Category Archives: Highest Awards Archive

Aurora Girl Scout works towards earning her Gold Award by creating Refocus Centers at Parker Elementary school

For her Gold Award project, Girl Scout Maggie Donohue created Refocus Centers for Pine Lane Elementary School. Refocus Centers are tools that teachers and kids can use to take a break from the classroom and recenter themselves, so they are ready to return to learn. Each center is a different Colorado nature theme that includes facts, sounds, and sensory stimulation. Students will find reminders on how to self-soothe that compliments the social emotional curriculum in place, as well as explore each center visually and auditorily.

Maggie’s hope is that students can learn to recognize their stressors and identify ways to rectify them, so their learning is not interrupted. Here is a link to the Refocus Center website to learn more.

Maggie suffers from migraines and non-epileptic seizures.  She spent over 12 weeks in a wheelchair this past year and had to participate in speech therapy, physical therapy, and biofeedback. Despite these challenges, Maggie persevered and was still able to complete her Gold Award project.

Through the process of completing her Gold Award project, Maggie has learned how to balance her ideas with the needs of the community and to advocate for herself and other student needs.

“With Girl Scouts, I have learned how to use my voice to help others,” said Maggie. “I feel like I belong to a much larger family and have met many new people. We have experienced things that we wouldn’t have done as individuals.”

Maggie’s Refocus Centers will continue to have a positive impact for the teachers and students of Pine Lane Elementary for generations to come. Since the Refocus Centers were implemented, staff have noticed that students have improved coping and teachers have had less behavioral interruptions.

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.

 

Preventing Period Poverty

Girl Scout Orrin Jones is working towards her Gold Award. For her project, she decided to focus it around making feminine hygiene products more available. Coming out of COVID was already a challenge for numerous people, especially for women.

One of my greatest friends missed school for a few days; this was not usual for her, so I asked her if she was sick. She replied promptly and stated that she wasn’t sick, she only had her period. This confused me because I assumed that our school had recourses for menstruators. When I spoke to one of my school nurses, she told me that the sanitary napkins were bough quarterly and they ran out of materials to distribute. I further asked her if the district has a budget or lends the school money for these products, and she stated that the district does not do either of those things, and she has to use her salary for such products. This incident sparked my interest in this issue, which I came to find out was more common globally. 1 in 7 women cannot afford sanitary products, and 1 in 3 miss school, work, or other important events to stay home and tend to their cycles. On top of that, there is a Pink Tax that makes female items more expensive than male products.

All of prompted me to take action and try to spread awareness. I decided to create a nonprofit and website (both still in the process) called Prevent Period Poverty, and I have partnered with global nonprofit I Support the Girls to expand my business not only nationally, but in countries such as Pakistan, Germany, and Japan. My nonprofit collects donated sanitary products, creates reusable sanitary napkins, and pamphlets, and sends each item to numerous organizations that will distribute these items to women who need it, schools, and other institutions. I will be working on placing a category on my website where females can order their menstrual products for free and have them delivered to their location.

I am also spreading awareness on my website on the Pink Tax issue, how it is unconstitutional, and ways that each person can help fight against this injustice issue. Though I have just begun my journey, I am excited to see how far my organization can go to make this issue decrease and educate people on how to help and support menstruators.

BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD AWARD GIRL SCOUTS HONORED AT WESTERN SLOPE CELEBRATION

More than 40 Western Slope Girl Scouts gathered at Colorado Mesa University to celebrate earning one of Girl Scouts Highest Awards on April 24.

Regional Highest Awards celebrations are back in-person this year are planned in April and May to honor the 800 Girl Scouts who earned Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards this year.

Celeste Fullerton and Jayden Thomason received their Gold Award pin at a ceremony this afternoon at Colorado Mesa University. For Celeste’s project, she launched an awareness campaign to inform students about the dangers of vaping. For Jayden’s project she partnered with the Montelores Early Childhood Council to host a booth at their annual health fair in Cortez, to educate parents and kids about the dangers and impacts of sugary drinks.

View the Flickr album with photos and videos of the celebration.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lexi Vaille, Dillon, “Battling the Stigma Against Mental Health”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award, I partnered with Building Hope and started a Hope Squad program at Snowy Peaks High School.

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

I measured the impact my project made by creating a Google form, asking questions about what resources the student knew about before and how they think Hope Squad will be helpful to students in the future.

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

Connor Catron, Summit School District social worker, and Justin Holms, Snowy Peaks teacher, will keep the program running for at least the next four years and hopefully continue after that. Connor and Mr. Holms signed a commitment letter stating that they will help keep the program going. This program will be something that every student can join.

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

My project’s global link is the lack of awareness on the topic of mental health and how it affects people.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am good at public speaking in front of large crowds, over Zoom, and in person.

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

Earning my Gold Award means a lot to me. My dad and older brother both have their Eagle and I wanted to be able to earn my Gold Award. I am the first in my family to earn my Gold Award. In my future, I will be able to inspire younger girls to achieve their Gold Award because it is such a big honor. Creating a mental health program will inspire me to use those resources in my future and to become someone anyone can talk to when I become a teacher.

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 experience because it allowed me to take the lead on a project and do something based on what I am passionate about.

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 a G.I.R.L. because I was a go-getter by not giving up on my goals and pushing through to make sure I got them done. I was able to be an innovator because I got to figure out what program would work best and change it as needed. I was a risk-taker because I had to present to many people I did not know or feel comfortable around, so I took the risk and was able to do it. And, I was a leader because I got to use my leadership skills in starting the program.

**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.

Bronze Award Project: You are Invited

Submitted by Jessica Spangler

Metro Denver

Denver

Four Juniors in multi-level Troop 65659 came together in 2020 with a goal: earn the Bronze Award. They finished the aMUSE Journey online, culminating in a play they created to bust the stereotype that firefighters are male (https://youtu.be/I8lFJo2C3C4).

Meeting online once or twice per month, they built their team, virtually toured their neighborhoods, observed eleven problems, and interviewed experts. In December, they finalized their choice: children being left out and socially excluded.

They started 2021 with a vision to address feeling left out: “Happy, Helping, Gathering, Respect Others’ Feelings, Feel Welcomed, Respect others, Speaking to each other, Go somewhere and talk.” They said their goal for the project was to include “horses” and “campfires.” Julianna had an idea to help children feel welcome: a “Kindness Board” where each youth would write something positive about another and post it for everyone to see.

In March and April, despite two of the girls being unable to continue with the project, Juniors Kennedy and Julianna continued undaunted and created the You Are Invited Club for all children and youth who feel left out and excluded.

They personally visited two nonprofit farms that provide classes and programming to youth in the community and asked the owners to host their club. They were so grateful that both farms said yes! They made videos to advertise their new program (https://youtu.be/AsAyz1uar9c and https://youtu.be/wgIXa2KL91c).

Once the new club was publicized by each farm, Kennedy and Julianna got together for a mini-pizza party to create a poster, write thank you notes, and celebrate their accomplishment that was a year and a half in the making.

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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Ruby Boswell, Colorado Springs, “Closet of Confidence”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created and implemented a closet into my high school office that held various feminine hygiene products and resources, called the Closet of Confidence. Along with the closet, I began open and honest conversations with faculty, students, and parents about the discomfort felt in young female students coming to school on their periods and not feeling prepared. My project overall addressed the issue of the lack of availability of feminine hygiene products in middle and high schools, and the statistically low self-esteem gained when a young woman is on her period, which can lead to her missing school days and prohibiting her from getting a full, uninterrupted education. The Closet of Confidence ensures that a young woman will never have to limit her education by a circumstance she cannot control and provides her with confidence and assurance to learn without barriers.

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

The Closet of Confidence has been used by several high school girls, and in talking with them about the closet’s impact, they have stated that the product’s presence has eased their mind about coming to school on their periods. My audience learned that being on their period doesn’t mean they have to stay home and miss out on their education. They have products there for them to equip them to have the confidence to get a good education. The Closet of Confidence has been publicized and will have even further use going into the coming school years

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

I partnered with the National Honor Society at my school, and they have agreed that any products brought in for the closet will be counted for service hours, depending on how much product. Along with the National Honor Society, the Parent Teacher Organization will be contributing. They plan on evaluating every semester if the closet needs refilling and will place in products via their own funds or run a PTO sponsored donation drive for the closet. My project advisor, Jana Wilson, works in the school office and will ensure that product gets placed.

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

For my national connection, I have been in contact with several educators around Colorado and the country who are eager and willing to help encourage their communities to implement the Closet of Confidence into their school districts.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this whole process, I learned several things about myself. I learned that I am fueled by what I am passionate about. Uplifting young women and giving them the resources they need to be successful and confident gives me great joy and encourages me to continue on a path of persuing passion. I also learned a lot about what confidence truly is, where it comes from, and what it means to me. Confidence does not come from an outside source or someone telling you you’re worthy, it comes from a deep knowledge that the authentic you is worthy and capable, which gives you the confidence to be bold and be yourself. This is definitely the biggest insight I gained in doing my project.

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

In earning my Gold Award, I have gained an experience in leadership, management, and service that will benefit me in my academic and professional careers as I continue toward my goals. My interests and passions were reinforced, and I intend to continue my journey to uplifting and empowering women of all ages. Above all, in the midst of a pandemic, and an extremely challenging year, I saw this project to completion. I had to dig deep to make it happen and I did it. I am confident in my ability to see future projects to completion as well.

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

I have been involved with Girl Scouts since first grade and have met some of my best friends and have gained experiences that I will treasure forever and look back on with gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned. The other girls in my troop and my troop leader have truly inspired me, and we all have offered love and support for one another these many years. Completing my Gold Award is the best way to conclude a phenomenal Girl Scout experience.

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

Earning my Gold Award undoubtably helped me become a G.I.R.L. I learned how to reach for my goals for the Closet of Confidence as a go-getter. I saw the need for a change and something new in my school system, so I took action in creating it as an innovator. I entered into conversations about topics that are considered taboo, such as feminine hygiene, and encouraged open discussion, teaching me to be a risk-taker. Finally, I learned how communication, cooperation and management are what make a good leader.

**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.

Bronze Award project: Snuffle Mats

Submitted by Silvia M.

Pikes Peak

Woodland Park

I love animals, and wanted to do something to help them. I went to TCRAS, Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, and talked to the staff about what they needed. They suggested snuffle mats, which are made out of plastic or rubber mats, with strips of fleece woven in the holes, and tied in knots. Treats can be hidden for the dogs to find. Instead of being bored all day, they have something to do while waiting for a new home. The Junior group in my troop researched the material, and made nine mats for the shelter, and we’re still making some more. The shelter and dogs LOVE them!

I’ve been a Girl Scout since I was a Daisy, and am now in fifth grade. Girl Scouting has taught me so many skills, and I’ve made so many new friends. With this Bronze Award, I’ve learned decision-making and leadership, teaching the fourth graders how to do this project and getting their opinions about what we should do. I am looking forward to becoming a Cadette, working on new badges and Journeys, and earning the Silver Award!

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.

Troop 35 earns Bronze Award

Submitted by Nikki Milton

Metro Denver

Aurora

Troop 35 was in the middle of their Bronze Award project when the pandemic hit, putting everything on hold. We are happy to say that we were able to finish the project, a year later, and the results are amazing. Our troop picked The Delores Project, which provides safe, comfortable shelter and services for unaccompanied women and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. They asked us for help on two fronts, build shelving for their pantry and create an outdoor garden of herbs and vegetables they could use in their kitchen. Our troop of 18 split into two groups and tackled both projects. The residents couldn’t stop asking us questions and expressing their gratitude for our work. It was a great experience for the girls and we are looking forward to starting our Silver Award project next year.

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.

2021 Virtual Highest Awards Celebrations: Watch Now

Thank you to everyone who joined Girl Scouts of Colorado on Sunday, May 16 for the 2021 Highest Awards Virtual Celebrations!  Missed the celebrations? That’s okay. You can watch the recordings now on the GSCO Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Facebook Links

YouTube Links

Whether you joined us live or are watching the recordings at a later date, we encourage troops and families to make these events feel special for their Highest Awards Girl Scouts in any way possible! Dress up, have your girl wear her Girl Scout vest/sash, decorate your home, or maybe bake something special. Also, be sure to share congratulations for your troop and help our Highest Awards Girl Scouts feel even more proud of their huge accomplishments. You can also use these Highest Awards social media graphics or share photos and videos from your celebration with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo.

Honor Your Highest Awards Girl Scout

Honor your Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Girl Scout by making a gift to Girl Scouts of Colorado to help us continue to support older girls who are making the world a better place! Make your donation here: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/donate.html

Questions? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

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.