Tag Archives: Highlands Ranch

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twenty-five Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing take action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Meg Bleyle from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, worked to increase the bee population by teaching children about how people need and depend on bees.
  • Beth Bolon from Longmont hosted a workshop for sixth grade girls to help them improve their communication skills and bolster their confidence when interacting with others.
  • Cheyanne Bridges from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with the Pikes Peak Humane Society to support their animal medical fund by providing a sustainable source of donations from her school.
  • Tara Butler from Denver, Overland High School, created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens to educate them on how to use their smartphone and better understand the technology.
  • Kayleigh Cornell from Aurora, Grandview High School, started the Colorado Book Bank and collected more than 1,300 new and gently used books for students in a summer lunch program.
  • Victoria Delate from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, created a four-week self-defense course to give her fellow students the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual assault.
  • Emma Deutsch from Denver, Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, improved the cat rooms at the Denver Animal Shelter. By creating a more welcoming and colorful space, she encouraged more people to adopt cats.
  • Kamaryn Evans from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, worked to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and for the Crisis Center, which works to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention.
  • Rose Goodman from Boulder, Boulder High School, created a lesson plan, which meets common-core standards, to educate second grade students about the declining bee population and how they can help bees.
  • Elizabeth Hoelscher from Aurora, Grandview High School, partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage victims of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls.
  • Ashlin Hult from Niwot, Niwot High School, created a series of materials for middle-school girls to encourage healthy body image and increase self-esteem.
  • Zoi Johns from Golden, Lakewood High School, coordinated the installation of three 10,000-liter water filtration tanks in a school in rural Uganda.
  • Makayla Kocher from Monument, Colorado Springs Christian School, created an art program for nursing home residents.
  • Kayleigh Limbach from Niwot, Niwot High School, wrote aguidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academic future.
  • Alexis Montague from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, hosted a panel discussion so girls could learn more about career opportunities in STEM.
  • Sarah Ness from Centennial, Eaglecrest High School, hosted nearly two dozen after-school art therapy sessions to help kids at her school relieve and manage stress.
  • Gwyneth Ormes from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, organized a series of after-school workshops to teach elementary school girls Processing (a basic programming language), along with the foundational concepts of computer science.
  • Emma Parkhurst from Centennial, Littleton High School, revitalized The Lions Cupboard, a local clothing closet, to make the space more accessible for families in need.
  • Makala Roggenkamp from Arvada, Faith Christian Academy, partnered with Hope House and created book templates for children to develop a love of reading.
  • Abagail Sickinger from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to help high school students get a job. Topics included: resume writing, what to wear, conducting yourself during an interview, and how to answer interview questions.
  • Katrina Stroud from Boulder, Niwot High School, created an activity booklet for The Butterfly Pavilion to teach children about Monarch butterflies and bumble bees.
  • Grayson Thomas from Lyons, Lyons High School, designed a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM community for Lyons Middle/Senior High School.
  • Marieke van Erven from Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.
  • Melissa Wilson from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, developed several materials to educate people who can hear about how to interact with those who are deaf.
  • Inspired by her mother’s battle with cancer, Susan Wilson from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a media center for cancer patients undergoing treatment at Parker Adventist Hospital.

The Girl Scout Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. 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.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”

About Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Meg Bleyle, Highlands Ranch, “Bee a hero: Save the bees!”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue addressed by this project was the declining population of bees worldwide.  I hoped to educate people about the importance bees have in our lives and that we need and depend on them. If the bee population was to increase, then farmers would not have to pollinate crops by hand, saving both time and money, which would be passed on to consumers.  The kids, who will be taught using my curriculum, will also grow up understanding the importance of bees as a result of this project.

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

I saw an increase of activity on my website after distributing brochures about my project.  All of my educational materials can be found on my website.  This includes my curriculum and activity packets.

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

I created a curriculum containing several different topics that educators can reference as many times as they need.  The curriculum is available on my website, all materials are downloadable, and the materials are being given to Boys and Girls Clubs, after school care clubs, and religious schools with the intention that the educators will use them to educate kids for years to come.  I have also created a brochure which was distributed at the Highlands Ranch farmers market.  The brochure was available at the table where local honey is sold.  In addition to facts contained in the brochure, I have also included a QR code to my website.  The AP environmental science teacher at Highlands Ranch High School will take over the control of my website and future curriculum updates.

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

My activity packets and curriculum will be sent to the Education Specialist at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.  Part of my activity packets and curriculum include small projects that kids can do with an adult to help the bees.

I am working with a Jewish educator to develop a curriculum specific to Rosh Hashanah.  This curriculum will be used nationwide, as she presents teaching workshops at national conferences.

What did you learn about yourself?

As a leader I learned how to take action in a meaningful way.  Most people would like to help other causes, but don’t know how.  This project taught me how to help and how to get others to help from a leadership perspective.  I learned how to communicate with others in a professional setting.  This form of communication is new to me and I struggled with it a little.  However, it is a very necessary skill to have.  I also learned how to be flexible.  When one thing didn’t go my way, I needed to figure out something else to do in its place.  Flexibility is a necessary skill to have as a leader because it is necessary to adapt when something doesn’t go the way you want it to for reasons beyond your power.

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

This project gave me an opportunity to experience leading the kind of species conservation project I would see in environmental studies (my current degree program in college is toward a BS in Environmental Science).  When faced with a team project, I will have the skills necessary to communicate to my team and delegate responsibility.  I will also have the ability to collaborate with many different people.

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

The Gold Award is the pinnacle of Girl Scouting.  Through achieving this award, I have gained the courage to communicate with others in a professional setting, the confidence to change the world using the resources I have been given, and the character of perseverance when life doesn’t go as planned.  I connected with some people from the elementary school in order to set up a beehive.  (Of course this did not actually happen because of circumstances outside of our control).  I discovered that I had to choose another way to help the bees.  I took action by creating a curriculum and activity packets that I gave to several different sources.  A leader develops the materials and distributes them to people.  I instructed my team how to approach childcare centers of their choosing in which to give my packets.  I connected with a honey vendor at a local farmers market to distribute some brochures which contain the QR code for my website.  I took action by leading my troop through the Save-A-Bee patch and then asked them to help me improve the curriculum.  I discovered that being a leader is more than telling people what to do: it is actively making sure that things get done and how to improve the things that did not work as well.  I also connected with a Jewish educator who is interested in promoting this issue because consuming honey during Rosh Hashanah is a tradition, and she believes it is important to educate the congregation about bees.

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

In working on this project, I learned how to be flexible in attaining my goal.  When one idea did not work, I had to find another way to accomplish my goal.  This helped me become a go-getter.  I learned how to communicate with people from a leadership role and how to delegate tasks so that my team could help me with my project.  I learned that I can handle getting a group of people together and lead them in the right direction.

**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

G.I.R.L. Stories: Cadette Troop 60043’s Urban Adventure

Submitted by Katy Herstein

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch Girl Scout Troop 60043 worked on their Urban Adventure badge in June 2017. We used the Urban Adventure Quest challenge to explore the city in a scavenger hunt type of game. The girls took photos so we could document our day and share it with others (the last step of the badge that they chose). It was a super fun experience that I hope the girls will remember for a while!

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

I am a G.I.R.L.

Submitted by Charlotte H., G.I.R.L.  Media Star

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

I’ve been in Girl Scouts for four years and I love it! I love Girl Scouts because I enjoy the crafts, activities, (especially camping), and I love the life lessons that go with it. But, what I love the most is friendship and meeting new friends.

I’m a go-getter because I set big goals and work hard to achieve them. In 2017, I sold over 2,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies and was the top seller of my service unit and in the Top 100 sellers in Colorado. I’m proud of the many badges I’ve earned including the Daisy and Brownie Summit Awards, and it’s my goal to someday earn the Gold Award.

I’m an innovator by brainstorming ideas for new and extraordinary activities to earn badges with my troop. I also helped motivate my troop during cookie sales so that we qualified for Cookie Camp. Despite being a troop with 16 girls, we made it!

Girl Scouts has helped me be a risk-taker by giving me courage to approach new students and welcome them while building new friendships. It’s given me confidence to take risks that others might not.

I have been a leader at school by standing up for other students when I felt they were picked on or in an unfair situation.

How has Girl Scouts helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, or leader)? Share your Girl Scout story and photos using the Share Your Stories form.

G.I.R.L. Stories: I am a risk-taker

Submitted by Cassidy C., G.I.R.L.  Media Star

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

This year will be my 11th year as a Girl Scout. Throughout my Girl Scouting career, I have learned how to be a respectful, honest, and confident individual. Even though I’m an outspoken person now, I used to be shy. I would never share my opinions during class or talk about my day once I got home. When my mom told me I had to sell Girl Scout Cookies to complete strangers, I almost lost it!  Even though I was frightened, my mom did the right thing.  I was able to gain confidence by just asking “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” By gaining this needed skill, I have become more talkative and outgoing.

I would consider myself to be a risk taker. When I was younger, I didn’t like trying new things. Now, I love going on exciting adventures. In seventh grade, I took the risk of trying out to be a local Girl Scout Media Star. I was nervous for my interview, but I was able to memorize all the information. Once I got there, I knew I was well-prepared and ready to take on the challenge. Now, three years later, I have been selected to be one of the six older Girl Scouts across the country to be on the G.I.R.L. Media Team for the Convention in October 2017. I’m excited to see where my next risk-taking adventure goes.

How has Girl Scouts helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, or leader)? Share your Girl Scout story and photos using the Share Your Stories form.

Troop 3505 earns Silver Award with community garden project

Submitted by Danica Lucker

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Girl Scout Troop 3505, a group of four Cadettes in Highlands Ranch, earned their Silver Award by creating and completing a community garden at Ranch View Middle School on June 29, 2017. For the four girls: Elise, 14; Emily, 14; Abigail, 14; and Madison, 14; the project was more than a year and a half in the planning, and it will make a lasting contribution to the middle school where they attended in the community of Highlands Ranch. The project included budgeting and raising funds to completely revamp the space; working with a local nursery to design a garden layout; providing 20 xeriscape plants for the garden site; working with Douglas County Schools and Girl Scouts of Colorado to obtain the appropriate approvals to work at the site; and providing and completing all the labor to install the new garden. These tasks included weeding, tilling, planting, and mulching the outdoor garden space. The girls created the space in hopes that it can be used as an outdoor classroom and community space for Ranch View. In addition, the four girls have continued to work with a teacher sponsor at Ranch View Middle School to create a garden club to sustain it into the future.

For more information on the project, contact Troop Leaders Danica Lucker at (303) 791-0835, or Carolee Weitzel at (303) 470-3978.

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

Multi-Level bridging requirements event

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Submitted by Katy Herstein

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

It can be difficult for leaders to have their troop complete the two requirements for the Bridging Arc badge. A solution: organize a multi-level bridging requirements event where all levels can talk to the Girl Scout level below theirs and listen to the Girl Scout level above. There were two rounds of discussions in order to make this happen. Girl Scout Daisies made cards to pass along to incoming Girl Scouts! It was organized chaos, but over 100 Girl Scouts completed their bridging requirements within an hour!

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

Troop 3453 experiences a “Day in the life of an artist”

Submitted by Tom Bielefeldt

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Six Girl Scouts from Highlands Ranch Troop 3453 participated in a wonderful “Day in the life of an artist” experience at Ouray Sportswear in Englewood on Saturday, April 8, 2017. The event, sponsored by the Ouray of Hope Foundation, provided an opportunity for troop members to collaborate with designers, production artists, and other members of Ouray’s creative team.

The Girl Scouts, along with participants from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, were guided through the creative process of contemplating shirt designs based on the “Bigfoot” or “Yeti” theme. Girls researched and designed a couple of small “thumbnail” sketches before refining concepts into their very own full-size design. Creative professionals offered meaningful insights and guidance along the way. “Ouray is honored to provide opportunities to young folks looking to learn more about ‘real life’ employment scenarios. We enjoyed being able to showcase our process and interact with the kids, it was a very enriching experience,” said event organizer, Bobby Small, Ouray’s VP of Information Systems.

Troop 3453 was also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ouray production facility, including massive screen-printing, embroidery, and laser cutting machines. Each participant then presented her design concept to the entire group, receiving suggestions and constructive feedback from an Ouray creative director. At the conclusion of the event, each Girl Scout received a special, custom-designed Bigfoot t-shirt commemorating the fantastic outing.

The experience is part of Troop 3453’s Media Journey, with the girl’s planning to use their newly acquired insights to design and produce their very own troop logo shirts!

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

Basic self defense workshop

Submitted by Shawna Fisch

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch/Denver

Come participate in this fun and informative event lead by a Girl Scout whose mission now is to empower girls and women in teaching basic self defense awareness, knowledge, and skills!

This workshop is appropriate for Girl Scouts 12 years and older (as well as moms!) However, there are only a handful of remaining spots open; and we expect this event to sell out very soon! Register BEFORE April 8, 2017 to get your tickets for just $25 per person.

Topics will include:

-How to walk confidently
-How to use your voice with authority (in a Self Defense situation as well as in everyday situations)
-How to avoid a potentially dangerous situation
-How to stick up for a friend who is being bullied
-How to assert yourself in asking for help when necessary
-How not to be identified as a potential victim
-What are “good instincts” vs. reactions that we can change when necessary and informed?
-What is a “must fight” situation?
-What are the four most important striking targets and how to strike when absolutely necessary?

Some non-strenuous exercises for beginners during the second 1/2 of the one hour Workshop. Wear comfortable clothing. We do not go into advanced techniques.

Register/tickets available at ironcladfit.zenplanner.com

Hosted by: Iron Clad Fitness (Shari Wagner): 2171 South Trenton Way, Suite 225, Denver
720-900-IRON
info@ironcladfit.com

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Presenter: Sensei Shawna Fisch: Girl Scout, 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor; Certified Basic Archery Instructor:
720-290-7398. See the Anytime Activities/Athletic section to book your own private session for your troop at Sensei Shawna’s state-of-the-art home Dojo or on-site. Content is modified for younger Scouts.

Girl Scouts will learn that being empowered comes from knowledge, awareness, fitness, confidence and action.

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Allyson Story, Highlands Ranch, “Juarez Dress Project”

Allyson Story

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award Project, I worked to make 208 dresses for young girls in Juarez out of pillowcases. This targeted the issue of lack of new clothes for girls in Juarez, which is a symptom of poverty. However, It also addressed self-esteem as well. Not having something to call your own can create lack of confidence for girls  in Juarez. In order to help with this, I added a bear with each dress that had a patch on it’s stomach that matched the dress. This way, they would have something of their own that also provided a sense of comfort. I managed several different teams and was involved in the making of these dresses. I hosted four sewing classes for younger Girl Scouts in which I taught them how to sew, two classes with the grandparent section at my church, and helped with my fashion design class as they completed the dresses for their final projects. In addition, I also taught a sewing class to the women in Juarez.

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

I measured the impact that my project made on my target audience through the reactions after receiving the dresses. All the girls were so excited to have a dress that they could have of their own. When one little girl saw me during church service, she came running up and hugged me. She was wearing one of the dresses I had made. I also measured the impact through my sewing class in Juarez. All of the women were so excited to learn. They began to brainstorm other ways to use the pillowcases for clothing. It was really cool to see how my project inspired them.

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

My project is sustainable through three different ways. In Juarez, I taught a sewing class for a group of women. They all were very excited to learn how to make the dresses and were continuously thinking of other items they could make out of the pillow cases. I left a set of instructions, in Spanish, along with sewing kits in Juarez for them to use when needed. While there, we left many dresses at the orphanage and church for girls of new families. Finally, I left a set of instructions with the grandparent section at my church who will continue to sew and take dresses to Juarez, based on the need.

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

The impact of my project can be spread nationally and globally through many different forms. In Juarez, people can see the impact that the dresses have made and also read the instructions I have left there. Along with that, information about my project and instructions can be found on my website which allows anyone to access it, whenever and wherever. An unexpected national link came after I presented my project to the grandparent section at my church. One lady was so inspired by what I was doing to help the young girls in Juarez, she contacted a relative in Portland, to tell her about my project. Her relative wanted to help too, so I sent her 15 “dress kits”, with pre-cut fabric, ribbon and instructions, for her to make for my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that not only am I capable of doing big things for the world, but I am able to take on things that may seem terrifying. As a leader, I gained a newfound sense of confidence and I learned how to give good presentations and stand up to talk in front of others without being afraid. What helped me overall with this skill, was learning how to write clear and concise instructions that I could talk about when teaching my sewing classes. Another thing I developed was improved communication skills, including conversing  over the phone and through emails.

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

After completing this project, I had a newfound confidence which helped me to get a job and fill out applications without the previous fear that I had of rejection. Along with that, I was able to take this confidence into my school work with DECA presentations. I will grow as a leader in communication because I have grown more comfortable with talking to other adults and using the phone as a form of communication. Finally, this project has given me passion to be a leader in the sewing industry.

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

My Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because the skills I learned throughout the years really helped me to complete this project. After discovering so many things about myself through Girl Scouts over the years including my passion to serve others and the leaderships skills I acquired, I became more confident in what I could do for this award. Along with that, it made me think back over the things I had done in my Girl Scout experience like PA training and journeys that have influenced my life for the better. Without the Gold Award, I don’t think I would be where I am today and Girl Scouts has been a crucial part of my life that I’m thankful that I have gotten to and get to experience.

**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