Tag Archives: Pikes Peak

Girl Scout Day with Colorado College Women’s Basketball

Watch Colorado College Women’s Basketball take on the University of Dallas at El Pomar Arena in Colorado Springs on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 4 p.m. Admission is FREE for all Girl Scouts in uniform or Girl Scout attire. There will also be a post-game autograph session for Girl Scouts! Pre-registration is not required.

Questions? Email amy.myers@gscolorado.org

Troop 45213 is cyber ready

Submitted by Laura Fetterman

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Our troop got together and learned how to protect ourselves and information online. We learned that protecting our information is just like protecting a castle. You need to use passwords and parental locks to helps us be safe. We also learned how a computer passes information by playing a relay game with puzzle pieces. Each piece represented a pixel and each girl had to take “pixel” from one table to the other until the picture was complete. It was a lot of fun!

Our girls are ready to take on the next challenge in coding and share what they’ve learned with others!

By completing this activity, the girls will earn this special cybersecurity patch. Learn how to earn yours.

Outdoor Adventure Club: Trailblazers Ice Climbing and Sky High overnight

Registration is now open for the Outdoor Adventure Club Trailblazers’ Ice Climbing and Sky High overnight event! This event is open too any Girl Scout in 7th – 12th grade to register individually.

  • Dates: Saturday January 11, 2020 11 a.m. – Sunday January 12,   5 p.m
  • Fee: $100 / girl- grants and discounts are available
  • Description: Try out the epic Colorado sport of ice climbing! You will use ice axes and special footwear to climb up a frozen waterfall, before returning to Sky High to spend the night in a heated cabin. In addition to ice climbing, we will go sledding, learning about fire mitigation with a tree felling demonstration, and enjoying other winter activities at Sky High.
  • Registration Instructions: https://girlscoutsofcolorado.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2856689-outdoor-adventure-club-registration-faqs
  • This session is listed as ‘OAC Trailblazers January’ in your CampInTouch account, Click here to register!

The Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) is a GSCO staff-led program for older Girl Scouts offering monthly high adventure activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and skiing. Visit the Outdoor Adventure Club website for more information, and sign up at the interest list below to be notified of future OAC events.

Girls learn “Secrets to Success” from Colorado Springs businesswomen

More than 100 girls in grades 6-12 from along the Front Range gathered on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs for a unique opportunity to connect with Colorado Springs-area professional women in a speed-networking format, panel discussion, and networking lunch. “Secrets to Success,” powered by Girl Scouts of Colorado, introduced girls to more than  20 professional women, including Colorado Springs Police Commander Tish Olszewski and Noreen Landis-Tyson, who runs one of the largest and most complex nonprofits in the Pikes Peak region, CPCD…giving children a head start. Breakout sessions went deeper into career options, such as law enforcement, the military, skilled trades, education, STEM, public service, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.

Special thanks to event sponsors: El Pomar Foundation, Nor’wood Development Group, Ent Credit Union, Eastern Colorado Bank, Union Pacific Foundation, and Hoff & Leigh.


Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Downing, Colorado Springs, “Toys for TESSA: Re-doing the Children’s Play space inside the TESSA Safehouse”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I completely remodeled the children’s space inside of the TESSA safehouse, as well as provided inventory boxes for the residents which can be used to store and catalog their personal belongings.

I chose this project because, after my initial meeting with A TESSA administrator,  I could see that TESSA, despite all of their amazing work, occasionally struggles to create a welcoming space for families staying in their safe house, and especially with creating a space dedicated solely to kids, but still easily managed by parents and safe-house staff. I could see that children needed a space where they could just be kids, to allow them to build positive relationships among themselves and with other children, and to escape some of the trauma they have undoubtedly experienced.

Similarly, I could see a clear need for a dedicated personal space for the safehouse residents to store their belongings. I felt that the inventory box portion of the project would give residents a sense of belonging for the duration of their stay, and help give some sense of order and perhaps even mitigate anxieties they may have after experiencing  an amazingly traumatic situation, I felt my project for the safehouse had the potential to have an immense and far reaching impact on many lives; which Is ultimately why I chose this as my project.

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

The most profound example of the impact of my project that I saw was the direct feedback from the families in the safehouse, and the impact redoing the space  had on their lives. One Saturday, when my mom and I were stocking the space with toys, several women came up to us. A couple asked if we flipped houses for a living, one young mother came up to us – nearly in tears – thanking us for what we were doing for the house, and many others remarked how wonderful it was as they walked by. Unparalleled to their reactions, however, were the reactions of the children. We hardly took the first box of toys off of our cart before the kids had opened it and began looking in wonder at all of the new toys. Kids of all ages began playing with one another and were just unimaginably excited. Someone even remarked that it was like Christmas and their birthday all in one.

The following week, when I delivered the inventory boxes to TESSA, I did not have the time to personally visit the safehouse and my play space, but the staff members I spoke to were moved almost to the point of tears. They kept reiterating how amazing I was, and how much I had done to change things for the better. One staff member told me that I had “completely changed the atmosphere of the entire house” and the adults and children were coming together to play, make art, and keep the space clean and organized in ways that were unprecedented before. And to me, this positive impact on those inside the Safehouse is the most meaningful thing my Gold award accomplished.

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

After my involvement, my project will be sustained in several ways. The play space will be cleaned and maintained by safehouse residents and staff, and the space will be restocked with toys from the donations TESSA regularly receives as needed. As for the inventory box portion, I have created an information letter written in both English and Spanish, as well as an inventory sheet, which can be easily copied after the originals (which I bound together like a legal pad) run out. Similarly, I have received promises from the TESSA safehouse staff to offer the inventory boxes to existing and incoming residents for as long as possible. Due to the clandestine nature of the safehouse program, and privacy of the residents, I could not explain the inventory box program to the women and children inside the safehouse personally, but I received lots of enthusiasm from the staff members, as well as promises to present and maintain the program for years to come.

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

Several months prior to me beginning my Gold Award project, I read an article for a homework assignment about the Syrian refugee crisis, and more specifically about the intense psychological trauma – trauma so severe it should be called “Human Devastation Syndrome” rather than PTSD – experienced by the children and their families, who had fled unimaginable situations of violence, war, devastation, and gone toward an equally uncertain and frightening future. The article focused on the severely under addressed need for psychological care and trauma management among these survivors; and particularly the need to reshape trauma as it happened for the countless children arriving to Europe as refugees – turning the terrified children into brave heroes who had saved their families and ensured their safe travels across the Mediterranean sea.

When I first toured the safehouse at TESSA as I was searching for a Gold Award project, I realized that these women and children who have fled horrible situation of domestic violence and abuse are in their own way, refugees. These women and children turn to TESSA for an escape and for hope. While TESSA does an amazing job of focusing on the psychological care of women and children in the community, they cannot meet every need that occurs. I wanted to provide for these children a place to just play, and be kids; possibly helping to reframe some of the traumas they had experienced, just as crisis workers in the Mediterranean are attempting to do.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have learned many things over the course of this project including the importance of patience and time management, adaptive problem solving, and even some cabinetry skills! Firstly, I had several instances of “email tag” where I would send an email, only to have the recipient be out of town, and then have them reply while I was out of town or service. This generalized delay in communications (again, it was summertime and I and others are balancing work and the other events of life) did occasionally present some setbacks. For example, while I began work on my project in April, I could not get my official proposal approved until June due to various conflicts in the month of May. This instance and other things like it helped me develop some patience, and adaptability – as my timeline for this project was radically adjusted more than once.

Similarly, when planning my money earning activity, I originally wanted to organize a community yard sale where people could rent spaces to sell their stuff, and I contacted Sunrise Church to see about using their parking lot for this event. I did not immediately hear from their operations manager, and although I eventually got approval, I did not have a single community member ask to reserve a space at the sale and was forced to cancel it last minute. Instead, however, I was able to organize a babysitting night, which turned out to be very successful, and I was able to complete the project without a hitch! I know that many people, myself included, were concerned that  I was attempting to complete my Gold Award on such short notice, but through the process I discovered that I can work well under pressure, as I can better focus my energies and work with direction and purpose, which results in a project that is both thorough and well executed. And while it has been a bit stressful having my absolute deadline for completion of my Gold Award and my departure for college happen in the same weekend, I feel that it has not negatively impacted my project and I have learned from the experience.

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

Earning my Gold Award project has made me a more aware and active citizen at both the local and global levels. It has also given me the tools to take agency in my own life and the confidence to act on my ideas, and to do things purely for the benefit of others. It has shown me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, and has opened a new world of opportunities for me as a Gold Award recipient by showing others that I have the dedication to see a project like this through.

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

For me, earning my Gold Award is the culmination of my entire Girl Scout experience, and the chance for me to use all that I have learned as a Girl Scout to do something impactful for others. Personally, it has given me a new sense of confidence and has shown me that I can absolutely make an impact on the world at large and on things that I am passionate about. Its one of the most incredible things for me to be able to talk about something of this magnitude and say, “I did that!”.

Without my years of Girl Scouts experience, however, I do not think I would have had the wherewithal and the skills required to plan, organize, and execute this project as fully as I did, which makes the  experience all the more valuable. Through the course of my time in Girl Scouts, and through this project; I have learned so many valuable skills, had unforgettable experiences, and made some of my closest friends, all of which I would not trade for the world.

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

Through my Gold Award Project, I used every aspect of the G.I.R.L. platform to accomplish my goals. I was a “go-getter” because I understood from very early on that I had a limited amount of time to complete my project and was able to plan and set a timetable for everything that needed to get done. I was an “innovator” because I was able to improvise and revise my project when things didn’t work out exactly the way I thought they would, and because I was able to find a creative solution to a difficult problem in my community. I was a “risk-taker” because when I decided to take on this project, I did not know if it would ever get off the ground, but I decided that I was going to finish the project regardless of what went wrong along the way. And finally, I was a “leader” because I was able to ask for and organize help to complete my project, and bring people together to work toward a common cause and do something good.

**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


Cybersecurity egg drop challenge

Submitted by Carol Raburn

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Girl Scout Brownies of mixed age Troop 40132 in Colorado Springs had a blast learning about the layers of security needed when we’re online. The girls worked in teams or on their own to create layers of security for a troop egg drop! All teams had so much fun and all eggs survived!

Each Girl Scout has come up with fun ideas about how to stay safe when playing and learning online. They’re so excited to earn this extra special patch!

By completing this activity, the girls will earn this special cybersecurity patch. Learn how to earn yours.












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

Announcing Secrets to Success keynote speaker: Female FBI special agent

Girl Scouts of Colorado is thrilled to announce a local female FBI special agent as the keynote speaker at Secrets to Success in Colorado Springs on November 9, 2019!

Our keynote speaker is a 19-year veteran of the FBI who has worked a variety of investigative matters, but has focused primarily on working counterterrorism cases. She was on duty, stationed in California, during the September 11th terrorist attacks, which only served to strengthen her resolve to protect the nation from another terrorist attack. During her work, she often interviews members of the public to help further FBI investigations. She has recruited informants for the FBI and has identified young people who would be valuable members of the FBI in the future. She spends a lot of time working as a member of the FBI’s Campus Security Program and has recently taken on a role as a public affairs officer for the Denver FBI office. After graduating from college, she started her career as an Air Force officer before applying for the FBI. After 25 years in the service of our nation, she is motivated by an extremely rewarding career and she encourages all young women who are considering a career in government service or law enforcement to join if you think it would be a good fit for you.

All girls in grades 6 – 12 should not miss the chance to hear this exciting speaker! Register online now to attend the Secrets to Success: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2019/secrets_to_success_c.html

Questions? Email aimee.artzerg@gscolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Bianca Bryant, Woodland Park, “Golden Meadows Dog Park”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Woodland Park had a high rate of obese and unsocialized dogs. After working with the Woodland Park City Council and Parks and Rec Department for two years, the city approved my project and donated a half acre of land. I helped organize meetings with the city to avoid hurdles and the support from my community. I planned a huge grand opening event and I am proud to say in June 2019, Woodland Park now has their first dog park which is helping increase socialization, exercise, and decreasing obesity for humans and their dogs.

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

In May of 2017, after I came up with my idea, I started a petition to see how many locals are in support of my dog park. I got more than 600 signatures from all ages. Today, many senior citizens have thanked me for providing them a place where they can go and walk their dog(s). “The dog park has fixed behavioral problems with other dogs without having to go to a training place,” many have said.

Our local animal shelter has also had an increase in adoptions because there is a place to walk dogs. It’s been a huge community success and people tell me every day how happy they are to finally have a safe area to let their dogs be dogs.

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

Golden Meadows Dog Park has now been passed to the city as a city public park. The Parks and Rec Department maintains the park checking on it three times a week, along with a group of volunteers called “Friends of Golden Meadows,” which go on a regular basis to help keep this park clean and safe. Recently, Keep Woodland Park Beautiful has also joined in on helping maintain this park for years to come. This park will continue to be used by locals and tourists and maintained by the city and will be sustainable after I go off to college.

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

The national link to my project started small by creating a Facebook page, sharing information about Golden Meadows Dog Park and how to keep good health of your pet. We now have more than 350 members on the page.  This dog park was also added to an app called FindingFido. This app finds dog parks and dog friendly activities for tourists or those in the area. Golden Meadows is showing a 4.8 rating after only a few months.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project has helped me come out of my shell. I have learned a lot about public speaking and how impactful I can be to my community and others. I have learned how to organize events and overcome obstacles.  Also, working a lot with other organizations and volunteers in the community helped me learn to not give up when you are passionate about something.  I’ve learned about politics and budgeting. I have learned to delegate and work in groups and ask for help when I need it. My self confidence has grown since I started this project at the age of 15.

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

Earning my Gold Award has shown me that I am capable of way more than I think. I can accomplish whatever I want if I keep persevering and don’t give up. This project has also taught me that when you have a big problem it is okay to ask for help and delegate which will be important in a future career. I also have learned a lot about leadership, time management, and organization, which is important in becoming successful in the future.

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

The Gold Award has really taught me how to solve problems by myself both large and small. Yes, the Silver Award is also important, but with the Silver Award, your whole troop is working on a project and you have more people to fall back on when things don’t go right. With the Gold Award, it really makes you become the true leader you are.

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 go-getter, innovator, and leader, but a risk-taker too. After being turned down by the city multiple times for a dog park, I left thinking, “Will this dog park even happen?”

I was also concerned about the time I planned for this project to take six months, but it ended up taking two years.

**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

Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival

Girl Scouts are invited to the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival November 15 – 17, 2019! This is a three-day celebration of cinema with an opening night gala at the Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College followed by two full days of film screenings. Over the course of the weekend, approximately 40 films will be presented at five venues across the Colorado College campus. Guest filmmakers from across the country will be attending and Q&As will be offered at many of the screenings.

Secrets to Success: Conversation Station Leader Commander Tish Olszewski

All girls in grades 6-12 are invited to connect with professional women in a variety of career paths at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s second annual Secrets to Success event in Colorado Springs on Saturday, November 9, 2019. Girls will personally engage with more than 20 women leaders in the fields of technology, construction, healthcare, finance, nonprofit administration, entrepreneurship, and more, learning from role models who will help them become our future business and community leaders. This event joins today’s leaders with the next generation, to share their expertise and provide inspiration for success. Register online now: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2019/secrets_to_success_c.html

In preparation for this exciting event, we are thrilled to announce some of the amazing women whom girls will be engaging with. Check out this blog post and others to learn about the women participating this year.

Commander Tish Olszewski is a 35-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Police Department and currently holds the highest civil service rank in the police department at this time. She has served in many different areas for the police department, starting as a patrol officer and working in most other police areas like major crimes detective, drug prevention, training academy, internal affairs, sex crimes, gangs, vice, and narcotics. While female police officers are few on the Colorado Springs force (now 86), she feels she was never discriminated against and was equally able to achieve her career goals in the police department. She has always been willing to put in the work needed to fairly earn her accomplishments, including getting a Masters degree in Organizational Management. Becoming a police officer was a dream of hers since childhood, and she is thrilled she is able to live that dream.

Cdr. Olszewski will be leading one of our Conversation Stations at Secrets to Success on November 9. In this role, she will be telling more than 100 girls about her work, why she loves it, and how she is changing the world with it. She will join more than 20 other professional women who will be networking with girls to have them learn the myriad options open to them for their own future work. We are excited to have Cdr. Tish Olszewski join us for this awesome event!