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards is April 30. GSCO invites members statewide to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding volunteer by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award. Nominators are responsible for ensuring enough endorsements are submitted to support their nomination of a volunteer for an award. Your volunteer support specialist can check nomination and endorsement submissions for you. Learn more.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Joslyn Hays, Gunnison, “Marbles Kiosk”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I promoted the game of Ringer within my community and with tourists. I built a kiosk by the Gunnison Marble Rings explaining the game of Ringer and its history in Gunnison. The game of Ringer is a traditional game played with marbles and a 10-foot ring. It focuses on the importance of sportsmanship. I also hosted marbles workshops, placed bags of marbles with in-depth rules at the Jorgensen Park Ice Rink and Gunnison Tourism Office for people to borrow, and helped the City Council write a resolution naming the Gunnison Marble Rings the Jerry Piquette Marble Rings.

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

I handed out surveys at my workshops. The surveys showed how much people’s  knowledge increased on a scale of five (average increase of 2.4) and whether or not they enjoyed the workshop, found it informative, and would like to play marbles again. The results were all positive and showed that promoting marbles is important.

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

The kiosk will be maintained by the Gunnison Parks and Recreation Department, so it will continue to stand for tourists and locals to come and learn from. The Gunnison Marbles Club will replenish the bags of marbles and instructions in case they get stolen, and they will host the workshops in early summer. These groups will help to continue promoting marbles around my community and make my project sustainable.

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

I sent pictures and the concept for the kiosk to the National Marbles Committee’s Facebook page for them to share with the rest of the marbles community. This was the method that they asked me to share my project with them through. We hope that Marble Clubs around the nation will follow my example to promote marbles and its sportsmanship.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am good at public speaking. That is an activity that I don’t enjoy, but was required of me throughout this project. It was good to learn that I can do it without seeming uncomfortable.

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

The leadership skills I learned while earning my Gold Award will stay with me through the rest of my life. I will be able to lead groups in school and my future career by understanding how to work with lots of different groups and set and enforce deadlines. Knowing that I can lead will also help me be more confident in general. This will allow me to do my best work in all future endeavors.

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

The Gold Award was the finish line for my Girl Scout experience. I had known that I wanted to earn it since I was a Brownie. Earning my Gold Award was a big part of my overall Girl Scout experience. I was able to focus and pursue my Silver Award and a Journey knowing that they led to the Gold Award. I always tried hard when selling cookies because I knew that some of the money would go towards my Gold Award. More than having been my goal, doing my Gold Award project has been a big part. I’ve been able to see the skills I’ve learned from Girl Scouts come together to help me in this project. I’ve also been able to develop as a leader, which is a great thing to start at a younger age. These have helped me understand the importance of getting my Gold Award and why it tied my Girl Scout experience together,

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

Getting my Gold Award helped me become a go-getter. My project was nontraditional and focused on promoting a small, but important activity. Marbles is an inclusive activity that promotes sportsmanship above all else. I hope to have portrayed those values through my time as a Girl Scout. By pursuing this project, I believe that I set a stage that Gold Awards should be different and unique projects specific to your community. I was also one of the few girls on the Western Slope to earn her Gold Award this year. I hope that my achievement encourages other girls to complete their project as well.

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


Gunnison troop sends special thank you to cookie customers

Submitted by Sharalee Pederson

Western Slope


Troop 13461 of Gunnison with 14 girls is celebrating their amazing cookie season. This is the thank you they are sending out to their customers. They sold 11,609 packages of cookies!

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

Gold Award training in Gunnison

Attention all 8th grade Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, troop leaders, and parents in Western and Southwestern CO! If you (or your girl) is thinking about going for her Gold Award, don’t miss out on training in Gunnison on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1 p.m. at Western State Colorado University. This is a free training.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. In this training, girls will learn the requirements, council procedures, and tips for making her Gold Award experience successful and rewarding.

Gold Award training is mandatory for any girl interested in pursuing her Gold Award. Troop leaders, co-leaders, and parents are encouraged to attend.
Register to attend online by Wednesday, September 6: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/gold_award_training_sw_9_10_2017

Troop 11056 Hosts Etiquette Tea Party For Silver Award

Submitted by Sally Hays


Western Slope

On April 28, Girl Scout Troops 11056 and 11015 hosted a business etiquette tea party for 8th though 12th-grade girls. Guest speakers Liz Fuller and Chelsea Dalporto-McDowell led discussions about business etiquette, as well as formal and non-formal dinner settings.

All of the 11 girls and their mothers enjoyed petit fours, cookies, lemonade and tea. At the end of the discussion, all girls received the etiquette book 50 Things All Young Ladies Should Know. The goal for the troops was to teach girls in the community how to be more proper in formal situations. They hope that the girls will spread the information to others.

Troop 11056 was able to earn their Silver award by organizing and hosting this fun event!

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

A year of our river – Bronze Award Project


Submitted by Aurora Kattnig


Southwestern Colorado

On Saturday June 21st a group of scouts painted a mural on the west wall of the Napa Auto / Feed Store, Gunnison Colorado. This mural is titled “A year of our river” and is the culmination of Aurora Kattnig’s Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn. The mural was designed by Aurora and younger Girl Scouts to depict the Gunnison River from the head waters to Blue Mesa through the four seasons of the year.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Katherine Ketcham, Gunnison, “STEM Day”

Katherine Ketcham pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Day for Gunnison Elementary School students. They learned about biology, chemistry, physics, and STEM at the day. First through fourth graders completed the experiments and learned about those topics for thirty minutes. The STEM Day was two complete school days in October.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

My rural town is weak in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education. I went the first seven years of my public schooling without STEM. This caused my great interest in
it come high school and helped me decide on pursuing it in college. Other people I know avoided STEM once given the opportunity to pursue it because of its faulty reputation of being challenging. I believe that if students are exposed to it earlier, then they would be more likely to pursue it later in life. Reviewing the school district’s lack of STEM education, I took the initiative and enacted a STEM Day at the Gunnison Elementary School in hopes that the current students would be introduced to STEM at a younger age.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

The many students that experienced the day learned about potential future occupations, courses, and subjects. They may ask questions, read books, or view science fairs put on by university students. They may gain a greater appreciation of the world and want to better understand it. In the future, they will most likely take more science classes when the opportunity arises in high school and college. There will also be an increase of people interested in pursuing STEM as adults. I’ve begun the student’s education and shown them potential paths for the future. STEM is an important occupation with many branches that will always be needed. In the future, these students may hold such occupations.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I don’t particularly enjoy talking with people, especially on the telephone. I discovered that I have excellent interpersonal communication skills. I developed and discovered this through my project. I had to communicate with various adults. I had to discuss with my advisor on how to conduct my day and what projects should be used. I had to discuss my idea with teachers in the Gunnison Elementary School to see their willingness to allow their students to participate. I had to communicate continuously with the elementary school principal in order to establish the day. I also had to communicate with teenagers. I needed student volunteers to assist with my STEM Day. I then had to communicate with the elementary school aged students in first through fourth grade. I was nervous for all this at first and practiced my speeches multiple times, and despite the fact I was sick and could barely talk on the day of my project, I was able to effectively communicate to all age groups. It was an exciting and impacting realization that I’m gifted at interpersonal communications. My improved ability to communicate then furthered me as a leader. I also gained organization skills and planning skills.

How did you make your project sustainable?

The approximated 500 students that experienced that day learned about potential future occupations, courses, and subjects. According to my statistics and my prediction, they will most likely take more science classes when the opportunity arises in high school and college. Those students are also more likely to pursue an occupation related to STEM. I’ve begun the student’s education and shown them potential ideas for the future. This will assist with their future success. Teachers at the Gunnison Elementary School saw the great success and effect this day had on the students. They intend to make the STEM Day an annual event. The STEM Day was endorsed by the teachers so much; they invited me to host another STEM Day after school on February 18, 2015. This STEM Day reached many students and shows the endorsement the teachers have for it.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

STEM isn’t only lacking in Gunnison, but also in other towns. Teachers don’t emphasize on such courses or don’t offer them. According to a study done and published on www.usnews.com, by
the time students enter fourth grade, a third of them no longer feel interested in science. By eighth grade, nearly fifty percent of students have lost interest in science and deem it unnecessary for their futures. These statistics largely come from the lack of opportunities regarding such subjects. The undereducated teachers in those areas also ineffectively teach as they are untrained in those subjects. The poor limited opportunities granted cause a nationwide need for supplemental STEM education. The result from limiting STEM courses is limiting the education for the students. STEM should be highlighted upon in younger education and made fun for the elementary school students so they enjoy it and get more out of it. STEM, although highly needed, isn’t emphasized in school districts nationally.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I’m very proud of my project for so many reasons. I believe this has been the most influential and beneficial project I’ve ever done. I’m so proud to help the community and the future STEM world with my project and interests. I’m also proud that I influenced  students to now appreciate and like STEM when they formerly didn’t. Another part I’m proud of is that the students still, a few months later, recognize me and talk to me about how fun my STEM Day was. They genuinely enjoyed the day and learned a lot. I’m really proud of the success of my project. The impact was significant. I’m always going to remember its great impact on the elementary students. My goal in life is to help others in all ways, and this is the greatest way I’ve helped people so far.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

Earning my Gold Award helped with my future greatly. It helped me become a better leader, more effective communicator, better organized, and more confident. These are important life skills that will greatly help me in my future.

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

The Gold Award was my favorite part of Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts are dedicated to community service. This project allowed me to help my community greatly. Girl Scouts is an amazing experience that provides many opportunities. The Gold Award is another unforgettable and highly revolutionizing part of Girl Scouts that is rewarding and impactful.

***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

Gunnison Celebrates 100 years of Girl Scouts


Submitted by Perri Pelletier

Girl Scout Junior Troop 10558 in Gunnison hosted a community-wide GS 100th birthday celebration on March 14. We had at least 80 people attend, including Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and “mature alumnae!” The energy was GREAT! Our oldest alumna was an active Girl Scout in the 1930s!

The Juniors led the group in singing traditional Girl Scout favorites, and they gave short talks about aspects of history including cookie sales, uniforms, and Juliette Low. They also awarded numerous door prizes to members of the audience. The event was a tremendous success. Even in tiny Gunnison, Girl Scouting links many generations of women and girls in such a special way!

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