Tag Archives: Western Colorado

Gold Award sustainability in action

Sustainability is one of the requirements of the Girl Scout Gold Award and is often the most intimidating component of a project. A sustainable project is one that lasts after the girl’s involvement ends. A focus on education and raising awareness is one way to make sure a project is carried on. Workshops and hands-on learning sessions can inspire others to keep a project going. Collaborating with community groups, civic associations, local government, or religious organizations is another way to ensure the project lasts beyond the girl’s involvement.

Recently, a Gold Award Mentor in Glenwood Springs went on a camping trip to O’Haver Lake Campground outside of Salida and saw Gold Award sustainability in action – years after the Gold Award was earned!

These photos are from Emily K.’s Gold Award project in 2013! Emily’s project, “Go Fish . . . Green!” was all about helping the environment. She noticed used fishing line was clogging up local lakes and hurting the wildlife. But, with a better way to dispose of used fishing line, this could be solved. She worked for several months with the Colorado State Forest Service and Division of Wildlife on installing fishing line receptacles around Chaffee County lakes. The Forest Service has since been maintaining the receptacles and is responsible for sending the used fishing line to a recycling plant.

This is sustainability! It can be simple, easy to understand, and impact people long after you earn your Gold Award!

Emily is a now senior at University of Colorado in Boulder. She is majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology with a focus on sustainable development and Latin America. This year, she is working on her senior honors thesis and all the research that goes with it. Emily grew up in the mountains of Colorado and has a passion for the outdoors. She spent her spring semester in Cusco, Peru, studying indigenous peoples, globalization, Spanish, and the impact of social programs in relation to malnutrition. She hopes to continue her travels after graduation with backpacking in South America. Her other hobbies include reading adventure novels, cooking  delicious gluten free food, skiing in the Colorado backwoods, hiking around Boulder, and general exploring of farmers markets and other gems around Colorado.

Questions about the Gold Award and sustainability? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Victoria Gigoux, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout volunteer?

Eight years

How long have you been a member of the MCC?

Three years

What inspired you to join MCC?

I was interested in staying connected and having a voice representing the Western Slope.

What have you learned through being a part of this committee?

I’ve learned that my voice does matter. I feel some of the things I have said and the subcommittees I have been a part of have helped shape the Girl Scout experience for both girls and volunteers.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other GSCO volunteers?

It’s a fulfilling way to keep your finger on the pulse of where GSCO is going and have a voice that might impact that direction

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a full-time-working, mother of three girls; all Girl Scouts. I’ve been married to my husband, Gerald, since 2001.  We live in Grand Junction with our kids, dog, turtle, hamster, chickens, and turkeys and we also board two horses.  Outside of this craziness, I lead two multi-level Girl Scout troops, totaling around 50 girls each year from K-9th. I am a member of the Mesa County Service Unit leadership team and help with the President’s Council , in addition to being on the MCC and a rep to the board.  Outside of Girl Scouts, I volunteer for my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, as Finance Advisor for our collegiate chapter at CU and as a Province Chair supporting all alumnae chapters in five states, including Colorado.  In my “free” time, I love to read, cook and travel.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

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.

Girl Scouts lead the way on the Older Girl Advisory Board

Submitted by Anela C.

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

As an older Girl Scout, it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance to make it to this level, so it is no wonder the majority of girls who do have amazing leadership and problem solving skills, not to mention empathy and a great sense of responsibility. These are the traits that make a great Older Girl Advisory Board (OGAB) representative. As a representative, you get to take part in developing new programs and help to revitalize old ones. Over the past year on OGAB, I have helped to create an older girl newsletter, brainstormed ways to keep Juliette Girl Scouts involved, previewed the newest outdoor adventure badges, and in our upcoming August retreat, I will be meeting with the GSCO Highest Awards manager to review GSCO’s Highest Awards program. Being an OGAB representative is a great way to affect your own and others’ Girl Scout experience, but it is also a great opportunity to meet other like-minded girls from all across the state and get to share your experiences and opinions. The OGAB positions are each held for two years and there are monthly web-conferences and four in-person weekend retreats at Girl Scout Camp, such as Tomahawk Ranch and Twisted Pine. It is a great experience and I can’t wait to meet the newest representatives.

The Older Girl Advisory Board, also known as OGAB, is a group of 14 girls in grades 9-12 from across Colorado. Members provide feedback on projects ranging from mentoring to program development to older girl engagement to product sales. OGAB is currently recruiting new members in Pueblo, Western Slope/Southwest Colorado, and Metro Denver. Girls entering grades 9-12 for the 2017/2018 school year are encouraged to apply here: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/ogab2017. Contact Katie Singleton with any questions and find more info on our webpage.

 

 

Top Sellers celebrate at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

156 Girl Scouts and guests gathered on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs to celebrate Top Sellers who sold 750 packages or more of Girl Scout Cookies during the 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Sale Program. Top Sellers and their guests enjoyed the park’s many rides and attractions while also being treated to a BBQ lunch buffet during which the girls were presented with their Top Seller medallions by the GSCO Product Sales staff. The event at Glenwood Caverns was attended by 23 of the state’s top 100 sellers for the 2017 sale, including Joanna Steger, the state’s #2 top seller.

 

 

Cookie connoisseurs at Aspen St. Regis

Submitted by Cindi Graves

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

The Aspen St. Regis hotel was host to girls from Troop 13723 of Aspen and Troop 10065 of Grand Junction who acted as judges for a Girl Scout cookie dessert making contest. The St. Regis launched their inaugural Camp Astor, inspired by founder John Jacob Astor IV and his love for Lake St. Regis in upstate New York, as a summer offering packed with outdoor adventures. This event provided a sampling of the camp to a select party of journalists. Part of the fun was competing for the coveted “golden whisk” by creating the most mouthwatering dessert using Girl Scout Cookies as an ingredient. The girls, as a panel of cookie connoisseurs, examined, tasted, and deliberated as a group to determine the winner based on presentation, taste, and use of the cookie. The girls and their families were treated to a fabulous outdoor feast, tutorial on sabering champagne, and a sing-a-long by the pool, all with the beautiful backdrop of Aspen. Director of Marketing Jessica Young was a Girl Scout as a girl and when envisioning a camp event, thought it would be incomplete without Girl Scouts. We had a great time and hope to do more with our new friends at the St. Regis.

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

Centennial Celebration in Grand Junction

More than 150 Girl Scouts, friends, and family gathered on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Grand Junction to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouting in Colorado at the third in a series of Centennial Campfire celebrations. A final celebration will be held May 21 at Meadow Mountain Ranch near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Girl Scouts participated in a “passport” full of fun activities, including archery with Cabela’s, crafts with GSCO camp directors Obi Joe and Ruddy, a scavenger hunt, and fun with sidewalk chalk. The National Park Service was on-hand to teach girls history about the Colorado National Monument, and the GSCO shop was there with all kinds of merchandise celebrating the centennial.

Each Girl Scout in attendance also had the opportunity to meet GSCO President and CEO, Stephanie A. Foote.

All Girl Scouts who attended received a free, fun patch honoring 100 years of Girl Scouting in Colorado. The first Girl Scout troop in Colorado got started in 1917 in the Colorado Springs area.

Girl Scouts announces 2017 Western Slope Women of Distinction: Three Extraordinary Women Honored

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This year’s honorees were selected by a committee of their peers led by Selection Chair Susan Alvillar, Manager, Community Relations, Terra Energy Partners, Woman of Distinction ‘15, and chosen based on their contributions to the community, both professionally and personally. They are shining examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for our female leaders of tomorrow.

  • Carma Brown, Personal Lines Manager at Home Loan Insurance
  • Sue Conry, Director at Hilltop Home Care
  • Stacey Mascarenas, Community Development Director for Family Health West

Since 2012, including this year’s honorees, Girl Scouts of Colorado has recognized 15 women on the Western Slope as Women of Distinction. The Women of Distinction program brings together a group of women dedicated to raising funds to support Girl Scout leadership programs.

Girl Scouts of Colorado will publicly honor these inductees on Nov. 2, 2017 at the annual Women of Distinction Breakfast. This year’s event will be held at the Two Rivers Convention Center. The 2017 Event Chair is Paula Reece, Marketing Director, Crossroads Fitness, Woman of Distinction ’16.

Event Sponsors include: Gold Presenting Sponsor, US Bank, and Silver Presenting Sponsor, Chevron.

For information regarding tickets and sponsorships, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/wodgj or contact Cindi Graves at 970-628-8003 or cindi.graves@gscolorado.org.

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Honoree briefs Commissioners

Submitted by Stephanie Reecy

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

In a public hearing on Feb. 27, 2017, Sarah Griechen, founder of the Score-A-Friend Inc., and Colorado Girl Scouts 2016 Gold Award honoree, spoke to the Mesa County Commissioners about her foundation, which helps schools create clubs for kids with disabilities

Inspired by her twin brother who has an autism spectrum disorder,  Sarah started a non-profit organization, “Score a Friend,” to promote and support youth to lead school-based unified clubs for students of all abilities to access sports, electives, and friendship.

Sarah was also one out of ten young women named National Young Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of the USA, a prestigious nationwide honor.

Sarah told the Mesa County Commissioners she wants everyone to feel welcome and valued. Her foundation fosters inclusive groups and extracurricular activities for kids with disabilities to find friendship and community.

Earlier this year, Sarah also received the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. Sarah was given this award because of her ongoing impact and leadership skills.

After her briefing, the Board of Mesa County Commissioner presented Sarah with a Certificate of Recognition for being an exemplary young woman who demonstrates innovation, and whose motivational involvement has improved schools and communities across the nation.

For more information on Score A Friend, watch https://youtu.be/WJysLc-_nPQ

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

Power of cookie: The 5 Skills

Submitted by Rachael TerLouw

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

My older girls (now freshman in college) used the 5 Skills to participate in two troop trips. One was to Washington, D.C. The other was to canoe the Boundary Waters. Here is an excerpt from my daughter’s college essay about their experience.

Twelve years of Girl Scouting has led me to an incredible expanse of activities and explorations, experiences which have multiplied in high school. With my troop, I sold thousands of cookies and organized other money earning activities to travel to Washington, D.C. on a historical trip, and later ventured to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota for four days of canoeing and backpacking. The four of us, who started as novice adventurers looking for unique experiences, planned, funded, and executed each trip on our own. Between these explorations, we spent time building our friendship by helping community soup kitchens or learning basket weaving together, and I’ve never felt more connected than I have within Girl Scouts.”

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