Tag Archives: mountain communities

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: Littlepage Green, Breckenridge, “The Allergy Initiative”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I worked with Mrs. Kassib, a health teacher at Summit High School, to create a lesson plan to educate health students about food allergies. I taught six classes using the lesson plan I developed and I also led epi-pen training after I had finished my lesson. To make my project accessible to a broader community, I created a video, using the lesson plan, and posted it on YouTube.

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

I measured my project’s impact on my target audience by having the students take a Kahoot, an educational tool used to check the student’s knowledge while making it a fun game for the students. It was a fun way to motivate them to listen, and it also let me see how well they understood my presentation. At most, the students got two wrong out of ten questions in each class period.

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

My project will be continued to be used in Summit High School’s health program where they will show the video I created and use some demo epi-pens I donated to train students. I also created a video that was put on YouTube. I shared the link on all my social media networks, so people could always access it and continue to share the video.

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

While small, the national link is through YouTube and social media. Because social media is widely used, both nationally and globally, my project will be seen by people outside of my community. Those people will then be able to share the video with their friends and they can share them with their friends and so on.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I like to take on all the responsibility and do everything myself, which isn’t the best way to get projects completed. So, I learned how important delegating can be when you have a big project or are working with a group. I also learned that teaching and leading a class made me feel so accomplished. I learned how to speak in front of groups better than I could before, and because of that, I felt accomplished.

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

In the future, I will be more likely to take up leadership roles. I feel more comfortable leading a group effectively. Because I feel more comfortable overall leading, I will take up opportunities to lead. The more I lead the more my leadership skills will grow. Because I strengthened certain leadership skills on this project, I will be able to strengthen other leadership skills that may not have been as strong on this project, like my communication skills.

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

The Gold Award helped me to realize more about myself, like little habits that really slowed down my project. It was important because it used all the little bits of information and skill I had learned throughout all my years of being a Girl Scout. I then had to apply all those to my project, and it felt as though everything came full circle.

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

The Gold Award helped me to become an overall better leader. It helped me to step out of my comfort zone to talk to people whom I normally wouldn’t as well as push me to stand up in front of 20 or so children per class and talk for an hour. It also pushed me to think of creative solutions to problems that I normally would have let stop me from completing a project.

**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

How our girls shine

Submitted by Nicole DeCrette

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

On Sunday, September 9, 2018, the Girl Scouts of the Mountain Communities region in Routt County (Steamboat Springs) celebrated together and held their bridging ceremony at a lovely local park on a gorgeous fall day. In addition to the expected traditions of the event, we added a personal touch we’d like to share inspired by the new Girl Scout anthem “Watch Me Shine.” Our girls ranged in age from six through adult and we wanted to find a way to both come together and feel unified as Girl Scouts, yet acknowledge and honor the contributions of each girl publicly. Just before the ceremony, we asked each troop leader to take a strip of paper and in green marker write down words that describe the personality and contributions of each girl. When the girls were called up to bridge, the leader would share what she wrote with everyone present– from moms and dads to grandparents and community members. As they walked across the bridge to move up in rank, they added their link to create a chain. Wow! We saw a lot of smiles from our girls – shining with pride! It gave families a way to see their girls’ unique and beautiful attributes take center stage. While simple to do, and required little extra time or money, this symbolic gesture was the thing that everyone spoke of after the ceremony was over. We will hold onto that chain and perhaps start a new tradition adding onto it as the amazing young women of Girl Scouts in Colorado continue to shine and make a difference in our communities.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Bailey Stokes, Buena Vista, “Teaching in the Outdoors”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In order to earn my Gold Award and make a difference in my community, I decided to make outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of teachers in schools across the state. I achieved this by making boxes that had lesson plans for eight to ten outdoor lessons, along with all the materials a teacher would need to complete them. The boxes also included a small tri-fold presentation board on the subject for student reference. I made two sets of three boxes covering three different subjects: investigations, habitat, and adaptations. The boxes are designed to meet the education standards for fourth grade science, but they can be adapted to be used with any age group. The goal of my project was to provide teachers with an easy and convenient way to bring outdoor education into their classrooms, because outdoor education provides students with many physical and mental benefits.

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

The first step of my project was to go spend a day at my local elementary school teaching a couple of my lessons to a fourth grade class in order to determine what worked with students and what did not. In the day that I spent at the elementary school, I impacted 70 students. When the school year starts, I expect to impact around 500 students a year through the constant use of my project.

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

My project will be sustained by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are two sets of my boxes and they are being kept at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices in Pueblo and Salida. The people at the offices will help ensure that my boxes are staying in good condition throughout their use. They will also help ensure that the boxes are going out into classrooms year after year.

Another way that my project will continue to impact the community after my involvement is through the help of the teachers that use my boxes. They will hopefully continue to use my boxes year after year, and they will also help spread the word about my project through the teaching community. I have also had teachers tell me that they want to recreate my boxes for their own communities.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

Instead of finding a way to make it so that teachers across the country could use my boxes, I decided to focus on encouraging other people to take action like I did. I wrote an informational paper about the importance of outdoor education and why it should be incorporated into schools. I did this in hopes that I would inspire other people to take action. There are also two sets of my boxes that are being stored in two separate locations so that they can be accessible for more teachers across the state.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, and I learned that I am capable of making a difference. I also learned that I have what it takes to be a teacher one day, and I grew an even bigger passion for education. During this project, I also gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities.

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

My Gold Award gave me hands-on experience in the field that I am wanting to enter. I am currently studying to be a teacher at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and this project gave me valuable classroom experience. What I learned through this project will help me as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in the first grade. In that time, I have been actively involved in many different Girl Scout activities, however, earning my Gold Award was the most valuable part of my Girl Scout experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to make a difference in my community, I also gained a lot of confidence and career experience. Earning my Gold Award was a life changing experience that showed me that I am able to accomplish anything I put my mind to. It was a lot of work, but in the end it was definitely a valuable part of my Girl Scout experience and I am extremely glad that I did it.

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

During this project, my leadership skills greatly improved. I stepped out of my comfort zone by leading people who weren’t my peers. My project may have impacted the community, but it also helped me become a stronger leader which is a trait I will need for the rest of my life. This project also helped me become a go-getter. I took action and I accomplished an amazing achievement that I am extremely proud of.

**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

“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Caroline,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

This summer, my troop and I completed the Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge. After almost three years of working to earn the funds, we finally had enough and couldn’t wait to travel to Costa Rica. We had a really amazing time, except for all of the bugs.

Once we arrived, we spent two days at base camp, just outside of the capital. After that, we took a seven-hour car ride into the rainforest. We all thought we were getting close to our destination, only to find that we still had to cross a river, and hike uphill. We brought with us many of the supplies that we needed for our service projects, including paint, cement, and tools. We had to carry all of our stuff up a hill. Finally, we had a break.

For the next three days, we worked on our projects, which were repainting their lunchroom, fence, and bathrooms. While we were in Talamanca, we also played soccer with the local kids and swam in the river. The river was bright blue and looked like it came out of a travel magazine.

After our time in Talamanca, we crossed the border into Panama and traveled up a river for a while to arrive at San San Pond Sac, a remote area that helps protect sea turtles and Mantatees. On our first and last nights there, we were able to release baby sea turtles into the ocean. That was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am extremely grateful that I was able to partake.

During the day in Panama, we stayed inside where there were no bugs and talked, made pineapple marmalade, and played on the beach. To further protect the wildlife, we also cleaned up the beach. Finally, we left Panama, crossed back into Costa Rica, and spent a day at their rainforest base. At last, the trip was over, we had to say goodbye to all of the amazing people that we had met throughout the trip, and went to the airport.

If I were to do the trip again, I would pack more bug spray, and lots of longs sleeves and long pants (not because it was cold, but to protect me from the bugs). Overall, this was an outstanding experience, and I would recommend it to every Girl Scout.

***

“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica & Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Margaux,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

While on this life-changing experience to Costa Rica and Panama, I was able to have an eye-opening two weeks with some of the best people ever. Not only, the people on the trip with me, but all the kind and inspirational people we met along the way. I was able to put myself in a whole other world while on this trip. I was able to not just learn about other cultures, but be able to live in it. Cultures that consisted of fresh plantain mornings, soccer afternoons, and rice and bean nights.

When in Talamanca, I feel I became a completely different person. I became part of the Bri Bri’s community and everyday lives. What I found the most different from my hometown was the feeling of community in being able to work, welcome, and entertain with one another. They didn’t even ask if we wanted their help, they automatically rolled up their sleeves and assisted. Every morning, we would start our service, weather it be painting, more painting, or carrying sand to make new stairs, the Bri Bri helped. They welcomed us with open arms and not just in letting us in, but having us join their family. We were complete strangers to them, but without any hesitation they lended a hand. That and they had no hesitation in kicking our butts in soccer.

It was also crazy to see how happy the Bri Bri were. They had practically nothing, but were always smiling. Before we were even ready for breakfast, the school kids would be outside playing soccer. So different from the United States, we will wake up, do our own things, and possibly meet up with people later, sometimes through a screen. That is what we call being a community. In Talamanca, the first thing they do is saying hi to, not just their community, but their family.

In the United States, we have the ability to have everything we want, but we are always still so downcast. Going to Talamanca made all of us so happy. We knew that the work we were doing wasn’t self beneficial. We had a cause that wasn’t going to be spent the next day. It was earned in the work, the smiles, the laughs. Knowing that we were changing the lives of people that didn’t even know our names. It’s impossible to learn what people like the Bri Bri lives are like, you have to experience it. Thank you so much Look Wider for helping me in opening my eyes, and looking wider.

***

“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Lucy,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

The summer of 2018 I had the opportunity to go on a life-changing trip to Costa Rica and Panama for a service challenge. I was able to go on this trip thanks to the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship. As a 13-year-old Girl Scout, this trip was a big deal to me and has changed my life and understanding of the world in many ways.

I am from Steamboat Springs, which is a small town with not a lot of diversity. This trip was a big deal for me because I got to experience so many different cultures from all around the world. Not just from the people who lived there, but the people who went to the same course I did. That was many of the great things I learned during my trip to Costa Rica and Panama.

One of the other great things I learned on my trip was about food. We got to try different dishes that I have never eaten. It was another way we got to experience their culture. In addition to eating local foods, we got to learn how to cook them. We got to help in the kitchen and learn new ways to cook things. For example, over a fire or with different ingredients than we would normally use.  It was very educational.

One of the most memorable things I remember learning is about all of the biodiversity in Costa Rica and Panama. They had many different types of wildlife from little frogs and lizards to manatees and leatherback sea turtles. As a part of trying to save the sea turtles, we got to learn about them, their life cycle, and many other facts about them. We also got to learn a lot about manatees which was also very educational.

On Outward Bound Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge, I learned and experienced many things that many people can’t in their lifetime. This trip was very life-changing and I know I will remember it for the rest of my life. Thank you “Look Wider” for for the scholarship, which helped me go on this life-changing trip.

***

“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship: Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge

Submitted by Alison,  2018 recipient of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

The Costa Rica and Panama Service Challenge was the most rewarding and life changing trip I’ve ever had the opportunity to go on. Now that I’m home, all I think about is the trip, almost as if it never ended. I think about what I did, how I felt, and the friends I’ve made.

Before the trip, I was extremely worried about making friends. I didn’t think I would make any friends, so part of me just went into loner mode. I thought to myself, “When everyone starts forming cliques, I’ll detach myself entirely.” The trip came closer and closer, while that main worry grew larger and larger. I’d had plenty of bad experiences at camps, but I figured I shouldn’t go in with expectations. To stay neutral, I thought about myself making amazing new friends, and I thought about everyone hating me. This balance somehow kept me from worrying too much. But, the moment I got into the van with everyone else, I got such a bad feeling. It was just the sheer act of seeing the actual people going on this trip that made me feel uneasy.

The first night was the hardest, because it was the adapting time. I just wanted to go home, until I realized that all those actual people were the kindest, most genuine, most beautiful, funniest, and most amazing people I’d ever met. I can’t even express through words how they’ve helped me. They were all so unique and I still can’t believe that I got the chance to know all of them. Each and every one of them made me feel special, and it feels amazing knowing I’m in the Girl Scout sisterhood with them.  Over the trip, we met many more amazing people and did so many amazing things. In Talamanca, the BriBri community surprised me. I didn’t know how people with such seemingly hard lifestyles could be so kind and helpful in their community and so welcoming to strangers. It felt so good to know that the BriBri were very appreciative of our help, but it felt even better that I was helping such a kind community. In Panama, it was really cool for me to see all the kind people in San San Pond Sak that were taking the initiative to help the sea turtles and manatees, especially to see how committed they were to this cause. I really enjoyed being able to participate and help them.

Over the course of this trip, I experienced the most amazing opportunities and met the most amazing people. I am extremely grateful to have gone on this trip and to all who helped me go on it. Now that I’m home, I will try my hardest to help everyone on Earth take the time to learn about one another. Maybe then, all of our problems would disappear. Maybe if everyone was together like the BriBri, generous like the people in Panama, and kind like the girls on the trip, we wouldn’t have many problems. So I’m asking that you’re open, because if you’re open, your life could change for the better. I know that after this trip, I strive to be kinder, more helpful, and more open every day. If you welcome someone in like everyone on this trip did to me, you will be welcomed and you’ll have hope and happiness for the world and its people.

***

“Look Wider” International Travel Scholarships are made possible by the Rae Ann and Richard Dougherty Look Wider International Travel Fund Endowment at Rose Community Foundation. Thanks to this generous commitment, Girl Scouts of Colorado will award scholarships to girls every year.

Learn more about Girl Scout destinations and other international travel at forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel. Applications for destinations travel are due before Thanksgiving each fall. The application for the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship is available from November through February and is meant for individual girl travel. Read more about Global Girl Scouting and how to get involved at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

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Gold Award Girl Scout Bailey Stokes awarded Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship

Gold Award Girl Scout Bailey Stokes of Buena Vista is the 2018 recipient of the Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship. She earned her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, earlier this summer for creating a nature program that will be sustained by teachers in her community.

Johanna Farrar’s husband and children started this scholarship in 2015 to celebrate all of her accomplishments, particularly those within the Girl Scout community. Born in London, England and raised in a small village on the south coast of England, Johanna was a Girl Guide in her childhood. She was also the youngest ever to have achieved the Queen’s Guide Award at that time, the English equivalent of the Girl Scout Gold Award. After earning a software engineering degree from Loughborough University, Johanna moved to New Jersey to work for Bell Labs. In 1985, she accepted a position with FedEx in Colorado Springs, where she met and married Gene Farrar in 1990. Johanna and Gene lived and worked in the Colorado Springs area, moving to Monument in 1992 when their oldest daughter, Hannah, was born. In 1995, after their second daughter, Rachel, was born, Johanna retired from a successful career as a Technical Advisor at FedEx for an even more successful and rewarding career as a dedicated full-time mother.

Johanna introduced her daughters to Girl Scouts at the first opportunity and became a local leader in Monument, then again after relocating to Buena Vista. When Johanna first arrived in Buena Vista, she learned Girl Scouts had all but disappeared in Chaffee County. Johanna believed so strongly in the values and skills that Girl Scouts develops, it became a passion to reestablish Girl Scouts for girls in the high Rockies. Known to many of her friends as the “Engergizer Bunny” because of her seemingly never-ending energy and indomitable spirit, Johanna provided the leadership and drive to rejuvenate Girl Scouts in the valley. Now, for the first time, there are troops for all ages.  Additionally, Johanna loved the outdoors, including skiing, hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and especially gardening – passions she loved to share and instill in young women.

 

 

Buena Vista Daisies deliver care packages to firefighters

Submitted by Cricket Hawkins

Mountain Communities

Buena Vista

Daisy Troop 55309 delivered three boxes of personal care packages to local firefighters who may have to be called out someday to fight forest and wildland fires in the region. The girls decided they wanted to give back to their community, shopped with troop funds, and assembled the packages for their local firehouse. During the visit on July 12, 2018, the girls also toured the firehouse and took a turn shooting water from a firehose!

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