Tag Archives: Veterans

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Helping Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

Submitted by Katelyn M.

Metro Denver

Aurora

I had always wanted to complete the Gold Award. Not just because it is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, but also due to the idea that I could make an impact in my community just by using my ambition and brain. Even though this dream was always present, it was really difficult to find a topic that was important to me and that I could tackle in the year and a half I had left as a Girl Scout Ambassador. Then, one day as I was driving to my job and came face-to-face with someone I wanted to help: a veteran experiencing homelessness. 

We all have a connection to the military, whether it is someone in our immediate family, a friend, or a distant relative. Because of their willingness to give their lives to protect the lives of this country, I have the utmost respect for people in the service. My heart broke when I saw a veteran on the street corner as I drove by. When I arrived home, I went straight on my computer to learn more about veterans experiencing homelessness. What I found was shocking. Colorado has the seventh highest population of veterans experiencing homelessness, and it is continuing to grow every year.

And so my project was born. My original plan involved a lot of face-to-face conversations and volunteering, unfortunately due to COVID my project had to be completely rewritten. Instead, I spent my time doing deep research on: the problems this population faces and the reasons they fall into homelessness. I used this information and created a website where people can learn more about this population and hear from some veterans on their experiences. 

In order to share my learning with others, I am creating a documentary video which will be given as an optional assignment for the juniors and seniors at my high school explaining my project and the issue I tackled. Project Homefront doesn’t just hope to bring awareness, and raise clothing and food donations for a population in need, it hopes to teach how to face an issue and start to solve it through education and action.

Every Gold Award will bring challenges. It forces you to grow and learn more about yourself than you might not have had the opportunity to do without it. The biggest impact working on this project has had on me is teaching me that we have the drive to create the world in our dreams, however we can’t do it just with words we have to do it with work and time. If you dedicate time and open your mind to the possibilities of change, you can build a world we all want to call our own.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

NEW INFORMATION about The Carla Montana Distinguished Military Veteran Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund

Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) is excited to announce The Carla Montana Distinguished Military Veteran Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund!

The Carla Montana Distinguished Military Veteran Memorial Girl Scout Adventure Fund honors its namesake and the things she valued most. Carla grew up in a military family where service to one’s country and friendship to sister Girl Scouts were important values. She traveled extensively and had many meaningful experiences both personally and professionally, but her Girl Scout memories were among her most cherished.

The timing of this announcement coincides with the Month of the Military Child, which was established in 1986 and has been celebrated every April since. GSCO is proud of our commitment to military families and will be joining Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) by supporting local events in honor of the Month of the Military Child throughout April 2020.

We are inviting Girl Scout supporters to participate in a challenge to raise a minimum of $10,000 by April 4, 2020, allowing GSCO to complete the endowment started with a generous donation from Carla’s family.

And to help get this started, all gifts to the Carla Montana Fund received between March 13 – April 4, 2020 will be matched, up to $2,500, by Elba Barr, Army Veteran and Lifetime Girl Scout!

Distributions from the endowment will provide Colorado Girl Scouts from military families with scholarships enabling them to experience the learning, joy, and camaraderie acquired through travel and adventure. Additional details of the scholarship process will be made available once the endowment has been established. More information and online donations

Honoring our local veterans

Submitted by Krista Allard

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

Our Daisy troop collected donations during cookie season to support our local American Legion and veterans. The girls worked very hard and collected more than 250 packages of Girl Scout Cookies! Our very last cookie booth of the season was at a local restaurant where we invited veterans wearing a symbol of their service to visit, pick up a donated package of cookies, and enjoy a free drink on the restaurant. Our Daisies loved handing out the packages they worked so hard to collect and showing the local veterans our bulletin board of their own family veterans. The veterans enjoyed the recognition and connection with the Daisies!

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

Cookies delivered to the USO post at DIA

1,800 packages of Girl Scout Cookies were delivered to the USO post at Denver International Airport on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 for active military members and veterans, along with their families, to enjoy. They are a portion of the 12,000 packages of cookies, which Girl Scouts delivered to the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora on Thursday, March 28. In 2018, the USO at DIA  served more than 132,000 visitors. Skip Vanderbach, Center Director for USO Denver, wrote a beautiful thank you letter to Colorado Girl Scouts, which you can read below.

Making the world a better place is central to the Girl Scout mission. The Girl Scout Cookies that were delivered were purchased as part of Girl Scouts’ Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring program. Customers purchase a package of cookies to donate to Girl Scouts’ heroes – a perfect solution for those who pass on the tempting treats! Girls learn about the invaluable work of their recipients by taking tours, learning about careers in public service, and helping with service projects. Girl Scouts’ Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring program also honors non-profit organizations, food banks, military, and other uniformed personnel who are so important to the community.

Girl Scout Thank You

 

Girl Scouts deliver 12,000 packages of cookies to veterans

As many as 20 Girl Scouts, along with their troop leaders and Girl Scout supporters, delivered 12,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies to the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora on Thursday, March 28, 2019.  Girls handed out a fraction of the cookies to veterans and staff. The rest will be delivered to VA hospitals and clinics throughout Colorado.

Making the world a better place is central to the Girl Scout mission. The Girl Scout Cookies that were delivered were purchased as part of Girl Scouts’ Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring program. Customers purchase a package of cookies to donate to Girl Scouts’ heroes – a perfect solution for those who pass on the tempting treats! Girls learn about the invaluable work of their recipients by taking tours, learning about careers in public service, and helping with service projects. Girl Scouts’ Hometown Heroes/Gift of Caring program also honors non-profit organizations, food banks, military, and other uniformed personnel who are so important to the community.

Thank you to Reporter Shawn Chitnis of CBS4/KCNC-TV for joining us for this great event and sharing this story.

Girl Scout Cookies for Honor Flight veterans

Submitted by Aydin Hoo

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

Troop 43893 chose Honor Flight of Southern Colorado as one of our Hometown Heroes this year. This organization transports heroes to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect at war memorials. A few of our girls were able to meet two of the amazing veterans flying out on the next Honor Flight and give them 60 packages of Girl Scout Cookies. It was a thrill to meet these heroes and send them off to with some delicious treats.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Justine Monsell, Highlands Ranch, “Remembering the Forgotten”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I wanted to give back to the veteran community. For my project, I provided emblem veteran grave markers to all of the veterans who were laid to rest in the Elizabeth Cemetery. In the cemetery, there were over 150 veterans. I was able to provide every single one with a plastic marker. For the oldest 24 veterans as well as the KIA.

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

At first, I measured it by how many emblem markers I was able to provide for these veterans. After getting them all, it was about who showed up. I wanted not only for the families to feel like someone cares about what their loved one did, but also for the veterans to feel like there was actually someone there to support them. After my ceremony, I had the opportunity to talk to different veterans. They all talked about where they served and for how long. Some of them ended up thanking me. This baffled me since I should be the ones thanking them for their service to our country. They did something that not everyone could do.

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

I have developed a how-to guide to be able to continue my project in any cemetery. This project guide is a step-by-step guide to how I was able to provide emblems to the veterans. The guide explains what I did as well as what they can do. Each community is different. If one of my events doesn’t work, they can always conduct a similar event. As for the Elizabeth Cemetery, the American Legion will take on my project. In the cemetery, each veteran has an emblem, the 24 oldest ones have bronze markers while the rest have plastic. Each year, some of the plastic ones will be replaced with bronze ones.

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

Veterans have been serving our country since our ancestors claimed independence from England. Everyone knows, is, or has known a veteran. There is an abundance of people who are serving our country. Once they come home, they have a hard time connecting with people and some don’t feel as if they are supported in their community. Our soldiers are fighting overseas, so other people don’t have too. No one forced them to join. They are doing this willingly. My manual was sent out to people in different parts of the states so that they can recreate the project there if they would like too. I want my project to spread as far as it can go. Veterans are a big part of our society, and they deserve to feel like they are recognized even after they passed. The veterans who are still alive should know that there are people out there who do still thank them for what they’ve done. This also helps the families feel like they are not alone. No one wants to feel like they are alone.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that this community bettered my view of the world. There are more veterans out there and I want all of them to be remembered. Veterans aren’t always going to tell you who they are. They are humble and it has taught me to be more humble as well. The veterans that I met, want to make other people’s lives better even after they are done serving our country. This project connected deeper than I ever thought it would. At first it was for my grandparents and to pass on their tradition, but after it was for all the veterans out there. I have connected with the veterans and I know I want to continue to stay involved.

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

My Gold Award helped me gain a perspective on what is actually happening to our veterans as well as how the little things may not make a big change, but someone will notice a small change. The Gold Award can help me in the future to inspire others to make a change no matter how small. The Gold Award has also connected me to the veteran community. I know that if I need support I can look to them for it.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts since I was five-years-old. When I first heard about them forming a troop in our school, I got so excited that I told my mom to sign me up that night. The Gold Award was my final goal of Girl Scouts. In previous years, I have seen others get their Gold Awards and make changes and I wanted to do the same. The Gold Award wasn’t just another award, it was a project that made a big difference.

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

After this project, I have become a go-getter. There were multiple times where I was told, that I would never be able to do what I want. When I first started, I did not have a lot of support from some people in my community. After being told in one cemetery that, “[I am] never going to be able to do this anywhere, in any cemetery, ever.” I decided to switch cemeteries. I connected with the Elizabeth Cemetery. Some people also told me that I would not be able to achieve my Gold Award in such a short time period. I put all my effort into it and proved them wrong. My project has spread across the veteran community and in fourth months, I hosted multiple events to provide emblem markers for over 150 veterans. I placed all of those emblem markers as well with the help of a supportive community.

**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 march in Veterans Day parade

Girl Scouts of Colorado partnered with the Colorado Veteran’s Project to show veterans how much we appreciate their service by marching in the Denver Veterans Parade on Saturday, November 11, 2017. We believe that honoring our service members is one way we can say a big “thank you” to those who committed to serve their country. This year, we had record 150 registered participants sign up to march in the parade!

Our fearless leader Lucy, Girl Scout Senior, called out commands to the Cadette-level  flag bearers Brooke, Emily, Emma, Faith, Cailet, Ada, and Zandria. The color guard posted seven flags: the current USA flag, the Colorado State flag, Girl Scouts of Colorado flag, a 48-star flag to represent the period between WWII and the Korean War, a GSUSA flag, and a Brownie Flag, in addition to many personalized troop flags and banners. A huge thank you to the Honor Guard representatives from the Douglas County Sheriff and Arapahoe County Sheriff offices. Their team educated our color guard on flag etiquette for the parade. The Girl Scouts started on the sidelines to cheer the first half of the parade and set the mood with chants of “U. S. A!” Throughout the day we raised morale with rounds of “Make New Friends” and renditions of “Old Glory.” When we arrived at the review stand the Girl Scouts wowed the judges with a recitation of the Girl Scout Promise.

We also want to thank the GSCO History Committee! They provided authentic historical uniforms from 1939-1953, ensuring that our entry was historically accurate between the WWII and Korean War entries. The history committee is committed to educating the community on Girl Scout history and traditions. Consider working with them for your next event or to complete your Troop Excellence Patch.

Girl Scouts know the importance of teamwork and also partnered with Saluting America to deliver Tribute Cards to veterans. Each Tribute Card has a patriotic image, inspirational quote, and personal message from a Colorado-based school student. Our Girl Scouts delivered tributes to veterans observing and participating in the parade and festival. This was a great opportunity to facilitate a discussion about “who is a veteran?” Our girls realized that anyone can serve their country and the best way to learn if someone was a veteran is to simply ask!

Would your Girl Scouts like to march in a parade? Join us for the Olde Golden Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9! Your troop can select current or historical uniforms—and troop banners or wagon floats are encouraged! Sign-up before November 24 to get in on the fun: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d45aaac22abfe3-join

Troop 74394 honors our heroes on Veterans Day

40962780_img_1276 40963104_img_1253

Submitted by Brooke Gibbs

Northern & Northeastern CO

Loveland

Loveland Girl Scout Troop 74394 spent Veterans Day in service to our American heroes. We rose early to serve breakfast at the VFW in Loveland. Then, we continued our day by walking in the Veterans Day parade in historical Girl Scout uniforms. We had such a good time we plan on returning again next year.

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