Tag Archives: Pikes Peak

Volunteer Spotlight: Kathi Reddan

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Girl Scout Gold Award mentor Kathi Reddan in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Kathi to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I originally became a volunteer because my daughter was involved. After she graduated, I continued because I enjoyed working with friends as co-leaders. Also, I saw volunteering as a way to use my educational skills.

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

Originally, I helped my daughter’s leader in various ways. When she joined a multi-level troop when she was older, some of the older girls asked if I would consider becoming a leader. I felt as if they wanted me specifically rather than a warm body. After she graduated from high school, I took training to become a trainer, as well as continuing as a leader. When my friends, who were co-leaders moved out of state, I decided this was a good time to step down from the leader/advisor role. Soon after, in 2006, the staff person in charge asked if I would join the Gold Award Committee. I have continued on the committee since then, except for taking a year off to figure out what I wanted to focus on. At the end of that year, I decided to focus on being a Gold Award mentor rather than training.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Both as a leader of older girls as well as being a Gold Award mentor, I’ve learned about the great capabilities of older girls. Several girls have shown me that they really can do things on their own, or with advice from adults, but with the girl leading the way.

I’ve been reminded that one needs to consider the needs and abilities of each girl, especially as a mentor. My educational background is in special education and I have been able to use those skills as a leader and as a Gold Award mentor. I’ve learned in what settings I work best. Working as part of a team I can do my part, but get support from others. I really enjoy working one-to-one with the girls as a mentor.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls I have mentored have learned that I’m here to support them, not lead them step-by-step. They are the ones with the ideas and they need to run with the idea. Often they learn how much they can really accomplish. This is most important as a Gold Award mentor, but also for being an older girls advisor.

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

Badge in a Day at the Catamount Institute

 

Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors are invited to explore the outdoors with Catamount Institute’s trained naturalists and earn a badge at the same time! Come for the morning, afternoon, or both! This is not a drop-off program. All Girl Scouts must attend with a parent,  caregiver, guardian, or troop leader. Girl to adult ratios must be met. Pack a picnic lunch if you plan on staying all day. The cost is $10 per session and badges are included in the cost of the program.

Brownie Badge Sessions: Senses, Bugs, and Outdoor Art Creator

Junior Badge Sessions: Space Science Investigator, Flowers, Gardener

Morning Session: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon Session: 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Register now: https://www.catamountinstitute.org/scouts/

COVID-19 Guidelines

Here are some of the ways we are working to create a safer environment:

  • This event is for Girl Scouts only to keep our group sizes small. Siblings are not allowed.
  • Activities will encourage social distancing.
  • Temperature checks will be done upon arrival.
  • Staff and adults must wear masks at all times. Girl Scouts will wear a mask in close contact and not up and moving around.
  • There will be hand sanitation stations.
  • Staff will be disinfecting of high contact surfaces and materials daily.

Please do not come to the event if you have been in contact with someone who has experienced symptoms or you have experienced symptoms. Check out this symptom tracker from the Colorado Department of Public Health: https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid19-symptoms.

Questions? Email info@catamountinstitute.org.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Shana Barbera

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Shana Barbera in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Shana to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer when my daughter was in kindergarten.  I volunteered to be her Daisy co-leader. 

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

I quickly became her Daisy leader and I have continued moving up and leading her group for eight years. I have also taken on a few other roles. I have been the troop cookie manager for five years now. And, I am also the service unit cookie manager and service unit fall product manager for two years now. I also plan on taking on a new role this year with a another leader and we will be training our Cadettes for Reach for the Peak and taking them to the competition. I’m super excited for this opportunity. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned so much as a Girl Scout volunteer! I have learned a ton of life/survival skills that I probably wouldn’t have learned or practiced had I not been in Girl Scouts. But most importantly, I get a close-up glimpse of my daughter growing up and developing into the sweet, confident young lady she is today, plus all the wonderful girls I get to work with and watch grow. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls I get to work with will learn from me that it is ok to be different. It is ok to have our own opinions. I hope they learn how to be confident, kind and courageous, and that they always have fun.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Gretchen Solidum

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Gretchen Solidum from Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Gretchen to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a kid, I was a Girl Scout from Brownie thru Junior years and really enjoyed learning new things and loved going off to summer camp. The summer I was in third grade, I was so determined to earn my badges at home and marked up my badge book to see what I could do on my own with my mom signing off.  By earning the cooking badge, I really started to learn how to cook and it sparked a passion for baking that has continued to this day. I became a Girl Scout volunteer my daughter’s second year as a Daisy, three years ago. Our troop first formed with kindergarten/first grade girls and I had just changed jobs from Castle Rock to Colorado Springs and started to feel like I had more time to be involved with the troop.  Our previous TCM had just moved away and I was curious about how the cookie season worked and how our Daisies could become more confident speaking to others, making eye contact, and achieving their goals as individuals as well as a troop. It has been phenomenal to watch the more outspoken girls help the shy ones and the excitement they get when they make that sale or hit their goals. I’ve seen these achievements translate outside of cookies to how they interact in a group.

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

I have been our troop’s TCM the past three years, a co-leader the past two years, and this year, my husband and I were also the westside Cookie Cupboard in Colorado Springs. I like numbers and seeing what we can do to increase our funds for the girls to go on new experiences and I enjoy helping others. Being a co-leader has been fun and I’m grateful for my other leader, Betsy Douglass, to share ideas to engage the girls and help them grow. The cupboard has been more fun than I realized with a unique opportunity to meet other leaders, hear their troop’s goals and past trips, and make connections for future planning and opportunities.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

To give the girls the encouragement and freedom to make decisions, make mistakes, and just have fun.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that they understand that we all have something to contribute, something to say, and that we all have value. Our troop is still young and we hope that they continue to support one another and they see the potential that each of them has to make change. 

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Lindsay Smith

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Lindsay Smith in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Lindsay to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have fond memories of my Girl Scout days and going to Sky High Ranch for camp when I was a Brownie, so I was excited when my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts. When she bridged from a Daisy to Brownie, the troop was in need of another leader and I had the time and desire to get more involved, so it was the perfect opportunity to dive right in!

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

I’ve been a Brownie leader for the last two years and I hope to continue in that role or move up as my daughter bridges.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned the importance of pre-planning, but also flexibility when activities don’t go exactly as anticipated. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and have learned things right along side the girls when we’re doing badge work. I enjoy being a mentor and watching the girls grow. Most of all, I love hanging out with the girls, being silly, laughing, having fun, and learning from them.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope I’m helping the girls feel empowered and confident in themselves and excited about the things we are doing in Girl Scouts. I want the girls to know that our meetings are always a safe place where they can be themselves and build solid friendships. I also hope the girls learn they can set big goals and work hard to accomplish them, not only in Girl Scouts but life.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Lina Zimmer

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Lina Zimmer in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Lina to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a volunteer originally to be supportive of my daughter and to be able to attend meetings and events. As time went on, I realized that there was a real need for someone to be there for the girls in a leadership role.

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

After my initial volunteer role, I decided to start my own troop due to the need in my area. In addition to currently managing two troops, I have filled the roles of a troop fall product program manager, service unit fall product program manager, troop cookie manager, and am a current member of the Pike’s Peak Region Cookie Committee. I’ve worked in the community to secure agreements with local businesses for council cookie sites, as well as locations for our troop’s My Sales. I enjoy building strong relationships in our community. 
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I’ve learned that Girl Scouts truly is a great program for young ladies to learn and grow into future leaders in a safe and supportive environment. I’ve also realized a tremendous amount of personal growth through my time with Girl Scouts.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned, and continue to learn, that putting in the work will always yield positive results. I also hope that they gain the confidence to know, in their hearts, that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to and that is all of our responsibility to make the world a better place.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lily Goudreau, Monument, “Affirmations in Lewis Palmer Middle School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I addressed the problem of bullying in schools. I painted affirmations throughout Lewis Palmer Middle School and created a monthly affirmation chalkboard that’s in the main hallway. With the constant positive affirmations around the middle schoolers, it can help to make them be more positive towards themselves and others.

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

I measured the success of my project by creating a survey. I surveyed some students in  the school. I asked if they read the affirmations, if the affirmations impacted them, and if there should be bright paintings affirmations in all schools. I received a lot of positive feedback from this survey from the students, staff, and principal!

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

My project is sustained beyond my involvement through the monthly affirmation chalkboard I started and a guidebook I created. The students part of an anti-bullying group put a new affirmation on the chalkboard every month for everyone to read. In the guidebook, I created a checklist of all the supplies I needed and the steps I took.

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

I shared my project globally through a guidebook I created. I shared a checklist, the steps I took, and pictures. I shared the guidebook with schools globally to inspire them to put up colorful affirmations in their schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project I learned to take initiative. Before this project, I didn’t have the confidence to talk to strangers to ask for help. I had to talk to a lot of people I didn’t know and I have become more capable of speaking up for myself.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in my future because it has prepared me for the real world. I spent a lot of time and commitment on this project. There were difficulties with it and I was able to overcome those difficulties. Earning the Gold Award is a very rewarding experience because it’s something you invest a lot of time in.

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 I knew it would be a very rewarding experience when I was done. I knew I would feel very accomplished because I completed my biggest project yet and I feel prepared to do bigger things now. I wanted to do the Gold Award project because I enjoyed doing my Bronze and Silver Awards, and wanted to continue to help my community.

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

Earning my Gold Award has made me become a G.I.R.L., specifically a go-getter. I have learned to speak for myself instead of having others do it for me. I really had to come out of my comfort zone to speak to people I didn’t know to get what I needed.  This project also had some difficulties and I was able to overcome those to complete my project.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Allison Graham, Colorado Springs, “School in the Woods Nature Trail”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I built a trail at a fourth-grader school in District 20 in Colorado Springs called School in the Woods. With the trail, I created a trail guide that anyone of any age can use when they walk around the trail. It includes different plants that can be found on the trail, which ecosystem they can be found in (montane, foothills, etc.), and ways for them to connect with nature by using their senses.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project on my target audience by asking those at School in the Woods to continue taking kids and their families on the trail. I also asked other volunteers at the school and the Nature Trail Committee what they thought of the trail. I hope that the kids who attend School in the Woods will be able to take their families on the trail and possibly learn something new.

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

My project will be sustained by the amazing people at School in the Woods. They have such an active program, and families who are always willing to volunteer and help the school with whatever they need. In the past year, there has been a committee formed between volunteers who are parents or avid volunteers from years past who have come together to work on the trails around the school. The Nature Trail Committee and Mr. Wuerth have agreed to help keep the trail intact. They will pull weeds, move rocks, and maybe expand the trail if needed.

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

With schools becoming more online and desk-based, students are struggling to find time to go outside and experience nature. We, as a nation, don’t know what the upcoming school year will look like. We know one thing for sure, we still need to get outside and take a walk. Students, elementary through college, have already been pushed to a desk job.

To get the word out about my project, I sent information about it to three different organizations that focus on outdoor education. I emailed the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Nation Environmental Education Foundation. I sent them the trail guide, which I gave to School in the Woods to use on the trail, the newsletter that was sent out to School in the Woods alumni, and general information about me, what I did, and what the Girl Scout Gold Award is.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned while making this project that I need a straight up deadline. I can’t really space out the work if there is not date deadline. I keep putting it off and off until I have a deadline. I know that this is something that I do need to work on, but I know that this drives me and is my motivation to do work.

I learned that if you are passionate about something, and you know you need to work on it more and need an extended deadline, that is fine. I was supposed to present my project a month earlier and I was disappointed when I was not finished. I felt bad and disappointed in myself. I now know that everything is not as serious as I think and that I should not be putting this much pressure and stress on myself. This is something that I should have never stressed that much about.

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

I think by earning my Gold Award, I gained a lot of confidence. I feel that I can go into the world and make changes. I also think that it will help me during job interviews because it gave me the confidence to talk to adults and know how to lead and work with a team.

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

I feel that the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it showed me that you can still be a Girl Scout even at an older age. It also showed me what being a Girl Scout truly meant. It showed me that what I have been learning through Girl Scouts over the past couple of years, from kindergarten til now, comes into play when doing your Gold Award.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a risk-taker in the sense that before this project, taking on big projects wasn’t my forte. I didn’t like asking others for help and committing to something like this was hard for me. This project for me was a risk that I decided that I wanted to take. I now am also a go-getter when it comes to something that I am passionate about. I know that when I really want to do something that I should work hard to achieve it, and that I should be proud of it as well.

**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.

Daisies Sprouting

Submitted by Jordyn A.

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

After 11 years of selling Girl Scout Cookies, I was given the opportunity to be a Cookie Captain. Like the troop I was helping to lead, I started out as a Daisy 12 years ago. I thought it would be a great opportunity to take this chance because I wanted to mainly focus on my Gold Award this year, but still be involved in the cookie selling season. Being a Cookie Captain was perfect because I was involved in a leadership roll, met a group of some very bright young girls, and still got to be involved in this year’s cookie season.

As a Cookie Captain, I attended multiple cookie booths with the girls, as well as a meeting to talk about importance of greetings, manners, and marketing when selling cookies. The troop was very smart and all understood how to act according to the Girl Scout Law. I would also make posters for booths, including holiday and special event posters. In doing all this, I still let them have full independence when speaking with buyers, handling money, and communicating with customers (with guidance if needed).

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Troop 42730: Silver Ticket Winner

Submitted by Tiffany Gagnon

Pikes Peak

Black Forest

We really appreciate that GSCO is doing the tickets this year. It’s been a hard year for some of our girls to reach their goals and this will help with our troop goal of going camping this summer while also saving to go to Savannah, Georgia in a few years.

Troop Goal: 3,600

Hometown Hero: Air Force Academy Squadron

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.