Tag Archives: Highest Awards

Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards

Gold Award Girl Scout Zoi Johns named VFW Colorado Scout of the Year

Gold Award Girl Scout Zoi Johns of Golden was honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as the Colorado Scout of the Year in June 2018. VFW recognizes the impact scouting has on not only the nation but the world. Zoi told Girl Scouts of Colorado, “Thank you for being a part of my story and my success. THIS is why we do what we do.”

Learn more about Zoi’s Gold Award project on GSCO blog: http://gscoblog.org/2017/10/girl-scout-gold-award-project-zoi-johns-golden-project-waterwise/

Gold Award Girl Scout: Katherine Walden, Larkspur, “BeeBoxin’”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the decline in local bee species, such as the leaf cutter and mason bee. Over the past several decades, local bee species have been quietly slipping into extinction leaving the ecosystem a step behind in facing such a large issue.

While bees themselves may be small, the impact and power they hold on our ecosystem is immense. However, too often their role is overlooked and not taken into consideration by much of the population. Before I started this project, eating meals was no more than a passing thought and I never thought where the food was coming from that I was ingesting. Once I began my project though, I discovered that 1/3 of every bite of food comes from the bees and the plants and crops they pollinate. Simply put without the bees, we would starve, and be forced to find expensive and alternative solutions for feeding the population.

The focus of my project was to go to elementary schools and teach about bees and install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home. Most people don’t know a lot about bees especially local bees. Commonly people think of honeybees, however these are not included in the local bee species. Going into these schools and teaching allowed me to clear up the distinction and show just how important the local bee species are. In addition, I was able to highlight some of the factors that are causing local bee population decline including habitat destruction from wildfires and development.

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

My presentations were interactive and engaging, which allowed students to ask and answer questions. Following the presentation, we were able to go outside and pick a spot to hang the bee box and using what they learned in the presentation, were able to pick out a location for the bee box. Before every presentation I would ask the kids, “What do you already know about bees?”

Being kids, I would always receive crazy ideas and stories, but then to watch the shift from general awe, to impactful interest was truly amazing. When kids start to realize that they can make a difference is something that can’t be under-appreciated.

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

There are two main project impacts that are foreseeable in the future. The first being a less drastic decline in local bee populations. With the bee boxes now in place, local bees now have an additional location to nest and work. Another impact would be that now kids have learned about the importance of bees in the community and can go spread this knowledge to others to hopefully continue to spread the word on bees.

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

My plan started in Larkspur and spread along the Front Range ranging from Monument to Sedalia. These three different locations were sought out because they allowed for different groups of students to come in and learn about the bee boxes, but also were placed so that they could hold an impact on the surrounding area. All three locations are somewhat rural and have gardens and the boxes should be utilized by local bees the area to increase pollination. On a national level, people from across the nation come to the Stone Canyon Discovery Ranch and will be able to learn about the bee boxes and what they provide. There is potential if there is interest for them to take a box back to their home because extra boxes were provided to the ranch so that they can be spread across the country.

Although I did complete the national requirement, I would have liked to been able to deliver the boxes to other states myself however, the time and resources needed were not achievable. Regardless, I am excited to hear from the people who take boxes from Stone Canyon and where they end up.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to communicate more effectively with a broad range of individuals of all ages. As I begin my career as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, it is vital that I be able to communicate and be confident in what I am talking about. This project taught me to do just that, as people expected that I know the content of my project and be able to answer and questions and solve and issues that arose with the project. Whether it be teaching about bees, or guiding a plane to take off, I know that I am now better equipped to be assertive and knowledgeable in whatever role I fill.

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

Before this project, I tended to be more passive and not want to go against the crowd of what people were saying. However, it has become apparent, especially in society today, that change will not occur if you are passive or refuse to share out. It is of the upmost vitality that individuals speak up and project issues that otherwise might continue to go unnoticed. By not only pointing out an issue, but being able to do something to resolve such has provided me with the experience of being able to instill change and reflect on how action caused resolution. This realization and viewpoint will propel me into my career as a military officer, whose duty is to solve and address issues that face our nation and military.

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

The Gold Award was a closing step on my Girl Scout career and brought all the skills I had acquired over the years full circle. It was very exciting to be able to come up with an idea and then put in into action. Had I not done my Gold Award, I think I would have felt like I didn’t finish something and that there was stuff left to do.

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

Not only did I discover a lot about bees with this project, but I also discovered a lot about myself. I learned that I enjoy teaching and being able to answer questions that people have. Of course, this seems like a common practice especially in high school, however, teaching about it to a younger generation was something special that I enjoyed. In addition, it allowed me to better understand what it means to truly be a Girl Scout- bringing about change and inspiring others to do the same.

Each one of my presentations was done with a new set of students and teachers. This allowed me to work with so many different people of all ages and understanding which bettered how I could teach about bees and make it so it had the most impact on each audience member. In addition, I learned how to communicate with staff so their classes benefitted and the content I was teaching could be incorporated into their lessons plans. By going to different locations and teaching, I was able to see how each site was going to be impacted differently.

The issue that I addressed was the decline in local bee species. My resolution to this problem was to build bee boxes and place them at different locations so that bees could now have a place to live. And while I can’t completely reverse what has already happened to the population, I can help reduce the negative impacts and assist the bee populations return. Most importantly, though I was able to educate and teach others about the issue our community faces. When kids got excited to go outside and place the bee box and paint their garden bee rocks was exciting and showed how I was able to create an impact.

**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

Big city fun for mountain town Cadettes

Submitted by Annie Sachs

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Cadette Troop 54538 recently celebrated earning their Bronze Award (as fifth-graders) with a Denver weekend of theater and fine dining! The girls loved the touring Broadway musical “School of Rock,” especially with all the children in the cast. They also enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of DCPA and capped off the weekend with the famed Brown Palace brunch. Thanks so much to the Lufkin Family for helping fund all the fun!

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

G.I.R.L. Stories: Run for Cake

Submitted by Maria C.

Metro Denver

Arvada

I started a 5k road race four years ago called Run for Cake for my Silver Award. Since then, the race has exploded and many people have learned more about the specific needs that are supported by Community Table, previously known as Arvada Community Food Bank. The race supports a small elementary school nearby through the registration fee. We work alongside Community Table’s backpack program. The program supplies kids with food on the weekends in discrete ways. The registration fee is a box of cake mix, candles, and frosting, as well as $5. All is collected and I buy many, many “birthday bags” and donate all the supplies to Community Table. From there, Community Table drops off the donations at Kullerstrand Elementary  to give to students. Each student is called up to the office over morning announcements, receives a birthday bag, and gets their picture taken with the principal. A “birthday bag” consists of a box of cake mix, candles, and frosting. Every kid deserves cake.

I am a G.I.R.L.!

Go-getter: My troop leader Sheryl Blish has been one of the most influential women in my life. She has constantly encouraged me to become versed in everything that comes up in my life. You traveled on a road trip with your family this summer? Where? What places did you go? She never asked, but the way she phrased her questions implored you to want to look on a map, do some research, and figure out where you went. Not only has she pushed us in our knowledge and care for others, but she has also constantly encouraged us to physically go get our dreams. I personally believe that even though she is a very busy women, she never stops dreaming.

Innovator: My troop leaders have always encouraged us to think outside the box! Can’t find that missing tent peg? You’re smart and very intelligent, but you’re also young and a dreamer. Think something up. Look at what’s around you. Maybe you can find something in the camping supplies or a pointy stick that will make it work for the night. Maybe we even have an extra because as Girl Scouts we are always prepared.

Risk-taker: For one of our bridging ceremonies, our troop voted to ride zip lines. That was kind of intense for those of us who do not love heights. The dynamic duo of both Judy Curtis and Sheryl Blish gave us a balance of tough love and kind words. They helped so many of us, especially me, conquer our fears with such audacious boldness we couldn’t help but get excited. They have taught us when it’s appropriate to look back to see if you can help someone out and when to look forward to improve those around you as well as yourself.

Leader: I have become the person I am today mostly through the weekly Girl Scout meeting our troop held. Each week a different girl would be in charge of leading a meeting. She would show up 15 minutes before all the other girls and meet with the head troop leader Sweet Sweet Sheryl Blish. She would give us a good and thorough run-down of what the meeting needed to accomplish. We had a notecard and her sitting next to us but other than that, it was our job to run the whole shebang smoothly while maintaining control of the room. As we proceed to get older she would let us have more and more freedom until we almost did not need her for the meeting at all. But by that time we realized we had become such great friends with our troop leaders we wanted them to be there.
My troop leaders are the best women around.

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

New Resource: Gold Award rubrics

Girl Scouts of Colorado is thrilled to publish new Gold Award rubrics for girls around the state to use to make their Gold Award journey successful and rewarding. The document includes a rubric for initial proposal approval and final approval, so girls can understand exactly what is expected of them throughout their Gold Award journey.

All Gold Award mentors across the state worked to develop and revise the rubrics over the last year to ensure that a wide variety of perspectives and experiences were considered.

Each girl working to pursue her Gold Award should “meet minimum standards” or above on each criterion listed on the rubric. The rubric also lists the corresponding questions on the Gold Award project proposal and final report to help understand where the information expected of each criterion is coming from.

Questions about the Gold Award process in Colorado? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org. 

G.I.R.L.s build fence for Silver Award project

Submitted by Laura Smith

Metro Denver

Littleton

Over this last year, Troop 3227 planned, designed, and built a fence around a 30’x 60′ garden at Goddard Middle School in Littleton. This was no easy task! The six girls divided the tasks so they could meet with the school, finalize a design, get a supply list, work on getting donations from Home Depots, Lowes, and the Elks in Littleton, and then building the fence over two weekends with the help of their families and parents. The girls learned how to coordinate such a huge project with so many players and they learned how to use tools safely as they built the fence. It was hard work that paid off. This fence will last the school around 25-30 years and it’ll be a legacy the girls can be proud of passing on.

The six girls exemplified what being a G.I.R.L. means. They took on a project that was not easy to accomplish and their go-getting attitude helped them get there. The skills the girls learned will go a long way in helping cement their leadership, risk-taking, and innovation. It was amazing to see the girls grow over this last year as they worked on this project!

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

One G.I.R.L. attempting to tackle T1D costs

Submitted by Alana Kinard

Metro Denver

Arvada

Many would be surprised to know diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Diabetes is a disorder in which the body has trouble regulating its blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels. There are two types of diabetes, however we will focus on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. T1Dis a disorder of the body’s immune system and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys beta cells in the pancreas. These cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. When the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.

People with T1D must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered though an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, all in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), both of which can be life threatening.

T1D is generally diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. The exact cause is not yet known, but doctors believe that autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved. For some perspective; as many as three million Americans may have T1D, each year more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults – approximately 80 people per day – are diagnosed with T1D in the U.S., the prevalence of T1D in Americans under age 20 rose by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009, and T1D accounts for $14.9 billion in healthcare costs in the U.S. each year.

Makayla started a non-profit at the age of 12. The purpose of the foundation is to help children, young adults, and their families pay for essential diabetic supplies that they would otherwise not be able to afford (or affording would cause financial hardship).

The inspiration for the foundation comes from the devastating loss our family experienced in 2013; we lost my little sister, Elizabeth “Busy,” to complications due to her diabetes at the young age of 26. Busy left behind her extensive family, a fiancé, and two young children. She was always very fortunate to have supportive family, friends, and doctors, who were willing to help in any way they could to make sure she received the care and at times supplies that she needed.

My daughter Makayla, Busy’s goddaughter, told us she lost her best friend and at the time we were working on a different type of foundation. She wanted to host virtual runs and benefits to raise money to help people, but the loss made the goal more focused. The goal is to help as many people as possible in a very personal way. Makayla is our “monkey” and so was born; One Monkey’s Miracle.

Makayla’s Silver Award project tied in with her foundation. She put together care bags (60) to be delivered to the Barbara Davis Center for children who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes. Through her work on her Silver Award, she partnered with many outside organizations who provided help and supplies to add to the bags.

Currently, we are working on putting on a second virtual race that will help build our funds and hopefully help us start helping families in need.

Please consider being a part of the miracle.

More information can be found in our Facebook Group: One Monkey’s Miracle (https://www.facebook.com/groups/onemonkeysmiracle/) or online at our website: http://www.onemonkeysmiracle.wixsite.com/onemonkeysmiracle)

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

Girl Scout Troop 179 earns Bronze Award

Submitted by Nancy Renken

Northern & Northeastern CO

Boulder

The 5th grade Girl Scout Juniors of Troop 179 earned their Bronze Award on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Heatherwood Elementary School in Gunbarrel. The Bronze Award is the highest award that Girl Scout Juniors can earn. Girl Scout Cadettes can earn the Silver Award, and Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can earn the Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

Part of the requirements for the Bronze Award is recognizing a need in the community, making a plan, and finally, putting it into action. In this case, the girls talked about how the playground designs at Heatherwood Elementary were really faded and hadn’t been updated in years. As outgoing 5th graders, they wanted to give back to their school. A small delegation of Girl Scouts: Sophia J., Katy R., and Meaghan Z. met with Principal Jaramillo to discuss whether or not such a project would be feasible. The principal was really open to their proposal and agreed that the girls could take on the project. Sharon Lynch was our parent in charge who helped the Girl Scouts with determining supplies needed and kept the project within their scope. While the girls could not take on everything that needed repainting, they were able to repaint the tetherball courts, two four-squares, and a hopscotch. They were dedicated, focused, and they did a great job. All of them were really engaged in the project.

Additionally, when a Girl Scout was not on paint duty, she worked on a secondary project of decorating food delivery bags for There With Care.

Our project was successful due to the enthusiasm and dedication of Girl Scout Troop 179, the direction of Sharon Lynch, the support from the parents of Troop 179, and additional support from Prana Construction, and Papa John’s Pizza, 28th St., Boulder.

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

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts honored at Highest Awards celebration in Silverthorne

Nearly 100 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Silverthorne Pavilion in Silverthorne on May 11, 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 25 in the Mountain Communities region earned the Bronze Award. 10 girls in the region earned the prestigious Silver Award and three became Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts gives girls the skills and experiences they need to thrive and lead in today’s world. The world needs female leaders now more than ever. You’re making a difference,” 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.

G.I.R.L.s start running club to earn Silver Award

To earn their Silver Award, Girl Scout Cadettes Addison, Adie, and Scarlet of Centennial started an after school running club at their elementary school alma mater, Carl Sandburg Elementary School, in the fall.  The program was such a success that they were instrumental in its continuation this spring. The girls even secured a grant for their club through Kids Run the Nation. They are now serving as volunteers in the program they created.  Their model can also be easily transferrable to other elementary schools wanting to start a running club for their students.

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