Tag Archives: Northern & Northeastern CO

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: Wren Murzyn, Fort Collins, “Guidebook to Healthy Eating and Living”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a guidebook to assist individuals who are wanting to get healthy, but don’t know where to start. More than 70 percent of the United States is considered overweight and many who are don’t understand why and don’t know how to start to change their lifestyle.  My family was part of this statistic – growing up we didn’t have money or time to focus on healthy eating and setting healthy goals.  In creating this guidebook, I wanted to provide a resource that offered information on creating uncomplicated healthy habits that could easily be incorporated into a busy lifestyle or one that is on a budget.  My goal was to provide a resource to encourage a focus on overall health and well-being, making sure individuals gained healthy habits, and not just focused on losing weight.  The guidebook is divided into six sections and includes the latest information available to start the journey and also includes a lot of recipes and tips.

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

I wanted to make sure my guidebook was available to a variety of people, so I set it up as a PDF and as a website. I sent flyers and business cards to doctors, nutritionists, hospitals, food banks, and even my school district and school board and asked that they pass them out to their patients, clients, and students.  I also promoted it on social media.  I requested feedback and suggestions and enabled web analytics to track how many people were looking at and using the information.  I made sure that the information presented was clear, concise, easy to use, and was from trusted sources and had been reviewed by nutritionists so that anyone using the information would find benefit.

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

By making sure the guidebook was broadly available I was able to receive feedback from multiple contacts. The fact that my guidebook is on the web and on social media will help sustain it and encourage it’s use.  I am also updating the content based on the feedback I’m receiving and, as part of my International Baccalaureate work in high school, I’m continuing to add information to provide even more context around the issue like the correlation between early education and a healthy lifestyle.

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

As part of my efforts to promote the guidebook, I contacted the agencies whose information I had used for parts of my project. Several got back to me and, based on web analytics I can see that others, like the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland reviewed my work.

What did you learn about yourself?

Starting my Gold Award prior to the pandemic and ending it during the virus crisis taught me to be flexible, resourceful, open-minded, and how to truly be a leader. I had to revise my plans multiple times in order to change with the conditions we were all facing.  Many of the ideas I had needed to be revised after I was well into the project and my leadership skills were tested by having to ask for resources and assistance virtually.  My team was made up of health and nutrition specialists at doctor’s offices and schools who had their own issues with the virus. So, I had to make sure that my project didn’t impact the work that they were doing, with this in mind I kept moving forward which really allowed me to develop as a leader and helped me feel comfortable asking for help and directing people older than me.  I’m very proud of my finished product and am looking forward to continued feedback from people who use it.

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

The Gold Award allowed me to grow in project management, leadership, and creative problem solving, as well as letting me gain in depth knowledge on a subject that was impactful to my family and my community. I feel that being able to refine these skills while I’m in high school will help me in college and my career where I’ll often be asked to do research, lead groups, and make sure I’m heard in professional groups.

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 a Daisy in Kindergarten. I’ve earned my Bronze and Silver Awards and have been looking forward to doing a large, impactful project where I was the leader.  Girl Scouts has prepared me for the Gold Award by allowing me to plan, lead, and budget for meetings, badge requirements, service projects, and even parts of trips we took as a troop.  The Gold Award was a way for me to take all my Girl Scout experiences and use them to develop something that will continue to benefit the community.  I am very glad I chose to complete it and am proud when I tell people that I have earned the award.

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

The Gold Award definitely developed my leadership skills – working with, directing, and managing a group of professional adults which was challenging and rewarding and allowed me to realize that I am very capable of managing a team. Earning the Gold Award also helped me be a go-getter – from developing a concept to dealing with a pandemic and having to redo and revise the project as a result – I was constantly working to make sure my project was able to move forward and that I could finish it.  As a risk-taker, I tackled a subject that I had a very personal connection to but I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about.  I knew I wanted to make something that would be helping people get healthier and I took a risk that I would be able to create something that would inspire and motivate my audience.  Finally, I also got to be an innovator by sampling recipes, working with nutritionists to revise them, and thinking up tips and tricks to help people with little free time to eat healthy and take a chance on trying and experimenting with home cooking.  I feel the Gold Award definitely helped me become a well-rounded G.I.R.L.

**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.

2021 Virtual Racing Derby Coming Your Way

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Don’t forget to register for the upcoming virtual racing derby if you plan to participate. Learn more and register now: https://my.cheddarup.com/c/girl-scouts-racing-derby-2021 

If you want a patch, you will need to register by December 15, 2020. Also, it will be helpful for us in deciding what trophies we need to purchase and if any levels are going to be combined.

You will have the ability to sign up for a time slot for drop off for Friday night and approximate running times will be given for levels after we either close registration OR we fill up. We can’t calculate that now as we still have space. But, don’t worry– you will get run times!

Thanks for sharing with your girls!

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: Adopt-a-Grandparent Program

Submitted by Emily Sage

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Part of Troop 71020 has created an Adopt-a-Grandparent Program for their Silver Award Project. The program is open to all levels, Daisy – Ambassador. Please see this Google form for information and to sign up for the program. Adoption matches will be made by December 1, 2020 and a wait list will be created if necessary. We hope you will participate ,so we can match all of the residents with a Girl Scout! Thank You!

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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Beatrice Lin, Longmont, “Bringing Global to Girls”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

In a world that is rapidly changing and developing, it can sometimes be hard to remember how we connect to other girls — especially the ones that aren’t in our immediate presence. At a young age, it is difficult to develop a sense of connection to people halfway across the world, simply because they aren’t in our local community. As a result, younger children may lack empathy and compassion for others, especially around the world. To address this, I decided to create a curriculum for Daisies and Brownies (girls from kindergarten through second grade) called “Bringing Global to Girls” (BGtG). This workshop aims to help Daisies and Brownies develop a sense of connection to the rest of the world. Through this workshop, Daisies and Brownies learned new things about themselves and things about themselves that can connect them to others. Many of the activities included were inspired and adapted from activities described in Girl Scout resources and handbooks, with publications ranging from 1926 all the way up to last year, 2019. By mixing the ideas of the past with the current knowledge and resources of today, we can gain new insight about ourselves and our Girl Scout and Girl Guide sisters around the world.

I personally ran two workshops with younger girls in Colorado over Zoom. As well as this, I ran a “how-to”workshop for older girls and leaders in Colorado. By doing this, I promoted “global thinking” to all levels in GSCO.

Access the handbook HERE!

Purchase the patch HERE!

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

When I ran my workshops, I asked my target audience — Daisies and Brownies  — to complete a “KWL Chart” (Know, Want to Know, and Learned) at the beginning and end of each session. Using this tool, I was able to survey what my audience knew and how much they grew throughout the workshop. My curriculum will continue to promote global thinking and citizenship through the translations of my handbook into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, its publication on the GSCO website, and the custom patch created for this project.

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

As mentioned earlier, my handbook is published on the GSCO website, as well as the translations into Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Access the handbook HERE!

The curriculum is promoted in the GSCO Retail Shop along with the custom patch, and it will be available for anyone to purchase and participate in. Purchase the patch HERE!

A copy of my handbook and patch will be at GSCO History Center, and will be taken care of for years to come. Since I ran a “how-to” workshop for older girls and leaders, those who participated will run workshops with their own troops or groups, which will help spread the word about BGtG. As a delegate of the GSCO Global Roundtable, I shared my handbook with the Bangladesh Global Roundtable delegation, and am continuing to find other contacts for Girl Scouts/Girl Guides around the world. In order to branch out of the Girl Scout loop, I also presented about my project alongside GSCO CEO Leanna Clark to the Longmont Rotary Club.

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

As mentioned before, my curriculum is translated into multiple languages. This will help my curriculum become more accessible to girls and leaders around the nation and world. Those who participate in the “Bringing Global to Girls” workshop may also be inspired to take action in their global and local communities to promote global thinking. Lastly, sharing my handbook with other Girl Scouts/Girl Guides around the world, such as the Girl Guides in Bangladesh, is instrumental to the global aspect of my project

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about myself during this process, but most importantly, I learned that I’m capable of more than I thought. My project’s impact and accomplishments reached far beyond what I had envisioned at first. These successes have shown me the importance of a team and communication, how to lead my team towards my desired results, and how to implement feedback and mix it with my own opinions. Along with this, my project took a lot of perseverance and effort, but I’m glad that I chose something I care about, which made all of my efforts worth it. 

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

Since I have learned so much by leading the BGtG team, I feel prepared to take on any leadership opportunities in my future. Although my future projects may not look as similar to BGtG, the fundamental leadership skills and values that I developed during this process make me feel like I’m ready for anything. 

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

Like many, I started Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a Daisy, and selling cookies was the biggest initiative I took part in. Progressing through elementary and middle school, the Bronze and Silver Awards I earned built the foundation and skills that I needed to earn my Gold Award. These experiences prepared me to take on the challenge to “make the world a better place.” The outcome of my project far exceeded my expectations, and this experience was much more valuable than I had envisioned. This process was incredibly rewarding and insightful, and I’ll never forget it.

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

After a global pandemic threw a wrench in my initial plans, I became an innovator. Rather than hosting my workshops in person and with local troops, I was forced to rethink and reformat my curriculum to fit into a virtual setting. I was far out of my comfort zone, but after lots of discussion and work with my team, I was able to successfully run multiple workshops online. As well as this, I created a virtual workshop mini-handbook to give others guidance on how to bring global to girls virtually. 

**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.

Silver Award Project: Teen Alcohol Awareness and Prevention

Submitted by Tilley R-K

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

Before the lockdowns and school closures, I went to several classrooms and talked to eighth graders about alcohol awareness and prevention. My sister and father have been alcoholics for many years and not only does that affect them, but our family as well. I want to help others be aware of signs, so they can get help and reach out when they need it. I created a presentation about what alcoholism is and how to get help, as well as shared my stories.

As a Girl Scout, we learn to help the community and make the world a better place. Many people don’t know the risks of alcohol, but many hear how fun it is to drink. While doing the project, I learned a lot about myself and others. Many people around me have been affected by alcohol. Before I knew much about it, I never knew where to get help for myself, as well as my sister. Now, as I’m still learning more about alcoholism, I’m able to get help from school counselors, and some places around town. They’re all great places if you need it, and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.

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.

Brownie Troop 77918 Honors Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Longmont Library

 

Submitted by Krista Allard

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

Girl Scout Troop 77918 is so excited to share their collaborative mural honoring the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Longmont Library! Our Brownies earned their Painting badge by painting a nature scene with found items, talking about how paint colors can reflect their moods, and each Girl Scout painting two sections of this collaborative mural.

The Brownie mural was then presented to our whole troop while working on the Democracy badge on Election Night. During this meeting, we learned about the branches of our government, read the book “Grace for President” by Kelly DiPucchio, voted on our next badges to be completed, and learned about all the amazing things that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg accomplished for our country.

Take a walk past the Longmont Library to see our mural on the East Side of the Building!

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.

Meadow Mountain Ranch Nature Trail and Patch Program: NOW OPEN for Family Reservations

The Meadow Mountain Ranch Nature Trail is now open for Girl Scout families to book for a day hike on the nature trail or the other trails on the property!

The Nature Tail at Meadow Mountain Ranch is a 1.25 mile one-way trail with 21 stops along the way. The trail winds through aspen grove forests and along the north lateral moraine up to the top of Vista Spur with its nearly circular panoramas of high mountain peaks. Trail-goers experience history, geology, biology, math, and science while following along with activity guides with unique lessons or games specific to each stop on the trail. There are four activities guides and accompanying patches for each season: fall, winter, spring, and summer. You will learn about plants, flowers, animals, rocks, trees – all with a view!

The Nature Trail at MMR is currently only available to book on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays for a day only hike between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Up to two groups can book per day. All members of the group must have either a current Girl Scout membership or additional insurance for the non-members in the group must be purchased for the day by emailing insurance@gscolorado.org.

Currently due to Colorado Department of Health limits on personal gatherings, these reservations are only available to families or no more than two households. Read more about GSCO COVID–19 guidelines for in-person activities here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/who-we-are/working-together-to-keep-our-community-healthy.html

Ready to book? Read all about the Nature Trail patch program and how to reserve here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/dam/girlscoutsofcolorado/documents/MMR%20Nature%20Trail%20Flyer.pdf

Questions? Email property.reservations@gscolorado.org.

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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Isabella Mendoza, Longmont, “Increasing Bee Habitats”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I designed a cheap and sustainable habitat for solitary bees to lay eggs in and distributed more than 350 habitats around Colorado and the world. I hosted an event in my community where participants could make their own habitats with their unique designs, and made a how-to video that is posted on YouTube so anyone who is interested in making a habitat can watch it and follow along. I also sent 29 bee boxes to 11 other states in the United States and more than 30 bee boxes to four other countries. Participants in the event and those who watched the video also got knowledge about the importance of solitary bees and other ways they can help pollinators.

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

I measured the impact of my project by counting how many habitats were distributed at events or through shipping. I distributed 305 bee habitats in Colorado, and an additional 62 in other states in the United States and in countries around the world.

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

My project is sustained partly by the design of the habitat itself. Leafcutter bees, a type of solitary bee, will reuse habitats year after year to lay their eggs. Additionally, the bee boxes I distributed are wrapped in duct tape to weather proof them. A teacher at my former high school has also committed to including the bee habitats as an end-of-the-year craft, so high school students will be able to make them year after year.

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

My project’s global and national connections are the 62 bee habitats I sent around the United States and the world. Every livable continent has solitary bees that can use my bee box! Additionally, I posted a how-to video on YouTube that can be viewed from anywhere around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

One major thing I learned is that I am an organizational person. I enjoyed making spreadsheets and keeping track of information, a skill that has since served me in both my academic and personal lives. I also learned that I am capable of being a leader in general. I was able to motivate others and successfully lead a team through an event, and I was able to distribute hundreds of bee boxes not only in my community but around the world. If I were not a leader, I would not have been able to make the impact that I did.

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

Earning the Gold Award has already impacted my future by giving me more confidence to take action about the things that matter to me. It will further impact my future by showing scholarships and companies that I am a leader, capable of making real change.

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

Earning the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I have been a part of Girl Scouts since I was in first grade. I grew up learning life skills with Girl Scouts, and it was important to me that I had something tangible to show for it. The Gold Award further strengthened skills I had been practicing, such as communicating with a team and managing a project, which was the perfect closer to my career as a Girl Scout.

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 to become an innovator and a leader. I designed and prototyped my bee habitat, taking into consideration what would be helpful for a bee and what accessible items were, which made me a better innovator. I practiced many leadership skills as well, especially communication, but also project management, confidence, and problem solving.

**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.

Three Cheers for Animals: Daisy Journey Event

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Daisies, mark your calendars! Troop 70720 is hosting a Zoom Journey in a Day event and we hope to see you there! The plan is to host three events: one in January, one in March, and one in April. While it will look a little different than our past in-person events, we hope it is still going to be a great time and valuable to those who attend. Register here: https://my.cheddarup.com/c/daisy-journey-in-a-day-63534

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.