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Girl Scouts mourn loss of mass shooting victims

One of 21 victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde identified as Girl Scout Amerie Garza

Girl Scouts of Colorado is heartbroken to share that one of our Girl Scouts from a sister council was killed during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas this week. The Girl Scout Movement mourns the death of Amerie Garza, and all of the victims of another senseless shooting.

News outlets are reporting that Amerie attempted to call 9-1-1 when the shooter came into the classroom and she’s being hailed as a hero for attempting to save herself and her peers.

Along with the rest of the nation and the world, Girl Scouts in Colorado mourn for the victims, their families and friends, and all those impacted by this tragedy.

For ways you can help our sisters in Uvalde, please visit the Girl Scout Strong for Uvalde web page at www.girlscouts-swtx.org/girlscoutstrong.

In the wake of violent events, we all may experience fear and anxiety. The following resources can help you navigate conversations about what’s happened:

Girl Scout Raising Awesome Girls content: When Violence on the News Shakes Her World 

For child-centered grief and trauma resources 

 For mental health crises

  • Call 911
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255or suicidepreventionlifeline.org for online emotional support
  • The Crisis Text Line connects you to a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message: text NAMI to 741741
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling (more info at National Institute of Mental Health): Dial 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor

For families or troops seeking mental health care services

Mental Health America (MHA) links to affiliates across the country and offers resources for finding treatment

El Pomar funds Colorado Springs Girl Scout celebration

Thanks, in part, to a grant from the El Pomar Foundation, Girl Scouts and Girl Scout supporters will come together on June 9 to share the impact the organization has had on them at an event at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

The state’s top cookie seller, an inspiring Gold Award Girl Scout, and a fearless troop leader, will be interviewed by Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark and share how they’re making the world a better place in Colorado Springs and beyond.

The event will be June 9, 5-7 p.m. at Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, 101 Pro Rodeo Dr., Colorado Springs.

If you’re interested in attending, please reach out to Martha Johnson at martha.johnson@gscolorado.org.

Remembering the Legacy of Three Lifetime Girl Scout Alumnae

JANICE MAY USCHLBEC ERICKSON

Jan, age 73, died on August 19, 2021 at her home in Windsor, CO.  She struggled for over six years with non-smoker’s lung cancer, using the mantra “I am not my body” and maintaining a positive attitude through her various rounds of treatment.  She was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 16, 1947 and attended Fairview Park High School, The University of Toledo, and LaVerne College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology.

Jan married Stephen Flanders Erickson in June of 1967 and after Steve was commissioned as a US Navy officer, they traveled the world, living in 16 homes in 52 years.  Steve and Jan had two children, Kristy (1970) and Keith (1972).  They retired to Windsor, CO to be nearer to family.

Jan was a lifelong Girl Scout and an avid volunteer. She enjoyed nature, hiking, camping, and travel and sharing those passions with other Girl Scouts young and old. She held various roles over the years, as a scout, leader, and member of the Green Hat Society. She was a founding member of the Sierra Silver Streaks Chapter in NV and a member of the Plains to Peak Chapter in CO. Being a Girl Scout brought her friendships around the world. She travelled to England, Scotland, and Ireland with members of Tokyo Troop 113 in 1985 and to Switzerland with members of the Green Hat Society in September 2014. Her volunteer experiences always involved helping people, the most memorable being as her time as an EMT in South Carolina, an English conversation teacher during her years in Japan, and an educator at Elam Environmental Center at Camp Ken-Jockety near Columbus OH. Her last adventures took her on travels to Israel and Italy in 2019. A favorite quote of hers and one which inspired her to live ever day to the fullest – “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Jan’s commitment to Girl Scouting was indeed life-long.  She brought the Green Hat Society to Colorado, and encouraged involvement in various activities, groups and events around the state.  She was involved in the Songbirds Girl Scout Choir, attended Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch, and was of assistance with several International Festivals, highlighting her own experiences with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world.  Her camp name was “Lief,” reminiscent of her commitment to the out-of-doors as well as to her family’s heritage.

It’s easy to see Jan with her jaunty hat and ready smile, singing all the way, immersed in camp’s activities and encouraging others to immerse themselves into Girl Scouting all through their lives.  Jan, you are missed.

JOY CAROLYN LITTLE POHL

Joy died at age 96 on January 22, 2022.  She was born in 1925 in Miami, Fl., and attended Miami Beach Public Schools.  She was a member of the National Honor Society in high school, played the violin from age 3 and was active in dramatics, tennis and Girl Scouts.  She attended Florida State College For Women and graduated with a degree in Music and Psychology.

Joy joined the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State and her first assignment in the fall of 1948 was in Seoul, Korea.  She met Edward Pohl in Paris, France, where he served as a Courier, also with the Foreign Service.  They were subsequently transferred to Germany, Panama, Sicily, and Tunisia.  Continuing her Foreign Service as a Staff Officer and Executive Assistant to various Ambassadors, her posts included Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Switzerland and Niger.  They had two children, Lyn and John, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Joy was involved with Girl Scouts all over the world, through the Troops on Foreign Soil programs, serving as Leader and then Country Commissioner of North Germany.  She served in leadership positions in Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

After she and Ed retired and moved to Estes Park in 1982, Joy became active with the Girl Scouts-Mountain Prairie Council in Northern Colorado.  She was a troop leader as well as serving as First Vice President of the Board of Directors of MPGSC.  She enjoyed participation and involvement with the GSCO History Group and the Promise Partners GS Alumni group.  She was always eager to share her Girl Scouting travel experience with others through demonstrations, exhibits, trainings, talks and involvement with International Festivals.

“Always a Girl Scout” describes Joy perfectly.  She carried her “joy” and enthusiasm for the history and traditions of Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding all over the world, even after their retirement through travels throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.  A memorial bench will be constructed and installed at Meadow Mountain Ranch proudly displaying that theme, “Always A Girl Scout – in Memory of Joy Pohl.”  Joy, you are a true inspiration.

LILLIAN MAE BRAGGE ZIEBARTH

Lillian died on February 11, 2022 in Littleton, CO., at the age of 82.  She was born in Des Moines, IA. And grew up in Carlton, MN.  She graduated from Carlton High School and married her high school sweetheart, Harold (Zeke) Ziebarth.  They had 4 children and five grandchildren.

Lillian was an avid volunteer, often calling herself a “Professional Volunteer” when asked what she did for a living. She was an adult member of Girl Scouting for over 50 years and she was awarded one of the highest honors an adult member of Girl Scouts can receive – the Thanks Badge. She was a Girl Scout troop leader for all three of her daughters. She loved to sing and loved to teach large groups new songs. To this day there are many people who only knew her by her Girl Scout camp name, “Zing.”  I can hear her singing, “Zing, Zing together, merrily, merrily, merrily Zing.”  She was active in the Songbirds Girl Scout Choir, bringing along her 6-year-old granddaughter,  Sammi Corwin.  Sammi learned to play the guitar through the Songbirds and graduated from high school still singing along with “Zing.”  For many years she was also a member of the alumni group in the Denver area, previously begun under Mile Hi Council.

“Zing” provided us with many old and new Girl Scout songs, and every time we sing “Z-Y-X” (the alphabet backwards!) she will be fondly remembered.

Calling All Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors!

Are you an older Girl Scout who loves to lead younger girls in activities? Do you love camp?

Join our summer day camp at Barr Lake State Park as a PA or PAI!

We are currently looking for older Girl Scouts who are trained as PAs or qualify to train as PAs to help at our summer day camps.

We will offer Colorado Outdoor Adventure Camp on July 11-15. Activities include hiking, outdoor art, archery, boating, nature studies, and a wide variety of badge work.

 

 

Girls in Science Camp will be July 25-29. We will dive into engineering challenges, nature, chemistry, physics, and we will also have archery!

Contact Renee “Smokey” at smokey61647@gmail.com

Girl Scout Myla Innovates the Helping Hand Glove to Help People

Through the Cookie Box Innovation Challenge powered by Arrow Electronics, Girl Scout Cadette Myla from Arvada used recyclable materials to build a prototype of her dream innovation, Helping Hand Glove.

This idea stemmed from an earlier invention that she built for an engineering contest fair at her school a few years back. Myla created a page-turner, a simple motorized box that helped turn pages of a book. During the fair, an observer came up to Myla and shared with her how their mom had mobility issues and this innovation could really help her be able to read again, something she once loved to do but could no longer do without assistance.

This experience sparked an inspiration for Myla’s project. She made it her goal to push the limits by taking a simple innovation to the next level to continue to make a positive impact on other people’s lives.

Myla is showing how her innovation, Helping Hand Glove, helps people with lack of fine motor skills hold everyday objects like a pencil.

The Helping Hand Glove is comprised of six strategically placed magnets to help those with lack of fine motor skills hold everyday objects from a pencil or pen to holding a fork and eating, to just holding a paper.

Myla started out by taping magnets to her fingers and adjusting them to find the right spot. Next, she sketched out the model. Lastly, she built the prototype. While doing so, she noticed when the blue burlap fabric went all the way down the hand that it limited mobility, so she decided to replace that section with elastic instead. She also made sure the wrist strap was adjustable for different hand sizes and the fingers of the glove could easily slide off after use.

In recognition of her achievement and as a reflection of its own commitment to innovation, Arrow Electronics awarded Myla to a ride in the Arrow Electronics SAM car. Arrow’s Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) is a smart, connected racer that quadriplegic, former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt operates using head movements for steering and breathing through a tube for speed.

Myla is wearing the special glasses that use head movements for steering and holding the tube that speeds up the car through breathing.

Myla had the opportunity to drive the car and experience first-hand the power of innovation. Not every 12-year-old gets the chance to drive a racecar… and up to 70 miles per hour! “Getting to drive the SAM car was amazing. I would’ve never been able to have an opportunity like this without Girl Scouts,” says Myla.

But Myla’s big dreams don’t stop here. “I see my innovation continuing to be a part of my future. My goal is to create more Helping Hand Gloves to donate to rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and hospitals as a part of my future Gold Award project,” says Myla. “I hope to continue to help more people by creating new innovations in the future.”

Myla and her family at Coors Field getting to ride in the SAM car.

 

Girl Scouts reach out to help ‘sister’ in difficult time

The Girl Scout Daisies and the families of Troop 66856 in Parker are rallying around a family in their troop community that suffered an unimaginable loss last week.

The girls in the Anderson family are receiving Sisterhood of Support packs from other Girl Scouts who created them to let Girl Scouts going through hard times know that others care for them.

S.O.S. kits bring mental wellness activities and supplies to Girl Scouts during times of need. Troops have been creating S.O.S. kits since December when kits were first delivered to Girl Scouts impacted by the Marshall Fire.

The troop is also organizing ways to help the Anderson family as they navigate these difficult time.

A Go Fund Me has been set up to benefit the family.

Volunteer View: April 2022

girl scouts

 

Bronze Award Project: Backpacks for Refugee Children

In the fall of 2021, a group of girls from Troop 42733 started brainstorming projects that would have an impact on our community. We came together to share our ideas and took a vote. Once the votes were in, our marvelous troop decided to provide backpacks for refugee children through Lutheran Family Services (LFS) in Colorado Springs. From there we got to work.

First we put together questions to ask Brittney, the refugee coordinator who helps Afghan families. Up next, we discussed how many backpacks we were going to provide, what we were going to put in them, and most importantly, how we were going to pay for the items.

We decided that we were going to have a goal of 18-24 backpacks. Each backpack would contain the following items: crayons, pencils, paper, markers, a visual dictionary, and a small toy.

Now how were we going to pay for all this? We sought donations from local stores, as well as from family members. Staples, family members, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and 5 Below were all significant supporters of our project. The 5 Below store even let us set up a booth in front of their business, where many kind strangers responded by donating money and buying supplies to include in the backpacks.

After sorting the donations, we stuffed 24 backpacks with school supplies of all sorts, including notebooks, folders, art supplies, and a homemade stuffed animal! On a Friday afternoon, our troop met after school and gave the backpacks to LFS. This concluded our bronze award project. It felt good to work hard as a team for such a worthy cause.

Written By Evie, 5th Grader, Troop 42733

Innovative Girl Scout wins $250, rode in the Arrow SAM car

Girl Scouts Innovation Challenge Winner Myla Clemetsen, 12, drives the SAM car in Denver, Colorado on April 23, 2022. Her family also learned how to drive the car. Arrow’s Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) is a smart, connected racer that former IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt operates using head head movements for steering and breathing through a tube for speed. Photo by Ellen Jaskol/Arrow.
Arrow Electronics partners with Girl Scouts to spark innovative ideas

At Girl Scouts, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” Through the Cookie Box Innovation Challenge powered by Arrow Electronics, Girl Scout Cadette Myla from Arvada made her dream design a reality. By using recyclable materials she built a prototype of her innovation, Helping Hand Glove.

The thought process behind her innovation went like this: Is there a simple device for people with lack of fine motor skills to help them hold objects? Without assistance, some people may not be able to draw, write, eat, or even simply hold a piece of paper. “I discovered that robotic gloves are the only option and decided to invent the Helping Hand Glove. With five strategically placed magnets, it can assist the user in many ways— from helping hold a pencil or pen to holding a fork and eating, to just holding a paper,” said Myla.

In recognition of her achievement and as a reflection of its own commitment to innovation, Arrow Electronics awarded Myla to a ride in the Arrow Electronics SAM car on April 23, at Coors Field. Arrow Electronics modified a Corvette to empower quadriplegic, former IndyCar race driver Sam Schmidt to drive again, using head and voice controls. The SAM car is an example of peak innovation that inspired Girl Scouts as they created their innovations. Myla had the opportunity to drive the car and experience first-hand the power of innovation.

In addition, Arrow Electronics is offering another $250 cash prize to one Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award project that implements design thinking and meets their mission of “finding solutions and connecting people with technology that makes life better.” Any project submitted between March 2, 2022, and March 1, 2023, will have the opportunity to be considered for this Arrow Innovation Award.

The Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout in 4th or 5th grade can earn; a Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout in 6th-8th grade can earn; and high school-aged Girl Scouts who earn the Gold Award tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond.

“It’s inspiring to see the type of innovations these Girl Scouts have designed, and I’m excited to see what they continue to create in the future,” said Arrow Electronics Global Corporate Social Responsibility Director Joe Verrengia.

Through the Innovation Challenge, Girl Scouts learned what innovation is from female Arrow Electronics staff and how to tap the innovation potential in themselves. This opportunity allowed girls to discover and develop their capacity for translating their own ideas into solutions to help change their communities and the world for the better.

“We have truly valued this unique opportunity for Girl Scouts to have first-hand experience with professionals, products, and lessons around innovation thanks to the support from Arrow Electronics,” said Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark.

WeAreGirl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org. 

About Arrow Electronics
Arrow Electronics guides innovation forward for over 220,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2021 sales of $34 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at fiveyearsout.com.

Bats & Benefits, Gold Award Project by Gillian Clark

For her Gold Award project, Gillian Clark from Steamboat Springs partnered with a local environmental education organization, Yampatika, to address the issue of decreasing bat populations by designing, building, and installing bat habitats. The habitats ensure that the bat population in her community will continue to grow and thrive.

Gillian built and donated 23 bat box kits to kids in her community so they could take home information they learned about the bats and build a home to help the bat population locally. “I chose this as my project because I personally don’t see many bats around Steamboat Springs anymore. My favorite part was putting together all of the bat boxes and educating kids on why bats are so important and how they can help,” says Gillian.

Gillian’s Gold Award project taught her how to be confident with public speaking and how to work with people and have a strong work ethic. Yampatika has all of the resources that Gillian created so they can continue to educate future generations on the declining bat population.