Tag Archives: Monument

Gold Award Girl Scout: Kaitlyn Ketchell, Monument, “Eating Disorder Education”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The main issue I tackled in my project was lack of education and awareness about eating disorders; namely, warning signs and seeking treatment, as well as general education about eating disorders. The old curriculum used in the health classes at my high school didn’t provide the right kind of education about eating disorders that would allow students to better understand and handle eating disorders, so I created a new curriculum for the middle and high schools in my district. I also created informational pamphlets about eating disorders, which I distributed to local medical establishments (clinics, pharmacies, etc.) and some of the schools in my district.

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

In order to measure the impact of my project, I created two surveys with questions about eating disorders: one for students to take before watching my presentation on eating disorders, and one for students to take after watching my presentation on eating disorders. Then (with the help of a friend), I analyzed the results and found that scores were much improved on the post-survey.

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

My project is sustainable through the continued use of my eating disorder lessons by the high school health teachers. Additionally, my lessons are available for free on the Teachers Pay Teachers website and can be used by anyone.

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

My global/national connection is through the Teachers Pay Teachers website, making my lessons available to anyone for free (teachers, home-schoolers, and more) to use any time.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I’m more resilient than I previously thought. When COVID-19 shut down the schools in my district, I thought that would be the death of my project. However, I worked with the members of my team and was able to record myself teaching my lessons, which the health teachers were able to use in their virtual classes.

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

Earning my Gold Award has increased my confidence, my leadership skills, and my ability to navigate bureaucracies. This has taught me that I am capable of persevering through whatever challenges I may face in the future. When I face roadblocks in the future, I will draw upon the things I learned from my Gold Award project to persevere through them.

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

The Gold Award is Girl Scouts’ highest achievement. Earning this was important to me as a Girl Scout because I set the goal early on and was able to achieve it. I first learned about the Gold Award when my troop leader introduced us to the Bronze Award. Earning the Bronze and Silver Awards inspired me to continue toward my goal of earning Gold.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator because I had to come up with new ideas and unique solutions to new problems (like COVID-19 shutting down our schools).

**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.

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

In the face of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Girl Scouts continue to do all they can to make our world a better place by taking action to address issues facing their local communities. There are no better examples of this Girl Scout spirit and resiliency than the 16 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who recently earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. They include:

  • Sidney Barbier from Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Mountain School, tackled the issues of waste and recycling, particularly at Colorado state parks. She designed signage for state parks, hosted events to educate others about waste diversion, and even created a Junior Ranger curriculum.
  • Charlotte Blish from Arvada, Arvada West High School, started a nonprofit, Watering Communities, to teach elementary-aged students about how the lack of clean water impacts socio-economic and education resources in parts of Africa.
  • Clare Bolon from Longmont, Apex Homeschool Enrichment Program, developed and taught a week-long online course about how to write and read cursive. She also created resources to help students continue to practice their cursive after completing the course.
  • Kayla Fairweather from Parker, Ponderosa High School, developed a video curriculum on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) to supplement the T1D training that teachers currently receive. It features the perspectives of diabetic students, parents, a professional athlete with T1D, an endocrinologist, and a diabetes resource nurse.
  • Zoe Johnson from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, created a handbook and video about horse care and safety to educate new or inexperienced horse owners, as well as barn staff at summer camps.
  • Beatrice Lin from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, developed a workshop and handbook for Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies called “Bringing Global to Girls” (BGtG). The goal is to help younger Girl Scouts develop a sense of connection to the rest of the world and appreciation for other cultures.
  • Ellie McWhirter from Denver, East High School, developed a series of educational materials, including a website, to decrease plastic bag usage in her community and increase the knowledge of plastic bag pollution.
  • Isabella Mendoza from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a cheap and sustainable habitat for solitary bees to lay eggs in and distributed more than 350 habitats around Colorado and the world. She also hosted a community event for people to make their own habitat.
  • With the help of local Girl Scout troops, Ashlyn Morrill from Parker, Chaparral High School, created a pollinator garden that attracts various pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc. Girls learned the importance of pollinators and were inspired to do their part to help conserve the pollinator populations.
  • Opal Mosbarger from Peyton, Falcon High School, addressed the issue of animal displacement during emergency situations. She collected kennels and blankets for Perfect Fit Wellness Center, so people can keep their pets safe during natural disasters and other emergencies.
  • Wren Murzyn from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, partnered with doctors, nutritionists, and others to create a guidebook to assist individuals who are wanting to get healthy, but don’t know where to start.
  • Meredith Neid from Denver, George Washington High School, started a self-care club at her high school to healthily address rising levels of stress amongst her peers. After the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she adapted her project to include Zoom conversations with high school seniors about processing the pandemic and what it means to grow up during this time.
  • Anna Rahn from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, created 17 STEM activities for schools and after-school programs. Due to the pandemic, she was unable to distribute them to local schools, so she developed a website where PDFs of the activities are available.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable— earned only by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges. 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 Girl Scouts, and girls are entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade if they join the military.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good—and these Girl Scouts embody everything this achievement stands for,” said Leanna Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “Each of these young women addressed an issue that’s important to her in order to earn her Gold Award, and we congratulate each of these Gold Award Girl Scouts on this momentous accomplishment.”

You can learn more about these Gold Award Girl Scouts and their projects on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Zoe Johnson, Monument, “More Than Just Horsing Around: Learning the Basics of Equine Care and Safety”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a handbook and video about horse care and safety to educate barn staff at summer camps, as well as new or inexperienced horse owners. My video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGYYs2av5C4. The handbook and accompanying video cover topics like proper tack fit, common equine illnesses and injuries, the basics of horse handling, and how to measure vitals as well as the steps to earn Girl Scout badges related to horses. It can be helpful for training new summer camp staff members and a helpful reference for people who are new to the horse world. 

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

I ended up sending my handbook and video to 43 summer camps across the country, six of which have responded that they plan to consider and implement the material in staff training. My YouTube video covering some of the material in the handbook has also gotten 30 views in its first two months. 

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

My handbook and video will be used in training staff members at summer camps for years to come, helping to provide a good example of proper horse care to young campers. The handbook will also be available on the websites of a regional horse club and national horse organization for members and other interested horse owners. 

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

My educational materials have been distributed to 43 summer camps around the country, in addition to being uploaded to regional and national horse club websites. These websites as well as the YouTube video are accessible to anyone around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout my project, I really learned the importance of setting short-term goals. Looking at how much work there was to be done on my project could be pretty daunting at times, leading me to lose my motivation. I learned that by setting short-term goals for smaller elements of my project along the way, I could get big tasks done that had seemed so intimidating. 

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

This project challenged me to take charge and address an issue I had experienced first-hand. I’ve developed more confidence in professionally reaching out to people I have never met and practiced presenting information clearly and concisely in multiple formats including written material, video, and live presentation. The skills and attitudes I have developed through the process of earning my Gold Award will stay with me throughout my life. 

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

Besides all the personal growth that came from completing my Gold Award project, it also gave me a sense of completion from earning the highest award after being a Girl Scout for over ten years. It is a great feeling to look back over the years since I joined in first grade and see how much I have grown, earning my Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. 

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become more of a go-getter. By finding a problem I felt passionate about and working to help solve that problem, I gained the feeling that I can truly make a difference in the world. It has motivated me to continue to confidently pursue goals that interest me.

**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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Olivia Tighe, Monument, “Presents for Patriots”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

My project, Presents for Patriots, provided military families, who have a family member deployed, gifts for their family during the holiday season and throw a Christmas Party for them all to help relieve the stress of the holiday season.

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

Through a survey created for the families to take on how Presents for Patriots affected their holiday season

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

My project is now going to be an annual program run by the Tri-Lakes Leo Club, in partnership with the Monument VFW Post 7829. They will continue Presents for Patriots with aid from an electronic book with instructions and tips on how to start or continue Presents for Patriots in their area.

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

My national and global link is the fact that we had people from across the country donate gifts through our online registry for our families. We, also with the help from the VFW, were able to purchase gifts for remotely stationed families. We had families who were stationed in the U.S. in, for example, Hawaii, but we also had families stationed around the world in Germany, another example.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned from this project how to efficiently communicate with people and manage my time. Sending many emails to businesses, representatives, and families has taught me the ways of how and when you should send reminders and general emails. I also learned, with my short timeline, how to get a task done in a timely matter.

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

I feel that this will help my leadership skills in the future because of the communication skills I was able to improve due to the amount of emails and public speaking I did. Also, the time management and organization skills I was able to improve will help me fulfill the duties of an army officer, as that these skills are all important to have as an army officer.

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

It really showed me what Girl Scouts is all about, helping others and doing something larger than yourself for others.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator.  An idea that I had, and that my team and I executed, is to collect more gifts from outside of just our area, so we created a registry. This was created on the Walmart website where I could add items that we needed or suggested that people could buy for the kids on the registry. People were able to click what they wanted to buy and purchase it and it would be sent to my house to be organized and wrapped.

**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.

We helped a soldier find his favorite cookies

Submitted by Jennifer Vaughn

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

While working a booth, we helped a soldier find his favorite cookies. We are sisters selling cookies on Ft. Carson and love helping soldiers.

These Girl Scouts also earned the Uniform to Uniform patch! Learn how to earn yours: http://gscoblog.org/2020/01/uniform-to-uniform-patch-for-the-2020-girl-scout-cookie-program/ 

These Brownies are on fire

Submitted by Sheila Odette

Pikes Peak

Monument

Brownies from new Troop 45261 in Monument were selling cookies so fast at King Soopers that they were on fire! Luckily, some local firefighters were nearby to help and gracefully posed for a picture. Three packages of cookies were generously donated by Jennifer B., whose daughter Peyton was our amazing and kind Cookie Captain.

These Girl Scouts also earned the Uniform to Uniform patch! Learn how to earn yours: http://gscoblog.org/2020/01/uniform-to-uniform-patch-for-the-2020-girl-scout-cookie-program/ 

Westcott Fire Department visits Troop 45257

Submitted by Liz Meggett

Pikes Peak

Monument

These ladies set up a Valentine’s Day cookie booth and invited local fire departments to come visit and enjoy a package of sweet treats!

These Girl Scouts also earned the Uniform to Uniform patch! Learn how to earn yours: http://gscoblog.org/2020/01/uniform-to-uniform-patch-for-the-2020-girl-scout-cookie-program/ 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Kristine Guy, Monument, “Living with an Invisible Disability”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I wanted to spread awareness for CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) to help ensure students with this disorder get the help they need to be successful in school. I created a presentation that I can give to students, teachers, administrators, and schools. To go with my presentation, I put together pamphlets that I can hand out at my presentations. My pamphlets are in both English and Spanish, so I can reach more people. I also created a standalone website that people can visit if they would like more information.

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

I measured the impact I had by the reactions of the people who attended my presentations. Many took extras pamphlets. I had several people come up to me after a presentation to talk to me about students that they thought might have this disability. I had people come up to me and ask if I would be willing to present to other groups.  (I am willing) I had very positive feedback from all my presentations.

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

I created a standalone website that I will be updating as I go thru the next portion of my studies – that of obtaining a college degree with CAPD. On my website, I have uploaded my pamphlets so anyone can download and print them as needed. The website will be out there continuously for others to read. I plan on updating it as new information becomes available, and as more people send me their testimonies on living with CAPD.

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

I reached out to people I met while visiting in the UK and Ireland many years ago. The family I contacted had a mother who was a Girl Guide leader for many years. Her daughter just finished her masters in this very topic – CAPD.  I sent her my links for Cathie to review and provide constructive critique of my website and pamphlet. I also told them that they could print up the pamphlets and provide information to those in need in the UK, where Cathie teaches now, and in Ireland, where her mother is still a Girl Guide. Additionally, my mentor had a contact back east, a third grade teacher, with whom I had contact. She previewed my website and gave me some ideas on how to improve my website. And while my website is in English only, I had a professional translator translate my pamphlet into Spanish so I could reach more people. The Spanish version is on the website along with the English.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that although I do not like speaking in public, when it is a subject that I have personal experiences with and that I am passionate about, I can speak to groups of strangers with ease. I learned to go way outside my comfort zone and get up in front of a group of teachers, nurses, principals, and coaches. It was hard, but I believe that it is important to raise awareness of CAPD because of the negative experiences I had going thru the school system with a severe case of CAPD. I want to prevent what happened to me from happening to other students.

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

It has made me more confident in my abilities to overcome difficulties with school. I have become better at self-advocating and I have helped others to advocate for themselves. I have learned that I can actually talk to adults I do not know, and help them understand what their students may be experiencing in a classroom like setting – bringing better understanding to the teacher of what their students must deal with on a daily basis. I think I will be better at tackling challenging situations in the future because of what I went thru for my Gold.

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

I think earning the Gold with my CAPD disability helped me to understand that even though I have a disability, I can overcome it, and use it to further educate others around me. I used to hide my ear piece (my filter) and not let others see it because I didn’t want to be different.  Now though, I wear it without embarrassment and if people ask me about it, I use it as a tool to spread awareness.  So my ear piece went from being a tool that needed to be kept hidden, to being a tool that can be used to raise awareness of CAPD.

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

It helped me be a risk-taker – mainly because I used to keep my disability to myself because I wanted to be “normal.” I have siblings with CAPD, and they keep it hidden for the most part because they feel like it is a stigma. I was that way in middle school and to some degree, my early high school years. Going out into public, talking about a very personal subject, was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I first had to come to accept who I was, and be okay with that. Even though I work hard at school, and I get “A’s”, I have had people tell me I only get “A’s” because I have extra time….meaning an unfair advantage in their eyes. So, I have had to overcome my doubts about myself, and my CAPD, and realize that I work hard for my grades, and the “extra time on exams” is not a crutch, it is an accommodation because it takes me longer to process information. I also think it helped me become a go-getter. I wanted to raise awareness for CAPD, which required me to cold contact numerous schools, administrators, and teachers. I had very few people call me back, so I had to try to contact them again. I was determined that I was going to give my speech to someone!  And once I started showing my presentations, I received very positive feedback that made me determined to give more speeches whenever the opportunity arose.

**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

Little Lending Library in Monument

Submitted by Melissa Hinton

Pikes Peak

Monument

We are Hannah B. and Chloe W. from Cadette Troop 43107 in Monument.

Our Silver Award project was creating a Lending Library to bring more reading into the community. Our goal was to share our love of reading with others and hopefully get others to enjoy reading as well. Our steps were to get permission to build the library, plan a structure, ask for donations, build the structure, and supply it with books. Overall, our project went pretty well; however, we did have some problems along the way.

While doing the project, many things worked well in the process. Our steps that went really well were getting permission to build the library, planning the structure, and of course being able to finish the project on time. We were able to quickly set up a meeting with Tom Tharnish and Sadie Ernst, who work for the town of Monument. They promptly gave us to permission to build the Lending Library in Lavalette Park. When planning the structure, we used the Free Little Lending Library website, which had dozens of easily accessible plans we could have chosen from to build our library. We ended up combining two of their plans into one structure and making it our own. Having the opportunity to work in a woodshop at Mountain Ridge Middle School really helped us be able to have an easier experience building the library. We were also very lucky to have finished the project on time and for it to have turned out so well.

Although our project had many things that went well, it was not without things that didn’t go as planned. When we were looking for donations and building the structure, things didn’t go as we would have thought. It took us more time than expected to get donations; we ended up having to go to three stores before receiving the majority of our donations. While building, we ended up having to put on more layers of paint than what we had thought. We also had to do a second layer of shingles because we didn’t put on the first layer correctly.

During the project, we learned many lessons. One of the lessons that we learned was to ask for donations from a store, and to also host a money-earning activity to earn more money for the project. We also learned a couple of lessons about building and woodworking such as: how to cut big pieces of plywood and how to install plexiglass. We also learned to take our time on painting and do more than one layer. We learned to plan proper placements for shingles before nailing them onto the roof of the Lending Library.

Overall, we immensely enjoyed doing our Silver Award project and although not everything went as planned, we still took away many lessons. We learned not only how to build a Lending Library, but huge life lessons that we can use in future experiences that come our way. In the end, we accomplished our goal to bring more reading into our community.

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Emma Kerr, Monument, “Learning to Read, Enjoy, and Discover (READ)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project included two components. One aspect of it was building a bookshelf/reading center, and collecting pillows for a corner at Lewis Palmer Elementary School. The purpose of this was to create an inviting book nook that would draw kids to literature. The second aspect of my project was a Read-A-Thon program at the same elementary school. With the help of LPES, I was able to involve over 300 students in a fun, competitive reading program. High school students volunteered their time by reading with/to students of all ages.

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

After building and implementing the bookshelf in the library, I heard only positive comments from the librarian on the relationship between picking up a book and the new nook. Students were drawn by the comfortable pillows and funky bookshelf/reading center to go straight for a novel and curl up with it.

Through the numerous reading hours logged by the students from the Read-A-Thon, it was obvious that putting a fun twist on the idea of reading can encourage a student to pick up a book more often. The Read-A-Thon ended with computing the hours logged and providing students and classes with prizes for outstanding participation.

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

Lewis Palmer Elementary School has picked up the Read-A-Thon to continue with it beyond the initial year. The bookcase and pillows are both very substantial and will be reusable for years to come. They were handmade by many local women’s organizations in the Monument Community who were happy to help. The pillows have coverings so they can be washed and used for many years.

It is my hope that the students that participate in years to come have the same experience that these initial students were granted. The goal of the project is to create a more familiar relationship with reading and give students something that they can improve on for their personal benefit.

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

Beyond Lewis Palmer Elementary School, I am helping a high school in another area implement the same project at one of their feeder schools. They won’t be building a bookshelf/reading center, but through a simplified Read-A-Thon plan they can use high school volunteers to implement the program.

The amazing part of my project is that the group of children that will be impacted are those that still have their whole lives ahead of them. My goal was to focus on those still developing so that they can form and build upon reading skills – skills that can help in almost any area of learning or life skills.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I need to set written goals for myself in order to ensure things get done. I also learned that I really enjoy working with younger kids.

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

Reaching my Gold Award was a lot of hard work and required lots of determination. From this process I have acquired new skills in communication, project planning, and presentation. These will be useful in almost any area of my future.

Also, now I can say that I have my Gold Award! Which is a connection to thousands of other girls and also is an avenue to earn scholarships for college!

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

My Gold Award was the “cherry on top” for my experience with Girl Scouts. I have been a Girl Scout since I was six (And I am fortunate that it my leader has been the same my entire Girl Scout years!) and have always dreamed of reaching every level of scouting. I know this is marking the end for me being a member of a troop, but I will always be a Girl Scout. The morals of a strong work ethic and a compassionate heart I will retain forever and I can thank Girl Scouts for developing them into what they are today.

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

Earning my Gold Award has shaped me towards an innovative mindset. Now, I look around my community and instead of just seeing problems I also see possible solutions. I may not have combated the most pressing issue in my community, but I was passionate about it and that’s what made the process a whole lot more fun.

**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