Tag Archives: Statewide

Advice for new leaders from seasoned leaders

Submitted by Allison Ellington, GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

Thoughts from some Western Slope volunteers

Why I volunteer:

• Because I was a Girl Scout and had great experiences

• To help teach girls and support their development in my community

• To make a difference and have fun

• It’s a great way to bond with my daughter and help develop confidence in young girls

• It’s important to role model volunteering and community involvement

• To keep me out of trouble, get new experiences and meet so many people

New skills developed as a Girl Scout volunteer:

• Patience, event planning, conflict resolution, getting on the girl’s level, and teaching the way they learn

• Camping and relating to girls

• Organizational skills

• The importance of delegating

• How to ask for help

• Dealing with diversity

• Learned to be a kid again

• Dealing with lots of different personalities with teenage girls. You can learn A LOT from these girls!

• Still learning

• Leadership and time management

• “I found a hidden confidence in myself that transferred to my job outside of Girl Scouts. I’m able to communicate better and multi-task better which earned me a promotion to a manager! 😊”

What advice would you give to a brand-new volunteer?

• It can be overwhelming at first. Breathe, relax, go at a pace you can handle, and use the help the staff provides. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help!

• Don’t stress about being perfect

• Go to the trainings before you start

• Get your training, ask for help, and network with other leaders

• Remember, these girls are here to have fun while learning

• Be open-minded and have fun

• Reach out to other leaders – they have been through the same things you are going through

• Ask for parent volunteers – even for the small things

• Tap into the other leaders for information

• Attend trainings and service unit meetings! Meet other leaders and network for collaboration and ideas.

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

Join Daisy’s Circle and save

Join Daisy’s Circle today and get a $5 NEW MEMBER COUPON to use at the Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop!

This coupon is good for Girl Scout uniforms, books, holiday gifts, and more.  The shop has more than 1,600 items in-stock and inventory changes daily.

This coupon applies to transactions completed in-person at the GSCO Shop in Denver or via phone and email.  It expires 10/15/2017.  This deal cannot be transferred or copied.  Offer limited to in-stock merchandise only.

 

Troops needed for Flag Ceremony at Highest Awards Celebrations

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** UPDATE: We now have troops to do the Flag Ceremony in the Metro Denver, Pikes Peak, and Northern & Northeastern Colorado regions. Thank you to everyone who offered to help!

Submitted by GSCO Highest Awards Manager Aimee Bianca, aimee.bianca@gscolorado.org

Highest Awards Celebrations are right around the corner! We cannot wait to honor all the girls who have earned their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award in the next year.

We need troops to volunteer to lead the Girl Scout Promise and Law and Pledge of Allegiance, and do the opening and closing flag ceremony at each event. It would be best to have at least four girls volunteer for this exciting opportunity, but we can work with a larger group easily. Three girls are needed to be the flag bearers and carry the flags and one girl is needed to be the “caller”. Additional girls will act as the color guard.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will provide scripts and flags at each celebration. We ask that you arrive at least a half an hour before the event begins to practice and set up. It would be best to have a troop volunteer who is not being recognized for an award this year but is excited about participating in the future.

Please email aimee.bianca@gscolorado.org as soon as possible and no later than Monday, April 3rd if you girls are interested in this opportunity.

Celebration dates are:

Pueblo & SE Colorado
Friday, April 21 – 6:00pm
Center for American Values
101 S Main Street, #100
Pueblo, CO 81003

Northern & NE Colorado
Sunday, April 23 – 2:00pm
Embassy Suites by Hilton Loveland
4705 Clydesdale Pkwy
Loveland, CO 80538

Western Slope & SE Colorado
Sunday, April 30 – 2:00pm
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction, CO 81501

Pikes Peak
Friday, May 5 – 6:00pm
Penrose House at El Pomar
1661 Mesa Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Denver Metro
Sunday, May 7 – 2:00pm
Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237

Centennial Kickoff Celebration: Celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting in Colorado

Written by Katy L. Wood

My family moved a lot when I was a kid so I never managed to stay in a Girl Scout troop–and they never managed to keep up a troop on their own–but what I did do was go to camp. There were summers where I’d go to three separate two week camps, sometimes one right after the other so I was away from home for a month. Those days at camp are some of the best memories of my childhood. I am who I am because of those days at camp.

I frequently got the chance to hang upside-down from rather precarious positions:

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I learned how to shoot and gained a life long love of archery:

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I went backpacking in some of the most beautiful wilderness out there:

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I met a woman called Pink who was a HUGE influence on who I am today, dyed hair and crazy artist and all:

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And while I went to a handful of different camps there was one that stood out above all the rest: Flying “G” Ranch Colorado. It was this beautiful place nestled up in the Rockies full of horses and platform tents and storms that made the ground rock and so much more. Not even the Haymen Fire that destroyed most of the area around it could bring it down.

Pink ran the art shed for every year I can remember going there. She taught us how to make candles and weave beads and paint and make friendship bracelets. I was even lucky enough to have her as a unit counselor on an art themed backpacking trip.

My mom went to Flying “G” when she was a kid. I started going when I was nine years old. But when I was 12 the camp was shut down. It broke my heart. 

I remember my last session there; it was the session with the art themed backpacking trip with Pink. I remember the very last flag ceremony the camp ever had:

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I remember that there was a virus that was going around camp on the very last night so we had to cancel the big, final, closing campfire. But Pink, someone like me who was a second generation attendee of the camp, wouldn’t have that. She gathered all of our unit up into the outdoor kitchen in our unit, turned on her radio, pulled out her guitar, and started singing camp songs over the radio for the whole camp to hear.

We cried. Every single one of us. Every single girl in that unit was someone like me who’d been attending the camp for years and we were devastated. It was like losing our home. We were never going to come back and tell ghost stories about the Aspen Heart up on the mountain. We were never going to churn butter in the homestead house. We were never gonna have to pull our mattresses off of their metal frames because the lightning was so bad. We were never gonna sing in front of the lodge before meals. We were never gonna watch Pink dip her hand into a vat of boiling wax because she was determined to have a hand shaped candle. We were never gonna hike up to Lookout Rock before dawn and watch the sun come up over a valley full of clouds. It was over.

Sure, there are plenty of other great Girl Scout camps in Colorado. I’ve been to a handful of them, before and after Flying “G” closed. But it was never the same.

I’ve missed Girl Scouts like crazy ever since that camp closed, but I moved on. I had other things keeping me busy like high school and then college. I still hiked, I still practiced archery, I still told ghost stories. I still missed it, even if I’d moved on.

Then, about a month ago, Elba Barr contacted me wondering if I’d be interested in teaching comics at the Girl Scout Centennial Colorado celebration on the 23rd of July. She’d found me online when searching for women artists in Colorado. I wanted so much to say yes, but at the time I thought it would be out of the state that weekend for a family vacation. Then that vacation got canceled and I jumped at the chance to e-mail Elba back to say I would be available after all. I didn’t get my hopes up though, it had been about two weeks and I knew Elba might have found someone else to fill the position.

But she hadn’t, and she was ECSTATIC that I’d become available. So I sent her a list of supplies, packed up a collection of my favorite comic books and drawing resources–as well as my old Flying “G” bandanna–and headed down to Colorado Springs where the celebration was taking place.

I got there about two hours early because, for one, I’m terrible at planning, for two, I was ridiculously excited. I couldn’t WAIT to meet the girls and talk to them about comics. So I hauled out my box of books, set up under my little tent in the dusty field, and waited for things to get rolling at this delightful little get together that would be teaching the girls not only comics but other wonderful things like spear-throwing (something every girl should, obviously, know).

The celebration started off with a wonderful flag ceremony and some great speeches and, not gonna lie, I was quite proud of myself for remembering the Girl Scout pledge after about ten years. Then it was back to my tent to get things started. 

Technically the comic artist badge is a cadet level badge (around middle school age) but I had girls of all ages come to my tent, some as young as five or six. There were even girls from other countries. They were all so sweet and happy to draw and show me their comics and ask questions. Some of them even gave me little trinkets to take home, and one set of parents bought me a slushy to battle the heat of the day.

It was great. It was just straight up great. Yeah, I was getting to talk about and teach something I love doing, but more than that I was on the other side of it now. I was a counselor, even if it was just for a day. I was Pink, the woman who had such a huge, lasting influence on who I am today. It was a little surreal and it brought back so many amazing memories of being the little girl sitting in the dirt at camp with a homemade sketchbook and dreaming about being a successful artist one day. 

So thank you, Elba, for inviting me to this awesome event that gave me back something I’ve been missing for ten years; a little piece of Flying “G” ranch.

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Having a great Centennial Kickoff Celebration

Submitted by Mickki Langston

We know you’re as excited as we are about the Centennial Kickoff Celebration! More than 300 Girl Scouts and their families are coming together for two days of traditions, outdoor activities, and sisterhood. Pre-sales end July 20, so snag your tickets now to join in one or both days!

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Caption: Girl Scouts enjoying the outdoors at camp

We want you and your family to have a great time, so we have some suggestions for making this a great event:

  • Prepare for a summer, outdoor event with no shade. Bring umbrellas, hats, sunscreen, and lots of water. While our lunch-time food trucks will be selling water and other beverages, ensure you have enough to stay hydrated! Other comfort measures are encouraged, such as lawn chairs and blankets.
  • Lunch will be for sale via local food trucks during lunch on both days, and pizza will be provided to those who stay for dinner on Saturday night. You are encouraged to bring snacks and meals to support your family’s experience.
  • We’ll have nearly a dozen activity stations on both days, so be prepared to learn new skills and participate! Everyone who participates in the activities can earn the special badges as part of this event, which will be sent to participants 6-8 weeks after the event.
  • While we’ll have singing around the campfire and other fun Girl Scout traditions, don’t hesitate to bring SWAPS or other great stuff to share with your Girl Scout sisters.
  • Walk up registrations and all shop items are credit card only, so be prepared to get your extra Centennial Celebration swag and add any additional guests to your registration with your preferred plastic.

    More info can be found in our FAQ and event registration page. We are excited to see you this weekend!

Centennial Kickoff Celebration: Schedule of events

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The Centennial Kickoff Celebration is packed with great badge activities and special guests to help us celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouting in Colorado, and look forward to the next generation of making the world a better place. Two days will feature unique content for the whole family, with opportunities to earn up to 12 badges!

Check out our FAQ for more details about the event, and don’t forget to come prepared for an all day, outdoor event, with sunscreen, hats, snacks, and water bottles.

Saturday

9 a.m. – Registration opens

10 – 10:15 a.m. Formal Flag Ceremony being done by Honorary Troop 4 with National Anthem sung by Girl Scout Mackenzie Balagot

10:15 – 10:20 a.m Opening remarks by Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie Foote

10:20 – 10:25 a.m. Special guest Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers

10:25 – 10:45 a.m. Keynote address by Gabrielle Rochino of Think Like a Girl Engineering Kits

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Badge activities start with a rotation schedule at one-hour increments.  

·         First Aid (with our partners at Ft. Carson)

·         Athlete (Spear throwing with our partner Reebok Spartan)

·         Outdoor Adventures (including Zorb bubble soccer, rock climbing exposure and drywater rafting)

·         GS Way

·         Animals (full-size horse/interactive displays)

·         Sewing

·         Artist (outdoor painting and comic artist)

 11 a.m. – Food trucks on site (who will sell lunches and refreshments. Attendees may bring own lunch, snacks, and are encouraged to bring water)

6 – 6:30 p. m. Actress portraying Juliette Gordon Low

6:30 p.m. – Pizza dinner

6:30 – 7:15 p.m. Musical performance by special guest Miguel Dakota

7:30 – 7:45 p.m. Retiring of the colors for the day

Sunday

9 a.m. – Registration opens

10 – 10:15 a.m. Formal Flag Ceremony being done by Honorary Troop 4

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Investment/Rededication Ceremony

10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Badge activities start with a rotation schedule at one-hour increments. Badge activities today include:

·         First Aid

·         Outdoor Adventures (including Zorb bubble soccer, rock climbing exposure and drywater rafting)

·         GS Way

·         Animals (Meet miniature horses)

·         Archery

·         ASL Interpretation (Learn the Girl Scout promise in ASL)

·         Community Safety (with our partners from Red Cross)

·         Beekeeping

·         Aviation

·         Conservation

·         Artistry (Older girls learn about digital photography)

11 a.m. – Food trucks on site (who will sell lunches and refreshments. Attendees may bring own lunch, snacks, and are encouraged to bring water)

5:30 – 6 p.m. Formal Closing Ceremony

Older Girl Advisory Board: Make your voice heard

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Submitted by Katie Singleton

Beginning in the 2017 membership year, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to apply to join a new Older Girl Advisory Board! This board will serve as the voice for Girl Scouts across Colorado. Advisory Board members will have the opportunity to provide direct feedback to staff regarding current and future programming and events, participate in leadership and professional development workshops, and connect with the GSCO Board of Directors.

Board members will participate in monthly web meetings and attend four camp retreats held at Tomahawk Ranch each year. The first camp retreat is scheduled for December 20-21, 2016. Transportation assistance may be available.

Girls interested in participating in this Advisory Board are invited to submit their application at https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/ogab2016. All applicants must provide contact information for two references who will be emailed a link to an online reference form. All applications and reference forms are due by September 5, 2016.

More information can be found at www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/ogab. Contact Katie Singleton at katie.singleton@gscolorado.org with any questions.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kristin Coulter

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Submitted by Kristin Hamm

Kristin Coulter’s voice swells with pride when she talks about the 12 girls in her Girl Scout Senior troop and what they’ve accomplished.

“They really do take your hearts,” she said. “You go from seeing them as little girls when it was all like herding cats to growing into the women they’re going to be, to the leaders they are. It’s just really cool.”

From first graders to young women entering the halls of high school, Kristin along with her co-leader Laura Charlier, have had the privilege and pleasure of leading Troop 63573.  Eight of the original 12 members are still active and, while there have been some ebbs and flows in membership with a peak of 20 members during the Brownie/Junior years, the troop is now 12 girls strong again.

Along the way, they’ve earned badges, served their community, sold cookies, traveled near and far, earned their Bronze Award, challenged themselves at Reach for the Peak, and this year they earned their Silver Award and created Colorado’s first Council’s Own Badge. It’s all happened with the guidance of two very special volunteers who make a good team and feel they’re growing as much as the girls.

“When you start out, you think you’re just doing it to help out, and in the end you’re amazed at how much you grow as a leader,” Kristin said of her experience as a Girl Scout volunteer.

Keeping the troop together was a goal for Kristin in the beginning. “I remember making a goal that at least six of my original 12 Daisies would earn their Gold Award …. And we might just make it!”

The transition from Juniors to Cadettes is often a difficult time for troops. Some leaders burn out. Some girls get so busy with other activities Girl Scouts seems like too much. Kristin saw this coming and felt a common goal would help keep this group together.

“I didn’t want them to fall apart,” she said. “That’s such a big transition time that I was worried that they could get lost — from each other and from that focus they had gained to do good and be a leader.”

At that time, the troop put their focus on a big adventure and began planning for their trip to Costa Rica. It took two years to raise the money and make the trip a reality, but Kristin feels having that common goal kept them together – and it has given them so many wonderful, shared memories.

Now, they’re working toward a hiking adventure trip in Iceland.

How does a mother of two, with two Master’s Degrees, who was a Girl Scout as a girl for “maybe a year” end up leading a go-getter troop of 12 girls for eight years and counting?

“My daughter was in first grade and painfully shy, so I wanted to get her involved in something where she could connect with others by having common goals,” Kristin said. “There was a flier at school and I went to the meeting, not with the idea of leading the troop … but I talked to an experienced leader of girls in fourth or fifth grade and she told me about all the things they’d done and I thought it was very different from what my childhood troop had been like.”

“I realized you could make the troop whatever you wanted it to be,” she said. “You could get out there and be adventurous.”

That experienced troop leader showed her a scrapbook of her troop’s adventures, and Kristin was sold. She also included scrapbooking as part of the troop’s activities so the girls would remember and families in her troop would see all the amazing things the girls did over the years.

Kristin believes strongly that immersion is a great teacher and learning by doing is the Girl Scout way.

“I moved (to Italy) without speaking a word of Italian and came home with a MA,” she said. “I think that experience plus just being an idealistic Westerner, gives me the confidence that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  I try to pass that on to the girls.”

The troop put that theory to the test last summer at Reach for the Peak, an outdoor skills competition held at Sky High Ranch. They earned a Marmot award and will spend much of their summer preparing for this fall’s competition. “It was an intense but awesome experience,” she said.

Her daughter Fiona, who has moved from a shy Daisy to a confident Program Aide at Sky High Ranch, has gotten to do many different things as a Girl Scout.

“She has grown so much,” Kristin said. “She has the confidence to try new things and I have to believe it’s in large part due to Girl Scouts.” Less than a month after earning her Silver Award, her daughter already has an idea for her Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

In addition to her co-leader, Kristin credits the supportive and involved parents of her troop for helping to keep the Park Hill-based troop going. The girls in the troop have always gone to different schools, and Kristin says their personalities are so different they probably wouldn’t gravitate together naturally, but their Girl Scout experiences have created a lasting bond.

Clearly Kristin feels that bond as well. When asked about a favorite troop leader moment, she chokes back tears as she describes the girls’ reaction to presenting at a recent Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors meeting.

“Being at that board meeting was such a thrill for us,” she said. “It got the girls focused on what this has all meant. The girls were so impressed with being in a room full of professional women…

“I’m always telling them that they can do anything and how capable they are … the fact that that landed on them was really, really powerful. At their age, they’ve accomplished a lot of things – at school, at sports … but they were able to fast forward to their professional lives  … and they saw themselves at that table.”

It was a gigantic day for the girls of Troop 63573, not only did they present their Council’s Own Badge to the Board of Directors in the morning, they bridged to Seniors and were given their Silver Award pins that evening.

“We were in a circle and I said ‘Give yourself a pat on the back – look to your right and look to your left – and recognize what you’ve accomplished because nobody asked you to do it; you did it on your own.”

While Kristin would never take any credit, it’s clear these girls did it on their own, but they  wouldn’t have had this opportunity without amazing volunteers like Kristin and Laura, the parents in the troop and Girl Scouts of Colorado.

Gold Awardees Shine at State Capitol Recognition

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Fifteen of Girl Scouts of Colorado’s thirty eight 2014 Gold Awardees were presented on the floor at the opening of today’s House of Representative’s session at the Colorado State Capitol and lauded for their contributions and for being the leaders of tomorrow in our state.

The girls celebrated today were Brianne Azuero of Aurora, Kaitlin Baker-Carr of Fort Collins, Ashley Brock of Fort Collins, Emily Calzone of Longmont, Dottie Deane of Littleton, Taylor Hale of Boulder, Ashely Jones of Parker, Delaney Keeler of Colorado Springs, Sarah Kriner of Falcon, Kelli Leachman of Larkspur, Ann Martens of Monument, Josie Natrasevschi of Fort Collins, Lindsey Romig of Littleton, Natalia Suarez of Fort Collins and Eliana K. Wackerman of Colorado Springs.

The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting, and as Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, these girls’ accomplishments reflect extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need, took ownership to help develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance and leadership is making the world a better place.”

The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Girl Scouts’ 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, 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. The Gold Award has been part of the Girl Scout program since 1916. 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 Girl Scout achievement.

The girls attending the event today enjoyed a historic tour of the Capitol and while on the floor, they heard the touching testimonies of House members in support of a bill to declare April 28 through May 4 as Holocaust Awareness Week in Colorado. It was fitting testimonial for the girls to hear, as the messages are so aligned with our Girl Scout organizational values of inclusion, respect and advocacy. One representative cited a quote from Elie Wiesel, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”

See more photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/sets/72157643601466303/