Tag Archives: Northern & Northeastern CO

Two Sisters Experience the Juliette Low Seminar from Different Hubs

Submitted by Krista Beucler

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

The Juliette Low Seminar takes place about once every three years, and, in 2019, it took place in 18 hub locations around the world, all at the same time. We learned about the new WAGGGS leadership mindsets, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and how to fight gender barriers to leadership.

Girl Guides and Scouts from all over the world would be participating in JLS at the various hubs and we were so excited to see old friends and make new friends. I was assigned to the Thailand hub and my sister, Anna, was assigned to the Nigeria hub. All of the hubs were unique, but also shared the camaraderie of participating in a world movement. Since Anna and I participated in the same seminar in two different hubs, we’d love to share with you how our experiences were similar and different.

How did you get there? What was your hub like? Who was there?

Krista: After about 30 hours of travel (graciously paid for by Diane Saber and supported by the Look Wider Scholarship), I arrived in Bangkok and was met by representatives from the Girl Guide Association of Thailand. They brought me back to the GGAT headquarters where the participants would all be staying and experiencing the seminar. The Thailand hub hosted 23 participants representing 14 different countries, and five facilitators each from a different country. Helping our facilitators was the wonderful Thai logistics team made up of GGAT members who helped to keep the whole week running smoothly. Of our 23 participants, five were local Guide leaders in Thailand. In Thailand, schools decide if they want to participate in Guides and if they do, then all the girls in the school become Guides and their teachers are the leaders. My favorite part of attending international Guiding and Scouting events is always making new friends and learning more about their countries and their Guide organizations.

Anna: My journey started with research and obtaining a visa to visit Nigeria. Once on my way, I spent 24-ish hours between driving, flying, and layovers getting to the hub in Lagos. I was also met by local guides at the airport and was surprised by a familiar face! I had met Debbie last year when I volunteered at Kusafiri during the JLS facilitators training and now she was here in charge of the logistics team for Nigeria Hub! Such a small world! Nigeria Hub was located at a conference center near the airport in Lagos. We had 25 participants representing 14 countries. I definitely want to thank Diane Saber and the Look Wider Scholarship for making our trip possible!

How did you communicate?

K: Our hub took place in English, though we often paused to make sure everyone understood and the Thai participants helped to translate for each other.

A: While Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba are widely spoken, the official language of Nigeria is English. Many of the countries surrounding Nigeria were colonized by France and speak French, so Nigeria Hub was conducted in French and English.

What did you eat?

K: Thai food! Our fabulous kitchen prepared us a variety of traditional Thai dishes throughout the week. My personal favorites were pad Thai and cashew chicken.

A: Lots of jollof rice! Other Nigerian favorites on offer included pepper soup, fried rice, boli, and groundnut. They made sure we were never hungry with the usual mix of meats, seafood, bean, rice, and of course, plantains all cooked in a myriad of combinations.

What was a typical day like?

K: The weeklong seminar basically involved learning about the six leadership mindsets that make up the new WAGGGS leadership model, gender barriers to leadership, and the Sustainable Development Goals during the daytime sessions. In the evenings we did activities like Thai culture night and international night. Thai night involved performances of traditional dance by local students, learning Thai crafts and games, and trying Thai snacks. At international night, each of the participants set up a table and shared snacks, badges, and small gifts from our countries. We also all shared short performances of dances, songs, and games from our countries. I brought some Girl Scout Cookies to share and taught everyone the classic camp song, Fred the Moose.

A: Krista summed it up! I imagine all of the hubs had similar sessions on the WAGGGS leadership mindsets, gender barriers to leadership, and the Sustainable Development Goals, but facilitated in different ways according to the culture of the location. And of course, we celebrated Nigeria night instead of Thai night!

Did you connect with other hubs?

K: Yes! During our opening ceremony we Skyped with the Taiwan hub, which passed the international guiding light to us, ceremonially lighting our candles, and we passed it on to the Maldives hub during their opening ceremony. We also got to Skype with other ‘mystery hubs’ where we played a guessing game to figure out where they were located. We spoke to Poland and the Maldives as mystery hubs. We also got to call into one of the UK hubs to hear Nicola Grinstead, former chair of the World Board, give a short speech. There was also a WAGGGS event app that helped us connect with others by posting photos in the participant space and message scouts from other hubs. I messaged Lisa at the Nigeria hub and Priya from the Sangam hub and we shared what we were doing at our hubs.

A: Despite trouble with technology, we managed to connect with Kusafiri in Tanzania for their presentation by Kate. Kate now works with Days for Girls in Tanzania educating young women on menstrual hygiene and female genital mutilation. Her journey to this point in her life was not easy. She told us how she escaped female genital mutilation herself by hiding in the trunk of a visiting family’s car when they left to return to thier home. She lived on the street for a time and used drugs before being befriended by a local pastor who helped her. She summed up her story by saying that sometimes you only need one person to see you and you may never realize how much you have helped someone by seeing them and reaching out to them. This inspiring thought helped us to start brainstorming our 100 girls projects. Besides this connection there were other attempts that did not work to connect virtually with other hubs but we knew they were there thinking of us as we connected on the online participant space.

Did you get to be tourists?

K: There was some time to be tourists in Bangkok. I arrived one day early for the Seminar and had a chance to visit a floating market and Wat Pho, one of the most famous temples in Bangkok, with two of the other participants–ladies from England and Madagascar. One evening, we also had free time to go out to dinner. The Thai participants wrangled the rest of us through busy public transportation to an open air market and we all had dinner together. After the seminar was over, I stayed a few extra days to visit an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai and see a few more of the sights in Bangkok.

A: We mostly stayed in the hotel learning about leadership, the Sustainable Development Goals and the culture of Nigeria. We were surprised on our community day with a visit to the Lekki Conservation Center where we got to do the longest canopy walk in Africa! We challenged ourselves and got to see views of the city. That day as we were driving around we got to see some of Lagos and drove over the longest bridge in Nigeria!

What was the most inspiring part of the seminar?

K: In preparation for our 100 Girls Project, we did a mini Lead Out Loud project in small patrols. Each patrol was to address a gender barrier and do a small project that would reach 30 people in four hours. I was pretty skeptical that we could have even that much impact in such a short time. My group decided to talk about catcalling and harassment women experience on the street. We made a Google survey asking about people’s experiences with catcalling and we filmed some video clips with people on the street and our fellow participants, asking them to share opinions and experiences. We made a poster with the results of our survey and after four hours we had received 40 responses. I was surprised we had managed to reach that many in such a short time, but I was even more surprised when I kept checking the results of the survey over the next few days and we had more than 400 responses from people from all over the world aged 14 to 55, more than 95% of which reported having been catcalled. Hearing about the mini projects the other groups at my hub did, I was surprised at the reach all of us were able to achieve. It taught me about the power of social media and teamwork, and helped make the 100 Girls Project seem less daunting.

A: The most inspiring part of the seminar for me was interacting with the other participants and discussing issues in their community. It inspired me to see how dedicated this group of young women was to making their world a better place.

Did you spend any time in the community?

K: We had a day to visit a community outside of Bangkok called Baan Khoksalung to learn about community development and leadership. The community is primarily from the Thai Bueng ethnic group and has faced some challenges related to the flooding of the nearby reservoir which wiped out a lot of their agricultural activities and forced many families to move. As a way to both preserve their traditional culture and identity, and to supplement their income, the community set up a local museum that hosts tourists for the day or overnight and shares dances, traditional craft making (mostly weaving and toy making), and cooking with guests. Baan Khoksalung is just one of many local museums all over Thailand that has found a unique way to keep their cultural traditions alive in a changing world. The community was so welcoming to us and shared their strategies for leadership in the community: dialogue, networking, system thinking, and strategy. The community really stressed communication as a way to bring happiness and harmony, and a way for the young people to learn from the elders, and in turn, for the elders to learn from the young people. We had the chance to learn traditional weaving of cloth and reed mats, and how to cook Thai pancakes.

We got to hear from a member of a local organization that supports leadership in business on our community day. She talked about gender equality and led a few activities on gender equality. After we went to EduPoint, a company that was started by graduates of the business leadership program that connects students with tutors. This was followed by lunch and tour of the Nigeria Girl Guide Association Headquarters. All of us participants did a Stop the Violence photoshoot on the roof of the headquarters. We got to meet with local Scouts from our logistics team and all went on the canopy walk together.

What is the 100 Girls Project?

K: At the end of our seminar, each of us returned home with a plan to share what we had learned about the leadership mindsets, the STGs, and gender equality with 100 girls and young women. While in Thailand, I made a plan for my 100 Girls Project, hoping to share what I learned at Our Chalet as a volunteer, and during my planned volunteering at a leadership workshop for young women in Guatemala this fall. With COVID-19, everything is pretty uncertain. I won’t be going to Our Chalet this summer, and Girl Scout camp won’t be in session either, nor will I be going to Guatemala. So right now, I’m working on a new plan to create an Instagram campaign about the WAGGGS leadership mindsets, sharing activities and inspiration for girls who are stuck at home. The Creative and Critical Thinking leadership mindset helps us adapt when things don’t go as planned and helps us find unique solutions to new problems.

A: I’m hoping to create a program for girls in Colorado who are thinking about doing a Gold Award. The program will help girls think about the WAGGGS leadership mindsets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals to identify a project that meets a need in their community. The goal will be to help girls create really thoughtful and impactful projects that make their world a better place.

That sounds awesome! How do I get involved in more international Guiding opportunities?

Anna and Krista: We’re so glad you asked! A lot of people are surprised when we tell them all of the international opportunities we have had through Girl Scouts, but we think it’s really important to remind everyone that Guiding and Scouting is a global movement and we’re all working together to support girls and young women of courage, confidence, and character around the world. If you’re still an active girl member, you can plan your own international trip! I recommend trying to connect with a troop in the country you want to visit to learn more about Scouting in their country, or visiting a World Center for a program. You can also check out GSUSA’s Destinations. If you are an adult volunteer, you can also participate in World Center programs, or you can volunteer or intern at the World Centers. Anna and I have both been World Center volunteers and we highly recommend it. Join the Global Leadership Opportunities pool, follow WAGGGS on social media, and check their website periodically to find out about global events like JLS. Scholarships are available to support girls who want to participate in international events, so make sure you check those out! The Look Wider Scholarship for Colorado girls is always a good place to start. We have made so many international friends and have gotten to feel like a part of a global movement; we just cannot recommend getting involved in international Guiding enough.

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

Celebrating World Environment Day

Submitted by Hanna

Northern & Northeastern CO

Superior

Hi, my name is Hanna and I am a second year Girl Scout Brownie. One video I watched was on how in another part of our world, people have to walk eight hours to get water for their family. I learned about Cuba’s biodiversity from another video and that Cuba has the greatest percentage of frog species on Earth- just inside of Cuba! Also, I enjoyed doing the Biodiversity Bingo in my backyard and in the pond nature trail area near my home. In my backyard, I found mushrooms growing in the square foot area that I measured and a tiny, little black beetle, too. Near the pond, I found a plastic fork near the water and cleaned it up.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Silver Award Project: Making Masks for Seniors

Submitted by Alyssa N.

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

My name is Alyssa N. My original plan for my Silver Award had to be reconsidered due to the recent lockdowns and school closures. As a Girl Scout, I saw that many elderly citizens had trouble getting what they needed and that they couldn’t go out as often due to concerns related to coronavirus. The City of Longmont had been holding mask drives near our city’s rec center and I was eager to help. I created this PDF (40962780_how_to_sew_a_mask ) on how I made 30 masks to donate to our elderly citizens and how to care for your masks.

As a Girl Scout, we are taught to use resources wisely. My mom had many fabrics from previous projects. Some of the fabrics had been cut awkward, but they were big enough to be cut to the appropriate width and length. I was also able to use bias tape which my mom had inherited from my great grandma. I really had to be able to innovate new ways to make the masks easier, but also faster. Because my original plan wasn’t able to work, I had to think of a new way to earn my Silver Award, but also from a safe distance at home. I learned that trying to help a community is not hard to do from a safe distance and that many articles and other cites have valuable information to help the earth. One of my accomplishments during this journey is helping my community during a global pandemic and helping people in need.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Honoring Hometown Heroes During COVID-19 Pandemic

Submitted by Jessica Holbrook

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Lupton

Troop 70757 chose Blessings in a Bag for their Hometown Heroes for the 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Blessings in a Bag is a local non-profit that gathers food of which they pack into backpacks and deliver to local schools every Friday. They provide meals for kids during the weekend when they aren’t able to get school lunches. The kids who receive these backpacks are those in the most need.

With COVID-19 closing the schools, these backpacks are needed now more than ever. Our troop donated 200 packages to Blessings in a Bag. They filled two weeks worth of backpacks.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Cadette Sews 75 Cloth Masks for Neighbors

 

Submitted by Juliana J.

Northern & Northeastern CO

Superior

To help protect the elderly in our community, Juliana sewed 75 cloth face masks, and distributed them to elderly people in our area.  She delivered 25 masks to individuals and families in our neighborhood, and 50 masks to a nearby nursing home and senior living center. The seniors were thrilled to receive the masks, which were a variety of colors and patterns. She has completed more than 70 hours on the project so far, and has earned her Silver Award. She is planning to sew more masks this summer.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Cookie Captain 2020

Submitted by Sydney T.

Northern & Northeastern

Longmont

This year,  I was a Cookie Captain and I had a lot of fun. I did a cookie rally and pick-up, and I helped a Brownie troop with their first year of cookie sales. I also went door-to-door with a Daisy who was selling cookies for the first time.

While attending the cookie rally, I taught the girls about what to do at a booth and what to do if a customer says no, plus what Hometown Heroes are and how to choose one. At the cookie pick-up, my fellow Cookie Captains and I were a huge help to the adults. We told them what number the car was there to pick up their cookies and got the sheet with the cookie amounts to pick up all ready, so the adults could follow the car that was to be loaded with cookies. This event was actually my favorite. I made a new friend who was also a Cookie Captain and I really enjoyed being helpful for the adults. I learned that it was a very difficult job and I have a new appreciation for the workers at cookie pick-up and what cookie parents have to do to get their girls ready for the cookie season.

With the Brownie troop, I talked about what to do for cookie sales at a booth and what they can do with the cookie money. After that, with the same troop, I helped them with their first booth and helped them get through it, although they were so good I didn’t need to do much. For a Daisy friend, this was her first sale and I helped her by going with her for door-to-door sales. I was able to help with her money management and built her confidence in talking to people. By the last house, she was doing everything, except the cost by herself. The cost was really trying to memorize all the different possible totals due for different numbers of packages sold. That can be tough your first time. I would definitely do this again and I look forward to doing it again. I have a new appreciation for all the parents who help get everyone ready for cookies.

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

Girls Scout troop thanks nurses with cookies

Submitted by Penny W.

Northern & Northeastern CO

Greeley

Troop 74404 delivered baskets of Girl Scout Cookies to Banner Hospital of Greeley and UCHealth to thank nurses for all they do. The girls were not able to do it as troop, so they designated Bree to deliver them for the troop. Bree also delivered cookies to two nursing homes. The girls picked first responders as their Hometown Heroes and will also deliver cookies to firefighters.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Fun patch offered by service unit

Submitted by Judy Therond

Northern & Northeastern CO

Superior

Our service unit decided to create a fun “challenge” patch that Girl Scouts could do from home during this time. We picked activities that would be different from school, and also several geared toward service and brightening others during this time.

We actually followed a format used by the school district for the first week of online learning. It was a “grid” which allowed students to pick out five activities to complete a day.

However, we wanted our “grid” to be Girl Scout based, so we picked activities we felt encompassed many pieces of Girl Scouting. Some activities do not change by level, but others (e.g. cooking/camping) become progressively harder.

If a girl choses to complete the patch, they fill out a Google Form when they are done with their name and troop number. I added a few more entries on the form since I would like to know what activities they picked, and what their favorite activity was, and there is even an optional area to upload a photo, but at a minimum name/troop number would be needed.

By having the form, troop leaders do not need to worry about doing anything on their end except for picking up patches earned in the fall. We are giving Girl Scouts until the end of May 2020 to complete.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Listen now: Meet a District Judge webinar

 

 

 

Girl Scouts of Colorado extends a huge thank you to Judge Julie Hoskins for participating in our first-ever “Meet an Expert” webinar! More than 60 Girl Scouts from across Colorado participated in this webinar on April 30, 2020. Judge Hoskins is a District Judge for Colorado’s 19th Judicial District, which serves Weld County. She gave girls a virtual tour of the courtroom, talked about her amazing career, answered lots of great questions from girls, and let us all know her favorite Girl Scout Cookie is a Trefoil topped with raspberry jam. Yum!

Listen to the “Meet a District Judge” webinar. A transcript of this webinar is at the bottom of this blog post.

Listening to this webinar satisfies Step Two of the Junior Inside Government badge.

Check out all our upcoming “Meet an Expert” webinars and watch previously recorded webinars on our YouTube page.

Meet an Expert_District Judge

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Shawnda Staten

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Shawnda Staten of Fort Lupton in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Shawnda to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer at 18, so I could work at a resident camp after I graduated high school and then it just worked out that I was needed for my little cousins troop as a co-leader, so she could do all the “cool stuff” (her words not mine) that I got to do growing up. Then, a very short time later my daughter was old enough and wanted to be in Girl Scouts and of course, we had no leaders, so it just happened and then I had another daughter ten years later who wanted to be a Girl Scout too. I had to start a new troop for her and when I thought I was going to take some other roles in council, I was blessed with a granddaughter, so I haven’t changed roles just yet because now I am honored to be her leader.

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

Different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout started for me as a Girl Scout member: helping Brownie leaders that needed help, and at the local nature centers doing educational tours for scouts and the community. I wasn’t working on a Program Aide or any awards or badges, but for fun and the experience. Then, as a legal adult, I volunteered as a camp counselor a couple times, co-leader/leader from early 1990’s til now in a couple states, special events manager/coordinator a couple times, and in a couple states, service unit registrar, service unit and troop product program manager/coordinator a couple times (even back when we had calendars/candies and of course cookie season), service unit co-manager/ manger. I have been secretary on the service unit team, mentor for leaders and various other positions on the team, and helped in adult training. I think for about three months in the very beginning I was just a registered parent. LOL. They have all been an experience to remember and most I enjoyed for the terms they were assigned because of the fellow volunteers I had on the team with me.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Being a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned I’m only human, I am flawed, and I make mistakes, but it’s how you handle them that makes you a better leader and person. I have learned that I have lots still to learn from a program aspect, from the parents and fellow volunteers, and most importantly ,to me is learning from the girls. Its great to let the girls explore and grow in their own time and in there own way. Not all girls are created equal and that is perfect! Be flexible, open minded, non-judgmental and easy going as much as possible. That not all Girl Scouts; girls and adults will like everyone else, look at their troop the same way, or with the same dedication level, which can be frustrating, but its always good to accept for the sake of being a mentor/ role model and living by the Promise and Law. I have learned basic things like how to live by the Promise and Law, not just say the words. I think a lot of volunteers miss that when they sign up for a volunteer role, and cookies is not a competition between girls/troops, it’s a learning tool. How to hike and camp correctly with a bunch of rambunctious and social young ladies. How to cook with a solar oven and better at dutch oven. How to make better knots and teach girls edible knots and campfires, so they get it at a young age. How to have a cleaner camping kitchen. How to canoe down a river and in the lake without swamping it, as well as archery and gun safety. How to use badge requirements to benefit the girls and how to use their everyday experiences to fulfill badge requirements without double dipping.  How to track paperwork.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

What I hope my girls have learned from me is emotional for me when I think about it. Being a Girl Scout, growing up when we had basically no guideline rules other than Susie Safety and having a lifetime of lasting memories and friends. I want that for all of my girls too, but it goes deeper. I want them to accept others for who they are, not what society expects them to be. To accept everyone with or without disabilities because it doesn’t define them as a person. To love themselves and know they have worth. That because I was open and honest with my girls that they will be as well. That they learned to give back to themselves, their families, their communities, and this country. To accept their accomplishments and defeats equally and with pride and humility. To be independent, responsible, take charge, role models. To be good mommies or not, spouses or not, businesswomen or house wives, and Girl Scout leaders if that is what they want in their journeys. That I will always support them, that I am here for them throughout Girl Scouts and beyond. That they touched my heart even if they were only mine for a short time and I am proud of them and the growth I see within them. That when I say at the beginning of the year that our troop is a family not just a bunch of people who get together once a week that I meant it and their sisters in scouts are their friends for life.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

My experience as a volunteer helped me become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader) through my personal growth and experiences with the girls and the good friends I have made through the years. Its all been trial and error and preconceived notions of what is right or wrong and how to accomplish a task. How you deal with the unknown events and the gratitude you have from the mistakes as well as the accomplishments. To always be the girls safe heaven and their biggest cheerleader because sometimes that is all they need from you. To show them that you care and are dedicated to their success makes you a success. Be their friend even when they drive you crazy because it helps you grow. For me, it meant looking for a bigger picture and getting outside my comfort zone and moving my family across country for a chance at something different, and then again for a better long term future goal. To set goals and not give up until you have no other option and even then keep moving forward with your head high, to take the necessary risks in life to achieve your journeys goal. Over the years I am now blessed with being a Girl Scout grandma several times and It has given me a sense of pride I didn’t know I would get from being a leader. I step outside myself and what I think I know to help myself grow and move out of the way of my own ego. I always am willing to try something new and push boundaries and stereotypes. That is how I became a G.I.R.L.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org. 

The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards is April 30. GSCO invites members statewide to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding volunteer by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award. Nominators are responsible for ensuring enough endorsements are submitted to support their nomination of a volunteer for an award. Your volunteer support specialist can check nomination and endorsement submissions for you. Learn more.