Tag Archives: leader

G.I.R.L. Stories: I am a risk-taker, leader, and go-getter

Submitted by Bella K., G.I.R.L.  Media Star

Northern & Northeastern CO

Windsor

Girl Scouts has helped me become a risk-taker because when I was at Sky High Ranch I rode a long zip line. I was very nervous to do it, but once I got on I had so much fun! I was one of the few girls who actually let go of the rope when I was riding it.

Girl Scouts has also helped me to become a leader because at troop cookie camp, we were going on a hike and the girls in my troop were getting discouraged. I started to sing and the girls sang along. This helped the hike go better and the girls had fun. This is one of the many ways Girl Scouts has helped me become a leader.

Girl Scouts has helped me to be a go-getter because last cookie season my goal was 1,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies. I wanted to meet the goal I met last year, but instead I went 1,053 packages beyond!

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.

Why do you love your leader?

Leaders are the extraordinary force that make Girl Scouting possible every day—and that is truly amazing. They give their time, spark, and hearts to make a difference in the lives of girls who in turn help make the world a better place.

Volunteer Appreciation Day is April 22, 2015 and we want girls to help us honor outstanding leaders. Girls should write a short essay about why they love their leader. Girls 12-years-old and younger can have a parent help them. Girls 13-years-old and older should write their essay themselves. Submit your essay through Share Your Stories on the Girl Scouts of Colorado web-site and be sure to include a photo of your leader, preferably involved in a Girl Scout-related activity. However, any photo will do. You may also submit a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video. All submissions must be received by Thursday April 23, 2015.

The best stories will be shared on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog and social media networks. We also have a special prize for the best submissions to show our leaders just how much we appreciate them.

If you have questions, please email Girl Scouts of Colorado Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper.

 

Early Girl Scout experience yields lifetime benefits

Girl Scouts of the USA was founded in the spring of 1912 with one leader and 18 girls. Today it has 3.2 million members; 2.3 million girls and more than 800,000 adult volunteers. Nearly one out of every two American women—there are an estimated 50 million living alumnae—have been Girl Scouts.

Last year, with the upcoming centenary of Girl Scouts of the USA in mind—the organization turned 100 years old on March 12—the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) decided to take a look at the organization’s long-term effects on its girl members. What GSRI found is the basis of a report just now being published, called Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study.

It’s good news: for us here at Girl Scouts of Colorado, for the girls and adults we work with and for the estimated 50 million American women who are former Girl Scouts. In a nutshell, compared with non-alumnae, Girl Scout alumnae feel better about themselves, are more active as mentors and community volunteers, vote more regularly, are better educated and enjoy higher household income. This was particularly true for women who’d been long-term Girl Scouts; those who were members for three or more years scored significantly higher in every area than alumnae who were members for a shorter time.

We see that in our current members while they’re still girls. Those who stay in long enough to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award—generally, seniors in high school—find themselves accomplishing things their ten- or eleven-year-old selves couldn’t even have imagined. (For a girl to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, by the way, is at least as hard as it is for a boy to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, and parents with children who have done both think it may be harder. The armed forces understand this: Gold Award recipients, just like Eagle Scouts, enter the service one grade higher in rank than other enlistees, having already proven themselves as leaders. If you’re an employer or college admissions officer, ask your female applicants about their Girl Scout experience. If you’re a Gold Award recipient, put it on your resume. This stuff matters.)

“Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout” – that’s me and millions of other alumnae. After reading the GSRI study, I immediately reflected on the inaugural dinner of the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber in the early 90s. LaRae Orullian, President of the Women’s Bank in Denver and former National President of Girl Scouts of the USA, was the keynote speaker. More than 400 women and a handful of men were present. LaRae asked those who were Girl Scouts to stand up. It would not be exaggerating to say that more than 90 percent of the room was on their feet! As I looked around it was an affirmation of what we know today and a very empowering experience. This was a group of confident women who knew they could do whatever they set out to do and accomplish their dreams. It started out with those words we all learned… “On my honor, I will try” …and look at where we are today!

When asked what they got out of their Girl Scout experience, one thing the alumnae frequently mentioned was confidence: the feeling that they could do whatever they set out to do. This is essential for anyone wanting to lead a successful life, women and men alike, but building and maintaining self-confidence is often more challenging for girls and women.

Girl Scouting is not the only connection to girls’ confidence and later-life success. That’s why in January we launched ToGetHerThere, the largest, boldest advocacy and fundraising cause campaign dedicated to girls’ leadership in our nation’s history. The goal of ToGetHerThere is to level the playing field in leadership opportunities for girls within a single generation. We need all the brainpower we can muster, and we need everyone—parents, corporations, nonprofits, government, and ordinary citizens—to support girls as they figure out what their goals are and stretch themselves to achieve them.

Girl Scouts is a big part of the answer. We’ve always known that, and now we have the numbers to prove it. You don’t have to wait a lifetime to see results, either. If a girl comes to us in the second grade, the odds are good she’s going to have a better and more successful third-grade year. If she stays the course through high school and earns her Gold Award, college—and the rest of her life—are going to be a whole different experience for her. Girl Scouting works.

CEO Corner: Building Girl Scout Confidence

I got a phone call this weekend from a friend whose daughter is in my son’s 6th grade class. She says her daughter worries a lot about if she is liked by the other kids, especially the boys. She wants to wear makeup and clothes that my friend doesn’t think are age appropriate. That got me thinking about how hard it has to be a kid these days, especially a girl. How women and girls are shown in the media, especially on reality TV shows, has such a powerful impact on how we treat each other. In fact, a recent study by the Girl Scout Research Institute found that tween and teen girls who regularly watch reality TV “accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance.”

That’s why Girl Scouts of Colorado is ramping up our focus on giving girls the confidence and tools they need to navigate those tricky situations they move through every day – programs like Power Up, to help them understand and defuse bullying situations, and Fight Like A Girl Scout, to help them recognize and act when they’re threatened. It’s why we’re involved with efforts recently like The Colorado Clothesline Project, addressing issues of violence against girls and women. (View photos and video from this event.) And why we’re planning a Feb. 23rd viewing of the film Miss. Representation , which explores how the media influences perceptions – and misperceptions – of women.

As we ramp up these efforts, we’re looking to our community to support us by volunteering for one of these programs and/or making a donation to help offset the costs of providing them. To learn more about how you can volunteer for or donate, visit Girl Scouts of Colorado’s website.

We’d also like to ask you to show your support by weighing in on a “healthy media” poll put together by the Geena Davis Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA and the Healthy MEdia Commission. This poll will hopefully get lawmakers and the entertainment industry thinking about just how much influence they have on building women leadership in this country.

It’s sad that girls like my friend’s daughter feel so much pressure when they are so young. Girl Scouts is all about helping girls to see that their value isn’t in what they wear, what others think of them or the girl drama. Join me and Girl Scouts of Colorado in helping our girls grow up to be strong, brave, capable leaders.

Colorado Springs Girl Scouts take on City Hall

From “Proud Troop Leader” Monica Hobbs

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View more photos

To earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award, one of the highest awards in Girl Scouts, 5th grade Junior Troop 1947 of Steele Elementary in Colorado Springs, aimed to get a crosswalk at a dangerous intersection near their school. Neighbors had tried for years and suggested maybe the city would listen to Girl Scouts.

The four members – Kalyana, Alexa, Chloe and Lauren – divided up the responsibilities – school, neighborhood, city and media – and when a city traffic engineer gave them a flat out “no,” it didn’t stop them. They researched safe options and built a support team of neighbors and experts; made a PowerPoint presentation of their findings and a video of the intersection and got the support of their neighborhood association board and school; they collected signatures on a petition and even found funding with a grant. Alexa Huesgen Hobbs said,”It was so exciting to see how everyone wanted to help us – most of the things we found out just by talking to people.”

Their advisors told them to take it to the citizen’s forum at City Hall, but first meet one-on-one with a couple key City Council members. (In fact, one of the City Council people they worked with was Jan Martin, a former Girl Scout and Girl Scout Woman of Distinction, who are women leaders in the community.) To create buzz and generate support on the day of the presentation the troop placed signs at the dangerous intersection, invited neighbors to attend and contacted the local media. The media story ran as the second story on the 5 o’clock news and lead at 10 and was front page on the local paper’s website, being picked up by other internet news sources to include MSNBC (this story includes a link to the video the troop created about the intersection). The next day the newspaper story ran big in print on the third page! Chloe Hilby said,”It felt awesome trying to help the community.”

The troop was able to get support from the City Council in these ways. The Council not only gave the Girl Scouts a “yes,” but praised them for their well prepared and thorough presentation, and, most importantly, for not taking “no” for an answer.  They wanted young people to know that they really can make a difference. (View video of the troop’s presentation to the City Council) Kalyana Gallagher said, “It was a great experience and super fun! I learned teamwork, responsibility and safety, for sure.” Lauren Sutz added, “I learned that it is more important to help the community than yourself. When you help the community you are helping yourself.”

Did I mention these girls are 10 years old?

 

Girl Scouts of the USA also covered this story on their blog

Reach for the stars, you’ll land on the moon!


Written by Colorado Girl Scout Alumnae, Emily Walters, who earned her Gold Award in 2004

Girl Scouts and the Girl Scout Gold Award has helped me get to where I am today.

I was recently fortunate to work on the GRAIL satellite project at Lockheed Martin. GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) is a two satellite system that will orbit the moon to analyze the internal structure and lunar gravity. They are relatively small compared to other satellites, about the size of a washer and dryer, and launched toward the moon on Sept. 8, 2011. I was a part of the team that assembled the spacecraft, tested each component of the spacecraft as it was added, and tested the fully integrated system. Prior to the launch, I worked in Cape Canaveral, Florida to do final testing and integrate the GRAIL satellites to the rocket. Some days I wrote procedures or code software scripts, other days I worked in a cleanroom bunny suit running a test on the spacecraft. I got to work directly with the hardware to get to know the satellites in and out. On Sept. 8th, I helped the team launch the rocket for its journey to the moon!

In school and growing up, I was always interested in math and science. When it was time to decide what I wanted to do for my Gold Award project (one of Girl Scouts most prestigious awards), I knew that I wanted to do something to share my love of math and science. When I was in high school, I earned my Gold Award for starting a summer science program for elementary aged kids. It was an opportunity for me to have fun and help inspire others with my passion for science. During my project, I led the children through different science topics and experiments. Since I had always been interested in space, we had a “space week” where we explored different space topics.

What helped me the most with earning my Gold Award were the team building experiences that I had through Girl Scouts. I had an opportunity to learn about leadership and eventually take the lead. I also had to go outside of my comfort zone while working on my Gold Award, which helped me push my boundaries. I use these skills at work by asserting myself with a team to make sure that GRAIL was ready to go to the moon. On Sept. 8th, I sat in front of a monitor in the Mission Control Center as the rocket counted down to take GRAIL to the moon.

If you want to learn more about GRAIL, visit these sites:

Girl Scouts of Colorado recognizes 100 girls in honor of 100th anniversary

Girl Scouts is kicking off their 100th anniversary celebrations by naming 100 Colorado Girl Scouts as the leaders of tomorrow – the Generation Wow! Generation Wow! recognizes outstanding girls whose individual achievements in Girl Scouts, their schools and communities set them apart as leaders.

 

Girls who earned this honor exhibit a high level of volunteer achievement and make significant contributions to their community. They demonstrate strong leadership skills; participate in service and learning projects. They exhibit achievement in developing a healthy attitude, both mind and body, and demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills in teamwork, conflict resolution and goal setting.  They embody the vision of Girl Scouting. A committee of outside civic and community leaders from throughout Colorado helped select these recipients.

View the list of the 100 Girl Scouts who have been named to this honor as well as learn more about the activities they are participating in as well as the regional events where they will be recognized.

Hundreds honored at Silver & Gold Celebrations

Congratulations to all the Girl Scouts who were honored this spring at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Silver & Gold Celebrations! Statewide celebrations events took place on April 25th in Denver and May 26th in Colorado Springs.  The Silver and Gold Awards are among the highest awards a Girl Scout can earn, with the Gold Award being the highest and most demanding award a Girl Scout strives toward.

Three hundred four middle school aged girls in Colorado earned their Silver Award this year, while 64 high school girls earned their Gold Award. While independent of each other, these awards require leadership skills, organizational skills, time management, perseverance and a sincere desire to be of service to the community.  

The Colorado Springs celebration also honored 25 area Girl Scouts who earned the Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout in 4th or 5th grade can earn.  

Read more about these outstanding Girl Scouts and these prestigious awards in the Celebration Program, as well as view photos and videos from the statewide celebrations below.

Event Photos and Video from Colorado Springs Celebration 

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2011 Silver & Gold Celebration – Colorado Springs, a set on Flickr.

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Event Photos and Video from Denver Celebration 

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