Tag Archives: Highlands Ranch

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

 

Cookie Captains of Highlands Ranch

Submitted by Katy Herstein

Highlands Ranch

Denver Metro

Four Cadette Girl Scouts in Highlands Ranch went through the Cookie Captain program, led by their SUCM and SUM this cookie season.

The girls spent five meeting with these leaders, learning about mentoring younger Girl Scouts through the cookie season.

Through the meetings, the girls worked on plans for the area’s cookie rally, where they would showcase setting goals, safety when selling, money management, and booth sales.

The girls also worked on a social media campaign! They titled it “S’more News from your Cookie Captains.”

Emails/Facebook posts contained: information about setting goals and budgeting, the interactive Little Brownie Bakers cookie planner program, cookie badges at each level, Twyla the Owl storybook to read to their troops, and more!

Early in our Cookie Captain meetings, we talked about how our goal was to (a) get Daisies and Brownies in our service unit excited about cookies and (b) to help the leaders prepare for cookie season.

Little Brownie Bakers provided the program and adults helped the girls to become excellent Cookie Captains!

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Sydney Marchando, Highlands Ranch, “Miles for Meals – Outrunning Hunger in the Douglas County Community”

 

 

Sydney Marchando (1)

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I planned and hosted the Miles for Meals 5K run and 1 mile walk to raise awareness and collect donations for Fresh Harvest Food Bank. I wanted my project to address the issue of food insecurity within my community, and also raise awareness for the resources that are available for those who need support. There is no reason anyone should be hungry: as one of the wealthiest nations on earth, there is enough food available, but connecting people to resources is the biggest challenge. On October 23, 2016, I hosted the fun run, where the entry “fee” was a donation of food or personal care items that went directly to Fresh Harvest. Through the event, I was able to gather more than 1,700 donations and reach at least 1,800 families through flyers, social media, and local newspapers.

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

My target audience was largely my peers because many students were unaware of the need for these resources within our community. They gained the knowledge of the issue, as well as of the resources available and the ways they can help. Several of my friends who volunteered at the race or heard about Fresh Harvest through the event now volunteer at Fresh Harvest regularly.

Additionally, I hoped to reach families who need support, and I was able to do this through my project. One example of this is that after speaking to a family friend about my race and Fresh Harvest, they shared the information with one of their friends who needed support and didn’t know of any organizations that were nearby. Through my race, I was able to help families in need of support become connected to helpful resources. This is just one example of the impact I hoped to have with my project, and the impact I created is continuing to help families in need, even months after the project was completed.

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

My project will be sustained through the Colorado Young Leaders Chapter at my school, Rock Canyon High School. The faculty sponsor, Mr. Bart Blumberg, and the president, Shelby Lamkin, have both committed to sustaining a community donation event in the following years, whether it is another race or other community event to support Fresh Harvest. Mr. Blumberg is also working with his Freshman Seminar class to organize another donation fun run in the spring, and I have committed to support his efforts and provide advice.

I have also put together a “How-To Manual” so that others know where to start and how to put on a successful donation fun run. I will provide this to Mr. Blumberg and the Colorado Young Leaders so that a similar project can continue after I graduate in the spring.  Before the race, RockCanyon was the only high school in Highlands Ranch that did not have some kind of connection with Fresh Harvest, but since the race, a lasting link is already being formed, and this system of support will continue into the future.

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

Food insecurity is an issue that affects people all over the United States and throughout the world. An estimated 49 million people in the United States alone have some level of food insecurity, and somewhere between 500 and 800 million people worldwide face a similar problem. Assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programs (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits, are available, but not always widely known or used.

Since a community event such as a fun run both supports the organization and raises awareness within the community, I wanted to share the idea with others who want to help and get involved. I contacted Feeding America, Hunger Free America, and Why Hunger, as well as Hunger Free Colorado and Feeding Colorado. These five organizations are committed to supporting food banks and connecting people to the resources they need. I have heard back from several of these organizations and am working to share my “How-To” manual so that people across the country can put on their own event to support their local community resources and raise awareness.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that planning all starts with me. I needed a large team of people to help with planning and putting on the race, but I had to take the lead in it all. With that in mind, I also had to work as a leader and designate responsibilities, because I could not have done it alone. A lot of my friends were eager to help and get involved, and so I used their energy and excitement to get everything done. I knew what my goal was, so I learned that as a leader, I need to be able to share this vision and lead by example. I was the one who came up with the project and was most excited, so I learned that if I shared this excitement and passion, other people would want to follow and get involved as well.

Through this project, I also learned that people love to help, so use it. People want to support a good cause, so I learned to ask for help and share my story with as many people as possible. This was just another platform to get the word out. I learned that I can be an inspiration for others, so it is important to always act with integrity because I never know who is watching what I do and taking after me. For example, at my race, there were several younger girl scouts who were excited about what I was doing and starting to plan their own Gold Award projects. They looked up to me and all that I was doing, so it was important that I acted as a positive role model for them. Lastly, I learned that communication is key. I am the only one who knew exactly what I wanted for the event, so it was important that I share this vision with everyone to keep them informed, engaged, and wanting to help!

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

This project gave me a new confidence and attitude of perseverance that I did not have before. I never thought that I would be able to make the impact that I did, and after seeing what I can do with a little hard work and commitment, I have a new attitude on every challenge that I face. I now know that I can accomplish incredible things if I just set my mind to it, and I can inspire others around me to help and follow if I share my passion with them. Spearheading this project on my own taught me valuable lessons as a leader that will only continue to grow. After completing this project, I have seen the impact that an individual can have, and I have learned the impact that my leadership can have on others and things that are important to me. In the future, I will continue to use the lessons and leadership skills I have gained, such as perseverance and confidence, and intend to continue making a positive and meaningful impact in everything I do. This project has given me the skills to accomplish anything I set my mind to, and that is the most valuable thing any leader could ever have.

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

This project has taught me a lot about myself, as well as about the people within my community. For me, Girl Scouts has always been about getting out into my community and making an impact, and this project provided a means to actually decide who and what I wanted to impact and then plan and complete it. Growing up, I had been involved in service activities both inside and outside of Girl Scouts, and I think it was all building up to this project. This project really combined everything I’ve done so far, including volunteering for other projects or planning a project with my troop for my Bronze and Silver Awards, and applied it to my very own project that I planned and implemented on my own. The Gold Award project really exemplifies everything that it means to be a Girl Scout, and in honoring the Girl Scout Promise, it really encouraged me to take the line “to help people at all times” to heart and really see that serving and helping others can be an aspect of my everyday life and incorporated into all that I do.

**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

Miles for Meals: Outrunning hunger in Douglas County

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Submitted by Sydney M., Gold Award candidate

Denver Metro

Highlands Ranch

My name is Sydney and I am an Ambassador Girl Scout from Rock Canyon High School. As part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I am hosting a family 5K fun run/1 mile walk called “Miles for Meals” at Rock Canyon High School on October 23, 2016 to collect donations and raise awareness for the Fresh Harvest Food Bank in Douglas County. The race is free with a donation of food or personal care items (just bring your donation on race day). Race details and registration information:

Where: Rock Canyon High School Track – Start/Finish

When: Sunday, October 23, 2016

  • 9:00-9:45 a.m. Check-in/Packet Pickup
  • 10:00 a.m. 5k Fun Run Start
  • 11:00 a.m. Announcements/Awards

Register Online at: MilesForMeals.eventbrite.ca

The online registration deadline is Friday, October 21, 2016, but walk-ups on race day are welcome.

All ages are welcome, but please supervise children.

I became involved with Fresh Harvest Food Bank through my elementary school, where they started as the Panther Pantry. My elementary school’s feeder area has one of the highest percentage of students in Douglas County that rely on the free and reduced lunch program, and the Panther Pantry was an important resource for many families. I have continued to work with the organization as they have grown to become an independent food bank that also provides clothes, school supplies, and personal care products. As I learned more about how large a need there is in our community for their services, I knew that I wanted to come up with a Gold Award project to raise awareness and increase donations to their organization. Food security is an issue that I have been concerned about for some time, and my Silver Award project focused on building a school and community garden at East Elementary School, a school with a high percentage of low income families in the Denver Public School District. Many of my fellow high school students, and even adults in this area, do not realize how important the Food Bank is and how many families around Douglas County rely on their assistance and support. I want to do a fun run because it will provide a good opportunity to engage the community and get many people together at one event.

As an active Girl Scout since kindergarten, achieving a Gold Award has always been a personal goal. Beyond individual achievement, I am even more motivated to help improve my community, and this project allows me to have a direct and lasting impact.

Global Action Event 2016

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Submitted by Katy Herstein

Highlands Ranch

Denver Metro

Girl Scouts Learn about Increasing Girls’ Access to Education – Global Action 2016

Girl Scouts in Highlands Ranch attended a Global Action 2016 Event designed to grow the girls’ knowledge about the need to increase girls’ access to education around the world and to give them ideas of how they can help!

Daisies through Juniors went through stations where they (1) heard from a Peace Corps volunteer, (2) talked about their schools and what can be improved, (3) talked to a Girl Scout Grandma about her elementary school education, (4) talked about their classrooms and (5) learned about barriers that exist for girls’ education in some areas of the world.

Cadettes and Seniors watched a Powerpoint presentation from the same Peace Corps volunteer, learned about literacy statics and barriers that exist for girls’ education. The older girls also watched He Named Me Malala.

All the girls attending this event left with a new found understanding of the value they have because they are not restricted from doing whatever they choose as a career. They also left with a huge understanding of what they can do to help with increasing girls’ access to education.

If you would like to run this event in your area, please contact me at katy@managecamp.com for my plans!

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Cassidy Klein, Highlands Ranch, “Imagination Station”

Cassidy Klein

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I created a fruitful, up-to-date library for the children living at Joshua Station, which is a transitional housing community in Denver that assists families as they make the transition from homelessness to a stable living environment. Currently, there are about 30 families living at Joshua Station, and among these families are more than 70 children. Overall, I collected over 2,900 new and gently used books in donations! I also started hosting a children’s book club there over the summer and continue to host it monthly.

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

Before I started my project, I took inventory of the books that Joshua Station already had and what the library space looked like. They originally had around 500 books that were in poor condition and shelves that needed repair. The books were unorganized, and the kids didn’t really utilize the space. Now that my project is finished, the library has about 1,800 new and up-to-date books, as well as high quality shelves and a clean-looking space in the library room. When I go for open library time twice a month, I have multiple kids and families come in to check out books. I also added a reading nook to the front entrance space at Joshua Station, and kids now hang out down there and read books, whereas before they didn’t have a space like that to spend time together and read. I brought extra books to four Seeds of Hope schools in the Denver area, and I received thank-you notes from them saying how the books were in circulation already and that the kids were loving them.

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

The main way my project will be sustained is through the addition of brand new books to the Joshua Station library annually through Scholastic. I have received a letter of commitment from the Idyllwilde HOA community in Parker. They hold a Scholastic book fair each spring, and Arelene Jimenez, the committee head who runs it, has agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds each year to new Scholastic books for Joshua Station children and families. Kristi Stuart from Scholastic and June Zelkin from Idyllwilde have helped me in organizing this. I’m excited that new, updated books will continue to be added to Joshua Station to keep the kids engaged and excited about reading!

My project will also be sustained through the continuation of monthly book club. Katy Hurstein, the ThunderRidge High School feeder area Girl Scout director, helped seek out girls age 12 and up who will sign up to lead book club once a month. These girls will be in contact with Julie-Anne Strivings, the volunteer coordinator at Joshua Station who will help with dates and times. Book club will be carried on through these younger girls, and I know that they will make wonderful friendships with the kids at Joshua Station like I did.

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

“Imagination Station” achieved a Global/National link by growing and expanding beyond the original site at Joshua Station into four separate sites located in the city of Denver. I collected over 2,900 books in donations through the book drive I held at Tattered Cover Aspen Grove from June 1-July 31 and the Scholastic book fair held at Idyllwilde Community in May. Not all of these books could fit on the shelves at Joshua Station, and I had an overflow of about 1,300 books. With these carefully selected books, I separated them into picture books and chapter books and put them into boxes. I then took these boxes to four Seeds of Hope Schools in the Denver area which were Guardian Angels school, St. Bernadette school, St. Rose school, and St. Therese school. Seeds of Hope schools are inner-city Catholic elementary schools that are non-profit and mostly cater to low-income and impoverished families. The libraries in the schools lack very good quality books, which is mostly what I received in donations, so I was happy to give the extra books to these four schools. Guardian Angels school sent me a handmade letter in the mail that every single child signed and wrote a note of thank you for the books. The librarian at Guardian Angels also sent me pictures of students with the books in use and pictures of books on the shelves. I also got an email from the principal at St. Bernadette that personally thanked me for the books.

What did you learn about yourself?

What I learned about myself through my project is that I can accomplish tremendous tasks if I just try. I found that if I’m open to possibilities, things will work out wonderfully. This project seemed almost impossible when I was first coming up with ideas, and I seriously doubted that I would be able to finish, but I decided to put my fear and uncertainty aside. My project became a reality because I put all my energy, devotion, and determination into it. I chose something I was truly passionate about, and I think that made a huge difference in my attitude. I’ve learned to follow through with what I start and to never pass up opportunities because they seem too daunting or difficult. Something really important that I’ve learned that I will remember my whole life is to ask for help. The only reason my Gold Award was a success was through the help and generosity of other people. It’s truly astounding how willing others are to help if only I would ask for it.

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

I’ve found self-confidence through this project because I’ve realized that I am capable of organizing a project so big and following through with it. I’ve made beautiful friendships with the kids at Joshua Station which has kept me passionate. In the future, I will carry the determination and ambition that this project required and take those things with me as I lead other projects. Especially since I want to go into journalism, I will take the skills I learned from this project and apply that to taking on a big story or going out of my comfort zone to bring light to a situation. I want to write for a change, and my project definitely inspired me to believe that I really can make a change.

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

My Gold Award journey has been one of the greatest and most impactful experiences of my life! I remember hearing girls talk about their Gold Awards after my troop earned our Silver Award at a ceremony years ago. Ever since then I’ve wanted to earn my Gold Award, and now that I have, I realize how powerful girls can be. Girl Scouts has inspired me to make a difference in the world, and I will carry this determination and passion with me my whole life. I’m thankful for Girl Scouts for helping shape me into the strong young woman I am today. You can definitely earn your Gold Award if you set your mind to it. Make your project a labor of love and choose something that you really care about. Once you begin working, it won’t feel like work and the reward will be priceless!

**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

 

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Delaney Fitzsimmons, Highlands Ranch, “Rank Your Read”

 

Delaney Fitzsimmons

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created a list of books surveyed based on criteria including relationship intensity, language selection, reference to drugs and alcohol, types of social and mental issues, and presence of violence. The book list is intended for 5th to 8th grade readers with the purpose of providing a resource for students to find engaging books they will enjoy reading and want to finish. My book list is available online via my website, at Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary School, Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website and in the Arapahoe County Libraries.

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

I measured the impact of my project based on the number of students I was potentially affecting by introducing my book list to certain schools and libraries. My book list is available to over 16,000 5th to 8th grade students due to its incorporation at Arapahoe County Libraries, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary School and the Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website. I also measured the impact by determining who accessed my website using statistics collected through Google Analytics. I found that people were accessing my book list all over the world. 400 people have viewed my project online in the last four months.

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

My project will be sustained with an online website that is regularly updated with new book lists every few months. Karen Sprafke’s 7th grade English class at Mountain Ridge will be continuing to add book entries. Their goal is to survey 100 books per semester. It will continue to impact students by being an available resource at Arapahoe County Public Libraries, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary, and Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website for all current and future students and Girl Scouts in my Service Unit.

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

Rank Your Read is connected globally because my website is available to anyone on the internet. Over 400 people have viewed my project online in the last four months. Most views have come from Colorado, California, Texas and New York. There have also been over 100 views internationally with top views from Japan, the United Kingdom, China and Germany.

What did you learn about yourself?

In the process of achieving my Gold Award I learned that I get stressed easily without a plan to break down bigger goals. I learned how to manage my time and take even as little as an hour per week to make progress. I learned how to communicate with my peers, advisors and authorities. I learned that public speaking is a challenge for me but with practice, gets easier and makes me more confident and prepared.

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

Earning my Gold Award will give me the confidence to tackle big projects in my future. I know where to begin, and I know I can complete any project because I completed my Gold Award. The confidence and lessons I learned about communication allow me to better communicate with my professors and peers.

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

The Gold Award was a crucial part of my Girl Scout experience because it taught me the benefit of perseverance. Achieving my Gold Award was a goal I set for myself more than five years ago. It was a big commitment and at times seemed impossible to achieve. By finishing, I proved to myself that I could achieve even the most intimidating projects. My Gold Award gave me the opportunity to use the skills I had learned throughout my twelve years of scouting. I saw the benefit of working with a team as I worked with my advisor, teachers, parents and students. I used my resources at the Girl Scout office to help me distribute information about Rank Your Read. Most importantly, the Gold Award allowed me to make an impact on my community. By completing my project, I know I was able to help kids in my town, within my Girl Scout Service Unit, in Arapahoe County and on a national level. Without the Gold Award, I never would have pursued a project like this, and it is therefore, the culmination of my Girl Scout 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