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GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Olivia Noakes, Thornton, “Thornton High School Connections with Elementary Schools: Opportunities in Music”

Olivia Noakes

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I developed a multi-media presentation about opportunities in middle and high school music geared towards 4th and 5th grade students. My video and oral presentation provided information about what types of music classes are available in middle school, high school, and outside of school. In addition to this, I explained the many benefits of being involved in music. I contacted 12 schools and visited five; I presented in front of 20 classes, meaning my message reached more than 300 students. These presentations will become an annual occurrence with the purpose of informing elementary school students about their future choices.

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

At the beginning and end of each presentation, I surveyed the elementary students about their interest in middle school music. In every single class, less than three students raised their hands before I presented. After I finished, the opposite was true. Also, all of the teachers said they would love to host the visit every year. I discussed my project and the students’ reactions with each teacher, and they were just as excited as I was about my cause.

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

After visiting the elementary schools, I created a “Standard Operating Procedure” (SOP) to keep at Thornton High School. The SOP is a manual that includes what my original project was, why I chose it, and step-by-step instructions on how to replicate the visits. Since my supervisor, Mr. Sebastian Adams, is the Instrumental Music Director at Thornton High School, the project will expand to include both orchestra and band (more details are included in the SOP). Secondly, there are several studies discussing the importance of music training and its long term benefits; music education changes an individual for life. Scientific American’s (2010) board of editors asserted, “Studies have shown that assiduous instrument training from an early age can help the brain to process sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to tensor calculus.”

This is one of many examples of research supporting my message. Lastly, I have made the connection between Thornton High School and local elementary schools, thus opening a line of continued communication between students, teachers, and parents.

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

My entire project is based upon a concept that is universal: the love of music. Two people who do not speak the same language can still communicate and understand each other through playing music. There are also many international opportunities that students can take advantage of because of music. For example, college students can study music abroad or travel to another country for marching band. Music is the universal language.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot throughout this process, but there are two main lessons that stood out. I gained experience relating to adults. When communicating with the teachers and administrators at the elementary schools, I had to balance being professional with being personal. Adults need to see that I am trustworthy and passionate at the same time. Secondly, I learned that I am 100% capable of making a difference in the world. I created this project myself, and it was successful.

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

As I mentioned before, the lessons I learned throughout the Gold Award process will assist me in both the near and distant future. The experiences of communicating personally and professionally will aid me in college, job interviews, and the workplace. Also, I have gained confidence through this project that will propel me through life.

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

The Gold Award was the perfect way to sum up everything I have experienced in Girl Scouts. I have developed commitment (I have been in Girl Scouts since Daises), confidence, courage, professionalism, and compassion. I feel that I am a girl of quality because of the experience Girl Scouts has provided me.

***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

Teaching STEM & creativity in summer programs


Submitted by Pam Koschke, Program Associate for Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts Outreach Program participated in Youth One Book One Denver (YOBOD) programs this summer. For this program young people across Colorado read a book called “The Comet’s Curse” by Dom Testa.  The book was about a comet that came very close to Earth.  The comet left a virus as it passed by Earth that made everyone sick except people under the age of 18.

Summer learning helps students do better in school and they will be more likely to graduate and be prepared for college. Girl Scouts is excited to be able to contribute to summer programs for YOBOD.

A dramatic and effective way to begin a unit on comets is to make your own comet right in front of the class.  We made a comet in the classroom with dry-ice, sand, water, dark Karo Syrup and ammonia.  As the comet began to melt, the class noticed small jets of gas coming from it.  These are locations where the gaseous carbon dioxide is escaping through small holes in the still frozen water.  This type of activity is also detected on real comets, where the jets can sometimes expel sufficient quantities of gas to make small changes in the orbit of the comet.  The girls were very excited about the activity.  They really enjoyed watching as the comets gas escaped creating a fog that rolled out of the bowl and down off the table.

This activity required a lot of preparation and supplies; however, it was worth it!  The ingredients for a comet are not difficult to find and watching a comet being “constructed” is something the students will remember for a long time.  The kids were so excited and had a great time as well as learning new things about comets.  After the activity, we asked the kids, “What did you learn about comets today”?  One girl said that she learned they are made out of carbon dioxide.

This is a great STEM activity as they are learning science and math. To incorporate some creativity in the lesson, students also got to decorate their own comet! (Pictured here) It was wonderful to watch girls have fun and learn some science.

I would definitely do this activity again!



October archery days at Meadow Mountain Ranch


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Submitted by

Rebecca Lankford


Denver Metro

Come spend the day at beautiful Meadow Mountain Ranch to try archery or practice your skills! Cadettes will earn the **new** Archery badge and Juniors will receive an archery fun patch. We will also play some outdoor games and go on a hike. Lunch will be provided. Maximum number of registrants = 40 per day.
Cost $32 per scout. 1 adult for every 4 girls is free. Extra adults $5.
Two days are offered: October 4th and October 18th.
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Registration and payment deadline: September 13.
No refunds after September 26.
Contact: troop53572@gmail. Pre-register at: http://goo.gl/forms/hLF6xjZMXo

2015 Lazy Acres Me & My Guy Camp a success!

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The 2015 Lazy Acres Me and My Guy camp was truly out of this world!

The annual Lazy Acres Me and My Guy camp was a resounding success this year. We kicked it off with a space theme by making name tags and getting to know our fellow space enthusiasts, aspiring astronauts, and even a couple Star Wars fans. Saturday morning everyone was ready for adventure. We started the morning by creating our space suits and creating planets out of dough to make into beads. Everyone was so creative! We even finished the morning with a couple rounds of Space Kickball! The gals won the last round, but the guys put up a good fight. Truly everyone was a winner since we had such a good time.

The guys and gals spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful views, scenic hikes and peaceful setting of Lazy Acres. We then learned about the power of flight by flying our own mini planes and then making and playing with space slime! After that, we built our own space station and imagined what space would look like from outside of a rocket ship. There were some friendly and unfriendly aliens, but we all know the truth is out there.

After dinner we went on an adventure by hiking to a beautiful overlook in San Isabelle National Forest. Everyone enjoyed the view and each other’s company! We made sure to get a group photo on top – though nobody could stay serious for very long. I am so proud of everyone for making it and supporting one another. Then we had a chance to create some sparks with our teeth and moon rocks! Space is wild.

Before bed we all gathered by a campfire to roast marshmallows, s’mores, sing songs and look at the beautiful stars. These moments are so special to take time to appreciate the new friends that you have made and grow even closer to the guys or gals that everyone came with. These moments help me reflect on why Girl Scouting is important to both fathers and daughters and why running camp is so worth it for the weekend.

Sunday morning everyone got to put all that they had learned this weekend to the test by launching their very own rockets! These used water and air pressure to take flight.

With new friendships, amazing memories and smiles on their faces the Guys and Gals departed camp! I sure can’t wait until next year’s Lazy Acres Father Daughter Camp!


Silver Award ‘Girls Only’ Career Fair

Submitted by Isabella Lucero


Denver Metro

Join Troop 53979 for a Girls Only Career Fair on Saturday September 19, 2015 from 9am to 12pm at Northglenn Middle School, 1123 Muriel Dr, Northglenn. This Fair is in part to earn our Silver Award! We are hosting this event so girls can learn about all the available jobs they can have when they grow up, and to understand they can have ANY career- Engineer, Plumber, Financial Planner, Teacher, etc. Girls age 10-18 are invited to join us, meet our invited guest professionals, ask questions and find out how to get started chasing their career goals.

Please RSVP to TL Jill Rampacek at jrampacek@comcast.net
We hope to see you there!

P.S. Are you a working mom in a non-traditional field? Or do you know a woman who would make a great addition as a guest! We’d like to hear from you!

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

Cowboy Soup: Sky High Ranch recipe



1 lb ground beef
1 onion
1.5 oz taco seasoning
1 gal bag of Tortilla strips
1 lb Grated Cheese
15 oz Pinto Beans
15 oz Black Beans
15 oz stewed Tomato
15 oz corn
15 oz hominy


Heat dutch oven up to 350. Fry meat and onion and add 1/2 the pkg of taco seasoning. When meat is done and onion soft, add each can to the dutch oven, creating a stew. Stir in remaining seasoning. Simmer for about 30 min. serve hot. Top with chease and chips.

Highlands Ranch Troop Travels to San Francisco


Submitted by Jill Holiman

Highlands Ranch

Denver Metro

Our names are Jayne, Mia, Ashley, and Kenzie. We have gone on a trip to San Francisco to bridge to seniors. On this trip we encountered many people from different countries while staying in a hostel. We met people from Australia, Wales, England, Canada, and Scotland. Talking to them, we learned a little about these people and their home countries.

One of the coolest things that we got to experice while in San Francisco was meeting Girl Guides from England. As a Girl Scout, we have always heard about Girl Guides, and it was a unique experience to finally met a few of them. When we saw them they were decked out in full uniform. While talking to them we asked the girls about school, lingo, sports, and Girl Scout cookies. Surprisingly enough, the Girl Guides have never had Girl Scout cookies before! We were able to learn about life in England as well as how Girl Scouts and Girl Guides compare and contrast around the world.

After talking with the girls we got their Instagrams and gave each other patches. As a troop, we found it unique and cool that they swap patches. We gave them our patch and they gave us theirs. Overall, we had a very fun time in San Francisco and learned a lot during the trip!

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

Deadline extended for Girl Scout family & friends event at Pirates Cove

Join Girl Scouts of Colorado for a family and friends event at Pirates Cove!

When: Sunday, August 2, 2015, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: 1225 W. Belleview Ave., Littleton, CO 80120
(303) 762-2683

You must register by August 1, 2015 at: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/piratescovereg

Cost: $5.00 per person (children under two are free). Payment must be by credit card in advance of event. No walk ups will be permitted to attend. 

You may bring sunscreen, towels and your own food and drink (no concessions provided). No alcohol or glass containers are permitted.

Questions? Email Keile Stewart at Keile.Stewart@gscolorado.org Please put “Pirates Cove”  in the subject line!

Share your Girl Scout camp story

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For many Girl Scouts, going to camp is the highlight of their year! They make life-long friends and memories. We want to celebrate all the fun Colorado Girl Scouts had at camp this summer and we need your help to do it! Just write a short essay about the fun you had at camp and submit it through Share Your Stories on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog. Be sure to include a photo from camp. Girl Scouts 12-years-old and younger can have a parent help them write and submit their essays. Essays submitted by Girl Scouts 13-years-old and older must be written by the girls themselves. All submissions must be received by September 30, 2015.

The best stories will be shared on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog and social media networks. Girls who submit stories, will receive a free Sky High Ranch t-shirt. Note: We have limited sizes of these shirts and they will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have questions, please email Girl Scouts of Colorado Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper.

Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Young Women Empowering Communities


Written by Kimberlyn Leary, an Advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls from https://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/blog

America needs the full talent of all our people. Maintaining our nation’s competitive advantage means we can’t afford to leave anyone out or behind. Our success as a country depends on ensuring that all young people have a chance to reach their full potential.

President Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls in the first months of his Presidency to ensure that every agency, department and office in the Federal Government takes into account the needs and aspirations of women and girls in every aspect of their work. We have made much progress as a country, but there is still much work to do to close opportunity gaps and barriers to success. Many of these challenges disproportionately affect women and girls.

In November, 2014, the Council on Women and Girls released a report, “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity.” The Council is working to ensure that government policies appropriately consider these challenges and persistent opportunity gaps faced by too many girls and women from under-represented communities to ensure that everyone who aspires to get ahead has a chance to succeed. The President also recognizes that innovation comes from communities and is often sponsored by young people who notice problems and work with their schools, youth organizations, and even in start-ups to craft new solutions and fresh perspectives.

In September, the White House will recognize young women who are already leading and inspiring their communities as advocates, peer-mentors, artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs as Champions of Change.

The Champions of Change event will highlight new leaders. Many girls, including those from underrepresented communities, aspire to leadership. Many, in fact, already see themselves as problem-solvers, particularly in their families. But they may not always see themselves as leaders. By showcasing young women leading change in their communities and influencing others—while remaining themselves—this event will uplift their efforts and also inspire other young women to recognize that they too can engage leadership in their own way and in their own style.

These young leaders will have created programs, sponsored events, or created products that provide affirmative visibility and often the extra encouragement that enables girls to stay in school, honor their bodies and their minds, and reach higher by navigating pathways to college and careers. Each of these Champions appreciates that a struggling girl may be just one mentor away from success. Accordingly, we are interested in Champions who can also share their own stories of the teacher, coach, pastor, or relative who guided her and stimulated the ethic that true leadership occurs through service.

We’re calling on you to help us identify young women who are making a difference in their communities and leading the way by nominating individuals that make a positive difference in the lives of young women in the following categories:

  • Mentorship: Do you know a young woman who is empowering her community by offering mentorship and leadership to other young women?
  • Education: Do you know a young woman whose passion is to help girls or her peers succeed in school or seek higher education?
  • Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Do you know a young woman who is leading by example – through innovation and entrepreneurship?
  • Advocacy: Do you know a young woman who has helped her community to thrive by advocating for her peers?
  • Arts and Technology: Do you know a young women who is using the arts and technology in the service of empowering her community?

Nominate a Champion of Change for Young Women Empowering Communities by Wednesday, July 29 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Click here to submit your nomination (be sure to select “Young Women Empowering Communities” as your theme of service).


Girl Scouts of Colorado