Tag Archives: Northern & Northeastern CO

Adventures of a globetrotting Girl Scout: Inspirations for traveling abroad  

Submitted by Anna B., 2017 “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship  winner

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Hi! I go by my camp name Simba. I have been a Girl Scout for 18 years since I joined as a Brownie. Being a Girl Scout has given me the chance to go to camp, cultivate outdoor skills, and travel abroad. I actually really discovered my love of traveling through Girl Scouting. Since that first amazing trip with my troop to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilmanjaro, I have been finding ways to see the world. Luckily, Girl Scouts as a part of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) has access to the to their very own world centres. As a beneficiary of the “Look Wider” International Travel Scholarship, my most recent trip was to Sangam World Centre in Pune, India.  For four months, I was the program/marketing and communications intern. I highly recommend traveling through Girl Scouts, with your troop, or as an individual to the world centres or elsewhere and here’s why:

  1. It’s is totally possible to travel half way around the world (or farther)!

It is hard work to raise the money to go on even small trips abroad, but don’t forget about cookie sales! It took me four years to save up for my first trip. With the help of the “Look Wider” scholarship as well as receiving a travel stipend from WAGGGS for being an intern/volunteer, this trip to India was totally funded! The world centers have many scholarships available for their programs, so don’t forget to ask about them when doing your research.

  1. The challenge is worth it.

Stepping outside your comfort zone is hard and for most people traveling to India, a culture that is so different to ours in America, it is outside their comfort zone.  However, it is so rewarding when you learn to navigate that cultural experience and guide guests through it. I got to lead groups on tours of Laxmi Road, an older part of Pune. The first time I successfully guided a group through the markets and streets (without getting lost), did not lose anyone in the crowd of the line bazaar, and got on the right busses to get back to Sangam, I felt very gratified. It doesn’t sound too hard, but when you don’t speak the same language as those around you and can’t read the street signs, there is definitely an added challenge.

  1. Meeting Girl Guides and Scouts from all over the world

I was so inspired to met Guides and Scouts that truly dedicate themselves to WAGGGS and making the world a better place. A friend that I met at Sangam from Sweden will be on the Swedish delegation for Roverway and the WAGGGS World Conference. I met a Guide from Albania, which is not yet part of WAGGGS, who was sent as an ambassador to learn more about WAGGGS as they work on applying for membership. Living with me at Sangam, there where people from the UK, Canada, Rwanda, Belguim, Australia, Sweden, Senegal, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan and South Africa. There is also an incredible team of local staff at Sangam that looked out for us, answered all our questions and made us incredible food!

  1. The chance to build and work on professional and leadership skills

While at Sangam I was the program/marketing and communications intern. My background is in program for summer camp, but I knew nothing about marketing and communications. I can now make videos for promotion, use social media to update our fans about the goings on at Sangam, and use other creative platforms to tell people about upcoming events. I definitely saw participants gain leadership skills in the short times that they were at Sangam thorough working as a team on planning and delivering programs for Sangam’s community partners. There is always something to learn.

  1. Building confidence

I was really impressed with the volunteers I met when I first arrived at Sangam.  How easily they negotiated getting a rickshaw and delivered  Sangam programs to participants! I found out later that they were both shy and nervous when they first started. I never would have guessed from how confident I saw them. I also saw many of our guests gain the confidence to venture out on their own after being helped with how to get the bus or a rickshaw!

  1. The opportunity to join your global Girl Scouting family

Many people where surprised when I told them I would be in India for four months, but I knew that I was going to a new home. Having volunteered at Pax Lodge (London), another of the world centres, I already had a family all over the world, some of whom I have visited. Sangam was no different.  Everyone was so generous and inviting. Many offered up their homes after having know me for only a few days. I can’t wait to continue to travel by visiting my guiding friends.

  1. Earn your Sangam When We Shine challenge badge!

I have never met a Guide or Scout who doesn’t love a good badge. At Sangam, it was so fun to swap badges and see how unique and creative that badges from other places where. I used them to decorate my room at Sangam and remind me of the many groups of people I got to share memories with.

  1. Working side by side with Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world to make the world a better place for everyone

Sisterhood at Sangam is not just between Scouts and Guides, but strives to include all women and girls everywhere. Working with Sangam’s community partners we established a wider community of women. As a volunteer, I loved taking Sangam participants to work with the community partners, the enthusiasm with which they planned their activities and after a slight hesitation, jump right in to teaching them. A group of girls from Malaysia were a bit wary when they learned they would mostly be working with boys to do some painting and gardening at a school. By the end of the day everyone was laughing and taking silly selfies together!

  1. The possibility to celebrate Girl Guiding and Scouting traditions

I happened to be at Sangam for World Thinking Day! The Baraht Scouts and Guides of India hosted us for a ceremony in the morning involving lots of songs and games. We planted a tree in honor of this year’s WTD theme, GROW! In the evening we connected with people all over the world through live streaming our ceremony on Facebook. It was so special to know that so many groups were celebrating WTD with us and thinking about us. We were thinking about them!

  1. You may even get to go to a wedding!

A staff member at Sangam got married while I was there and the Sangam family was invited to go to the turmeric ceremony before the wedding. It was so much fun to celebrate and experience this unique tradition and cover each other in turmeric! If one of your friends are getting married, you should recommend them these rose gold wedding rings.

  1. Trying new things

You won’t know if you like it until you try it! Whether your challenge is trying new foods, going for a hike or abseiling off a tower, these opportunities abound.

  1. Learning new things about the world

Here are a couple of things I learned: In India, a queue looks more like a crowd. Europe doesn’t have Mexican food and therefore many Europeans haven’t had a quesadilla before. Canadians sometimes say things like sauce me a pen and, eat spicy beans and fuzzy peaches.

  1. Visiting world heritage sites

In my experience, they are better in person! I had a chance to travel some outside of Pune.  The Taj Mahal!

  1. And friends that you will have for the rest of your life

I miss them! Luckily we have reunion planed for 2019!

Hopefully you now feel inspired to travel. I am happy to help out. I can come talk to your troop about planning a trip abroad or answer questions about traveling to a world centre.

***

“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 atgirlscoutsofcolorado.org/global-girl-scouting.

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Ashlin Hult, Niwot, “Positive reflections”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue my project addressed was positive body image for middle-school aged girls. I noticed how positive body image was an under looked issue and I decided to make that the topic of my Gold Award. To address this issue, I created a pamphlet and distributed it to middle school girls with a presentation I also created. The media is also a possible root cause of this issue, so I also formed an Instagram account named GS_Positive_Reflections within my project.  Overall, I hoped to raise awareness and increase self-esteem. I made an impact on anyone who received a pamphlet and I wanted to create a long-lasting impact on whoever this project touched.

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

I may not see the direct results of this project in the next year, but I believe that this pamphlet gives my target audience tools to help deal with body image issues in the future. My presentation gave them and an eye-opening experience that they will be able to remember for a long time.  I will know this project is successful if the organizations I reached out to comment on how it helped the target audience and if they ask for more of my pamphlets. If someone who participated in one of my presentations gains more self-confidence that impacts the rest of their lives, then this project will be a success.

Overall, I contacted 12 different organizations, distributed 150 copies of my pamphlets among five of those organizations, made two presentations directly to girls at a local middle school, and have over 70 followers on my Instagram account

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

I sustained my project by giving the organizations more pamphlets as well as digital copy of my pamphlet. They agreed to print out more pamphlets and distribute them when needed. I continue to post messages on my social media account too.

My goal is that someone or a group of people will see my project and try to make a bigger impact out of it. I hope others might join my project and continue to spread the word.  Ideally, counselors and school teachers will talk more often about positive body image in classroom discussions. Another idea is that girl groups could form that take my topic and create more resources for teenage girls.

I believe that my project will still be relevant in years to come and whoever participated in it will remember what I said. Those who were a part of my project now know where to find resources if they, themselves, or someone else they know struggles with positive body image issues.

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

Low self-esteem due to body image happens in our society throughout the whole world. I have noticed that many people feel passionate about this topic and feel that it is under looked as well. This is not just something that happens to middle-school aged girls, but is seen across all the age groups. I used an array of resources from all over and found that this problem is consistent in all areas.

The media can cause people to feel bad because photos can be photoshopped and show an unrealistic image. Some people have tried to fix how we see the images of celebrities, showing how celebrity photos can be fake.

I also contacted 12 organization across the country, from Colorado to California, to distribute my pamphlet and five of those 12 organizations are currently distributing it.

What did you learn about yourself?

I developed better communication skills through practice and gaining confidence. I practiced use of formal interviewing and honed my skills as a presenter. I can use technology more efficiently to reach out to people; I was able to use e-mail to correspond more fluidly.

I learned to better schedule and plan my time to meet deadlines. I learned that I need to use my time more efficiently and to do tasks in a timely manner.

I am easily distracted and do my best work without interruptions. I must set up my workspace so I can focus.

I discovered what I need to do to work smarter, not harder and be more efficient.

I contacted other family members that would be interested in giving me support during my project and they offered me helpful advice.

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

The skills that have shown the most improvement include time-management, scheduling, and communication. This project gave me the opportunity to grow and flourish over the last two years. With my graduation from high school, I am now looking to the future. I am more confident with life skills that will help me with a job or any other type of work. I plan to go to college and these are essential skills for success. I picked up on lifelong skills throughout this project that I will definitely use in the future.

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

I feel that I have learned a lot through this project. I strived to become a better Girl Scout throughout the process and I now have improved on skills that I can use in the future. This project pushed me to use new skills and go outside my comfort zone.

I have improved as a person with these skills and am now ready for whatever the future throws at me. I will become a more successful adult because of this project. I will always be improving and work hard because this project has shown me how hard I can work to achieve a goal.

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

I challenged myself to be a go-getter by reaching out to interviewers and other people that can be used in my support system. Also, when I reached out to organizations, they seemed excited to use my pamphlet.

I used innovative tactics when developing my pamphlet. A pamphlet is something that I have never made before. When I started my project, I ran into a couple of road bumps before I found the correct program to use to create my pamphlet.

I have become more of a risk-taker through this project. I did things on my own that I have never done before, such as drive to organizations and explain what my project is. I improved my communication skills with practice which allowed me to be more comfortable and confident when making connections with others. I also developed skills building relationships through face-to-face interactions but also with e-mails and phone calls.

I became a leader through my project whenever I presented my pamphlet to a group of people. I felt the most successful aspect of my project was when I got to hand out pamphlets at actual organizations. I got to talk about my project and the adults helped me open up a nice discussion with the girls. Those at the presentation seemed intrigued. I have dropped off my pamphlets at four organizations as of right now.

**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

Girl Scout Day and Cheer Clinic with UNC Bears Football

Join us for our annual Girl Scout Day with the University of Northern Colorado Bears Football on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017! Cheer on the Bears as they take on the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds. All Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited. Girl Scouts are also invited to a pregame cheer clinic. Learn from Division 1 Cheerleaders and then join them to form a fan tunnel and perform a routine. All participating girls will receive a special cheer patch.

Come for the clinic, game, or make a day of it. The fun begins at 9:30 a.m. when the Pepsi Fan Zone opens. Stop by the Girl Scout tailgating area for fun activities. The Cheer Clinic begins at 11 a.m. and game kicks-off at 12:30 p.m. The Bears are playing at home in Greeley at Nottingham Field.

Cost is $7/person for a general admission ticket. Tickets can be purchased at www.uncbears.com/tickets with the promo code GIRLSCOUT17. Questions? Please contact UNC Athletics Box Office at 970-351-4849. We hope to see you there!

Girl Scouts learn about forensics

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Troop 720 went to the forensics lab at the local sheriff’s department and got to hear and see some of how it all works. It was a very cool and inspirational trip and definitely sounds like a very neat career.

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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Rose Goodman, Boulder, “Protecting the bees”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Being from Boulder, I am someone who is very environmentally friendly, and a tree hugger at heart. Therefore, for my Gold Award project, I wanted to address an environmental issue. I decided to go with the problem of the bee population declining. For my Gold Award project, I created a lesson plan to fit the common core curriculum of second grade. This was important because I made my lesson plan accessible to teachers via the internet, and because it fits the common core standards, it is easier for teachers to use.  I then presented my own PowerPoint presentation, that was based off of my lesson plan, to a few groups in the community to get my message across. My overall goal was to educate people about the importance of bees and how we can help them.

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

I measured my impact by asking the kids I presented to, at the end of my presentation, what they had learned from my presentation.  The kids responded with several answers such as “bees are not the same as wasps”, “the bee population is going down,” “we need to help save the bees,” “pesticides kill bees,” “planting plants helps bees.”  I also realized the impact I was making when one of the kids came up to me full of emotion, in tears, and said she was very sad about the bees and really wanted to help them. We use mississauga Mice removal sometimes, but this is a different thing, they can be very dangerous for the kids.

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

I have made sure that my project is sustainable.  First, Sammie Reynolds, a teacher at Mt. Saint Vincent in Denver, has promised to continue this lesson plan and committed to use it in the future.  Additionally, I made my lesson plan accessible online to teachers, by sharing my lesson plan and presentation with Kristin Reynolds who is putting it on the Earth Guardian website.  Hopefully, people other than Ms. Reynolds will access my lesson plan and use it in their classrooms.

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

Bees are not just a species that roam around in my town of Boulder. Bees are all over the world, and globally, bees are the number one pollinator. This problem affects the whole world.  My project starts in this little corner of the world in Boulder, but will longterm affect the whole world.  Also, by sharing my lesson plan with Ms. Reynolds, I am making my lesson plan accessible for teachers all over the nation.

What did you learn about yourself?

From my project, I have learned so much more about bees. I started with only basic knowledge about bees, and then began my research. I also learned how to work with people, and how to pick the correct people for my team.  I learned that sometimes certain people are a little more of procrastinators than I am, and they can be hard to work with. Additionally, I learned an extremely valuable skill: how to speak well in front of people.  All these skills will help me in my future in going to college, and then, hopefully, medical school.

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

This project not only opens up doors because it shows how dedicated I can be and  thus, people will hopefully be more likely to hire or accept me into a position, but this project also opens the door to presenting more often. It shows me that if I can accomplish my Gold Award,  then I can do any presentation.  It encourages me to feel more and more comfortable when collaborating with others and talking to a big group.

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 little Daisy. Throughout my Girl Scout career, I had been doing fun activities that involved learning and helping the community.  Each of these activities, however, were fabulous, I didn’t feel as though I, myself was making a difference.  I would work with a group of roughly 10-15 girls in completing an activity that my great troop leader had come up with for us do.  Yes, we earned badges and I felt accomplished with every badge, none of them made me feel as good as I felt when I completed my Gold Award.  I had not only felt that I had made a difference, but I had measured and proved that I actually had made a difference.  On my own, I came up with an idea, executed it, and made an impact.

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

My project made me a go-getter because although it took me over a year to complete my project, I kept with it and pushed until I succeeded.  I knew some girls that started their project, but never finished it.  I also had some times of self doubt, but I decided that I wanted to get my Gold Award, make a difference, and continue on.  I proved to myself that I had true dedication, along with leadership.  I learned how to be a leader and inspire others to take action.  Every kid I presented to showed great excitement in wanting to help the bees.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Grayson Thomas, Lyons, “STEM Mural”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) community. It is located in the Lyons Middle/Senior High School math classroom spanning 15’5” by 9’. It features Maryam Mirzakhani, Muhammad​ al-Khwarizmi, Alan Turing, Margaret Hamilton, Leonhard Euler, Albert Einstein, Shiing-Shen Chern, Annie Easley, and Srinivasa Ramanujan. These figures were carefully chosen based on their contributions and their backgrounds. Altogether, it includes men and women with Caucasian, African American, Asian-American, European, Middle-Eastern, Indian, heterosexual, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, and Jewish backgrounds. Additionally, I created a website, stemmural.weebly.com, about the mural featuring a research project on the figures of the mural for middle/high school students. The research project will be implemented in the school each year and can be accessed by other teachers worldwide. My goal was to inspire students in my community, not only to be more accepting in a globalized world, but also to be excited and interested in pursuing a career in STEM.

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

The volunteers who painted my mural with me have been the first to be impacted by the mural. A survey I took of them before working on the mural concluded that of the nine people to be painted only one was recognized by all six volunteers. After creating the mural, they agreed they had an acute understanding of each of the people, four out of the six even did research on their own about the figures on the mural they were interested in.

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

The mural will remain a permanent part of Lyons Middle/Senior High School and the local math teacher will use the accompanying research project annually. The website will allow for far-reaching sustainability. It can be accessed by any teacher as it is public, and used by students because of its classroom-friendly layout. The visual aspect of the mural along with its academic value will continue to inspire curiosity to those who encounter it.

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

Through the addition of the educational website the mural can reach people beyond the confines of Lyons to make a nationwide impact as more students can be inspired by the people on the mural and their accomplishments. In order to promote the project internationally, I will contact the president of the Outreach Society at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to give a presentation on the mural and using art for outreach.

What did you learn about yourself? 

My greatest self-revelation came from working with less artistically experienced volunteers. I had to learn that leaders need to use patience and encouragement when helping their volunteers. I grew to understand the importance of teaching, rather than telling.

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

Being so familiar with the subject matter of the mural really empowers me to take all the confidence I gained and be able to jump straight into projects. I am not afraid to take on big tasks, because I feel more qualified. In college I will be surrounded by new people and new professors, but with a goal in mind those people feel more approachable.

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

Growing up I had always heard numerous people saying they were an Eagle Scout, but scarcely ever heard of anyone receiving their Gold Award. I wanted to be a person who could tell younger kids that I had earned my Gold Award. Accomplishing this task through hard work and cooperation has been the best way to finish my time as a Girl Scout.

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

Completing the STEM mural taught me the value of hard work. I know now that if I want something I have to put myself out there and campaign for my goals. Becoming a go-getter through this project has made me confident in knowing I really can start more outreach projects on my own throughout the rest of my life, if I am willing to do the work it takes.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Katrina Stroud, Boulder, “Butterflies, bees, and me”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I designed activity booklets for kids on monarch butterflies and bumble bees. The activity booklet included color-in drawings of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and bumble bee, their anatomies, a maze, flowers, a list of ways you can help their populations grow, and a quiz on the back. In addition, I gave a presentation at six different summer camps on why monarch butterflies and bumble bees matter and why they are both endangered species.

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

At the end of each presentation, I asked the kids to take a quiz on the back of their activity booklet. In return, I gave the kids a Jolly Rancher or one of my “world famous high fives” after they had finished the quiz. I checked their quiz results one by one to go over it with the kids if they had gotten any questions wrong. All the kids scored an 80% or higher on my quiz!

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

Mario Padilla, my Gold Award project advisor and entomologist at the Butterfly Pavilion, will email the PDF file of the activity booklet to the parents of campers during the next camp cycle of the summer of 2018. He will also post the link to the activity booklet on the Butterfly Pavilion’s website. Ashley Young, an educational coordinator at the Gardens on Spring Creek, will print copies from the PDF file of the activity booklet. I gave a presentation at one of her summer camp programs and she is excited to continue giving the booklet out to visitors.

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

For my global link, I contacted a butterfly pavilion in British Columbia called the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. I have sent them an email, asking if they would be interested in having a PDF file of the activity booklet to give away in their gift shop. I haven’t heard back from them yet, but it feels good to know that I have tried to connect my project to others around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I enjoyed making the handmade activity booklets for kids, because I took a couple of drawing classes in high school. Giving the presentation was a bit of a struggle at first, because I was not used to teaching around kids, but I was always happy whenever a kid raised his/her hand to ask a question. Teaching around children was a lot easier than I thought it would have been, it just took some time getting comfortable.

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

My leadership skills will grow based on the self confidence that I have gained from this project and the ability to work on other independent projects in the future. One of the most crucial leadership skills that I learned from my project is that it is important to always keep track of the tasks that need to get done. Such as, remembering to contact different places to give my presentation, keeping track of the resources that I need to bring to the presentations, and keeping track of dates to fit in deadlines. Creating a schedule was probably the most important task in completing the Gold Award.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was like finishing up a final test to see what skills you have gained from your troop. Earning the Gold Award is mostly on your own because if you see a problem, go tackle it yourself. Why wait for someone else to do the work?

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 become a go-getter because there is nothing more satisfying than to tackle a problem and raise awareness in the community. Being a go-getter can make you into a better person because life is too short to stress over the little things and to hope that they will all disappear if you wish them to.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Kayleigh Limbach, Niwot, ” International Baccalaureate guidebook”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was creating a guidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academics at Niwot High School. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is a rigorous academic pathway that offers a lot of challenge to students, but sometimes the challenge is underestimated. I designed a questionnaire about the IB program for current students to complete, then used their responses to make a guidebook full of advice and reflections from these students. This information, I think, will be extremely helpful to incoming IB students. I know I would have liked to have it when I was an incoming student. My project can be viewed on my website here: https://sites.google.com/site/ibstudentguidebook

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

Given that my target audience is incoming IB students, I unfortunately won’t be able to see a measurable impact for about two years when they finish their IB courses. However, I did send out my guidebook to incoming IB students this year unofficially, and some responded saying the information was helpful and helped their decision in doing International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement programs.

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

My project is sustainable because it can be repeated by IB students in the future. Because the student input collected in the book is valuable to teachers, administrators, and especially incoming IB students, the repetition of the survey will help provide an accurate snapshot of the IB program at Niwot High School at the time. It can be repeated for as long as IB is offered at Niwot.

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

The information was used in the IB audit. Every five years, an auditor comes to Niwot High School to evaluate the IB program at the school. The information I collected was made available to this auditor, who may use the information at the summit for the IB program in Switzerland.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I really am capable of more than I thought. In finishing this project, I proved to myself I can study for school, go to sports practice, have a job, and be able to complete valuable and fulfilling projects like this. It was not required that I get my Gold Award, and there was no consequence in not getting in other than letting myself down. I didn’t let myself down and I followed through.

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

I will remember the communication, organization, and patience skills I developed in my project for several years. In college and in my workplace in the future, I will be able to communicate my ideas clearly, work with others collaboratively, and be more patient with myself and others. Earning my Gold Award definitely helped me mature for the future.

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

It was very important to me that I finish the final rank of Girl Scouts since I have devoted so much of my life to it. I began as a Daisy when I started first grade, and now I finished my Gold Award as I graduate high school. Girl Scouts has been a constant thing In my life, and I felt I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to complete Girl Scouts to the highest level.

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

I definitely did a lot of go-getting for this project, which strengthened these skills a lot. I realized I am very capable of getting things done if I really want them to get done. Earning my Gold Award helped me become a confident young woman who can accomplish anything I want to accomplish.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Beth Bolon, Longmont, “Speak above the shoes (empowering through communication)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My workshop “Speak above the shoes” took place June 30-July 2 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Eight girls attended the course: six 9th graders, one 8th grader, and an enthusiastic 6th grader. Six of the girls were Girl Scouts, who heard about it through their troop leaders, and two of them heard about it from the advertising I did with Coffee & Connections, the local cafes, and my flyers. The curriculum of my project was centered around the concept that there are more ways to communicate than the traditional verbal word-of-mouth.

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

The workshop was successful, based on the survey results at the end of the three days, and the comfort and confidence levels of the girls in class while presenting. Each girl found a communication style that suited her; there were even two girls who used a style that was not in my curriculum (and did some modeling). The actual class was quite enjoyable, we all sat on the floor on big comfy pillows with paper, markers, pens, and other art supplies around us. The girls got to be in a close, intimate environment that was calm and let them talk to each other without the pressures of a regular classroom.

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

“Speak above the shoes” will be sustained through the Front Range networking group, “Coffee & Connections,” as a two-year commitment to support and promote the website I have created for the project: https://speakabovetheshoes.wixsite.com/speakabovetheshoes. I will also be working with them during these years to continue the energy of my project since they are already working on encouraging woman in business. I am also in communication with the Longmont Public Library on how to best link my website with their programs all along the Front Range to help educate more young woman.

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

Much of the project was inspired from my own experiences moving from school-to-school and having to learn over and over the various forms of communication throughout the United States. During a Girl Scout service unit event, my troop was invited to an exclusive showing of the movie “Girl Rising,” which further solidified my desire to bring out women’s voices in whatever comfortable, non-threatening, inspiring ways that they can no matter their personal circumstances.

“Speak above the shoes” is already moving into the national and international arena through the generous support and marketing of Coffee & Connections since their membership is global.

My website will be available to many moms and their daughters as small business owners around the world participate in the online promotion of “Speak above the shoes” with Coffee & Connections partnering with me.

What did you learn about yourself?

I found I had a lot of anxiety as my workshop dates came closer and I found and implemented ways to calm myself down through breathing, which came in handy when one of the girls was nervous about sharing something she had made. So, we shared ways we had learned to deal with our own anxiety.

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

Knowing that I have created such a project and did it with a team makes me feel more confident in my own abilities for any future endeavor I take on. Teaching girls how to communicate and use their voices taught me more about myself and how far I’ve come, and that I can continue to improve. I am not a stationary person, I am always growing and will never cease to change.

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

I never liked group projects in school because I always ended up doing all the work, so having a team that was excited and ready to help was eye-opening for me. Girl Scouts is full of people who want you to learn, have fun, and realize you’re not alone. This has all helped me to get over some of my own issues from high school, and makes me feel ready for what lies ahead.

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

The Gold Award is quite a task to accomplish, and I got approval the last semester of high school. I had to be a go-getter because I only had the summer to complete my project and make sure it would be sustained after I had gone on to college (I could not wait around and slowly put things together).

It made me an innovator because I had to rework the project I originally had in Ohio (I moved, so all my plans and connections were gone and had to be adapted to the people I had met in Colorado.)

It made me a risk-taker because I had to go, go, go so being nervous about contacting places to host my workshop, or asking a group to sustain my project after I was done was not something I could hesitate on. So, I jumped and found it all fell into place.

I had to be a leader because I had a team of advertisers, volunteers, and individuals ready to help make items for the workshop needing me to specify exactly what I wanted and when it had to be done.

**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

Troop 70700 hosts “s’mores station” at National Night Out event

Submitted by Jen Rotar

Northern & Northeastern CO

Berthoud

On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, Troop 70700 from Berthoud joined the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) at Pioneer Park in Berthoud for an evening of community safety. The troop of 7th grade Cadettes hosted a s’mores station with a grill for toasting marshmallows, campfire safety bookmark craft, and make-your-own yummy edible campfires. In addition to supporting the LSCO’s community event, the girls also earned “Step 5” in their Night Owls badge, to host an “Extreme Nighttime Party.” The girls had fun helping neighborhood children of all ages assemble their edible campfires and decorate their bookmarks. The best part of the evening was making s’mores for all of the Larimer County officers and Berthoud firefighters, and delivering their treats around the park.

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