When you are feeling overworked and under-appreciated while putting your all into running your troop, remember that you are impacting girls for their whole lives. Today, I got one of the best kinds of thank you’s…
When I was in college and freshly married, I started a Girl Scout Junior troop in California. I was blessed with a wonderful group of girls long before I ever had a daughter of my own. A few months ago and again today, two of these beloved young women searched me out and friended me on Facebook. I just want to reach out and hug both of them. Over 20 years later, those girls remember me and want to reconnect with me.
When you need a Girl Scout pick-me-up, just think about the long term impact you are having. It certainly lifted my spirits and makes me want to go that extra mile!
With Daisy Troop 55321’s first-ever Girl Scout cookie booth coming up, we decided to learn more about the cookies and work on the “Count It Up” leaf.
We found an EXPERT cookie seller to help us learn all we could about the BEST way to sell Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scout Cadette Claire helped us learn the names of each cookie and the price per package. We also discovered what is in each kind of cookie and why someone might want to buy each cookie. If you like to drink tea, you might want to buy the Savannah Smiles because they are yummy with tea!
Then, we practiced how to sell to customers. We each got to be a cookie seller and a cookie buyer, so we could practice our skills!
What else do you need for a cookie booth!? Booth signs, of course. We split up and made informational signs for our booth.
Finally, we all got to take home samples of each cookie to try with our families. The suspense is hard, but we can’t wait to share our newfound cookie knowledge with our families!
We are go -getters because we can’t wait to be courageous and sell cookies for the first time! We are also risk-takers because some of our members are selling cookies door-to-door and this is our first year of cookie selling. AND, we are watching girls lead in action by inviting an older Girl Scout to share her expert knowledge.
The girls worked diligently on earning their Daisy flower petals through the Daisy Flower Garden Journey while learning the Girl Scout Promise and Law. They also earned the Watering Can Award, the Golden Honey Bee Award and the Amazing Daisy Award.
In early November, the girls started the Journey when they planted seeds in containers. Some took their plantings home and watered them to see what would happen. They also participated in a Take Action Project on the Soda Creek playground where, with the help of Ms. Cindy Gantick, they wrapped up the bushes and roses to keep them from suffering winter damage. During their final Journey Celebration, the girls demonstrated their knowledge of the 10 parts of the Girl Scout Law and decorated a fun Daisy frame for their Journey certificates. See some of the fun photos from the celebration.
I recently had an amazing Girl Scout experience that I want to share. I knew that going to National Convention as a delegate would be exciting, but I had no idea that it would change the way I look at Girl Scouting. I have returned from Ohio more motivated than ever before, and want to encourage you to share my energy. Even more importantly, I want to convince all Girl Scouts to attend a National Convention themselves.
I am a Mountain Communities Trainer and also teach the Program Aid course. I am a strong advocate of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and enjoy opportunities to teach others. I’ve worked with so many talented Girl Scouts, but I was blown away by the girls chosen as national delegates. The girl delegates were active in giving opinions on our voting topics. They were thoughtful, insightful, passionate, and persuasive. However, when the discussion topic of how to get more girls into Girl Scouting and keep them, they were incredible. These young women had talked with other girls and shared their stories. They had concerns about diversity, funding, and leadership. They expressed that while many girls are tired of Journeys, others really like them. They presented original ideas that made everyone in the room think, “Wow, why aren’t we doing that?”
I want to encourage all of you to return to your troops and let the girls take the reins. It takes a bit of encouragement to get them on the leadership path, but I’ve seen what can happen when they succeed. I can only hope that my daughter becomes half as successful and amazing as the young women chosen to represent their councils.
I had a meeting with my friend and mentor, Nancy Mucklow, who encouraged me to apply to be a delegate. She wants to plan some big Girl Scout travel, and I virtually doubled her list. Did you know that there is a petition to name the bridge over the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge? When I told my troop about a chance to participate in their bridging ceremony, their eyes lit up and I think they started their packing list in their heads. I was unaware that Girl Scouts has a camp in Minnesota that does Boundary Waters canoe trips, and the cost is so low it’s staggering. You can go as a large group, an individual, or even a family. I was thrilled to find out that this high adventure trip is affordable and am starting to look at dates. I hope that I can encourage others to join me. I also learned a great deal more about the different world centers and Nancy is starting our travel plans for 2019 – I can’t wait!
The Hall of Experiences was just amazing. I learned information that I never realized existed. It had activities for the girls, from crafts, to the local science museum, to NASA. We were especially impressed with one gentleman at the NASA booth. Not only did he tell us about current science and demonstrate thrilling technology, he gave out important advice about high school and college classes to focus on and emphasized the importance of earning your Gold Award before applying for colleges. My favorite part of our conversation though, was about his daughter’s troop that he leads. We talked with our first colleges, and the advisors there taught my daughter the important questions she should be asking. They talked to her, not me. They asked her the important questions and helped her narrow down her scattered thoughts. I’m grateful for their approach in helping my daughter start her college search.
The breakout sessions were so informative and fun. My daughter attended the girl only yoga and self-defense class. She was very excited to prove herself to the self-defense instructor. She was told to hit the instructor if attacked. When the instructor snuck up on my daughters back and grabbed her hand, my daughter turned and hit her. The instructor was so thrilled that it was caught on video and she posed together yelling YEAH! While she was beating up adults, I attended a bullying seminar. While this was not normally not my thing, I was extremely impressed and inspired. The speaker had a different way of looking at the topic, and I can’t wait to share what I learned.
The inspirational speakers and videos were simply phenomenal. Coming from a family of gymnasts, hearing Gabby Douglas speak was thrilling. Chelsea Clinton was a joy and we just loved her discussion with the Young Women of Distinction about their Gold Awards. The psychologist that spoke was simply amazing. I am still discussing her theories with my daughter. However, in my opinion, the best speaker of the Convention was our very own CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. The way she could engage every person in the audience, regardless of their age was so wonderful. She loved getting all of us to stand up, dance and celebrate Girl Scouting together. If her speaking skills weren’t enough, she also took the time to talk with anyone who wanted her ear and smile for hundreds of selfies. If you have never heard amazing woman speak, I encourage you to seek her out.
The point that I want to stress is that National Convention is just so much more than just a convention. It’s a lifetime experience. I met people who have been attending National Convention since the 80’s. I was inspired by one woman who brings her granddaughters to every National Convention. I find this idea compelling and hope to someday be able to follow in this woman’s footsteps. Did I forget to talk about SWAPS? Just imagine bringing 250 swaps representing our great state and trading with Girl Scouts from around the country – and the world!
When I returned from convention, I was simply exhausted. There were so many fun and interesting things going on that we averaged about five and a half hours of sleep a night. The most amazing part of the convention started after I got home and got a real eight hours of sleep. I have ideas. I have plans. I am motivated. I see how my local troop and my volunteer efforts fit into Girl Scouts around the country. I want to see Girl Scouts of Colorado become a leader in our amazing national organization. I want to see more Girl Scouts, young and old, attend national conventions and come home as inspired as me. I want you to join me at the next national convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida!
On the last warm Sunday of the summer of 2017, Girl Scouts in Steamboat Springs presented Nancy Mucklow with the “Thanks” badge. Nominated by Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors chair-elect Rae Ann Dougherty, Nancy did not expect the overwhelming number of endorsements that also supported the honor. Ms. Dougherty was unable to attend, but provided the following statement for the ceremony:
“Because of Nancy’s spirited devotion, Girl Scouts of Colorado is fortunate to have a strong and growing base of active Girl Scouts of all ages in Steamboat Springs, a key area of our Mountain Communities region! Not only does she share and invite girls from all over the state to participate in Steamboat events, her energy routinely spills out into other geographic areas throughout the state with a VERY positive impact. Without Nancy’s dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and energy, I believe we would not have as strong, dynamic, and vibrant Girl Scout Program in Steamboat Springs. Even with her male dominated family, she shepherds many girls, as well as adult volunteers, through the program.”
Celebrating Girl Scouts World Thinking Day was a BLAST and a badge earning opportunity for 14 troops in Steamboat Springs! Following the WAGGGS #Grow theme, a badge event was coordinated at the Strings Pavilion, in partnership with Strings in the Mountains, a local arts supporter, Colorado State Forest Service, and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
From an educational video about WAGGGS and our world centers (made by two Cadette troops) to the “When We Shine” dance choreographed by a Cadette troop, and badge and leadership stations led by Cadette and Senior/Ambassador troops as well as the Forest Service and Sustainability Council, all kicked off by our Silver Award Cadette troop’s flag ceremony, Steamboat Girl Scouts and friends participated in an afternoon session with Girl Scouts of all ages and a special visit from incoming GSCO Board of Directors President, Rae Ann Dougherty to earn the World Thinking Day Challenge badge.
In addition to earning the badge, girls went home with a tree to plant from CSFS AND a discount code to attend a Strings in the Mountains showing of James and the Giant Peach.
This event was sponsored by the Lufkin Family Fund for Girl Scouts in Routt County.
Katelyn Ibarra, a Girl Scout from Steamboat Springs who helped save lives after a city bus crashed, recently travelled to Washington, D.C. to be honored as a 2017 Citizen Honors Award winner by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
On March 29, 2016, Katelyn and her family were on their way to eat dinner when they came upon a city bus that had crashed on U.S. Highway 40 near CR 44. The roads were very slick and icy from a snowstorm earlier in the day. As soon as Katelyn saw the crash, she knew she had to help. After climbing up a slippery, muddy slope to reach the front of the bus, Katelyn climbed through the broken windshield and into the bus. Without hesitation, she helped the driver and numerous passengers, many of whom were in shock, bleeding, or had other serious injuries.
In addition to this award, Girl Scouts of the USA awarded Katelyn the prestigious Medal of Honor for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.”
We asked Katelyn to share her story about that fateful night and the events that have followed. Here is her story:
Recently, my life was changed forever after I did a simple deed that I thought was a no-brainer. In March 2016, my family and I came upon a head-on collision between an SUV and a city bus. I assisted the victims by climbing up a muddy embankment and through the broken windshield of the bus where I helped passengers who had facial injuries and were in shock. That night, I saw people from all characteristic spectrums. I saw people who didn’t slow down at all. I encountered people that had a weak stomach, but still tried to help. There were the others that helped like I did. In my mind, anyone and everyone would have done what I did, but on that night and the year to follow I learned otherwise. As I was once told, there are ordinary angels all over the place, it’s just a matter of them showing themselves. My biggest thought in the moment was, I would want someone to help me, so I made sure to help them!
After that night, the attention I received was way out of my comfort zone. I received the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Meritorious Service Award and Girl Scouts of the USA’s Medal of Honor. In addition, the local newspaper wrote articles, I was interviewed on the news, and it was all over social media. I felt like telling the story was bragging, but that all changed last month.
I was presented the Young Hero Citizens Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing experience and so humbling! I visited monuments, Arlington National Cemetery, the Joint Mayer Military Base, and the U.S. Capitol. I even got to eat dinner in the Library of Congress. I met such a sweet and inspiring lady named Molly who was awarded a Citizen’s Medal of Honor for stopping a school shooting. I also met over 20 men who had received the Congressional Medal of Honor for Valor (for saving lives while in the military). They told their stories in a simple and kind way and would never shame anyone while telling their stories. I realized there is a way to talk about my story while staying humble. Receiving the award wasn’t the point, the main point was showing your character by spreading kindness, helping others, and passing on good qualities.
Men and women today and throughout history have sacrificed their lives everyday to keep us free. They are the reasons we are here today and can live the lifestyles we live now. When you see a veteran make sure to always thank them and to respect them. I’m still not really sure what to think about all this and how it will impact my life, but I’m definitely more comfortable about it now. You never know how your life can change in such a split second, both for the better or the worse. I’m thankful I was able to help that night.
Steamboat Springs Girl Scouts made WAVES with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) on a school day off in March 2017.
Girls spent the morning exploring light waves, the physics of light, making a spectroscope, experimenting with Watery Waves, the science of hydrology, and discovering sound waves, including some cool dance moves and “watching” sound happen.
Small group sessions were led by women in the community who work as science and STEAM professionals. They also shared career information about their areas of expertise.
The afternoon was spent focusing on theater arts including interactive workshops and theatrical games with improv and public speaking practice in a local historical theatre and performing arts venue.
The day was made possible through a grant of sponsorship by Yampa Valley Electric Association as well as the Lufkin Family Fund for Routt County Girl Scouts.
Katelyn Ibarra, a 16-year-old Girl Scout from Steamboat Springs who helped save lives after a city bus crashed, has been named a 2017 Citizen Honors Award winner by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Katelyn, along with five other heroes, will be recognized at a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., on National Medal of Honor Day, Saturday, March 25, 2017.
On March 29, 2016, Katelyn and her family were on their way to eat dinner when they came upon a city bus that had crashed on U.S. Highway 40 near CR 44. The roads were very slick and icy from a snowstorm earlier in the day. As soon as Katelyn saw the crash, she knew she had to help. After climbing up a slippery, muddy slope to reach the front of the bus, Katelyn climbed through the broken windshield and into the bus. Without hesitation, she helped the bus driver and numerous passengers, many of whom were in shock, bleeding, or had other serious injuries.
“The Citizen Honors Awards recognize and celebrate the exceptional deeds that America’s citizen heroes perform every day in communities across our nation,” said Thomas G. Kelley, Medal of Honor Recipient and president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. “Our 2017 winners embody the spirit of the Medal of Honor and represent the highest levels of service and heroism. They’ve earned this award through their courage, selfless service or commitment to our nation’s military service members and families.”
In September of 2016, Girl Scouts of the USA awarded Katelyn the prestigious Medal of Honor for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.” Tracy Shelton, an Ibarra family friend, was among those on bus. “She (Katelyn) needed no direction or instruction. She immediately went over to one of the most severely hurt. The blood didn’t faze her. She showed no shock. She was just this ‘strength’ among us,” wrote Shelton in a letter to Girl Scouts of the USA. “She responded in a way that was clearly above her age. She showed such a high level of maturity. I know adults that would not have climbed into that bus, with people screaming and all the blood.”
For more information about the Citizen Honors Award or the Medal of Honor and its recipients, visit the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation website at http://themedalofhonor.com.
Nancy is one of our Gold Award Mentors who is strongly committed to successfully guiding girls through the Gold Award in our Mountain Communities region. Learn more about Nancy below and stay tuned for more “Meet Our Mentor” blog posts over the next few months! Go Gold!
Region 5 – Mountain Communities
Steamboat Springs, CO
40+ Years as a Girl Scout Volunteer
Two Years as a Gold Award Mentor
Gold Award Recipient
Why did you become a Gold Award Mentor?
As a GS Gold Award Mentor, I want to help others with this monumental accomplishment. It’s an important step for our girls and our communities.
What words of advice do you have for girls about the Gold Award?
Don’t wait! Start today!
Hi! I’m a Lifetime Girl Scout, I earned my First Class and was one of the first in Colorado to earn the Gold Award in the early 1980s. I was fortunate to grow up in a very supportive Girl Scout family and my mom and my sister have been my “cohorts” on many of my Girl Scout adventures. As the mother of boys, I’m excited to be able to give back to girls and encourage girls to be all they can be. To take advantage of a multitude of experiences and to continue in Girl Scouts so they can enjoy all it has to offer older girls, for travel, wider experiences, and connections to the adult world they will soon enter.