Tag Archives: some media coverage of GSCO

Gold Award Girl Scout: Renee Gangwish, Boulder, “Fence It Up”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I completed an historic and environmental restoration project. My project was to restore the fences around Walker Ranch Homestead. It was mainly to bring out a group of volunteers to restore rotted out and broken down fences for the good of the community, as well as increase public awareness on a wide scale of the need for environmental restoration not only for current use, but for future generations.

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

I increased public awareness on a wide scale by using my curriculum to reach about 150 people at my dance team, 40 at the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee meeting, and 30 girls and parents from my troop. I hope to increase the visitation percentage to Walker Ranch, but unfortunately I do not have any data to illustrate if this was accomplished as it will take more time for the data to be collected. I was the first Girl Scout to work with Boulder County, and have opened the door for many more to do the same.

How is your project sustainable?

The fencing will be sustained for many years after my project due to the new and stronger material we will be using, but also by others who have the same passion as me and will continue to restore these fences. The sustainability mission of Boulder County and Walker Ranch is to “maintain a high quality of life, without compromising the ability of future residents to do the same.” My curriculum will be sustained because I have a signed letter from the owner of my dance studio, Artistic Fusion, promising to allow me to continue on teaching and sharing my curriculum to inspire kids and their families from across all of Colorado. As well, my website will stay up and continue to be viewed by people, as well as promoted by Boulder County through a flyer of mine which will be put up at their offices to direct people to my website. This will allow my message to continue to be spread through the Internet and all of those who see it.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

My project was shared in the local newspaper, as well as being aired on CBS4 News in Colorado. My website is able to be seen both globally and nationally. I sent my website to WAGGGS, Piper Jaffray, National Parks and Service’s Office of Public Relations, the State of Colorado Office of Public Relations, International Affairs Department of the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as to Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can interact and manage working with several organizations at the same time, although often challenging. I learned that I can recruit, organize, and lead a team of my friends and fellow students to accomplish a project of this magnitude. I learned that if I am passionate, hard working and persistent, it is possible to achieve great things.

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

I believe that earning my Gold Award will make me more prepared and confident in my actions in the future. Whether it be in school or in a job, I feel that this experience will be one a keep with me and use it to better myself in the future.

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

The Gold Award, though isn’t the complete end of my experience, was a summation of everything I have learned through Girl Scouts, as well as how Girl Scouts has changed my view on the world. The passion and care I have for the environment was curated through Girl Scouts, which is what lead me to create and spend a lot of my time on my 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 both a leader and go-getter. I had to coordinate with many different people and companies in order to get everything accomplished for my project, causing me to become a “go-getter” and take action to ensure everything got done. I also became a leader through taking charge of my project and everyone who helped me during the process.

**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: Emma Graziano, Arvada, “Connecting Celiac Teens: Project CeliACT”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Ever feel like you didn’t belong or imagine not being able to have dinner with friends because you can’t eat what they’re eating?  “Connecting Celiac Teens: Project CeliACT” was my effort to create a support group for teens living with celiac disease. This is personal for me because I have celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestines. Living with celiac disease can be challenging because the only known treatment is the adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. This support group was created for the Denver Celiac Support Group, a local chapter of the National Celiac Association (NCA), because the group had previously struggled to establish a teen program. The goal of my project was to connect with other teens living with celiac disease and create a bond with those facing similar issues; all while learning together how to advocate for ourselves and educate others about celiac disease. My effort included finding ways to identify new teen members while creating a sustainable operating framework for the Denver support group. Through various outreach, advertising, and publicity efforts to the public, I was able to gain 19 new members and successfully start a support group for teens living with celiac disease.

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

When I started my project, the Denver Celiac Support Group organization had 311 adult members and approximately 70 youth members with only three teen members, including myself. In the past year, I’ve recruited 19 additional teen members to join the support group for a total of 22 members through my outreach efforts.

Additionally, I knew I was making an impact with the teens and their families by the various email feedback I was receiving along the way from my target audience:

“I would be thrilled to join this group!”- Morgan M., teen member

“Hi, I’m Nate’s mom and I think this is a fantastic idea.”- Nicole P., parent

“What a great thing you’re doing by organizing this! I wish you all the success and hope to have my little girl, she’s 8 now, participate in something like this in the future.”- Angela T., parent

“I’d love to join the group for dinner.  Looking forward to it, thanks for doing this!”- Ryan S., teen member

“I just wanted to say that it was so cool that you organized a group get together. It’s a great idea…thanks, again. Good luck!”- Michelle S., parent 

“I got your letter about Teens with Celiac Disease and would like to participate. I have celiac disease as well as my sister, mom, grandma, and best friend. Thank you.”- Lowri M., teen member

“This is so amazing, thank you so much! What a great project for you, and you’re helping so many people.”- Julie L., parent

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

The Denver Celiac Support Group has committed to continue to sponsor the teen support group program. My project advisor, Maria Brotherston, is the Children’s Program Director and she will oversee the group. More importantly, several of the younger teens in the group have expressed interest in leading the group when I leave for college.

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

My efforts to create a teen support group for those living with celiac disease began in the Denver area. While promoting my Celiac Disease Presentation and Panel Discussion event through publicity efforts with an interview with Reporter Karen Morfitt of CBS4/KCNC-TV and various Facebook posts about the event and the interview, I was contacted by Carla Carter, Director of Outreach and Programming for the National Celiac Association. Ms. Carter said she had been following my progress and asked if I would be interested in submitting my story for their spring magazine. I was thrilled to be asked and humbled by the opportunity.

The NCA magazine is circulated nationwide to more than 3,000 members as well as more than 500 libraries and hospitals nationwide. Not only was my picture (with my Girl Scout vest) on the cover of the magazine, my story was featured as the centerfold of the magazine. In my article, I offered my assistance to any other group or program wishing to start a similar experience in their state or hometown and hope that I will be contacted in the near future.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the course of my project, I learned the importance of developing good communication, presentation, and writing skills. At each stage of my project, I was either talking with someone, writing to someone, or presenting to someone and telling them about my project mission and goals. As a result of my project, I learned to write better and improve my presentation skills. I knew it was important for me to be prepared in each of my presentations. I knew any emails that I sent had to be professional and well-written. Prior to my project, I had never done a phone interview, media interview, or acted as a moderator for an event. Through my project, I learned to go outside of my comfort zone to speak to others, ask for help from others, and be a better communicator.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future

Personally, I learned why I enjoy participating in the celiac teen support group so much is because I realized I like helping other people. In the future, I plan to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. I want to become a nurse because I enjoy assisting other people and I love making people feel better and feel supported. My Girl Scout Gold Award project caused me to realize my passion and solidify my career goals for the future.

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

In addition to communication skills, I developed several important leadership skills during my project as well. I learned how to connect and collaborate with other organizations and people while advocating for myself and others with celiac disease. I learned how to plan and organize a large-scale event. Through my efforts, I learned about project management and time management. Through each of these efforts, I was building awareness for celiac disease, my project, and what I was trying to accomplish with the teen support group. I think each of these skills helped me to be a better leader as I worked to promote awareness of celiac disease and attract new teen members for the support group.

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

Prior to earning my Gold Award, I considered myself usually adverse to taking risks or putting myself into strange or uncomfortable situations. However, during my journey to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, I learned to take risks and go outside of my comfort zone to achieve my goals. The research and planning work I did for my project really helped me to realize that it’s okay to take risks in order to make progress. Additionally, I learned that sometimes taking risks means encountering a few challenges and making a few mistakes along the way. I realized that working closely with my mentor and learning from my mistakes is what enabled me to continue my efforts in order to earn my Gold Award.

**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 Scouts of Colorado launches first-ever Cyber Challenge, sponsored by Raytheon

More than 250 Colorado Girl Scouts in grades 6–12 gathered at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton on Saturday, October 19, 2019 for the first-ever Cyber Challenge! Girl Scouts of Colorado, along with Girl Scouts of the USA, teamed up with Raytheon to give girls the opportunity to detect, decode, and defend as part of a full-day, scenario-based STEM competition specifically designed for them. The event happened at the same time as nine others around the country. At each one, middle school and high school Girl Scouts learned crucial cybersecurity skills by completing challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes. The challenges were based on a fictional scenario in the year 2050: Humans have colonized the moon and a ransomware attack has targeted the colony’s water supply. The girls had to work together as part of an incident response team to find out who hacked the system and how to stop them. The goal of the day’s activities was to prepare girls to pursue computer science careers in industries including cybersecurity, robotics, data science, and artificial intelligence.

Girl Scouts also heard from keynote speaker, Whitney Orndorff, a tactical analyst with the Denver Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She works to combat human trafficking and child exploitation crimes. Girl Scouts also networked with Raytheon employees and learned about careers in STEM.

Special thanks to Reporter Kelly Werthmann of CBS4/KCNC-TV for joining us for this special STEM event! 



Girl Scouts earn NEW space science badges with Lockheed Martin

More than 100 Colorado Girl Scouts in grades 6–12 earned NEW STEM badges with the help of Lockheed Martin employees on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, one of the region’s premier aerospace museums.

These Girl Scouts are among the first in Colorado to earn three NEW space science badges, which were among the 42 badges released by Girl Scouts of the USA in July. Cadettes (grades 6–8) earned the “Space Science Researcher” badge by learning about the properties of light and how we use it to make discoveries about the Universe and space science. Seniors (grades 9 and 10) earned the “Space Science Expert” badge by gaining a deeper understanding of the Universe– her place in it and how light is used to make discoveries about it. Ambassadors (grades 11 and 12) earned the “Space Science Master” badge by discovering how they can be a part of NASA now and in the future. Girl Scouts also had the opportunity to network with female Lockheed Martin employees and learn about high school internships.

A special thanks to CBS4/KCNC-TV and Fox31/KDVR-TV for joining us for this special event and sharing the story with their viewers! Media Stars Alison, Diana, and Tessa did an AWESOME job representing GSCO in interviews about the event.

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate builds StoryWalk Trail

Over the past year, Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Avery H. has developed, planned, and constructed a StoryWalk Trail for the Town of Parker. It is permanently installed at McCabe Meadows, a nature trail located just off the Cherry Creek Trail. A StoryWalk Trail is a type of nature trail with signs installed along it, displaying the pages of a children’s book. A story can be read as the trail is walked.

“I pursued this project because it perfectly intertwined my love for both the outdoors and reading while also engaging children in my community. I wanted to be able to help other kids discover the love I have for books and nature,” Avery wrote.

Special thanks to Reporter Jeff Todd of CBS4/KCNC-TV in Denver for sharing  Avery’s story!


Girl Scout Gold Award candidate installs “Grow Tower” at high school in Colorado Springs

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Emma P.  installed the first of two “Grow Towers” in the library of Palmer High School in Colorado Springs on September 30, 2019. Emma is working to earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

Emma describes her project:

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been deeply interested in climate change and determined to help address it. For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I wanted to pick a project that would help address climate change in my community. I decided the library at my high school, Palmer High School, would greatly benefit from a new environmental project, the installation of two hydroponic ‘Grow Towers,’ an indoor alternative growing system. ‘Grow Towers’ are vertical, hydroponic (plants grown in liquid instead of soil) growing systems, which grow various herbs, vegetables, and other plants in less than 3 square feet. This project has many important ramifications for my entire school. The cafeteria and culinary classes will utilize the fresh herbs and vegetables in their programs. I also plan on tying these towers into some science classes and am considering starting a new horticulture class to further educate and involve students in similar projects. Along the way, I have been working with teachers, administrators, and student groups to help maintain my project and work toward expansion. I have also met with and arranged for representatives from two community organizations (Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Colorado Springs Food Rescue) to give presentations at my school about their organizations’ work. I am hoping students will feel more connected and interested in similar local work. Ultimately, I am hoping these towers will help the Palmer community learn about the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options within schools and students will feel a sense of empowerment in addressing climate change.”

A special thank you to the Colorado Springs News-Gazette and Fox21News/KXRM-TV for joining Emma for this event and sharing her story.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Girl Scouts build and test roller coaster cars with the LEGO Group

17 Girl Scout Daisies had the unique opportunity to build and test an awesome roller coaster car and ramp with the LEGO Group at Colorado Mills Mall in Lakewood on  Sunday, September 15, 2019! With the help of parents, caregivers, troop leaders, and LEGO Store employees, these Daisies learned about mechanical engineering and motion. Girls also explored how roller coasters work by designing, building, and testing their cars. As part of the event, the girls got to keep their LEGO cars and even earned their “Daisy Roller Coaster Design Challenge” badge. This event is all thanks to a national partnership between the LEGO Group and Girl Scouts of the USA! GSCO hopes to offer more events like this in the future.

A special thanks to CBS Denver who joined GSCO for the event and shared the story with their viewers!

Silver Award project: Community garden

Girl Scout Cadettes Lizzy and Alina from Littleton wanted to help both people AND the environment. For their Silver Award project, they are working to build a community garden at their former elementary school, Colorow Elementary School. The vegetables that will be grown in the garden will be donated to a nearby food bank. Lizzy and Alina hope the garden will also give students at the school an opportunity to learn about gardening, composting, helping their community, and more.

“As Girl Scouts and teenagers, we strive to be the best people that we can be. When creating our project for our Silver Award, we had different ideas and merged them into one project. Alina’s idea was to help people in need, but bring it one step further and provide people with fresh produce at the local food bank at the neighborhood church. Lizzy’s idea was to help save the environment through educating kids the importance of doing your part in protecting the environment, as well as help the environment physically like composting,” wrote Lizzy and Alina.

The girls are using money earned through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, along with generous donations from the community, to build their garden. In fact, the girls received more donations than originally expected, especially cinder blocks, to make the raised garden beds. Now, they need other need other supplies, like dirt.

Lizzy and Alina also collected old t-shirts and remade them into cotton reusable bags so volunteers can take the produce from the garden to the food bank.

Special thanks to Reporter Jeff Todd of CBS4/KCNC-TV in Denver for helping Lizzy and Alina spread the word about their project and the need for donations.

If you’re interested in helping Lizzy and Alina with their Silver Award project, email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award Girl Scouts honored at Highest Awards Celebration in Colorado Springs

More than 75 Girl Scouts, along with their friends and family, gathered at the Penrose House at El Pomar in Colorado Springs on May 3, 2019 to honor the more than 1,200 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn. For the 2018-19 Girl Scout awards program year, 126 Girl Scouts in the Pikes Peak region earned the Bronze Award. 53 girls across the Pikes Peak region earned the prestigious Silver Award. 42 girls across Colorado earned the prestigious Gold Award.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

Highest Award recipients are perfect examples of girls who lead the Girl Scout way. Taking the lead like a Girl Scout means being a go-getter who is bold, honest, and determined to succeed; an innovator who thinks outside the box; a risk-taker who is willing to try new things; and a leader who leads with empathy,” she said.

2018 Gold Award Girl Scout and winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence Riley Morgenthaler served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about how earning the Girl Scout Gold Award has impacted her life.

Every time I think that the Gold Award has given me everything it possibly can, I get a new, amazing opportunity; use the tremendous number of skills it taught me; or receive unexpected feedback from the community I targeted with my project. I am so amazed to see how my project has continued to grow wings and impact even more people, ” she said.

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

A special thank you to News5/KOAA-TV for airing photos of the event.

Silver Award Girl Scouts: Capes with healing powers

Three Girl Scout Cadettes wanted patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado to feel courageous and strong, so they helped make more than 250 super hero capes for them to wear while undergoing treatment at the hospital. Blen, Lena, and Maddie, along with their leaders, delivered the capes to the hospital in April 2019. Reporter Karen Morfitt of CBS Denver joined the troop for one of the deliveries. Click here to watch the story. 

In September, the troop partnered with JOANN Fabrics to design a sewing class where Girl Scouts and community members alike could learn to sew and create the capes. The girls also created packets with sewing instructions and a pattern to hand out to people in the community who can sew.

Congratulations to these Silver Award Girl Scouts!