Tag Archives: Take Action

Gold Award Girl Scout: Annie Nikolaus, Colorado Springs, “Building a Buddy Bench Community”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I built buddy benches for my local K-12 public school. Each level of the K-12 school (high school, middle school, and elementary school) received their own decorated Buddy Bench, but also got to participate in an age-appropriate lesson about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends to other students. As part of the high school lesson plan, the high school student council helped to decorate a Buddy Bench that was donated to the Air Force Academy Youth Center for them to use with their kids!

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

I measured the impact of my project by having students take surveys after they went through the lesson I had made. I asked questions about what they learned and how they thought they would be able to use their new knowledge in the future. I also received a lot of feedback about my project from teachers, students, and families that I took into account when looking at the overall impact of the project.

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

My project is sustainable because the Discovery Canyon High School Student Council decided to continue my project. They will be working with the counselors at Discovery Canyon to continue the friendship lessons for all the campuses and maintain the benches! Kids will continue to learn about friendship and have the tool of buddy benches years to come.

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

I compiled all of my lesson plans, bench designs, and materials into one large document and sent it out to schools in Colorado, across the country, and internationally. I thought that these plans would work great all over the world because kids everywhere deal with loneliness and can use the tools and learn new skills on how to be a good friend.

What did you learn about yourself?

The biggest thing I learned is that I can complete a project this big! It was hard to work on something for so long and not see the end, but every little bit of effort gets you closer to your goal! Now, I know I can accomplish projects like this (or even bigger) in the future!

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

My Gold Award will impact me in the future because it gives me an experience that I can rely on as a foundation when I take on bigger projects. It will give me the motivation that I can do great things in the future because I know I have accomplished something so big before.

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 it was an achievement to show off all the time and effort I had spent in the Girl Scout program over the last 12 years! It gave me a nice way to finish that experience and a bridge to the next chapters of my life!

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 an innovator because throughout my project I faced many challenges. To finish my project and to make it the best it could be, I had to come up with creative solutions and think outside the box to overcome the problems I faced. Without trying new ideas I would have been stuck, but instead, I kept trying new things until something worked!

**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: Maya Hegde, Englewood, “Pad Power”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

After a recent trip to India, I learned that many girls don’t have access to sanitary pads and other important menstrual products. I was surprised by the effect of not having access to sanitary pads: falling behind in education and losing their standing in their communities. For my project, I partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and the Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have and to teach the girls how to sell pads in their local communities to tackle the stigma surrounding periods. This also provided more affordable pads to other women in their communities.

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

Over 130 girls in both orphanages have directly benefited by learning how to make reusable sanitary pads, using materials they already own, allowing them to continue going to classes on their period. Together, both orphanages have sold over 50 pads to other women, benefiting their communities through this cottage industry.

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

The directors at both orphanages have agreed to continue teaching girls how to make reusable pads for years to come. This project not only personally benefits the girls, but it allows them to get experience with sewing machines and sewing classes which they are already required to take. Both orphanages will also continue selling pads to other women in their communities and will donate reusable pads to those in need. In addition, my website includes instructions and templates that can be used by other organizations to get the same benefit. Website: https://padpower.weebly.com/

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

My project has a national connection because even in the United States, many women cannot afford feminine hygiene products. Even in developed countries, this lack of resources affects many women. In addition to being inexpensive, reusable pads are so much better for the environment.  The global connection my project has is that it gives access to pads for girls who otherwise would have to miss out on their education. The pads can even be made from old clothes and other recycled materials, reducing the price and eliminating the waste created by disposable pads.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project, I have learned how to lead others and delegate tasks in a team. I have also learned the importance of self advocating. This project was a little controversial, especially in developing countries, because of the topic of menstruation. I found that I would often have to advocate for the project and  convince cynics to keep the project going.

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

This project will continue to impact me in the future because I believe it has helped me become more confident. As I continue my education in the STEM field, where there are fewer women, I feel like I will be ready to take on any challenge that comes my way! I have a deep sense of accomplishment and am looking forward to taking on more challenges that will have wider impact.

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 used skills that I had learned in previous Journeys and my Silver Award to reach a larger number of people and increase my impact. I feel like the Gold Award has shaped me as a girl and given me a lot more confidence that I otherwise would not have gained.

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

My Gold Award helped me become a risk-taker because it pushed me outside my comfort zone. The biggest risk I took was basing my project in other countries: India and Kenya. This was risky because it was difficult to communicate with the directors and the girls directly due to the time zone differences. Another risk was that the topic because it is largely controversial and highly stigmatized, especially in developing countries. I went into this project not knowing exactly what the reaction would be, but I still went ahead with it.  In the future I will have the self confidence and the ability to take risks and go for what I believe in – even if I might fail or it is not easy. I faced a lot of obstacles throughout the project, but I believe this project has allowed me to face it gracefully.

**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

Brownie “Quest” Journey in a day

Submitted by Tiffany Baker

Metro Denver

Lone Tree – Highlands Ranch – Parker

Calling all Girl Scout Brownies! Cadette Troop 59 from Lone Tree – Highlands Ranch – Parker invites you to join them for the Brownie “Quest” Journey in a day event on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at Parker Library.

Brownies will discover their inner values and how this impacts their behavior, families, and community. All steps of the Journey, including a Take Action Project, will be covered during the event. Take Action projects will benefit the Denver homeless community and seniors at a local assisted living home.  Registration information is on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Events Calendar.

Troop 59 has received positive feedback for coordinating a recent Journey in a Day event:

“(Cadettes) very polite and inclusive of all the young girls.”

“The girls (Cadettes) did a great job leading, entertaining, and teaching the little girls. I’m very impressed! I like that each older girl had a specific job and executed it very well.”

“The troop ran an excellent event! I was impressed by the confidence and leadership of the Cadettes. Stations were very organized, and entertaining for the girls. Participation was great and the Cadettes did a great job of making all the girls feel included, and showing them that there was a way for all types of girls to be involved and have fun! Great job Troop 59! Thanks for having us!”

“The Cadettes did a FANTASTIC job! The event was well-organized and the communication received was excellent.”

“Location was great! Check-in easy. Organizers very affective.”

New! Our Cadettes are also following additional feedback and including the Brownie ‘Quest’ Journey patch set, within the registration price for chaperone pick-up at the Journey in a Day Event for volunteers’ convenience.

Troop 59 Cadettes are looking forward to seeing your Brownie Smiles in December!

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Littlepage Green, Breckenridge, “The Allergy Initiative”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I worked with Mrs. Kassib, a health teacher at Summit High School, to create a lesson plan to educate health students about food allergies. I taught six classes using the lesson plan I developed and I also led epi-pen training after I had finished my lesson. To make my project accessible to a broader community, I created a video, using the lesson plan, and posted it on YouTube.

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

I measured my project’s impact on my target audience by having the students take a Kahoot, an educational tool used to check the student’s knowledge while making it a fun game for the students. It was a fun way to motivate them to listen, and it also let me see how well they understood my presentation. At most, the students got two wrong out of ten questions in each class period.

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

My project will be continued to be used in Summit High School’s health program where they will show the video I created and use some demo epi-pens I donated to train students. I also created a video that was put on YouTube. I shared the link on all my social media networks, so people could always access it and continue to share the video.

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

While small, the national link is through YouTube and social media. Because social media is widely used, both nationally and globally, my project will be seen by people outside of my community. Those people will then be able to share the video with their friends and they can share them with their friends and so on.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I like to take on all the responsibility and do everything myself, which isn’t the best way to get projects completed. So, I learned how important delegating can be when you have a big project or are working with a group. I also learned that teaching and leading a class made me feel so accomplished. I learned how to speak in front of groups better than I could before, and because of that, I felt accomplished.

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

In the future, I will be more likely to take up leadership roles. I feel more comfortable leading a group effectively. Because I feel more comfortable overall leading, I will take up opportunities to lead. The more I lead the more my leadership skills will grow. Because I strengthened certain leadership skills on this project, I will be able to strengthen other leadership skills that may not have been as strong on this project, like my communication skills.

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

The Gold Award helped me to realize more about myself, like little habits that really slowed down my project. It was important because it used all the little bits of information and skill I had learned throughout all my years of being a Girl Scout. I then had to apply all those to my project, and it felt as though everything came full circle.

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

The Gold Award helped me to become an overall better leader. It helped me to step out of my comfort zone to talk to people whom I normally wouldn’t as well as push me to stand up in front of 20 or so children per class and talk for an hour. It also pushed me to think of creative solutions to problems that I normally would have let stop me from completing a 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: Bryce Civiello, Evergreen, “Teen Health and Wellness Resource Card”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a relatable resource for teens that can help them take the first steps towards getting help from a professional. I vetted all the websites that I chose as resources with a pediatrician to make sure they had the correct information for teens. I then placed my cards in high school counseling departments, pediatrician offices, and a Mental Health Center of Denver.

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

By doing a survey with people from my target audience, I was able to measure the necessity of this information. With the survey data, I was able to present the data as evidence as to why this card was important to have as a resource.

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

My project is sustainable because I gave a digital copy of my card to all the places I chose. They also all have in-house printing services so that they can always make copies to continue giving out to teens in need.

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

My national connection is the organization the places I chose belong to. The pediatricians that I contracted with want to bring my card to the national and international conferences they attend. My cards will also be distributed throughout all Mental Health Centers of Denver.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am good at leading a team, however I need to work on creating more concise timelines for projects.

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

It will let my future employers know that I am a motivated and ambitious employee. I will always be able to reference the steps I had for this project for any future work or personal project.

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

I feel that the Gold Award is a perfect ending to everything I learned in my 14 years of Girl Scouting. It is also a good starting point for college and starting my professional career.

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

I feel that I am a risk-taker because of the fragility of my chosen topic. Mental health has a fog of stigma and taboo around it. I decided to brave those stigmas to start on a pathway to normalizing mental health and mental health awareness for people my age.

**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 and Silver Award changes from GSUSA

Effective October 1, 2018, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has decided girls may do Silver and Gold Award projects for the benefit of the Girl Scout community.

In order to make sure that this change doesn’t dilute the prestige, leadership efforts, or impact of each girl’s project, Silver and Gold Awards must still meet the requirements that are key to taking sustainable action, the project must:

  • Make a lasting difference in the local community, region, or beyond
  • Put the Girl Scout Promise and Law into action
  • Include provisions to ensure sustainability
  • Identify national and/global links to the selected issue
  • Inspire others

For Girl Scouts of Colorado, our focus will continue to be on the interests of girls when choosing a highest awards project. This means if a girl identifies a need within the GSCO community and feels passionately about it, she will be allowed to pursue that project by working directly with GSCO’s highest awards manger.

In addition to this policy, the GSCO Outdoor Program team will still not allow projects to be done on camp properties.

If you or your troop is interested in a Highest Awards project that you believe will now be allowed under this new policy, please reach out to highest awards manager Kaitie LoDolce at  highestawards@gscolorado.org prior to starting your project.

 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Lilly, Longmont, “Loco for LoCo”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I did a research project about the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory. I started by interviewing people who had worked at the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory or had connections to it. These interviews were then turned into a podcast style format and posted on my website (https://lillyemma24.wixsite.com/loco4loco/podcasts).

The next step of my project was to write a children’s book, The Magic Beet, which is the story of three children as they travel back in time and learn about the sugar factory. A copy of each book went to each elementary school in the St. Vrain School District and is still available for purchase on my website. I also had several book readings at the Longmont Public Library and I presented to several different organizations, including the Longmont Kiwanis and Longmont City Council, about my project.

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

The book I wrote, The Magic Sugar Beet, is still currently for sale online and my interviews have all been kept on my live website. Additionally, a copy of my book was placed in the libraries of every elementary school in our district, and eight teachers have given me confirmation that this book will become a part of their curriculum. Currently, the third grade history curriculum is focused on local history, but some of the teachers I have talked to have said that not much time is spent talking about the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory (an important part of Longmont’s beginning), so when teachers read the book to their classes and listen to the podcasts, the work I did for my Gold Award is able to be sustained for years to come.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection? / How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I published a survey on my website that was available to Girl Scouts and anyone around the world to fill out. This survey asked people questions about whether or not they planned on learning about their local history, and it also had a challenge of learning one fact about their local history that they did not already know. This part of my project, encouraged learning about local history for all ages, and results showed that over 71% planned on continuing to learn about their town’s local history. More about this project can be found at (https://lillyemma24.wixsite.com/loco4loco/local-history-project).

What did you learn about yourself?

At the beginning of this project, I was nervous to reach out and talk to people I did not know, but through my Gold Award project I learned that I am capable of planning a project and leading a team. Even though I was often worried throughout the process that people would find me incompetent, I stuck with it and learned that most people were very eager to help me with my project even if I wasn’t an expert on the material. Through this project, I learned I was able to talk to important people in the community whether it was our city council when I shared my project with them, or people who worked for the St. Vrain Historical Society.

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

My Girl Scout Gold Award has given me the skills to run a project and the confidence to do it. I gained many team leading skills that can still help me in the future. I had four artistic friends who had agreed to illustrate the book for me. Even with a small team, delegating tasks was more difficult than I expected. They took about a month longer than the deadline to submit their art to me, and it was sometimes difficult to get them to respond to emails. Going into college and later my career with the experience of leading a team will help me greatly in being a better leader.

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

Getting my Gold Award was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me the chance to put many of the leadership skills I learned throughout Girl Scouts (such as badges or summer camp), into action. The Gold Award was something I had really wanted to go after since I was a younger Girl Scout, and so it was rewarding to accomplish it and hopefully inspire other Girl Scouts to Go Gold!

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

My Gold Award helped me become a better innovator. I got to discover a lot about a place and history of the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory something I knew virtually nothing about at the start of the project, so I had to do a fair amount of research. In school, we always get a very broad sense of history, so to delve deeply into one tiny aspect of history was really fascinating to me. Since my project was not strictly partnered with a particular organization or group, I had to take initiative and carve a path for this project that did not yet exist, and that required a fair amount of creativity. I had to problem solve when it came to finding people to interview or ways in which I could promote my project. I got used to changing and revising my project as time went on, and I think this aspect as well as learning about my history outside of class work helped shape me into someone who was able to more adapt easily to whatever tasks were thrown at me.

**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: Bailey Stokes, Buena Vista, “Teaching in the Outdoors”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In order to earn my Gold Award and make a difference in my community, I decided to make outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of teachers in schools across the state. I achieved this by making boxes that had lesson plans for eight to ten outdoor lessons, along with all the materials a teacher would need to complete them. The boxes also included a small tri-fold presentation board on the subject for student reference. I made two sets of three boxes covering three different subjects: investigations, habitat, and adaptations. The boxes are designed to meet the education standards for fourth grade science, but they can be adapted to be used with any age group. The goal of my project was to provide teachers with an easy and convenient way to bring outdoor education into their classrooms, because outdoor education provides students with many physical and mental benefits.

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

The first step of my project was to go spend a day at my local elementary school teaching a couple of my lessons to a fourth grade class in order to determine what worked with students and what did not. In the day that I spent at the elementary school, I impacted 70 students. When the school year starts, I expect to impact around 500 students a year through the constant use of my project.

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

My project will be sustained by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are two sets of my boxes and they are being kept at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices in Pueblo and Salida. The people at the offices will help ensure that my boxes are staying in good condition throughout their use. They will also help ensure that the boxes are going out into classrooms year after year.

Another way that my project will continue to impact the community after my involvement is through the help of the teachers that use my boxes. They will hopefully continue to use my boxes year after year, and they will also help spread the word about my project through the teaching community. I have also had teachers tell me that they want to recreate my boxes for their own communities.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

Instead of finding a way to make it so that teachers across the country could use my boxes, I decided to focus on encouraging other people to take action like I did. I wrote an informational paper about the importance of outdoor education and why it should be incorporated into schools. I did this in hopes that I would inspire other people to take action. There are also two sets of my boxes that are being stored in two separate locations so that they can be accessible for more teachers across the state.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, and I learned that I am capable of making a difference. I also learned that I have what it takes to be a teacher one day, and I grew an even bigger passion for education. During this project, I also gained a lot of confidence in myself and my abilities.

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

My Gold Award gave me hands-on experience in the field that I am wanting to enter. I am currently studying to be a teacher at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and this project gave me valuable classroom experience. What I learned through this project will help me as I continue to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in the first grade. In that time, I have been actively involved in many different Girl Scout activities, however, earning my Gold Award was the most valuable part of my Girl Scout experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to make a difference in my community, I also gained a lot of confidence and career experience. Earning my Gold Award was a life changing experience that showed me that I am able to accomplish anything I put my mind to. It was a lot of work, but in the end it was definitely a valuable part of my Girl Scout experience and I am extremely glad that I did it.

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

During this project, my leadership skills greatly improved. I stepped out of my comfort zone by leading people who weren’t my peers. My project may have impacted the community, but it also helped me become a stronger leader which is a trait I will need for the rest of my life. This project also helped me become a go-getter. I took action and I accomplished an amazing achievement that I am extremely proud of.

**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

Helping the hungry and homeless

Submitted by Kristin Hurley

Metro Denver

Northglenn

Hello from Girl Scout Troop 61358! For our Silver Award project, we created a Care Cabinet in Northglenn to help the homeless and hungry. We are hoping for community participation in keeping it filled, and hoping that we can spread the word to people who need help.

From their leader/project advisor: These two Girl Scouts have worked so hard this summer to secure a location for their Care Cabinet so they can help the hungry and homeless, working with the cities of Thornton and Northglenn and the Rotary Clubs of those cities.

If you would be interested in making a donation, please contact GSCO public relations director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org and she will connect you with the troop leader.

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

Juliette’s Journey through Wonderland

Submitted by Jen Rotar

Northern & Northeastern CO

Berthoud

Cadette Troop 70700 in Berthoud is hosting a magical Journey in a Day for Brownies. Join us on Saturday, November 3, 2018 from noon to 4 p.m. to complete the  “World of Girls” Journey.

This Journey is based on Juliette’s travels through Wonderland. Make new friends, write your adventure story, design a Mad Hatter hat, enter a caterpillar race, chase the white rabbit, and celebrate your unbirthday! This is a high-energy event with lots of fun activities Brownies will love. Its all about making positive choices!

“This is an enthusiastic day that allows the imagination to run wild! The older girls that lead this Journey spark creativity and team-building throughout the activities. This is a very well-organized day of fun where the girls learn and grow together. Highly recommended!” ~ Michelle, Leader of Brownie Troop 75895

Cost $10 per girl and includes a tea party snack and your Take Action project. You can find more details and RSVP on the GSCO event calendar: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2018/juliette_s_journey_t.html

Troop 70700 is a diverse group of Cadettes who love all the adventures Girl Scouts has to offer. This year’s troop focus is leadership experience, using their PA skills, and working on their Silver Award. Our troop is high energy and outdoorsy, and has enjoyed summer adventures including camping, whitewater rafting, and horseback riding.

This money-earning activity will help send Troop 70700 on their first big trip next summer.

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