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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
11 girls in Grand Junction trained Saturday, October 22, 2016 to be Media Stars. Beginning with a session with GSCO Public Relations Director, AnneMarie Harper, they learned how to be ambassadors for Girl Scouts during the cookie sale. They followed this with a meeting with KREX-TV News Anchor, Emily Fredrick where they each practiced a mock interview with her in the studio. After that, they toured the studio, spending some fun time playing with the green screen and then seeing how the show is produced. Emily answered great questions about how to get started in the business and what makes a good interview. These girls are all “camera ready.”
The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are the highest achievements in Girl Scouting. Girl Scouts of Colorado offers two amazing trainings to help girls, parents, and troop leaders through the highest awards.
Highest Awards & Take Action is for parents and leaders who are interested in learning the basics of the Bronze, Silver, and Gold and how to get their girls on a path to a successful project.
Gold Award Training is required for any girl who is interested in pursuing her Gold Award. Parents and troop leaders are all encouraged to attend Gold Award Training as well.
We are thrilled to be offering both of these trainings in Grand Junction in October. These are fantastic opportunities to learn the ins and outs of the highest awards and get your girls ready to learn new leadership skills!
WOW! Where does the time go? We blink and an entire summer has passed us by.
In year’s past we have done an all-troop family camping trip. It is a HUGE endeavor, with a ton of prep and expense. After a not-as-good-as-usual cookie sale, we were less on funds when summer came than we had ever been in the past. After much discussion, we opted to try a GIRL ONLY Day Camp this year and held it in our Girl Scout Council’s backyard area. Anticipating the same activities, short of sleeping in a tent, it turned out to be a pretty good compromise.
Our camping trips are always jam-packed with badge earning activities and even though we didn’t sleep away, this year was no different.
On our camping trips, we always do learned skills: knife safety, knots and fire starting. This year, as our older girls have been doing this for years and years (and are at that age where eye-rolling comes standard!), we had the oldest girls teach knife safety and knot tying. It was a great opportunity to shake things up a bit and get the girls working on their leadership and teaching skills. We also showed the girls how to safely start a camp fire using matches and with steel wool and a 9-volt battery, which, of course, they thought was really cool!
This year, we taught the girls how to use a compass, too!
After illustrating “magnetism” with a pin floating on water, we gave them actual compasses to follow some basic instructions around the yard. They worked in teams and did really well!
What’s a day camp without some games? Being in the backyard made it really easy for us to do some fun games with water and pool noodles! It was a fun way to break up the day and have the girls work on teamwork!
Additionally, we always make an art-to-wear project; usually a t-shirt and piece of jewelry. So, keeping with tradition we did just that, making a t-shirt with a stencil, bleach and water (don’t worry we were safe with masks and gloves!) and bracelet. This year, we also used some of our knot skills to make water bottle carriers with the girls getting to decorate their own water bottles.
Meal prep is always an important task, and even in the backyard we were able to teach the girls how to make easy snacks and do some campfire cooking. They had edible bird nests for snack, made pizzaritos (a burrito stuffed with pizza fillings instead of beans!) on the campfire for lunch and they did some dutch-oven cooking by making corn bread for dinner to go with the chili the leaders made.
It was a REALLY hot summer day, so we moved inside during the peak of the heat to learn about how to read food labels, satisfying more badge earning requirements, and work on our bracelets in an air-conditioned room!
Before dinner, towards the end of the day, we had a lesson in Leave No Trace. It was a great way to teach the girls a valuable lesson AND get them to pick up the trash from the day, leaving the backyard better than we found it!
To end the day, because we weren’t able to fit a bridging ceremony in our busy schedule earlier in the summer, we also did a troop bridging ceremony. This is always a really special event for us. Being a HUGE multi-level troop, we are able to do all required activities and the ceremony “in house.” Using the bridge in the council backyard was special too!
These smiling facea and the lifetime bonds these girls are building are what keep us going!
All in all, a great (and exhausting) day…topped off with cupcakes!
The My Promise – My Faith pin is a Girl Scout Special Opportunity Award. By earning this award, girls have explored how Girl Scouts and faith offer similar ideas about how to act and how Girl Scouts ties into all different faiths. By choosing a different line of the Girl Scout Law each year, the award can be earned every year a girl is in Girl Scouts!
We have an annual all-troop (two troops as is the case now that our original troop became Cadettes!) sleepover. Girls have to earn the privilege to attend this sleepover by showing they are capable of always living the Girl Scout Law, during troop meetings. The girls earn stars for behavior and participation in our weekly meetings and all girls with a minimum number of earned stars are invited to the sleepover.
The sleepover is the best place to work on this pin, because we have a captive audience for an extended, uninterrupted period of time. As the girls go to a religion-based school, this pin is a no-brainer for our troop. So, we have worked on My Promise – My Faith for the last 4 years during the sleepover and we always do our sleepover in a church. All our girls go to the same Catholic School, but about 25% of them are not Catholic so, we have moved around from year-to-year to different churches in our town, so we are sure to, at least, hit the denomination of every girl in our troop.
There are 5 steps to completing this award. The first is to choose a line from the Girl Scout Law, on which to focus. This year we planned our entire evening’s events around being COURAGEOUS and STRONG.
When the girls arrived, they checked in at a table with a sign stating “The phrase DO NOT BE AFRAID is written in the Bible 365. That’s a daily reminder, from God, to live every day COURAGEOUS and STRONG!”, there they collected a keepsake button we had made with the phrase “Do Not Be Afraid” , with the year, that the girls could wear on their uniforms or pin on their school bags or anywhere they wanted DAILY reminding of what they learned while earning these pins.
The second step to earning the pin is to interview a woman of faith who can talk about how she tries to act in her life based on our chosen line of the Law. We chose a non-Catholic teacher from the girls’ school. Mrs. H is a shining example of a woman of faith. She lives every day exemplifying her faith and is a great role-model for our girls, in and out of school. She spent a little over a year as a missionary, with her family, in Liberia during the beginning of that country’s Civil War, prior to being emergency evacuated as the war started to turn extremely violent. The home in which her family lived is literally a crater in the ground now, where bombs hit within days of Mrs. H and her family being evacuated. She talked at great length and answered questions about how living her faith and believing it gave her COURAGE and STRENGTH helped her get through a very turbulent time (and continues to do so)!
Mrs. H teaches 5th grade so many of the girls have had her as a teacher and those who haven’t still know and love her. She is extremely unassuming and you’d think a group of rowdy girls would eat her alive. But, Mrs. H has a gracious personality and commands attention. The leaders of younger girls were extremely impressed by her character, demeanor and the girls were all captivated and extremely attentive! She is an amazing women and we are extremely fortunate to have such an inspiration working so closely with our girls!!
The third step is to find three inspirational quotes by women that fit with the chosen line of the Law. We had fruitful discussion about each one and the girls could (if they chose) use the quotes on an art project they completed later in the evening. Below are the quotes we chose and some of the meanings the girls came up with:
“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – (Professor Dumbledore) aka J.K Rowling
Be who you are, no matter who you talk to
Stand up for yourself
Stand up for someone who can’t stand up for themselves even if you have to anger someone
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
You can’t ever learn something new if you don’t take the first step
The outcome of doing something you are scared of can be amazing
What if you never tried ice cream? How would you ever know it is the BEST food in the world!
“Courage is like a muscle, we strengthen it by use.” – Ruth Gordo
The more courage you have, the easier it gets
Baby steps lead to great things
Once you have courage to do something and you find you could, you can do it again and again
At this point we had been together for a couple of hours so figured we should probably feed them 🙂 Dinner time….Thumbs up for pizza!
After dinner we decided to put the girls to the test! We wanted them to see how they COULD gather courage and strength to get through a series of activities. So, we set up stations and had an evening of FEAR FACTOR (like the TV show)!!
Step one…sort into groups. Sometimes it takes courage to try new things with NEW people, rather than always with our friends and staying in our comfort zone.
All stations had labels. The name of each event was sometimes enough to have girls questioning their resolve! 🙂
One station was called WORM PIE. Here we had plates of whipped cream for each girl. Hidden within the pile was a gummy worm. The girls had to find their worm WITHOUT using their hands or any utensils. Not knowing the worm was candy and not real, all but one girl tried this!
Another station was called CAN YOU GUESS. Here we had several flavors of baby food. We had taken the labels off the jars and the girls had to taste test all the flavors and guess what the flavors were. We chose some easy foods, like applesauce and some baby food versions of the kids’ favorite foods, such as Mac-n-Cheese. It was hilarious to see their faces and even better were the reactions when we gave them the answers afterwards and they realized every one of the pureed foods were foods they eat in its whole state! All girls tried this event. The girls with more than 50% guessed correctly won a yummy(er) treat!
Ummmm….WHAT?!?! Pretty sure we didn’t feed them THAT, but from these photos you’d think we did 🙂
One station we had to set up outside so we wouldn’t make a mess on the nice carpet in the parish Friendship Room. This one was called ROTTEN EGG CHALLENGE. Girls had to crack an egg into their hands and carry it from a starting point to a bucket several yards away. Once they deposited their egg they had to crack an egg into a teammate’s hand who then walked back the other direction. Every girl tried this event.
The last event was called PIG GUTS KEY SEARCH. This one got great reactions out of the girls. First off, it stunk! A leader had purchased a bunch of canned food items from the Dollar Store, such as Spaghetti-Os, applesauce, grape jelly, canned mushrooms and few other “gross” items. Mix in some water and you get slop! In the bucket we dropped 6 keys. 2 of the keys opened a pair of padlocks. Each girl had to dig around for the correct key and when they opened the lock they dropped the keys back into the pig guts and handed the, now-relocked, padlock to the next girl in line. They learned really quickly that if they pulled an incorrect key from the slop they shouldn’t put it back in (increasing their odds of finding the correct key sooner) and that both of the correct keys were interchangeable and would open either padlock so two girls could go at once! All but one girl tried this event. The one who flat-out refused was the youngest girl in her group and the older girls were REALLY sweet to her!!
The fourth requirement to earning the pin is to make something to remember what they’ve learned. We made collages on canvas with the words COURAGOUS and/or STRONG on them. Using magazines, markers and modgepodge we got some really pretty artwork! As mentioned above, the girls were given the 3 chosen quotes to copy if they wanted, as well.
Leaders add some modge-podge and VOILA! Beautiful art to take home!
By this point, it is pretty late in the night….past usual bedtimes for our younger girls. So, we usually wind down by watching a movie and having quiet time until they all crash. Cookie season started the next day so we watched some GSUSA videos so the girls could get ideas on how to sell, sell, sell!
Now….GO TO SLEEEPPP!!!!! 🙂 Well, first it’s like herding cats, then it was bedtime. But, bright and early again, it is breakfast time….which, of course, is not possible without these bright-eyed-at-6am-lovely-ladies!
A couple of years ago we started making homemade Belgium waffles, as each of the leaders had an iron. So, it has become our tradition. Add some bacon, fruit, yogurt, milk and breakfast is served. YUMMY!!
After a quick game of “as soon as you round up all your things and pack them up we will put your name in a drawing for a fun prize” (you might call it bribery, we say PRETTY MUCH!!), we finished our event by discussing what we learned and making a commitment to live what we learned! This is the last requirement for the pin. So, in one activity packed evening a troop of over 40 girls can earn this award.
As you can imagine it is an exhausting time. But…the memories and photos are all the incentive we leaders need (well…that and the fact that a year passes before we do it again!) The best part of the evening, is the sisterhood!
A few weeks after our event, the girls received their pins which were blessed by Father Jaochim during Mass. The whole troop was honored in front of their entire school and parish community.