Tag Archives: Highlands Ranch

Gold Award Girl Scout: Grace Matsey, Highlands Ranch, “Got Music?”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians run by members of my high school’s Music Honor Society to help emphasize and educate about the importance of music and music education.

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

I compared the enrollment numbers from the orchestra classes in 2017-18 school year and the 2018-19 school year.

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

My project is sustainable because it is run by the members of my high school’s Music National Honor Society. The president of next year will be in charge, and so on and so forth. It will continue to help increase the participation in music programs, as well as helping to educate the importance of music and music education.

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

I communicated with the Program Coordinator for the head of the National Music Honor Society, and they were able to obtain information about my project to post it on their websites and have workshops on how to effectively teach music. This enables it to now be a national music tutoring program.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can communicate with large groups of people. I spoke in front of an audience of 300 people, and it was really inspiring to see how you can connect with so many people at once, and how you know that they can all feel your passion for a project.

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

Earning my Gold Award will help me step forward with confidence in the future. I know that I can do anything, if I set a plan and work towards it.

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

I think that if I had not completed the Gold Award, Girl Scouts would not have been such an important part of my life. This project helped me spread the awareness of something that I am passionate about, while working with amazing people and creating connections.

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

It helped me become a go-getter because I set a very aggressive timeline, while also working with lots of people. I completed the majority of my project in one semester, and was still able to see results.

**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.s deliver thousands of school supplies for low-resource students

Girl Scout Junior Troop 1631 from Highlands Ranch, which has 14 girls, collected thousands of school supplies for low-resource students over the spring and summer. They included pencils, markers, glue, scissors, binders, paper, books, and teaching materials.  On Sunday, August 12, 2018, the girls delivered the supplies to an elementary school in Evans.

They were able to collect the supplies by reaching out to schools in their own community, and asking to place boxes in the lobby to collect supplies.  A dozen schools agreed to participate, and the girls worked with the schools to publicize their project through posters, an e-newsletter to parents, and the schools’ announcements. Additionally, some of the girls reached out to Office Depot in Highlands Ranch, which agreed to place another collection box in the front of the store.

Through this project, the girls will earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award,  the highest honor for a Girl Scout Junior and the third highest honor in Girl Scouts.

All four major TV stations in Denver shared the story of the girls’ project.

Earlier this summer, the girls completed their biggest girl-led project yet! Many of the girls were in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) as babies, or have overcome some sort of medical challenge, so when completing the “Agent of Change” Journey, they wanted to do something to help children and families in the NICU at UCHealth. The girls assembled 20 NICU Care Kits and delivered them to the hospital in June. The full story, along with a few photos and thank you letters from parents who received the kits, is here: https://bit.ly/2usUFXc.

Brownie badge workshop and mini-golf

Submitted by Cassidy C.

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch

Hi! I’m Cassidy and my troop would love to have Girl Scout Brownies come and start their new school year by attending our workshop. Earn your “Brownie Fair Play” badge and learn about golf! The First Tee of Denver and Troop 62967 will host a “Brownie Fair Play” badge workshop at Aqua Golf in Denver (501 W Florida Avenue, Denver, CO 80223) on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

Come join Girl Scout Ambassadors and girls from a local high school golf team to learn about the great sport of golf. Have fun, learn about The First Tee of Denver, and some golf basics and then go try your skills at mini-golf. The “Brownie Fair Play” badge will be earned and pizza will be served!

Cost will be $10 per Brownie and includes the badge, mini-golf, and pizza/drink. Adults are free unless playing mini-golf. Mini-golf is $5 per adult.

Space is limited to 30 Girl Scouts and is open to Brownies only. Please sign up to secure your spot: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f4da9aa2d6-brownie

Leaders and parents, please plan to attend to maintain GSCO troop safety ratios.PLEASE no tagalongs. Reservation is not set until payment is received. Payment can be via PayPal to catandcass@aol.com or check can be sent to Cathy Christian c/o Troop 62967 10138 Astorbrook Lane Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. Check should be made out to Girl Scout Troop 62967 Questions can be sent to catandcass@aol.com.

I have been a member of both Girl Scouts and The First Tee since kindergarten. I’m not a great golfer, but I love the sport. I’ve been on my high school golf team for the past two years. I have a lot of fun at practice and at the tournaments with my teammates. I’ve had one moment of glory…I did a hole-in-one at a high school tournament this spring! I would like to have other girls try the sport and see if it’s something they would like to do. Golf is a life-long sport and an amazing skill. There are many opportunities open to girls that play golf. The First Tee of Denver offers classes for all skill levels and they have leadership and scholarship opportunities for older girls. I’ve been fortunate to go to two national leadership conferences sponsored by The First Tee. Take a risk, try something new and come have a good time.

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

Girl Scout Juniors create NICU Care Kits

All 14 Girl Scout Juniors of Troop 1631 from Highlands Ranch recently completed their biggest girl-led project yet! Many of the girls were in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) as babies, or have overcome some sort of medical challenge, so when completing the “Agent of Change” Journey, they wanted to do something to help children and families in the NICU at UCHealth. During the Journey, the girls talked about ways that they could make a difference individually, but with the help of their community, they could make an even bigger impact.

The project started with the intent of helping babies, and the girls invited a labor and delivery nurse to a meeting to talk with them about what happens when a baby is in NICU and what parents might experience.  Afterwards, the girls decided they wanted to make NICU Care Kits with the hopes of providing comfort to the parents, so they could focus on caring for their babies, and this nurse served as a consultant through the process.  The girls broke into three committees. One group was in charge of researching hospitals, and working with staff to coordinate logistics.  Another group researched items a parent might need and made suggestions on what should be included in the kits.  The third brainstormed ways to fund this project and obtain the items.

Once they narrowed down logistics, they delegated items for each girl to be responsible and were challenged to go out to the community and let others know what they were doing and ask for donations. Many businesses respectfully declined, but the girls were persistent and 85% of the items in the kits were donated.  This included pillows, toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss, shampoo/conditioner, preemie clothes, snack bars, note pads (so parents could journal the experience), and a few other comfort items.  The girls even found someone to knit and donate preemie hats.  They also chose to use a portion of their cookie money to purchase items they felt they were missing from the kits and still needed.  In the end, the girls assembled 20 NICU Care Kits, and had about 30 more partial kits of extras.

In alignment of the “Agent of Change” Journey, not only were the girls able to get their community involved, but they also learned more about the community. For example, some of the snack bars were donated by Don’t Go Nuts, a local company that produces snacks that are completely nut-free, from the moment the ingredients are grown until they are produced in the facility.  They learned that this company was founded by a 14-year-old girl, not much older than them. Because she had life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergies, she wanted wholesome snacks that you didn’t have to fear were contaminated.  This was relatable to the girls, and an opportunity for them to see another girl not much older or different from them making a difference.

The girls began this project in November 2017, but between research and planning, participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and other troop events, they completed it when the kits were delivered to UCHealth on June 20, 2018. The girls have already received thank you letters from parents who received their kits.

Hello, 

I have a baby in the NICU in Denver. I received the sweetest care package from Junior Girl Scout Troop 1631 out of Highlands Ranch. It was amazingly thoughtful and practical. Thought you should know about the awesome work they’re doing. 

I’m also staying at the Ronald McDonald House Aurora while my baby is in the NICU. Every time we see the Girl Scouts on the volunteer list we get excited. They are always great dinners that you can tell the girls were helping to create ( not just adults doing it all). The troops I know about serving us dinner are Troop 2246 and Troop 3687. There was another and I’m sorry I don’t know what troop they were with. They made kabobs that were cooked to perfection. 

I just wanted to reach out so you can tell them we really do appreciate all they have done for us during this time. 

Sincerely, 

Annie and JD (and baby Joey)

Hello,

I received the sweetest care package today from your Girl Scout group and I just wanted to say thanks. I wasn’t able to meet the girls because I was holding my baby, but I was truly blessed by their effort and thoughtfulness. It really made my day. Please let them know that I’m so thankful they were here today, and to keep caring for others. 

Thank you!

Krisangela

 

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate gets hole in one

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Cassidy C. of Highlands Ranch recently accomplished something most golfers only dream about. She got a HOLE IN ONE! GSCO asked this G.I.R.L. to describe the experience in her own words.

“I’m still flying high on the hole in one. It was a 190 yard, par 3, hole #4 at Highlands Ranch Golf Club. It was during a high school varsity tournament (I’m a sophomore at Mountain Vista High School) and I used a nine iron. I couldn’t believe it got in the hole!

Gold Award Girl Scout: Justine Monsell, Highlands Ranch, “Remembering the Forgotten”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I wanted to give back to the veteran community. For my project, I provided emblem veteran grave markers to all of the veterans who were laid to rest in the Elizabeth Cemetery. In the cemetery, there were over 150 veterans. I was able to provide every single one with a plastic marker. For the oldest 24 veterans as well as the KIA.

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

At first, I measured it by how many emblem markers I was able to provide for these veterans. After getting them all, it was about who showed up. I wanted not only for the families to feel like someone cares about what their loved one did, but also for the veterans to feel like there was actually someone there to support them. After my ceremony, I had the opportunity to talk to different veterans. They all talked about where they served and for how long. Some of them ended up thanking me. This baffled me since I should be the ones thanking them for their service to our country. They did something that not everyone could do.

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

I have developed a how-to guide to be able to continue my project in any cemetery. This project guide is a step-by-step guide to how I was able to provide emblems to the veterans. The guide explains what I did as well as what they can do. Each community is different. If one of my events doesn’t work, they can always conduct a similar event. As for the Elizabeth Cemetery, the American Legion will take on my project. In the cemetery, each veteran has an emblem, the 24 oldest ones have bronze markers while the rest have plastic. Each year, some of the plastic ones will be replaced with bronze ones.

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

Veterans have been serving our country since our ancestors claimed independence from England. Everyone knows, is, or has known a veteran. There is an abundance of people who are serving our country. Once they come home, they have a hard time connecting with people and some don’t feel as if they are supported in their community. Our soldiers are fighting overseas, so other people don’t have too. No one forced them to join. They are doing this willingly. My manual was sent out to people in different parts of the states so that they can recreate the project there if they would like too. I want my project to spread as far as it can go. Veterans are a big part of our society, and they deserve to feel like they are recognized even after they passed. The veterans who are still alive should know that there are people out there who do still thank them for what they’ve done. This also helps the families feel like they are not alone. No one wants to feel like they are alone.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that this community bettered my view of the world. There are more veterans out there and I want all of them to be remembered. Veterans aren’t always going to tell you who they are. They are humble and it has taught me to be more humble as well. The veterans that I met, want to make other people’s lives better even after they are done serving our country. This project connected deeper than I ever thought it would. At first it was for my grandparents and to pass on their tradition, but after it was for all the veterans out there. I have connected with the veterans and I know I want to continue to stay involved.

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

My Gold Award helped me gain a perspective on what is actually happening to our veterans as well as how the little things may not make a big change, but someone will notice a small change. The Gold Award can help me in the future to inspire others to make a change no matter how small. The Gold Award has also connected me to the veteran community. I know that if I need support I can look to them for it.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts since I was five-years-old. When I first heard about them forming a troop in our school, I got so excited that I told my mom to sign me up that night. The Gold Award was my final goal of Girl Scouts. In previous years, I have seen others get their Gold Awards and make changes and I wanted to do the same. The Gold Award wasn’t just another award, it was a project that made a big difference.

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

After this project, I have become a go-getter. There were multiple times where I was told, that I would never be able to do what I want. When I first started, I did not have a lot of support from some people in my community. After being told in one cemetery that, “[I am] never going to be able to do this anywhere, in any cemetery, ever.” I decided to switch cemeteries. I connected with the Elizabeth Cemetery. Some people also told me that I would not be able to achieve my Gold Award in such a short time period. I put all my effort into it and proved them wrong. My project has spread across the veteran community and in fourth months, I hosted multiple events to provide emblem markers for over 150 veterans. I placed all of those emblem markers as well with the help of a supportive community.

**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

Celebrating Girl Scouts’ 106th Birthday

Submitted by Tiffany Baker

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree

Girl Scouts’ 106th Birthday is March 12, 2018. Troop 59 of Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree celebrated a few days early with a cake decorating contest! Categories included STEM, superheroes, camping, patriotic, flowers, and of course, Girl Scouts!

Girl Scout Junior Diana B. created this volcano cake!

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

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.