Tag Archives: Metro Denver

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Nina Asher, Greenwood Village, “Gates Summer Camp Hike”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Took inner-city Denver kids at the Boys and Girls Club on an education hike up near Boulder, CO.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I wanted to take the opportunity to make a positive impact on the kids at the Boys and Girls Club.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

I was able to teach the children about a topic they never would have learned about otherwise.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I became a better leader and more comfortable leading others. I was in charge of a group of counselors, who were older than I was, and I was forced to learn to interact and lead a group of people I was unfamiliar with leading.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I created a Hike Manual that will be passed down from summer to summer at the camp. It is for the counselors to use and teach from. Along with that, I created a Hike Activity Book for the campers to keep them engaged in what was being taught.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Wherever these kids go in their life they always will keep the knowledge they learned at camp. This information will help them in many aspects including respecting nature and staying safe in circumstances of natural disasters common to Colorado.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

The most fond memory I have about my Gold Award project is working with the kids at Gates Camp and getting to interact and teach the children.

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

This experience has taught me many things, but most importantly, about teaching children and what a difficult, but rewarding task that can be. In the future, I will keep the skills I learned from this project and apply them when I hopefully become a teacher.

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

The Gold Award is a culmination of all my hard work over the years. Over everything I have learned when I was Brownie up to doing the actual project, everything I did lead up to my project and prepared me for that as well as for the rest of my life.

***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: Kirsten Brandes, Parker, “Beauty Is…”

Kirsten Brandes


Chaparral High School

“Beauty Is…”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I designed the curriculum for a series of workshops that fostered self-worth and self-esteem in teenage girls. I then presented the workshops to groups around the state.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I spent the last seven years attending, then aiding, and most recently instructing at Girl Scout water camps. I spent my summers surrounded by preteens in swim suits, and it’s never easier to read a girl’s insecurities in public than when she’s in a swimsuit. I watched confident, carefree 11-year-old girls become self-conscious at 13, and self-hating at 15-years-old. So, I decided to dedicate my project to teaching girls to be kind to themselves, that they are capable of so much more than being looked at.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?
It started girls on the long journey towards self-love, and gave them the tools to face down insecurity with optimism.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I had scouts volunteer to take over the presentation for older girls at future recruitment events and leadership workshops. I’ve trained them in how to run and present it, and will leave with them a condensed guide to the workshop.

What was your connection to the national or global community?
My project began in Parker, Colorado, with four high school freshman and me in my living room. At this first workshop, a family friend was impressed with the presentation and its message, asking me to present it again in Arvada, which I did two weeks later. At the Arvada presentation, a separate scout leader was present and she has asked if I could present it at statewide recruitment events. I have no doubt that, even without my direct involvement, the project will continue to grow, expanding its influence.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?
While I’ve never been one to shy away from crowds, I’ll be honest: I was nervous about presenting in front of teenage girls. I’d been a teenage girl; I know how they think, and more importantly, I have intimate knowledge of the year or so when they convince themselves it’s not cool to care, where insensitivity is synonymous with strength. But for my project to work, that barrier had to fall, and I found the easiest way to do that was to lead the way, and systematically deconstruct my own. Allowing them into my struggle with self-esteem and admitting my own insecurities was difficult, but effective. It created the necessary environment to address issues of such a personal nature. Leaders aren’t strong because they’re impervious, leaders are strong because they wear their insecurities like armor, acknowledging that it is not our faults that weaken us, but a failure to accept them and grow. I won’t soon forget that.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?
In the literal sense, the accomplishment of my Gold Award will allow me to enter the Air Force a rank higher, as an Airman, as opposed to the standard Airman Basic. Thanks Girl Scouts.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I feel as if I’ve achieved ultimate Girl Scout status, like the Gold Award is a cape tied around the neck of my scouting experience. And I spent so much time promising myself I was going to put on that cape someday, so to finally be able to feels absolutely super.

***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 Scouts offers fun for the entire family this winter

Submitted by Cortney Kern

Looking for great family events this winter?

Join us at the Pepsi Center in January and February to cheer on the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets with special Girl Scout activities and ticket prices.  January 4 from    6-9 p.m., the Avalanche will face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Before the game, Girl Scouts and their families can participate in a skating clinic with the talented Ice Girls. After the game, you can take pictures and play on the ice. All ticket holders enter into a drawing at random to get to watch the Avalanche players warm up from the Penalty Box.

If your family likes basketball, you will not want to miss the Denver Nuggets match-up against the Utah Jazz on Friday, February 27. Not only will girls get to watch the game, they get to sleep over with their families at the Pepsi Center, watch a movie on the jump Pepsi Vision screen, and enjoy a midnight snack and breakfast. There are two level ticket prices for this event. You can sit at the upper level for $22 or get up close at the lower level for $64.

The top three Girl Scout troops who sell the most tickets to the Nuggets game will get a very special opportunity to have a cookie booth after the game where you will get great visibility and an opportunity to make sales. The two troop runner-ups will get to present the colors during the National Anthem.

These two events make for a great family friendly evening.  A portion of tickets sold for both events goes to help provide more girls the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

To get tickets to the Avalanche game, click here. For questions, contact Kiley Long at   (303) 405-7625.

To get tickets to the Nuggets game, use this link:


For questions, contact Abby Stewart at (303) 405-1139.


If sports aren’t your favorite, the Denver Art Museum will have free admission for all kids under 18 during winter break. The museum will have activities, art making stations and theatrical performances throughout the December 20th to January 4th.

Troop creates music video about Girl Scout camp

Submitted by Troop 2851


Our Cadette troop got to experience Tomahawk Ranch in a whole new way.  The campgrounds became the set of our music video, featuring Troop 2851. We rewrote the lyrics to Miley Cyrus’ song “Party in the USA.” We knew it was a catchy song, and wanted to create a better influence for girls. It was our way of sharing our experiences’ in Girl Scouts.

We recorded the video when we were at Tomahawk Ranch. Most of the video takes place at our cabin. We had a lot of fun recording it, but that was just the beginning. At our next several Girl Scout meetings we went through the process of editing. We learned how to cut the video, add our voice over and background music, move slides around and create credits. It was a lot of hard work but we learned to persevere.

We hope you enjoy it.

Lone Tree Brownies fulfill teachers’ wish lists

School Supplies1 School Supplies2

Submitted by Tiffany Baker, (Co-Leader)  Girl Scout Troops 59 & 1226

Lone Tree

When our Brownie Girl Scouts asked us leaders to have more hands on learning experiences and less sit down discussions, we thought, “How could we make the Brownie Money Manager Badge more interactive?”

Badge requirement ideas included asking the girls to pretend to shop at a supermarket for groceries, an outfit, school supplies, and entertainment with friends all on a budget.

Each of the girls spoke with their teachers about what supplies were still needed in their classrooms. In true Brownie Spirit, the girls worked at home to earn classroom supply funds from their parents with agreed upon chores. Some items were donated by businesses.

We decided to meet up at WalMart, which has all the departments we needed.  The Brownies did a scavenger hunt in the Grocery and Clothes departments with a set budget, calculators, and lists of items they needed to find.  Then, they took their teachers’ classroom supply wish lists and worked together as a team to purchase all of the items on the lists for under their $100 combined troop budgets.  But, the learning didn’t stop there! Afterwards, the girls ordered and purchased their own snacks using cash at the in-store McDonalds with their Girl Scout sisters.

The girls learned a simple way they could say thank you to their teachers and work as a team to stay within their budgets.

Brownies help make 2,000 sandwiches for Denver Homeless Community

Submitted by Tiffany Baker, Co-Leader of Girl Scout Troops 59 & 1226

Lone Tree

Looking for a messy and fun service project to help the homeless?  Consider The Denver Peanut Butter Plan!  This organization meets once a month to make as many peanut butter sandwiches as they can.  Young kids can help make the sandwiches for 2 hours in the morning. Adult volunteers distribute the sandwiches in the afternoon.

Our Brownie Girl Scouts chose to work on a Lunches with Love service project this October.  They learned how to work on an assembly line team and that kids can chip in too to help feed others in need.

Each Peanut Butter Plan participant is asked to donate one jar of peanut butter and one jar of jelly, plus 2 or more loaves of bread.  This organization can also use sandwich size Ziploc baggies.  Volunteers are welcome to stay for the fun or just drop off donations.  Other donation ideas to consider would be toiletry kits (deodorant, tooth brushes, etc.), first aid kits or Adult Size t-shirts.  These items are welcome for distribution, anytime!

These troops have a goal of completing one or two service projects a month during the school year.  Next up: Collecting classroom school supplies for their teachers’ wish lists.

Girl Scouts announces 2013 Denver metro-area Women of Distinction


Girl Scouts of Colorado is announcing the 2013 inductees into the esteemed Women of Distinction program in the Denver metro-area at a private reception on June 4 at the home of 2002 Woman of Distinction and 2013 Thin Mint Dinner co-chair Elaine Gantz Berman (photos from the June 4th event). This year’s eight Denver metro-area honorees were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, Vice President of Government and External Relations at Kaiser Permanente Colorado and 2012 Woman of Distinction, and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. The Women of Distinction commit to supporting Girl Scouts of Colorado and serving Girl Scouts today.

The Women of Distinction program began in the Denver area in 1997. Including this year’s honorees, Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized 395 women with this honor. The Women of Distinction is widely regarded as one of Denver’s premier philanthropic programs, bringing together a group of women dedicated to raising funds to support Girl Scout leadership programs. More than $2 million has been raised in 16 years.

Later this year, Girl Scouts of Colorado will publicly honor these inductees at the 2013 Thin Mint Dinner in Denver. This event will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel and will once again spotlight Girl Scouts’ Live Healthy, Lead Healthy initiative, focusing on self-esteem, good nutrition and exercise. Paula Herzmark, Executive Director of the Denver Health Foundation and 2002 Woman of Distinction, and Elaine Gantz Berman, Colorado State Board of Education and 2002 Woman of Distinction, are event co-chairs.

For more information on the Oct. 10 event, including how you can help, please contact Amy Myers at 303-607-4896 or amy.myers@gscolorado.org. You can also visit our website for more information or to purchase tickets and/or sponsorships at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/women-of-distinction-denver.

Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Denver metro-area 2013 Women of Distinction: 

  • Denise Burgess, President/General Manager, Burgess Services, Inc.
  • Michelle M. Lucero, Esq., Chief Legal Officer, Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Karen Nakandakare, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Investment, CH2M HILL
  • Kristin Richardson, Community Volunteer, Smithsonian National Board, Smithsonian Science Education Board, Children’s Hospital Colorado & Foundation Boards, TBD Colorado Board
  • Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D., Former Dean, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, Provost, University of Kentucky 
  • Mimi Roberson, President/CEO, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center & Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL
  • Regina M. Rodriguez, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
  • Shari F. Shink, Esq., Founder/President Emeritus, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center

Media coverage of announcement: Denver Business Journal

Alumna Blog: Girl Scouts teaches lifelong lessons on education, career and community

By Girl Scout Alumna Sherri Vasquez of Denver (Girl Scout Woman of Distinction 2007)

Girl Scouts has just finished celebrating its 100th anniversary year, a testament to its enduring tradition of teaching young girls good old-fashioned values that never go out of style.

The heart of the Girl Scout philosophy centers on respect for self, others and the environment, core beliefs that will move this valuable organization forward during the next 100 years.

Encouraging girls to do their best is especially relevant today because so many are facing overcrowded classrooms at school, depleted finances at home and over-exposed celebrities promoting instant fame and fortune over honesty and fairness.

Time-tested for a century, Girls Scouts is a wonderful way for girls to learn valuable skills and lessons that will help them grow into responsible adults with ethics, moral and standards.

When I became a Girl Scout 42 years ago, little did I know how much the experience would affect my adult life, especially my education, career and community involvement.

Becoming a Girl Scout was my first experience in goal-setting. Although I was only five years old, I vowed to achieve my dream, waiting impatiently to reach the second grade so I could join Girl Scout Brownies.

My father wore an Army uniform and my brother a Boy Scout uniform, so I wanted the honor and privilege of wearing one too. The independence of becoming part of something outside of school and family was a new and exciting concept for me.

The anticipation of joining an organization “just for girls” was just too much for a first grader to bear, so I joined the Camp Fire Girls to help me “practice” to be a Girl Scout Brownie.

When I finally put on my Brownie uniform, I was so proud of it and what it stood for that I wore it everywhere, including my second-grade class picture.

Little girls have lots of energy, and Girl Scouts was an incredibly positive outlet for an active kid like me. I loved it because I had the opportunity to meet new friends, create arts and crafts, take field trips to local businesses and enjoy outdoor adventures. My mother, by then a working single parent, loved Girl Scouts because it gave me a safe, caring place to go after school.

During my five years as a Girl Scout, I learned important lessons about being responsible for myself and respectful of others. Together, my troop learned to care about the environment.

Girl Scouts also provided a valuable place to learn about group dynamics, especially how to interact with peers and authority figures. That sense of sisterhood later motivated me to join the girls’ gymnastics team, cheerleading squad and eventually a college sorority.

Earning badges at a young age evolved into achieving higher goals as I grew up, such as graduating from high school, applying to college, and participating in a study-abroad program in Spain. Finding the courage to leave home and travel to a faraway country seemed easier because Girl Scouting had instilled a sense of independence and stirred my intellectual curiosity.

Not only did it teach my young mind how to travel in new directions and find creative ways to reach those destinations, it gave me the confidence to explore my passion for fascinating places and topics, plan strategies to learn more about them, and persist in those efforts.

These early lessons came into play once again when finishing a bachelor’s degree, starting a career in journalism, and completing a master’s degree.

Even selling Girl Scout Cookies was a useful tutorial, teaching business basics and helping develop a taste for community spirit and entrepreneurism that continues in adulthood.

Although it has been decades since I first donned a Girl Scout uniform, I still try to live by the Girl Scout Law of helping people at all times, whether it be as a journalist shining light on inequities or as a community activist involved in worthwhile causes like education and youth development.

Since Girls Scouts provided such a strong foundation in my early years, I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude for its amazing influence on my life, education and career. Because it offers hope to generations of girls to come, I wish it continued success and growing ranks in the 21st century and beyond.

Sherri Vasquez is the host and producer of Latin View.

Girl Scouts honor their founder on Day of the Dead


See more photos

Girl Scouts of Colorado recognized Day of the Dead with a community event at Regis University on Thursday evening, Nov. 1st. More than 100 girls and their families participated in the event, which celebrated the life of Girl Scouts’ late founder, Juliette Gordon Low, who would have been 152 on Oct. 31st. Activities during the event included Day of the Dead rituals such as sugar skull decorating and an altar for Girl Scouts’ founder and loved ones participants wanted to honor. Participants also enjoyed some Girl Scout activities, such as dressing up in vintage uniforms and making dream catchers and dream boards. Special thanks goes to Regis University for being the co-sponsor of this event.

Girl Scouts of Colorado belongs to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which boasts a membership of 10 million girls and adults in 145 counties. Girl Scouting strives to increase girls’ awareness about the world, promote cross-cultural learning opportunities, and educate girls on relevant global issues that inspire them to take action. Our goal is to promote a global voice for girls and foster responsible global citizens who make the world a better place.

Article on this event in YourHub Denver

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhBh2jUtDLo?rel=0]

Girl Scouts honor 2012 Denver Women of Distinction at Thin Mint Dinner

2012 Denver Women of Distinction_072

View more photos here

A capacity crowd of 550+ joined Girl Scouts of Colorado at the Sheraton Denver Downtown for an exciting Thin Mint Dinner to honor the 2012 Denver-metro class of Girl Scout Women of Distinction. The event raised $200,000+ for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

The event spotlighted Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Live Healthy, Lead Healthy initiative, focusing on self-esteem, good nutrition, exercise and reducing childhood obesity. Premiering at the event was a video on healthy living created by Colorado Springs Girl Scout Troop 3810. (View the video here.) Lead sponsor for this initiative is the Thiry O’Leary Foundation.

Emcees for the event were Cheryl Preheim, 9News anchor, and Marcelo Balboa, Hall of Fame Colorado Rapids player and Monarch High School coach. Troop 3449 opened the event with a flag ceremony and instrumental musical assistance provided by Girl Scouts of Troop 1472, Victoria Shead (violin) and Melissa Cardenas (cello). The emcees also led an inspirational panel discussion at the event with this year’s Women of Distinction honorees on women’s leadership. (View the video here.)

The three-course dinner featured the creative use of Girl Scout Cookies. (View the recipes here.) Honorary event chair was Former First Lady of Colorado Jeannie Ritter (2009 Woman of Distinction). Event co-chairs were Susan Knox with Cricket and Katherine Peck (1998 Woman of Distinction) with The Gill Foundation.

Girl Scouts of Colorado honors top women leaders in our community as Girl Scout Women of Distinction. These women have reached remarkable levels of achievement as business, philanthropic, government, education and community leaders. They are committed to making the world a better place for the girls of today and tomorrow. They donate their time, talents and experience to Girl Scouting and also support Girl Scouts financially. Since 1997, 387 women have been named as Women of Distinction in the Denver-metro area and raised more than $1.5 million for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

2012 Denver-metro Women of Distinction are: Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, Peg Bradley-Doppes, Juanita Chacon, Tricia Downing, Melba “Mel” Johnston, Denise O’Leary, Maren Stewart (Learn more about these women here.)

Special thanks goes to the following major sponsors of this event: DaVita, Comcast, UMB Bank, Wagner Equipment Company, Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield, FirstBank and Delta Dental of Colorado.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Women of Distinction program, visit our website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/donors/women-of-distinction. And watch the local press in the next few weeks for articles about this event (we will post links to the stories here too).

Media placements on this event: