Tag Archives: older girls

Girl Scout volunteers as a STEM Student Mentor

Submitted by Christina Bear

Golden

The acronym of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is creating a buzz in K-Graduate education these days primarily because of the projected job availability, especially in computers and technology. A nationwide effort is happening to motivate younger students toward STEM education and STEM careers, especially for minority students including girls and women.

A recent US News article “Latinos aren’t interested in STEM fields” struck me, a junior at Colorado Academy looking forward to studying Computer Science in college, that there is a distinct a need in my community to change this inequity right here in Colorado.

I developed a project for my Girl Scout Gold Award to benefit the Hispanic students in the Horizons Summer Program, a non-profit that is sponsored by my school Colorado Academy.  I initiated an introduction to STEM for minority elementary students and taught them technology topics of Scratch computer programming and Lego robot construction and programming.  Over the span of a week from June 30 to July 3, 2014, I taught 14 third graders an abbreviated STEM curriculum. Getting the students to enjoy their first experience of computer programming and technology was my main goal.

The students expressed comments such as “Can we program in our free time?” and “Can we do this next summer?” leading me to conclude there is a clear benefit and need for after school and summer program STEM enrichment for minority children. I realized that high school students can develop themselves as STEM mentors in informal teaching using the knowledge they have gained in their schooling. For example, I found it helpful that my coursework in math, sciences, and computer science allowed me to comfortably conduct an informal teaching course in STEM.

Going for a Gold Award with Girl Scouts has been a fulfilling experience and unique from any other project I have done. In particular, the Gold Award process made me carefully think of impact on my community. The immediate impact was hearing the students’ positive comments and getting teacher’s feedback that the students expressed a new found interest in STEM.

The Gold Award also requires that I sustain my project, which is unique and challenging. The concept of sustainability is a real-world necessity especially if you want to bring change to your community. Working with a nurturing mentor, Ms. Rae Ann Dougherty with the Girl Scouts of Colorado, I learned professional tips such as to include an Executive Summary in my manual. It is also my hope to sustain the program at Horizons Colorado Academy depending on funding and student availability.

Given the potential value of high school students teaching younger students on a voluntary basis, I started Project STEM Student Mentors to motivate my peers to give back to their communities by volunteering to educate our younger students. I have prepared a manual from a student’s perspective on my experience and guidelines to initiate a program at your school accessible from my web site www.projectstemstudentmentors.com. Character, commitment and competence are all necessary ingredients to have a successful high school student STEM mentor program.

As for minorities in STEM, I believe that diversity brings out about creativity and that is sure to lead to innovation. This is what our students and really our country needs to become successful on a global scale. I am grateful to Girl Scouts of Colorado to complete a Gold Award project that changes my world for the better.

For more information about Project STEM Student Mentors, contact Christina Bear at cmbear37@gmail.com

*** Earn your Gold Award by Feb. 28, 2015 and you could win the $1,000 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize! It will be awarded to a Girl Scout who has received her Gold Award in the current year and whose project is selected by an independent panel as an exceptional example of sustainable impact through leadership. To learn more click here.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Alexandria Bellas, Colorado Springs, “Shooting for the Sciences”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I did a Girl’s Science Event for girls in grades 6-8 that brought together exhibitors around Colorado to present a booth to the girls. Physics, aviation, space, and more were all addressed in the booths. Hands-on activities, as well as experiments, were used by the exhibitors to engage the girls and really interest them in the sciences!

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I pursued this project because I felt that the issue of the number of women in STEM fields needed to be addressed. As a little girl, I had always dreamed of being a scientist, pouring acids into beakers, wearing goggles, and creating chemical reactions. I want the same for every girl. I wanted them to be able to have the confidence and will to be able to aspire to achieve.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My Gold Award project affected girls at an earlier age and influenced them to pursue higher level science and math classes in high school and possibly even in college.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I gained invaluable leadership skills as well as better time management through earning my Gold Award.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I have passed on my project to the Key Club at my school, who will continue the event in future years. I also hope that the information that the girls gained at this event will be ever in their minds. My hope is that they, too have been inspired to inspire others.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My issue was not only a local issue, but it is also an issue nationally and globally as well. The issue is similar all throughout the nation, and many initiatives have also been taken, such as mine, to resolve that issue.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will always remember the girl’s smiling faces at my event. This gave me a feeling that I will never forget, one of accomplishment and success.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

My Gold Award has provided me with so many  valuable skills that I will be able to employ in the future in college and my future job as well. These skills seem to be unobtainable in any other way. Through my Gold Award, I have been able to achieve more, and gain the confidence that I need to achieve more in the future.

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

I feel that the Gold Award is essential to the Girl Scout experience because it allows you to take on a massive challenge, and for you to be a leader of it. This, to me, has been the perfect way to signify a change that I have made and a mark that I have left next to my Girl Scout name.

***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

Registration for Girl Scout camp opens Jan. 13

The countdown to the opening of registration for Girl Scout camp is underway! It starts Jan. 13, 2015 at 9 a.m. on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website.

On Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, Kim Petau, camp director for Sky High Ranch, and Girl Scout Anne Martens joined FOX21 in Colorado Springs to talk about registration for Girl Scout camp.

Here are a few “behind the scenes” photos:

Ask yourself, “Where will I…”

stand atop a mountain and take in the forever view?

feel my heartbeat in my ears as I zip down the zipline?

and, most importantly, where will I make friendships that will last a lifetime?

For summer 2015, Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce girls will be able to have those experiences — and hundreds more—at Sky High Ranch! Resident camp is returning to this beautiful rustic camp near Manitou Lake and Woodland Park for the first time since 2012. For many Girl Scouts, attending resident camp at Sky High Ranch is a family tradition.  Their mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers, in some cases, have fond memories of their summers at Sky High Ranch.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will also offer resident camp at perennial favorite Tomahawk Ranch near Bailey, southwest of Denver. Some of the activities at our resident camps include archery, backpacking, photography, and rock climbing. Our standard resident camp runs 6-days. We also offer 2-week camps , as well as mini 3-day camps. The summer camp schedule is live on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website (girlscoutsofcolorado.org) so you can begin to review the 2015 offerings. Girl Scouts of Colorado will continue to offer day camping adventures throughout the state.

Girl Scout summer camp programs are open to all girls throughout Colorado who are over the age of 6. Registration begins Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org. Register early. Some sessions fill in just a few hours.

Girl Scout camp is a safe place for your girl to explore her world, make forever friends, and learn to be a leader.  Girls learn differently than boys and everything at Girl Scout camp is designed to meet girls where they are. No labels. No competition. No boys. There’s just a whole lot of “you go, girl!”

Girl Scouts has been helping girls shine for more than 100 years. Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to serve 25,000 girls across the state with the help and support of 10,000 adult volunteers! Learn more how you can be part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by visiting girlscoutsofcolorado.org, calling 1-877-404-5708, or emailing inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Mattie McGarey, Louisville, “Love Every Inch”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I started a blog dedicated to aiding those recovering from eating disorders and the education of those who wanted to learn more about eating disorders. This lead to me giving a talk at Boulder High School’s body positive club about my project.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I decided to pursue this issue because I have seen eating disorders do terrible things to the lives of my friends. Adolescent girls heading to college are the most prone to developing eating disorders at such a stressful time in their lives and I thought that this project would be a great way to guide my peers into to this time of change. I am also a dancer and have seen eating disorders very present in the dance world, so I also wanted to explore and educate those who were close to me through dance about this issue.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

I was able to educate others on how to recognize signs of eating disorders as well as offer support and resources to those suffering from them.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I was able to gain skills and experience dealing with real world issues that I would not have been able to experience without completing the Gold Award. I not only learned leadership, planning, and goal setting skills, but I also learned interview techniques and how to network amongst a group of people who could help me in achieving my goals.

How did you make your project sustainable? 

The blog that I created, loveveryinch.weebly.com, will exist forever and the Boulder High Body Positive club that I spoke at remains active.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Eating disorders are a widespread issue, not just in America, but around the world. Being able to start an open conversation about eating disorders in Boulder will hopefully lead to a more in-depth exploration of this issue in other places.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I think my most memorable experience was getting the chance to talk to a club of people my age who were dedicated to body positivity.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

Being able to have experience leading a project and completing one’s goals are important skills to have in one’s life. Besides developing communication and networking skills, I am able to have a piece of work proving that I am driven and hardworking when it comes to things I believe in.

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

I was able to take initiative of a project that I felt passionately about and I was able to take all of the leadership skills that I had learned throughout my time in Girl Scouts and apply them by myself.

***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 creates STEM Day for Gold Award project

Submitted by Katherine

Western Colorado

Girl Scouts is the absolute most amazing experience and opportunity. Not only can you meet amazing people, experience new or abstract activities, pursue values and endeavors you love, but you can also change the world. My greatest goal in life is to improve the world in all ways. I’ve been working towards my Gold Award and my project has impacted me and my community greatly, which has begun my goal of helping people.

I’ve lived in the same rural, isolated town my entire life. In my town, I find education severely lacking. In fact, I went the first seven years of my school life without STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), that explains my love and obsession with it in grade school, the first time I was exposed to it. I’ve taken every science class offered in my school and compete in extra science activities. I love science and plan on pursuing it in the future. I’ve had many friends that didn’t experience this though. STEM has the reputation of being challenging and frightening. Having never been exposed to it previously, they avoided it completely. My belief is that if they were exposed to it earlier, then they would be more interested in it now. Reviewing the school district’s lack of STEM education, I took the initiative and enacted a STEM day at the elementary school.

It took a lot of coordinating, leadership, planning, and communication. But, I arranged two full days, timing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., where every class grades first through fourth would experience three different branches of science for thirty minutes. They spent seven minutes learning about physics, chemistry, and biology. At each station the students made a project to keep. This made the learning more fun and interactive. Not only did the students enjoy themselves, but they learned a lot too. They learned about air resistance and parachutes for physics, paint and food chemicals for chemistry, and DNA for biology. More importantly, they learned about possible career options and of the amazing world of STEM.

In order to know what was learned and enjoyed most for future STEM Days that will be continued by the teachers in future years, a survey was distributed to the students. These results showed that no students heard of STEM before that day, but most wanted to learn more about them and possibly pursue that as a career. The survey also compared the numbers of those who liked science in the beginning to those who liked it by the end of the day and there was a seven percent increase. This supports my idea that STEM education at a younger age will result in more students interested in those subjects. I have introduced over 500 students to the wonderful world of science. My hope is that by being introduced to science at a younger age, the classes will appear less intimidating, encouraging students to take science classes and to pursue such careers. Society is reliant on STEM and the related careers. By encouraging and educating the younger generations in STEM they will be more likely to pursue it and to benefit society through their expanded knowledge.

I took the first initiative to educate and offer the students scientific opportunities. Girl Scouts granted me this opportunity to encourage others in exploring my interest in STEM. Through this project I worked with a variety of ages, from the young elementary school students, to the high school volunteer helpers and educators, and to the adults that permitted such a day in the elementary school. Through this I expanded my interpersonal communication ability between all ages. Through this project, coupled with being the oldest and most experienced Girl Scout in Gunnison, I have evolved into being an excellent leader. Girl Scouts is extremely valuable to me and allows me to pursue my interests, achieve my greatest potential, and become a better person.

*** Earn your Gold Award by Feb. 28, 2015 and you could win the $1,000 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize! It will be awarded to a Girl Scout who has received her Gold Award in the current year and whose project is selected by an independent panel as an exceptional example of sustainable impact through leadership. To learn more click here.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Nina Asher, Greenwood Village, “Gates Summer Camp Hike”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Took inner-city Denver kids at the Boys and Girls Club on an education hike up near Boulder, CO.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I wanted to take the opportunity to make a positive impact on the kids at the Boys and Girls Club.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

I was able to teach the children about a topic they never would have learned about otherwise.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I became a better leader and more comfortable leading others. I was in charge of a group of counselors, who were older than I was, and I was forced to learn to interact and lead a group of people I was unfamiliar with leading.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I created a Hike Manual that will be passed down from summer to summer at the camp. It is for the counselors to use and teach from. Along with that, I created a Hike Activity Book for the campers to keep them engaged in what was being taught.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Wherever these kids go in their life they always will keep the knowledge they learned at camp. This information will help them in many aspects including respecting nature and staying safe in circumstances of natural disasters common to Colorado.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

The most fond memory I have about my Gold Award project is working with the kids at Gates Camp and getting to interact and teach the children.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

This experience has taught me many things, but most importantly, about teaching children and what a difficult, but rewarding task that can be. In the future, I will keep the skills I learned from this project and apply them when I hopefully become a teacher.

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

The Gold Award is a culmination of all my hard work over the years. Over everything I have learned when I was Brownie up to doing the actual project, everything I did lead up to my project and prepared me for that as well as for the rest of my life.

***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 4258 delivers surprise holiday wrapping kits

Submitted by Kristi Gulley

I just wanted to share a fun activity my troop did. At our last meeting, we assembled over 100 holiday wrapping kits. Then, we went Christmas caroling around one of our local neighborhoods and left the kits on the doorsteps. It was a fun night and to see the surprise on the faces of the people who were home was priceless! We asked for people to share on social media. This was posted on a local community site:

“Looking for Girl Scout Troop 4258 – I think they played Santa! Last night, I found a roll of holiday wrapping paper and some gift wrapping supplies on my porch with a delightful note from Maya with Girl Scout Troop 4258. I can’t be totally sure whether this was intended to be delivered to me, but I really want to thank Maya and her troop. Problem is, I have no way to contact them. They are also trying to follow their gifts on social media which seems like a totally cool holiday activity. I’ll be posting that pic in a few.”

A few other neighbors responded that they also got them and yes, it was intended for her! It was such a great experience and a great opportunity to share random acts of kindness with the girls.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kirsten Brandes, Parker, “Beauty Is…”

Kirsten Brandes

Parker

Chaparral High School

“Beauty Is…”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I designed the curriculum for a series of workshops that fostered self-worth and self-esteem in teenage girls. I then presented the workshops to groups around the state.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I spent the last seven years attending, then aiding, and most recently instructing at Girl Scout water camps. I spent my summers surrounded by preteens in swim suits, and it’s never easier to read a girl’s insecurities in public than when she’s in a swimsuit. I watched confident, carefree 11-year-old girls become self-conscious at 13, and self-hating at 15-years-old. So, I decided to dedicate my project to teaching girls to be kind to themselves, that they are capable of so much more than being looked at.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?
It started girls on the long journey towards self-love, and gave them the tools to face down insecurity with optimism.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I had scouts volunteer to take over the presentation for older girls at future recruitment events and leadership workshops. I’ve trained them in how to run and present it, and will leave with them a condensed guide to the workshop.

What was your connection to the national or global community?
My project began in Parker, Colorado, with four high school freshman and me in my living room. At this first workshop, a family friend was impressed with the presentation and its message, asking me to present it again in Arvada, which I did two weeks later. At the Arvada presentation, a separate scout leader was present and she has asked if I could present it at statewide recruitment events. I have no doubt that, even without my direct involvement, the project will continue to grow, expanding its influence.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?
While I’ve never been one to shy away from crowds, I’ll be honest: I was nervous about presenting in front of teenage girls. I’d been a teenage girl; I know how they think, and more importantly, I have intimate knowledge of the year or so when they convince themselves it’s not cool to care, where insensitivity is synonymous with strength. But for my project to work, that barrier had to fall, and I found the easiest way to do that was to lead the way, and systematically deconstruct my own. Allowing them into my struggle with self-esteem and admitting my own insecurities was difficult, but effective. It created the necessary environment to address issues of such a personal nature. Leaders aren’t strong because they’re impervious, leaders are strong because they wear their insecurities like armor, acknowledging that it is not our faults that weaken us, but a failure to accept them and grow. I won’t soon forget that.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?
In the literal sense, the accomplishment of my Gold Award will allow me to enter the Air Force a rank higher, as an Airman, as opposed to the standard Airman Basic. Thanks Girl Scouts.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I feel as if I’ve achieved ultimate Girl Scout status, like the Gold Award is a cape tied around the neck of my scouting experience. And I spent so much time promising myself I was going to put on that cape someday, so to finally be able to feels absolutely super.

***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

Girls’ Choice: Vote on new outdoor badges

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Time is running out to make your voice heard! Girls’ Choice voting for outdoor badges ends Nov. 30th!

At Girl Scouts, girls make the choices! That’s why during the National Council Session at Girl Scout Convention, GSUSA unveiled a new, annual national voting process. The four Outdoor Badges added to program in fall 2015 will include one each at the Brownie, Junior, Cadette and Senior levels. To determine what badges will be added, GSUSA is using a “Girls’ Choice” process. That means you get to take the lead on deciding what new badges will be created!

This year, there are two rounds of polling:

  1. First, between Oct. 31 and Nov. 30, girls can vote on which content area they’re interested in within the Outdoor category (i.e.: Outdoor Recreation, Outdoor Environment, or Outdoor Survival).
  2. Once GSUSA receives a majority vote on the content area, girls will vote Dec. 1 through 31 on the actual badge topic (for example, Hiking, Camping, Trail Blazing, etc.), based on their grade level in the coming year.

Remember this is about what you want and we want to hear from you! Vote on the next outdoor badges today: http://bit.ly/1sS9nBA

TR05 Photo(synthesis)! Blends photography & the greenhouse!

“The beauty of colorful Colorado awaits. Take pictures of the Tomahawk natural environment and the wonders in our greenhouse. Have the chance to plant your own beauty to take home as well as one to leave at Tomahawk. Cameras provided at Tomahawk Ranch if needed.”

Register Now for this amazing resident camp opportunity this summer!

When: 6/15/14-6/20/14

Where: Tomahawk Ranch Camp

Ages: Cadettes, entering grades 6 to 8

Cost: $500 if you pay in full by 11:59pm on April 30, $550 if you pay balance in full May 1 and after

This 6-day camp is an amazing way for Cadette Girl Scouts to learn about photography and cultivate a greater love for the world around them. Our greenhouse is part of new homesteading programs at Tomahawk Ranch Camp located in Bailey, just a 45-60 minute drive from Denver.