Tag Archives: Northern & Northeastern CO

Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Ayers

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jennifer Ayers of Johnstown in the Northern & Northeastern CO region started as a troop leader, but quickly became a product program volunteer as well. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jennifer 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?

When we first moved to Colorado from California a few years ago, my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts and had asked me to be her leader. Knowing it would be beneficial to meeting people in our new community, I registered, but wasn’t able to get a troop formed right away, so she ended up joining a local multi-level troop. The next year, they needed someone to lead the Brownies and I gladly volunteered! Now, that both of my daughters are in Girl Scouts, I love being involved in their troop and doing something with them, instead of watching from the sidelines. I know that Girl Scouts has helped my family find an amazing group of people and I LOVE seeing these girls outside of Girl Scout activities and getting the biggest and warmest hugs! 

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

I started volunteering as a troop leader and fall product program manager. This year, I added the role of cookie program manager and am becoming a service unit manager. We have a multi-level troop ranging from Daisies to Seniors. Although I’m officially leading the Brownies, our leadership team works well together and we all help each other out wherever needed. It is definitely a team effort to make sure we are helping our girls develop their G.I.R.L. skills.

I wasn’t sure where to start as a leader and the flexibility of the Girl Scout Program was kind of intimidating to me, so the volunteer online and in-person training summits have been a huge help. Networking with other leaders has been reassuring and inspiring on how to lead meetings and get ideas for activities so the girls can gain a lot from their time with Girl Scouts.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? 

The girls have taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Our troop is full of incredible girls from all different backgrounds with different interests. It’s really been wonderful trying to make sure each girl is getting her own experience, helping them earn all of the badges that they want, and keeping things fun and character building. I have definitely had to learn to let them lead a lot more. Girl-led isn’t something that I excel at because I tend to take charge and over plan, but I am working on stepping back a bit and letting the girls have more opportunities to figure things out for themselves. 

These girls have also taught me the importance of getting outside my comfort zone and having some fun. I’m not exactly the most adventurous person, but leading our girls is pushing me to be a better version of myself and to just try new things. I am excited to see where our troop takes us as they get older! 

What do you hope girls have learned from you? 

As a troop leader, I really love being able to devote my time and energy into helping our girls grow and succeed, not only by earning badges and awards, but also as a valuable member of our community. I hope they have learned that they are fully capable of making the world a better place, no matter what their age is.

I also hope they have learned the Girl Scout Promise and Law is not just something they pledge at the beginning of our meetings and is something that really applies to our daily lives through our actions.

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

Volunteering has definitely helped me become a G.I.R.L. These girls deserve the best and I absolutely do not want to let any of them down so I have had to push through my own insecurities and hesitations and support our girls wherever I can. Life certainly has been a lot more fun and fulfilling because of volunteering with Girl Scouts and encouraging our troop to be more G.I.R.L. strong!

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

Working to earn the “Primitive Camper” badge

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

We got the girls together outdoors to start working on the “Primitive Camper” badge. The girls learned about plants that could be edible in the wild and also primitive shelter building. They built two very different structures based off what they could find around them. They had an amazing time and are talking about more they want to do outdoors!

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

Learning about cars

Submitted by Sharon Manning

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

Troop 73392 recently earned their Senior level “Car Care” badge with the help of Bowen Street Garage in Longmont. The girls learned about the different fluids used in a car, belts, engines, and how to check and add fluids, if necessary. The girls also learned about various motors, parts of the motor, and what happens if you don’t maintain appropriate fluid levels. Andreas, the owner of Bowen Street Garage, showed the troop the damage caused by low oil levels with an engine he was in the process of repairing as a result of low oil in the engine. But, the favorite part of the evening was learning how to change a tire and actually doing it!

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

Troop 73061 honors Thompson Valley EMS

Submitted by Lisa Zubia

Northern & Northeastern CO

Loveland

Troop 73061 picked the Thompson Valley EMS for our Hometown Hero because they were a great help to our leader’s family, when he passed away in December.

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

Making the Robots badge easy for leaders and fun for girls

Submitted by Bonnie Bell

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Troop 76059 recently completed the Programming Robots badge without actually using a computer. As a software engineer, I think the more interesting part of programming is figuring out how to instruct a robot to do a job rather than the specific mechanics of any one language. I printed out some basic maze diagrams, and reproduced them on a sheet using painters tape for the lines, so that we could have a quick set-up and take down for our meetings. At the meeting, we had a discussion about robots, then the girls proceeded to the programming part. First, they solved the maze themselves. Then, they wrote a “program” of instructions for a robot to complete the maze. Our programming language had three instructions: go forward, turn right, and turn left. Next, they paired up and each got a chance to be the robot and execute a friend’s program. If the friend was able to follow the program and get out of the maze, they were done. If not, they went back and reworked their program. Some of the girls needed just one more pass, some of them needed to finally work through the program in real time (like you would using a debugger). All of them eventually got their robots through the maze. They have consistently listed the robot activity as one of their favorite things for the year.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Jen Rotar

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jen Rotar of Berthoud in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is a troop leader and for the past four years has coordinated the Scouting for Food event. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jen 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? 

My daughter wanted her Girl Scout experience to include hiking, camping, and outdoor adventures – all stuff that I love to do. We decided the best way to make that happen was to start our own troop and recruit some friends. We quickly grew from one to six girls in the first year, and are now up to 13, and I have loved every minute of it.

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

I’m started as a clueless co-leader when my daughter was a Daisy – basically a warm body to meet the adult-to-girl ration. From there, I’ve grown to troop leader for Troop 70700 with 11 Cadettes and two Juniors.  I’m the note-taker for the Berthoud Service Unit’s monthly meetings. I’ve been a Kiwa Day Camp unit leader for the past two years and helped out with their website. I also organize Scouting for Food in Berthoud, a huge joint effort between all the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts in our town. I enjoy helping out with other service unit fun stuff as needed. And, I’m looking forward to becoming a Girl Scout trainer for other leaders at some point.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? 

Patience, for sure. You can’t survive cookie season without it.

Humor. My sense of humor has increased proportionately with each new girl added to my troop. 

Communication. You can’t over-communicate with parents, emails, texts, Facebook, phone calls – the key to our successful events is making sure the parents get the message! 

But, my biggest lesson has been to embrace the “girl-led” philosophy. I’ve learned that being a troop leader is not about my vision for what the troop is doing. It’s all about the girls’ vision. As an adult, it’s easy for me to plan things, but it’s harder to step back and let the girls plan, especially when I have doubts about how their plans are going to work. I definitely give them suggestions and guidance, but I’ve learned that letting the girls succeed, or fail and learn from their experience, with their own ideas, is much more exciting and fun than mapping out every step for them.  

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that they have learned to TRY ANYTHING and to not fear new experiences or failure. I hope they have learned some camping skills, and that “leave it better” is ingrained in their brains whether they are in a park, campground, on a hiking trail, or even a meeting room. I hope they have all built confidence in themselves with every new adventure they take with our troop.

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

I’m a go-getter in that I’m always on the lookout for ideas that my girls might like to try, and I’m willing to spend the time and make the effort it its something the girls are passionate about. I’m an innovator in that I’m not afraid to “wing it” when it comes to creative and spontaneous ideas from the girls. Starting a new troop was a big risk, but it has worked out great and I’m so glad to be here. And being a leader for these girls (guiding them, facilitating their ideas, following along on their adventures, and making sure no one is injured) has been a wonderful experience. 

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

281 packages of cookies delivered to Hometown Heroes

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Thank you Fort Collins for supporting our Girl Acout troop and their Hometown Hero! Thanks to you 281 packages of cookies were delivered to the Fort Collins Mission to help give some goodies to our local homeless population. While we were dropping off the cookies, the girls saw a man and his son waiting in line for food. Homelessness can impact anyone and we were thankful for the opportunity to give to those less fortunate in our local community.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Toni Rath

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Toni Rath of Berthoud in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is  a troop leader, service unit manager, service unit cookie manager, and member of GSCO’s Membership Connection Committee.  She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Toni 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?

My husband is retired Air Force so volunteering was just what we do as a family. My girls wanted to join Girl Scouts and the troop needed a leader so I said “Sure, why not!”

The girls were young so they would have no idea that I didn’t know at the time (or anytime we do something new!) what I was doing as long as we had fun.

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

This list keeps getting longer.. troop leader, service unit manager, PA/VIT girl trainer, service unit cookie manager and trainer, day camp unit leader, and I just started on MCC.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

WOW, I have learned A LOT!!  When doing a badge or a patch with the girls, I learn more about them and how much I actually didn’t know about the topic of the badge. I think the girls teach me more than anything. They show me a new perspective and different ways something can be accomplished.  As a service unit manager, I have learned how important each and every volunteer in our area is, no matter how big or small their roll is. Each comes with a  gift or expertise that our girls can really learn from. I have also learned how important it is to know my fellow service unit managers in other areas to get troop ideas, information and support and hopefully able to do the same for them.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls have learned to ask more questions of each other and of themselves and really listen to better know those around them, and know themselves. Activities really rule their lives these days and it is important to really listen and reflect on what is important to them. I also hope that they have learned how to be encouraging. A kind word and the ability to notice when someone has made the right choice can go a long way! They need to know if I am willing to be patient with them and go down the rabbit hole to learn to recover from a mistake, as they get older, they can do the same for themselves and their peers.

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

Well, those cookies aren’t going to walk to a booth and sell themselves! Ok, maybe they will as long as someone gets them there.. As the girls in our troop get older, it seems the push to get them to go and get gets harder. I have to model that for them.  If I want them to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and a leader, I have to do the same. They push me to at least try something new, make something better, and ask others to join me on my crazy journey. I can’t ask them to do something if I am not willing to do the same.

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

 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Jaden Scott, Fort Collins, “Get Up and Dance”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Through the Before and After School Enrichment program in Northern Colorado, also known as BASE Camp, I taught dance classes to 230 kids over the course of a year and made a program where dancers in the area can volunteer, if they are over 15-years-old, to teach dance to kids at elementary schools. My goal was to get kids physically moving where they may not have had the opportunity to do so, while sharing my passion for dance. I also wanted to inspire others my age to teach dance and inspire children as well.

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

I measured my impact in the way the children responded to me being there and what they did following my time with them. Each time I went to teach, I could see the kids’ faces light up and get really excited to start dancing. Two girls from one of the schools I taught ended up dancing my choreography at the BASE Camp Family Fun Fair while wearing the “Get Up and Dance” t-shirts I gave out to the students. During spring break, I taught a few of the same children twice and the second time they saw me, they immediately recognized me and got extremely excited. The Group Leaders from each school where I taught, provided me with feedback on how much the kids enjoyed it.

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

This project is sustainable because it is a program that dancers will be able to volunteer through for years to come. By having more and more volunteers each year, all of the BASE Camp students will get more of the exercise they need and the enjoyment of dance.

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

After finishing this project, I moved to New Hampshire and was able to continue teaching dance to kids in an after school program. I have also shared my story on Facebook with a worldwide group of dancers in hopes of inspiring more to follow my path.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I have all of the qualities to become a great teacher and can be an inspiration to the younger generation. When I started teaching at the first school, I was shy and not very confident while teaching, but when it came time to teach at the last school, my confidence grew and I became much more comfortable in front of all the kids.

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

It will impact my future because it is something I can look back on and be proud of as a self-accomplishment. To be able to impact this many kids and more to come in the future, all on my own, is something not many people can say at my age.

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

The Gold Award for me has always been a finish line towards the end of someone’s Girl Scout career and a beacon to look to. By having this goal right from the start, now achieving it feels like you’ve made it to the top and have finished it.  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a risk-taker and a leader. I was shy and not very confident in myself when I first started teaching, but now I have become a teacher for my dance club at my high school as well as helped the theater director at school teach the dance choreography for the spring play.  I feel more comfortable and confident about it each time I teach. I would’ve never imagined that I would teach this many kids, become a source of inspiration at my age, and have taken this kind of risk before this 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

Outdoor Skills Days

Submitted by Theresa Szczurek

Northern & Northeastern CO

Boulder

Senior/Ambassador Troop 70007 offers Outdoor Skills Days to Colorado Girl Scouts who are Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes each year to prepare younger Girl Scouts for camping and other outdoor activities.

2018 Skills Days will be offered on the following dates:

Regular Day Camp

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Where: Boulder Valley Church of Christ, 270 76th Street, Boulder, CO 80303

When: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 28

Where: Heart Of Longmont Church, 350 11th Avenue, Longmont, CO 80501

When: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Advanced Day Camp

Saturday, April 21

Where: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 3690 East 128th Avenue, Thornton, CO 80241

When: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Hailed as a fun, hands-on, all day event, Outdoor Skills Days are back by popular demand! Run by experienced Senior/Ambassador Troop 70007 from Boulder, this camp for first graders and older includes a sample of outdoor skills to learn and improve including: knife use, knots, compass and orienteering, fire building, campsite set-up, and first aid.  These skills days will prepare young girls for their first camping experience, teaching them many of the necessary skills. All skills are taught at each skills day so girls only need to attend one of the three skills days offered. Learn more, including how to register: https://sites.google.com/site/gsoutdoorskillsdayscolorado/

2018 Outdoor Skills Day Camps Flyer – revised

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