Tag Archives: Larkspur

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twelve 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.

  • Brittany Argo from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built a prayer garden at St. Michael’s the Archangel and aided in the construction of a prayer garden at a church in the Philippines.
  • Evyn Batie from Loveland, Mountain View High School, led a team of students to create the Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide, an electronic compilation of some of the best youth mental health resources across the region.
  • Bryce Civiello from Evergreen, Conifer High School, designed a pamphlet for teens that can help them take the first steps toward getting help from a mental health professional.
  • Angela Foote from Centennial, Arapahoe High School, developed a relationship between the organizations Family Promise of Denver and Denver Tech for All to ensure low-resource students and families have ongoing access to computers.
  • Madeline Ford from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to create a five-session literacy program, which promotes a positive reading environment and teaches children new ways to express themselves through books and poetry.
  • Littlepage Green from Breckenridge, Summit High School, created a lesson plan and video to educate students about food allergies. In-person lessons also included training on how to properly use an epi-pen.
  • Maya Hegde from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have. The program she developed also taught the girls how to sell sanitary pads in their own communities to tackle the stigma around the menstrual cycle.
  • Grace Matsey from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians, which was run by members of her high school’s Music Honor Society.
  • Annarlene Nikolaus from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon High School, oversaw the construction of a series of buddy benches for local K-12 public schools. Students also participated in age-appropriate lessons led by Annarlene about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends.
  • Bailey Stokes from Buena Vista, Buena Vista High School, created outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of fourth grade science teachers across Colorado. Topics covered included investigations, habitat, and adaptations.
  • Emma Lily from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a website, created a podcast, and wrote a children’s book celebrating the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory and its historical significance.
  • Katherine Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, taught elementary school students about the importance of bees and how to install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

“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.”

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.

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

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you learn about yourself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Top Sellers celebrate at Colorado Renaissance Festival

155 Girl Scouts and guests gathered on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur to celebrate Top Sellers who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies during the 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Sale Program. Top Sellers and their guests enjoyed the festival’s many shows and attractions while also being treated to a King’s and Jester’s Feast buffet, during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. The Renaissance Festival event was attended by 14 of the state’s top 100 sellers for the 2017 sale.


11 Colorado Girl Scouts earn Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts


11 Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts.

  • Emma Albertoni from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, took action after noticing that many of her peers lacked financial literacy. She wrote a curriculum that will be implemented in her school and proposed to the Jefferson County School Board to add a required Financial Literacy class.
  • Megan Beaudoin from Monument, St. Mary’s High School, created a ten-minute video for middle school students to help ease the transition to high school. Topics covered included: academics, social interactions, and self-esteem.
  • Megan Burnett from Colorado Springs, James Irwin Charter High School,worked with community leaders and businesses to build a softball practice field at the school. The project would have cost the school $25,000.
  • Michayla Cassano from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, created a memorial to recognize the sacrifices made by women who have served in the military.
  • Kelsey Collins from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a curriculum to teach preschool and elementary school children about park safety and Colorado history.
  • Carissa Flores from Westminster, Broomfield High School, shared her knowledge and passion for Taekwondo by creating, coordinating, and leading self-defense seminars for children, teens, and adults.
  • Baily Holsinger from Larkspur, Castle View High School, not only crocheted hundreds of beanies for newborn babies at Denver Health Medical Center and Baby Haven in Fort Collins, she also held classes to teach people of all ages how to make the beanies.
  • Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, worked to increase awareness for dyslexia by hosting a viewing of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” and leading a panel discussion afterwards.
  • Daniell Plomodon from Erie, Niwot High School, organized several “Disability for a Day” presentations to educate others about living with a disability. Activities included: trying to button a shirt while wearing mittens, playing patty cake while wearing Vaseline covered glasses, and using person first language.
  • Anastasia Rosen from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, created a workshop to educate others about human trafficking, tactics recruiters use, and how to prevent it.
  • Debra Zerr from Arvada addressed the problem of the lack of connection between the military and general public. Through a series of events, she worked to educate the public about the importance of the military and the men and women who serve.

These young women have demonstrated exceptional commitment to taking action to make their world a better place. By earning their Gold Award now, these Girl Scouts will also be part of this spring’s celebration of Girl Scouts’ highest honor. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world.

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.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Baily Holsinger, Larkspur, “Beanies for Babies”









What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I not only crocheted beanies for newborn babies at Denver Health Medical Center and Baby Haven in Ft. Collins, I also held a number classes to teach people of all ages how to make the beanies.  During my classes, I also educated the students on the importance of covering a baby’s head as they lose heat quickly and the need for newborn baby items as many families struggle financially. I also shared how to make the beanies and ways to support these agencies on social media and with fliers in multiple areas trying to reach as many people as I can.

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

I measured impact of my project by how fast the beanies were delivered to families in need and how many more beanies Denver Health and Baby Haven needed.

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

First of all, my project will be sustained by those I taught. Each group was left with instructions as well as contact information for Denver Health and Baby Haven. The Denver Health staff will also be continuing my project  and reaching out to other hospitals in Denver who would be interested in a supply of beanies to give to families of newborn babies.

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

I have a Facebook page open to anyone and it has directions to make a beanie, directions on how to get started on holding a “Beanies for Babies” class, and suggestions on where they can deliver beanies.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am a good teacher and when I need to I can take charge and be a leader. I am a less shy of a person than I thought.

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

Earning my Gold Award made me a better leader and more aware of the needs in my community. This project will impact my future because I know that I will be able to be a leader in any situation and that I can lead people of all ages. I know I have the skills to continue to help my community and educate people about community needs and what they can do to make someone’s life better.

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

The Gold Award project was very important to me because all my life I was a shy girl and this project helped me come out of my shell and be a leader. This project was the first major project that I have done from start to finish. Now I know that I am able to compete things that I set my mind to.

**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: Madeline Walden, Larkspur, “Growing Up”

Madeline Walden pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I built a vertical garden for the Douglas County Outdoor Education Facility.


Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I was concerned that students, particularly those from urban/suburban areas, were never exposed to gardening with a purpose, and therefore believed that plants were only to “look pretty” and could only exist in traditional gardens. But in a world that is increasingly unable to grow enough food to support the growing population, it’s important to know that food can come from any number of unique settings. I addressed this issue by creating a setting in which food can be grown unconventionally.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My project filled the need for an engaging and thought-provoking agricultural lesson for elementary aged children in my school district. I hoped to impact the new outdoor education center in my school district, and consequently the hundreds of students who stay there every year, by building a vertical garden that could show the children that gardening is possible even in the most unusual locations. Now, the students will benefit from a lesson in constructive and destructive processes that ends in the realization that even when nature cannot provide the water, soil, sun, etc. that is necessary to successful agriculture, people can use creative problem solving to plant a garden.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

The most valuable skill I developed during this project was self-assertion. Before I started my Gold Award, I was hesitant to ask adults for favors, but as my work progressed, I realized that I needed A LOT of help, and the only way to get it was to ask for it. After dealing with several week long delays, I learned to send follow up emails and be persistant in my questions, and not to just give up and struggle (and ultimately fail) to solve my problems. This project has really helped me learn to interact with adults in a respectful and effective manner.

How did you make your project sustainable?

The garden itself was designed to keep itself alive for years to come; the majority of the plants are perennials or will reseed themselves, the irrigation is fully automated, and the pockets are made from industrial strength (and 100% recycled) materials that will remain sturdy for years to come. More importantly, the lesson plan that was written to accompany the garden can be used to teach 5th and 6th graders for as long as the center wants to use the curriculum.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My project was originally inspired by the global food crisis, and the vertical garden is an important living lesson, teaching the youth in my community that creative problem solving and ingenuity are important tools in solving this and other world issues.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

The paperwork. 😉 And the little bursts of pride that followed overcoming the many obstacles I encountered.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I hope that earning my Gold Award will prove to others and myself that I am empowered and self motivated, and enthused to take on ambitious projects.

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

After twelve years of camping, canoeing, first aid training, and frolicking in the woods with my fellow Girl Scouts, completing my Gold Award was a valuable assessment of what I had learned over the years.

***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: Kelli Leachman, Larkspur, “Perennial Garden”


Kelli Leachman

Kelli Leachman
Douglas County High School
Perennial Garden

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I created a perennial garden for the Douglas County Outdoor Education Center. The reason for the garden is to teach the students about different kinds of plants and what plants are able to grow in different regions.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I created the perennial garden because I have always loved the outdoors and going to Outdoor Ed was a great experience for me. I decided that when Douglas County opened the Outdoor Education Center that I wanted to help them so that other students could have a great experience just as I did.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

While working on my Gold Award I learned the skills of leadership and time management. In the future I can take the skills I acquired and use them to help me be successful.