Registration is NOW OPEN for the Outdoor Adventure Club’s September and October 2019 events! The Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) is a monthly high-adventure program run by Girl Scouts of Colorado, offering exciting outdoor opportunities to Girl Scouts across the state. Girls participate individually and get a chance to experience the outdoors beyond what they might do with their troop, and make friends from around the state. OAC Explorers is for girls in 6th grade and the OAC Trailblazers is for girls in 7th – 12th grade.
Check on the links below for registration details and more information on upcoming events.
Spend a weekend with us at Magic Sky Ranch and experience one of Colorado’s most popular outdoor activities: rock climbing or trail running/ hiking! You will choose one activity to focus on and will spend the weekend training, managing equipment, building skills, and accomplishing goals in trail running or climbing. Climbers will belay each other up outdoor rock walls, rappel down cliffs, and learn about climbing knots, gear, and equipment. Trail Runners will plan their own routes, and race through the forest while learning outdoor survival skills. Rock Climbers will work on the NEW “Climbing Adventure” badge and trail runners will work on the NEW “Trail Adventure” badge.
Registration for the Outdoor Adventure Club Explorers (6th grade) and OAC Trailblazers (7th- 12th grade) September 2019 events is now open!
At the OAC Trailblazers Paddle Day, girls will spend the day learning and practicing new skills in standup paddle boarding, kayaking, and sailing while splashing around and having fun out on the water.
At the OAC Explorers Archery and Canoe event, girls will spend half the day working on canoeing skills, and the other half practicing their aim and earning the Cadette “Archery” badge.
GSCO’s Outdoor Adventure Club hiked Mt. Quandary, one of Colorado’s “14-er” mountains, in July 2019. The group camped out the night before and woke up at 4 a.m. to get an early start on the trail! Not all girls summited, but many did and those who did not all reached goals they had set for themselves, such as making it above treeline, seeing a mountain goat (we saw three!), and making it high enough to have snowball fight. After the big hike, we visited the hot springs to soak our sore muscles.
Are you interested in renting outdoor gear from Girl Scouts of Colorado? Have you ever started reserving gear, but then had a few questions? Do you want to know what gear we have? These questions (and more) are now answered in our FAQs!
Interested in becoming a certified archery instructor? Registration is still open for GSCO’s USA Archery Level 1 Certification course! This course provides the necessary tools to maintain a high level of safety both on and off the archery range. Level 1 Instructors are prepared to teach beginner archery programs to people of all ages and abilities. You will learn about range safety, range setup, the steps of shooting, and basic equipment and repair.
When: Sunday, June 17, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 4p.m. at Twisted Pine Lodge in Genesee.
Registration deadline: Thursday, June 14
Cost: $45/person and the certification is good for three years!
Prerequisites: USA Archery or NFAA membership, successful range pass with background screen, successful completion of SafeSport training and PA Act 153 Background Clearances (all this will be discussed in class).
For more information, email Girl Scouts of Colorado Outdoor Programs Coordinater Marissa Rooney at Marissa.Rooney@gscolorado.org or call 877-404-5708.
Congratulations to Girl Scouts of Colorado Property Director Myrnan Fronczak! She was honored as the IFMA (International Facilities Management Association) Member of the Month for January 2016.
Myrnan is in charge of all of the properties owned and/or leased by GSCO. She takes care of everything to insure that our properties and facilities are well-maintained and provide a good experience for all users. Her duties also include overseeing service providers and keeping up with all the zoning and building codes. One of the organizations that provides information and support to those have the responsibilities such as Myrnan’s is IFMA.
Here is a picture of our current and past Outdoor Programs Volunteer Managers when they met up at the American Camp Association’s national conference this month in Atlanta Georgia. For me, it was really nice to hear about connections between these amazing staff that have helped create so many outdoor programs for our girls!
When I talk with people about what I do (and the Outdoor Programs Team), they often ask, “what do you all do during the year when it’s not summer?” The answer is “a lot!”
We have a small and mighty Outdoor Programs team:
Myself (Betsy “Baja” Smith), I oversee it all!
Anna “Sunshine” Danila, the Outdoor Volunteer Programs Manager – she oversees all volunteer led programs, travel for our council, and single day outdoor programs
Kim “Ruddy” Petau, Sky High Ranch Camp Director
Monica “Obi Joe” Gray, Tomahawk Ranch Director
As a team, we do tons of work during the off season, including, but not limited to:
Hiring staff and recruiting volunteers for the summer
Attending conferences to keep abreast of current trends of youth development
Planning logistics for summer camp locations and logistics
On August 15th & 16th at Sky High Ranch, 19 troops participated in the 28th annual Reach for the Peak, one of GSCO’s longest running programs. Reach for the Peak is an outdoor skills competition that challenges troops to test their knowledge in orienteering, first aid, fire building, knots, emergency shelters, outdoor cooking and camp set up.
Throughout the weekend, the Reach for the Peak committee created inventive scenarios that challenged the troops to use multiple skills sets at once while thinking quickly and working as a team. At the first aid and shelter building station, the troops arrived to a mock scene with an unconscious hiker (complete with fake wounds) at the base of a ravine quickly filling with rainwater. The troops needed to figure out how to safely move the hiker, respond to her medical needs, and build a shelter to protect from inclement weather. The troops that succeeded in this challenge were able to keep calm under pressure, have a clear leader and delegation of tasks, as well as employing the knowledge and hard skills of first aid and shelters.
Another highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night cooking competition. Troops were tasked with making a 4 course dinner, using at least three cooking methods and without any adult help. Using a variety of methods like a solar oven, Dutch oven, stove top, ice bags and more, troops delivered delicious culinary creations. There was amazingly high quality food including shepherd’s pie, leek soup, shish kabobs, seafood stew and even had freshly made vanilla ice cream! The real winners of that event were the judges, who got to sample all the food while enjoying the beautiful setting at Sky High.
On Sunday the awards ceremony capped off the weekend with Troop 1106B taking the coveted “Peak” award, and Troops 931 and 1106C taking home the “Eagle”. If your troop is interested in gaining leadership experience, learning outdoors skills and competing together as a team, consider joining in for Reach for the Peak 2016 on August 12-14th! There will also be a Reach for the Peak “tickler” on May 21st for those troops who want to learn some new skills and get a taste of the real event. For more information about Reach for the Peak, please email RftP@outlook.com or call Debra at (719) 237-8774.
The Outdoor Programs Committee has been active for almost two years, with a focus on creating awareness and opportunities for Girl Scouts in the outdoors. Programs that Outdoor Programs Committee members work with include: Troop Camps, Family Camps, Day Camps, single day outdoor events, trainings, and more!
The committee has up to 20 members who are active in creating outdoor opportunities for girls within our beautiful state. Members call into meetings on one evening per month and work on projects individually or in small groups (we use an online work group called Basecamp to connect since we are located in various areas of our council).
If you are interested in working on the Outdoor Programs Committee, please apply here. You need to have a love of sharing the outdoors and a passion for creating program opportunities for Girl Scouts.
We are specifically seeking new members from Pueblo and Southeastern Colorado, Mountain Communities, Pikes Peak, Western Slope, and Southwestern Colorado so that all areas of our Council are represented.
To focus its efforts on delivering a high quality outdoor leadership experience for all girls, Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Board of Directors has decided to put Magic Sky Ranch up for sale. The board is optimistic about the opportunities this will create to strengthen the programming throughout the state and at our other outdoor properties. As responsible financial stewards, the board decided to sell the property which generates the highest annual financial loss (Magic Sky Ranch) and reallocate the resources to mission-focused programming that includes and goes beyond camp and the outdoors.
One year ago, the board chartered an Outdoor Property Evaluation Task Force to gather and present a thorough evaluation of each Girl Scout property. Considerations included historical and future financial analysis, feedback from the membership via a formal survey and 8 town hall meetings throughout the state.
Girl Scouts is changing to meet the changing needs of today’s girls. With every change there are challenges, but we believe these changes will create a stronger organization.
Property decisions are always difficult, and this has been a thoughtful and thorough analysis. We understand the emotional toll this may have on some members, and we will do everything we can to help address those needs. Nonetheless, at the heart of this decision is what’s best for meeting the needs of today and tomorrow’s girls.
Like most Girl Scout councils, we are fortunate in Colorado to own many beautiful outdoor properties. After careful analyses of the resources needed to run and maintain these properties, along with the recognition of how today’s girls choose to go camping, several councils have come to the conclusion that they no longer need, nor can support, the portfolio of camps that served them well in the past. While some councils have gone away from owning outdoor property, we are committed to keeping council-owned property as a part of our outdoor leadership program in Colorado.
Girl Scouts of Colorado has no plans to sell other properties at this time. In keeping with our mission, we plan to continue underwriting our camp programs and evaluating the opportunity to invest in Sky High Ranch and Meadow Mountain Ranch to improve the camping experience for girls at these properties.
As previously announced, resident camp sessions in 2015 will be at Tomahawk Ranch and Sky High Ranch, with troop or group camping availability at all of our properties as well as many volunteer-led day camps and other summer leadership opportunities statewide.
Delivering outdoor programs at council-owned properties is a priority for Girl Scouts of Colorado. We are pleased to underwrite these programs through donor and fund raising contributions. The fees collected from campers represent roughly half the cost of running the programs and maintaining the properties.
Camping will always be a part of Girl Scouts
Girl Scouting provides unmatched camping experiences that will grow stronger by adapting and changing to meet the needs girls tell us they have today.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is fully committed to offering outdoor experiences that set girls from all communities on a path to leadership.
We believe strongly in the power of outdoor experiences to contribute to the healthy development of girls: physically, cognitively and emotionally.
The Girl Scout Research Institute reports that girls who regularly spend time outdoors eclipse their peers who spend less time outdoors in environmental stewardship, challenge-seeking and problem solving—all important traits in twenty-first century leadership.
Outdoor activities for Girl Scouts include playing, walking, hiking and cooking outdoors; field trips to outdoor places; camping; and environmental volunteering.
Girl Scouts of Colorado is dedicated to bringing quality outdoor programs to the girls of Colorado. We do this by making good use of our Girl Scout properties plus the millions of acres of public lands, millions of parks and trails in our communities and the very strong community of outdoor education volunteers in our membership.