Tag Archives: Pikes Peak

Gold Award Girl Scout gives featured speech at Thin Mint Dinners

Gold Award Girl Scout Emma Albertoni of Arvada was a featured speaker at Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Women of Distinction Thin Mint Dinners in both Denver and Colorado Springs.  She told the audience of Girl Scouts and supporters how Girl Scouts helped her find her voice.

As a 2017 Gold Award recipient and winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence, I am excited to share not only the work I have done through Girl Scouts, but the work that Girl Scouts has done for me.

I started Girl Scouts in first grade – a whopping 12 years ago. I joined Troop 1721 of Arvada, which met in the teacher’s lounge at my elementary school. All 17 girls in that troop would run around playing games, make a mess on the table doing crafts, and discuss cookie season with mouths full of snacks. I went to camps in the summer, learning a lot about myself along the way.  After a rainy mother-daughter camp experience, I learned my mom and I are more of a “spa-day and hotel” kind of campers than the “soggy sneaker and cold tent” kind of campers. I remember how I sold cookies, setting goals for the number of packages that I wanted to sell, and making posters for our booth– all while strategizing how placing cookie packages in the ROYGBV order would make our booth look enticing to customers. I remember making very… unique… outfits for World Thinking Day on my troop leader’s sewing machines, hoping that we didn’t mess up with the limited fabric we had. But the ‘fun’ things were not all that I did in all my years of Girl Scouts. Of course, I sold cookies, earned badges, and went to camp, especially when I was younger. But, these ‘fun’ things helped me later on, and I have come to realize the magic of Girl Scouts is how the things you do impact you on a deeper level.

My Girl Scout experience evolved as I got older and my troop began working on our Highest Awards. So you can understand the scale of each award, I’ll compare them to a body of water. First, the Bronze Award. Think Lake Michigan. For the Bronze Award, my troop paired up to do a “Charity Convention.” Each pair picked and researched a charity. We made posters, so our guests could learn about each one, what to donate, and how to donate. Next up, the Silver Award, which is like the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike other girls, my troop and I had difficulty coming to an agreement over what our project should be, so to appease everyone, I split off and did my project on my own. To earn my Silver Award, I collected more than 150 old t-shirts and upcycled them into bags. I gave these bags to an organization that was providing sanitary supplies to homeless women so it would be more private. I also gave some to a food bank in Arvada, and one in San Diego.

Last, but definitely not least (in any sense of the word), was the Gold Award. My Pacific Ocean. The Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouting. It requires you to find an issue in your community and develop a solution. The Gold Award must be sustainable, connected nationally and globally, show leadership, and educate the public. Daunting, right? Ideas came and went, but nothing panned out. I finally found my project by looking at my own life. I was 16- years-old, buying my first car, looking at college tuition, and working a summer job. I was dealing with larger sums of money than ever before and I realized, I didn’t know anything about using it wisely. Talking with my parents about credit scores, loans, and budgeting made me wonder, where did they learn it all?

My project began by researching financial education in Colorado. I found fiscal topics are “woven” into K-12 classes, but the curriculum does not teach the students how to apply this knowledge. I discovered, through surveys and interviews, students didn’t even realize these principles were being taught. Since students weren’t learning the practical application, they would just leave the information behind. I didn’t believe this was right. Everyone needs to understand how to be responsible with their money, and that was not being addressed in Jefferson County schools.

I started by meeting with the principal and Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) teacher at Ralston Valley High School. The FCS class covered some financial literacy topics. But, it was an elective course taught to only 30 students/year. The teacher allowed me to create a new unit on financial safety online. It included PowerPoints, videos, discussions, and quizzes about things like identity theft, hacking, and password security. The teacher is now teaching my unit every year. I didn’t stop there. I proposed to the JeffCo School Board to make financial literacy a required class. The school board is now taking a closer look at how financial literacy is taught. Finally, I began working with Colorado legislators, including State Representative Lang Sias. They are interested in providing guidelines for educators on teaching financial literacy, as well as hosting a Financial Literacy day at the state capitol.

Finally, my brother and I started Down With Dough, a 501(C)(3) organization that seeks to inspire and advance knowledge of financial literacy through supporting, sharing, and improving education. Down With Dough will continue to partner with legislators, as well as other sponsors in order to one day see the improvement we need in education surrounding financial literacy. We have received tax exemption status, and are now looking for donors to help us fund curriculum development and further our work.

As I now look back, I see that Girl Scouts taught me skills that I never would have learned elsewhere. The magic of Girl Scouts is how the things you learn when you’re younger amidst all the fun, build on each other until you can accomplish a Pacific Ocean sized goal. The crafts we made in the teacher’s lounge helped me find individuality and creativity. The camps taught me how to make friends, be confident, take risks, and work as a team. I learned leadership through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which included getting myself out of my comfort zone to sell a product by developing marketing strategies.  The Cookie Program also taught me how to be a go-getter by setting small goals in order to achieve a large goal. And, sewing outfits taught me how to solve problems and be an innovator. All these qualities I learned through the fun of Girl Scouts, and they all helped me get to where I am today.

Before Girl Scouts, I was very shy. In fact, I was talking with my troop leader the other day. We joked about how out of the five girls still in our troop at graduation, no one would’ve guessed it would be me standing here today. But, Girl Scouts brought me out of my shell. I was awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Award in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. I met amazing young men and women from all across the country who are doing great things for their communities, just like I am. They taught me about different subjects like nonprofit classification, grant writing, and each other’s passions. I was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Scout of the Year Award, where I stood in awe as veterans stood and applauded my hard work and dedication. I stood in front of Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps and Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett with a confidence I would not have had, had I not been a Girl Scout. Because of Girl Scouts, I had the drive, passion, and confidence to audition for the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, where I am now a Classical Violin Performance major. I look forward to going through school, into my career field, and my future with Down with Dough with passion and leadership skills to be successful. Girl Scouts gave me a safe place to speak my mind and share ideas – it gave me the opportunity to find my voice.

Girl Scout Day at Air Force Volleyball

Join us for Girl Scout Day with Air Force Volleyball on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017! All Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited. Cheer on the Falcons as they take on San Diego State. The match starts at 1 p.m. in the Cadet East Gym at the Air Force Academy and doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

Cost is $5/person and includes pizza, drinks, pre-match tunnel, and post-match autographs for Girl Scouts. Tickets can be reserved at http://goo.gl/ApyAgz. Payment will be collected at the match (cash preferred). Girl Scouts can invite a friend to this event to learn more about Girl Scouts and the fun activities we do.

For questions, please contact Ashley Gullett at Ashley.Gullett@AirForceAthletics.org.

“Bling Bags” for breast cancer patients

Submitted by Allison Baker

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

About 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Being that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, Troop 45182 decided to give a little back. As a troop we put together almost 25 “bling bags.” They were filled with cute items to bring strength and just a reminder that there are others out there cheering them on. The troop then donated the bags to Rocky Mountain Breast Cancer Center in Colorado Springs.

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

G.I.R.L. Stories: Leading by example

Submitted by Staci Calderon

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Girl Scout Cadettes in Troop 4636 lead by example in volunteering their time at Explorer Elementary. On September 19, 2017, our girls watched 28 kids while their parents attended the Ruler Orientations. Games and storytime kept the kiddos entertained for the evening. What a great leadership opportunity and experience for our girls!

How has Girl Scouts helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, or leader)? Share your Girl Scout story and photos using the Share Your Stories form.

Save the date: Party at Skate City in Colorado Springs

Submitted by Rose Rundell

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

When: March 22, 2018 from 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: Skate City
4575 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Girl Scouts are taking over Skate City on Austin Bluffs! We’re having a party to celebrate Girl Scouts’ 106th Birthday and the end of  the Girl Scout Cookie Program. The girls and adults worked hard!

This is a private event, only open to Girl Scout individuals, troops, friends, and family. (Sorry, no drop offs. Girls need to bring their own adults to look after them.)

SU13 will be collecting non-perishable food to donate to Care and Share.  The cost is $5 for admission and $2.50 for skate rentals (if needed)

We will have cake and door prizes!

Special custom patches will be available that night to purchase or order.

Please try to RSVP to Rose sometime between March 1- 20. We would like to make sure we have enough cake for everyone.
email: froggerrr@hotmail.com

We would love to see all the Girl Scouts, so try to wear green and your GS swag!

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

Shy Girl Scout shines in Fall Product Program

Submitted by Anna Lahr

Pikes Peak

Fort Carson

My oldest daughter is a Girl Scout Brownie. She is super shy (dx spectrum when really young), but she launched her Fall Product Program storefront with her own scripted audio for the emails, sent them out herself, designed a graphic for the store, and recorded the marketing video to upload. Because she didn’t want her face on camera, she created the cutest skit with a toy, complete with set! I’m amazed at her creativity and problem solving. She’s always been technologically adept, but Girl Scouts is helping her overcome her anxiety about talking to people AND learn marketing skills!

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

Girl Scouts honors 2017 Pikes Peak Women of Distinction

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, Girl Scouts of Colorado honored the 2017 Pikes Peak Women of Distinction during the Thin Mint Dinner at The Antlers – A Wyndham Hotel. The 2017 Women of Distinction are:

  • Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director, Palmer Land Trust
  • Noreen Landis-Tyson, President and CEO, CPCD…giving children a head start
  • Donna Nelson, Spirit of the Springs Program Coordinator, City of Colorado Springs
  • Susan Loo Pattee, CEO and Founder, Colorado Springs Materials Development, LLC
  • Beth Hall Roalstad, Executive Director, Homeward Pikes Peak
  • Brenda Smith, Co-Owner, Garden of the Gods Collection

A group of nearly 200 gathered at the event which was chaired by Lindy Conter, Community Volunteer, Woman of Distinction ’13 and Barbara Winter, Executive Vice President, Ent Credit Union, Woman of Distinction ’13. The honorees were selected by a committee of their peers and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. They are examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for female leaders of tomorrow.

The evening’s speakers included Pamela Shockley-Zalabak, Ph.D. and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Emma Albertoni, recipient of Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence.

Since 1997 Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized more than 500 women across the state with this honor. More than $2 million has been raised since 1997 by Women of Distinction for Girl Scout programs.

Bronze Presenting Sponsors include El Pomar Foundation and Ent Credit Union. The Trefoil Sponsor was Newmont Mining.

For more information on the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction program, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/wodpp or contact Debbie Swanson at 719-304-8322 or at debbie.swanson@gscolorado.org.

View the event on Flickr.

Cadettes complete BREATHE Journey

Submitted by Staci Calderon

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

It was an awesome weekend for Girl Scout Cadettes in Troop 4636! The girls escaped to the trees in gorgeous Hartsel, Colorado where they learned all about the BREATHE journey and loving our planet. Our Cadettes had an amazing time!

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

Silver Award project: Jared Box for Children’s Hospital and baby hats for Memorial Hospital

Submitted by Emma C.

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

13-year-old Girl Scout Cadettes from Troop 4523 Emma, Dori, and Kate would like to share our story about our great Silver Award project.  For this mission, we wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. We contacted Children’s Hospital to see how we could help. They told us that the Jared Box program was well needed and appreciated by the children having extended stays in their hospital rooms with no access to any playroom. To find out more about the Jared box project, please visit http://www.thejaredbox.com. We also made baby hats for newborns to be distributed at Memorial Hospital.

We first had to earn funds to purchase the items to put in the boxes. We used the money we earned from selling Girl Scout Cookies to fund part of this project. But, we did not stop there. We made ice cream sandwiches (we baked chocolate chip cookies and added vanilla ice cream in the middle) and sold them at a park during a hot sunny summer day. Then, we all made lists of items we wanted to purchase and each prepared a certain amount of boxes to meet the needs of girls and boys between the age of 3 to 14. We decorated the boxes and also added a nice note to personalize each package.

On September 5, 2017, we delivered 71 boxes to Children’s Hospital and dropped off our handmade baby hats to Memorial Hospital. We all learned a lot from this experience from budgeting to time management and accountability. Working in a team was also a great part of this project.

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