Tag Archives: Highlands Ranch

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

 

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

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.