Welcome to GSCO Blog

 

Girl Scouts can do anything and everything they set their hearts and minds to! You’ll find it all here.  From members sharing their adventures to Highest Award honorees describing their projects and news from council, cookie updates, travel opportunities, volunteer tips and much, much more.

Don’t forget the GSCO Classifieds too! Looking for Girl Scout materials or have some to sell or share, browse the Classifieds. Have a service to offer or need an expert for your next troop meeting, place an ad.

GSCO visits the Little Brownie Bakery

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“I am embarrassed by what happened during the 2015 Cookie Sale and personally guarantee that it will NEVER happen again.” – Jeff, Little Brownie Bakers

That quote from Jeff, a key employee on the production lines at the Little Brownie Bakery, was echoed in similar fashion by multiple top managers and key executives during Girl Scouts of Colorado’s visit to the bakery in Louisville, Kentucky in mid-August 2015. Members of GSCO’s Product Sales Staff, along with members of the Marketing and Communications Department and executive staff, visited the bakery to see what changes have been made since the challenges faced during the 2015 Cookie Sale. The trip was sponsored by Little Brownie Bakers.

During a tour of the bakery, Jeff showed GSCO staff members several pieces of new equipment he said will speed up production for the 2016 sale. They included a new oven for Savannah Smiles and equipment on the lines that produce Thin Mints and Trefoils. Jeff told GSCO these improvements also improve the quality of all the cookies LBB makes.

Our cameras were not allowed inside the production area. However, LBB provided this video to share with you.

After the tour, GSCO staff members met with LBB top managers and key executives, who explained in detail what led to the challenges experienced during the 2015 sale and what LBB has done/ is currently doing to make sure it never happens again. Changes at LBB include:

  • Equipment upgrades throughout the bakery to increase production and the quality of all Girl Scout Cookies made by LBB.
  • Adjustments to the LBB production schedule, so the bakery can better accommodate an increase in orders from councils nationwide.
  • New goals and deadlines for cookie production to ensure that more cookies are ready to be shipped prior to the start of the 2016 sale than there were in 2015.

All in all GSCO feels this visit to LBB was a positive one. We are encouraged by the changes made since the 2015 sale and believe LBB has a vested interest in helping Colorado Girl Scouts succeed and reach their goals.

Destination travel to Ireland, Wales, and England in July 2016

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is hosting its first Destination Council Trip to Ireland, Wales, and England from July 13-24, 2016. Our itinerary begins in Boston as we join the rest of the Girl Scout travelers from around the United States. On Day 3 of our trip, we will fly to the UK. During our trip, we will visit cities such as Dublin, Holyhead, Stratford, and London. We will return to Boston for one night on our way back from the UK. The cost for this trip is $3,950 (excluding airfare to Boston, lunches, tips, and additional fees).

Please log onto forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel/take-a-trip/destinations/ ON SEPTEMBER 1 for applications and additional information in how to enroll on this trip.

If you have any questions about the Destination trip to Ireland, Wales, and England, please contact LeEllen at nemoursLM@yahoo.com.

I hope you will be able to travel with us in 2016!

Download the flyer for this event.

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Meagan Prewitt, Colorado Springs, “Shining the Light on Special Needs”

Meagan Prewitt

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the issue of inadequate accommodations  for children with special needs who attend Sunrise United Methodist Church.  My goal was to provide tools and/or a therapeutic area for these children.  While the scope of my project was scaled back from an entire room to a mobile chest, I feel children with special needs will benefit  greatly from the tools I put together for them.

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

I know that I made a difference because the children with special needs at SUMC are already using the tools I have provided to help them in their classes. The parents also feel more comfortable leaving their children now that they know they have ways to help with their disabilities.  My church community is now more aware, as are other churches, of the need for the appropriate area and tools for special needs programs. There are many people now willing to be volunteers to help continue to build on the project in the future and spread the word about it in the community. The children with special needs and their families are very happy that a program like this has started and the hope is that that will help them continue to attend church.

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

I created a Special Needs Project Report booklet that outlines the life-cycle of the project.  It details what equipment is needed, how to make some of the projects, suggestions on how to expand the program and a list of resources (books) that can be used for study. My project will continue to make an impact because there are people at Sunrise who will continue to work on growing this project and letting the community know that they have a safe place for children with special needs.

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

I presented my booklet to three other churches  (First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church and Wilson United Methodist Church).  It is my hope that this booklet will aid these churches in starting their own programs and become a growing force in the community so that even more people can be educated on the importance of a comfortable and safe environment for the special needs community.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that being in a leadership role is a big responsibility that requires good communication skills, but that I am capable of managing a project this size. I now have a better understanding of how to manage and coordinate a project start-to-finish  and have attained better skills in gathering requirements for a project. I also learned that I have the skills to present a project like this to a person or group of people.

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

I am now more aware of those with special needs and working on this project has inspired me to want to do more for not only children with special needs, but anyone who is under-privileged.  I will strive in the future to make an impact in their lives.

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

Through my project, I have discovered ways to find challenges and overcome them. I have also gained practical life skills of communication through setting up meetings with various members of my church community. I found a way to promote cooperation and team building, as many members of my church came together to assist me on my project. I have many new relationships with these people and feel more connected to my community. I was able to identify a major community issue and can now identify more that I may be able to take action to resolve in the future. I know that I will be able to resolve more issues because I have gained a lot of confidence through this project, learned how to problem solve, discovered how to advocate for myself and those who can’t do it for themselves, and been able to inspire others to act and help me in my goals.

***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

Bridging Ceremony – zipline style!

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Submitted by Charlotte Blish

Arvada

Denver Metro

Arvada Troop 3301 bridged from Cadette to Senior Scouts across eight ziplines on Saturday, August 22.

Our Zipline Bridging Ceremony was an excellent example of what is means to be a Girl Scout. We had to be daring! We wanted to live life to the fullest as Girl Scouts and on Saturday we did all that and more. We lept into mid-air with nothing between us but six stories of time and space and flew screaming over white water rivers. And we had the time of our lives!

We are now Senior Girl Scouts – come join us on the adventure of a life time. Say “yes” to scouting!

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

Wacky Volunteers needed for bike ride in Douglas County

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Submitted by Susie Wargin, Co-Event Director

OK, you don’t have to be totally wacky to volunteer, however the Wacky Bike Ride is looking for help on Sunday, September 13, 2015 in Highlands Ranch and other cities in Douglas County.  The Wacky Bike Ride benefits Douglas County Schools, specifically the Douglas County Educational Foundation and their Helping Hands program, which provides backpacks filled with school supplies for DougCo students in need.  Last year, the Wacky gave the program $10,000 – enough to fill 500 backpacks with supplies for student this fall.  Organizers were named the school district’s Apple Award winner for Community Partner. Staged out of Rocky Heights Middle School in Highlands Ranch, the Wacky Bike Ride has courses of 6, 45, 62 and 100 miles with numerous locations and times for volunteers.  All volunteers receive a goodie bag, T-Shirt, boxed lunch and bottled water.  Parents are more than welcome to join their daughter on the course.

To see the list of positions visit: http://ow.ly/Roe4R

For any questions please contact Susie Wargin: susie@wackybikeride.com or 303-517-7484

For more information about the event visit www.WackyBikeRide.com

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

 

Make your 2016 property reservations today!

Troops are forming and meetings are beginning, and our property reservations are filling!  If your troop or service unit is interested in camping next year, now is the time to reserve!  Our weekend reservations for next Spring and Summer are starting to sell out, so be sure to speak with your troop about your schedule for the coming year. 

Reservations can be made up to a year in advance, and can be made online at http://girlscoutsofcolorado.checkfront.com/reserve .  If you have any questions about the reservation process please contact our Property and Registration Specialist at annie.pierce@gscolorado.org .

 Thank you and happy camping!

Troop 2214 says goodbye to summer

Submitted by Girl Scout Troop 2214

Grand Junction

Western Slope

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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.

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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!

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This year, we taught the girls how to use a compass, too!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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YUMMY!

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!

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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!

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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!

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These smiling facea and the lifetime bonds these girls are building are what keep us going!

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All in all, a great (and exhausting) day…topped off with cupcakes!

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Second Annual Girl Scout Holiday Bazaar

Submitted by Sharon Manning

Longmont

Northern and Northeastern Colorado

Troop 73392 in Longmont is hosting the Second Annual Girl Scout Holiday Bazaar on November 21 in Longmont. This is an opportunity for girl scout troops and individual girl scouts to show off their creative/artistic/entrepreneurial side.

Girls are invited to display and sell hand crafted items. The event is open to fellow Girl Scouts, troops, family, friends and the public and is free.

There is a $5/table fee with all table proceeds supporting Service Unit 750. Last year girls sold jewelry, sugar scrubs, clothing for American Girl dolls, ornaments, baked goods and much more.

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

Yes! I’m a Girl Scout and so was my Grandma!

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People generally love to know about their past. Even if it’s disreputable. (My friend Lexxa tells a casual story about going to Scotland to look at the document that mentioned thievery and exiled her entire clan.) Even if it’s far away and only means wearing a ‘Kiss Me, I’m Irish’ button once a year. We like to know where we came from. We like to point at that place on the globe, we like to bring out the family bible or those faded letters and photos, we like to share our ancestors’ stories of adversity and triumph. We don’t want to be entirely melted down in the melting pot. We like that touch of difference almost as much as we like knowing from where we came.

As Girl Scouts, we have a double history.   We share an incredible Girl Scout heritage that began in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low, a fifty-one year old woman who was born in the same year as Abraham Lincoln, started an organization that changed the entire world. Yes, the entire world.

Have you ever asked yourself how the world would be different without Girl Scouting? I know how my world would have been different. I wouldn’t know how to lay a fire. I wouldn’t have looked out at Colorado from the summit of Mount Yale.  I wouldn’t know how to react in a crisis situation involving twenty girls, a night of rain and a torn tarp, skills that have served me well in every crisis I’ve ever weathered since that night. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have met the woman who is my best friend to this very day.  Girl Scouting was my solace in a world that was unkind to girls who were different. Girl Scouting was the one place in my life where wanting to be assertive and creative and in charge was nurtured rather than crushed. Without Girl Scouting I might have been a girl who did things she later regretted in order to fit in and be liked.

 But although I know how firmly my personal Girl Scouting experience figured into the formation of the woman I am today, I didn’t really start thinking about the importance of teaching today’s girls about their Girl Scout History until I went to the Girl Scouts of Colorado History Center.  My Girl Scouting experience was never connected to my Girl Scouting heritage.  I had no idea Girl Guides had been a part of the French Resistance, that Girl Scouts trained as plane spotters during WWII, that their uniforms were unique for being part of the women’s clothing reform movement, that they were there at the polls when American woman cast their first ballots.  

 Are you excited now? Do you want to call the library and check out The First Girl Scout? (You totally should. It is well worth it if for no other reason than the heart wrenching photograph of the 200 uniformed Girl Scouts who formed the color guard at Juliette Low’s funeral.) Do you wish there was an easy way to start introducing your troop to their Girl Scout heritage? There is! Are you going to a “Palooza” training this fall? Swing by the table run by the History Center and pick up an historical hand book pack.

Fifty years of scouting in handbooks. A window to changing uniforms, badges, projects and promises. Each page contains ten or more hand and guide books, divided into program levels and a list of questions to provoke research and discussion.

 As a nation, we have traditionally tended to write our history books from the view point of the white male. Although this is changing, Girl Scouts are still not mentioned in our classrooms and history books.  That’s going to be up to us. The Historical Book Bag (which you get to keep and share with others in your area) is a wonderful tool not only for teaching researching skills, but also for displays, reports, power points and exhibits.

Located in Loveland, Colorado, the project is housed in an office suite overflowing with Girl Scout artifacts and is run entirely by volunteers. Please come and visit, or contact us at gscohistory@gmail.com.

Jane Severance is the author of Ghost Pains and Lots of Mommies. Please contact her at janieappleseed@hotmail.com . I would love to hear your areas about sparking interest in Girl Scout Heritage.

Pikes Peak Troop Revitalizes and Improves Douglass Valley Elementary Greenhouse

Submitted by Alaine Butterly

Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak

Submitted by: Emma Downing, Lauren Sutz, and Madison Hebrink

For our troop’s Silver Award this year, we decided to revitalize the greenhouse at Douglass Valley Elementary school, which had been vandalized. The greenhouse was built a few years ago by the older brother of one of our troop members for his Eagle Scout project. When it was vandalized last summer, with the side dented and beds overturned, we saw an opportunity to help.

Our troop not only fixed the greenhouse, but we also improved the usability of the space in and around it so that it will continue to benefit the science program of Douglass Valley Elementary, as it was originally intended.

Learn more about our project here!

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

Girl Scouts of Colorado