Sweet Dreams at I Am Academy

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Submitted by Julia Anhalt

I’ve done a lot of service projects and volunteering but Sweet Dream In A Bag is my favorite. My mom is signed up with Volunteers Of America, which is how she first heard about Sweet Dream. My first time volunteering for them was at a Treasure Time.

Sweet Dream is a program that makes bedding for kids that don’t have a lot of their own, maybe for kids who can’t have their own because they can’t afford it. In each Sweet Dream bag is: a sheet set, a comforter, a fleece blanket, a stuffed animal, and a toothbrush and toothpaste.

At Pack And Prays, we pack these bags nicely for the kids. At Treasure Times, we help kids pick out which bag they want. I loved Sweet Dream In A Bag so much I decided that I wanted to do my Silver Award on it.

I met up with Susie Fox, who founded and runs Sweet Dream with her husband Wayne, at Wendy’s and we talked for about an hour about what I could do for my project to help her. She told me that she had a project coming up with I Am Academy, a school in Denver. She told me that I Am Academy had a Builders Club that did an activity with some of the kids there every Thursday at the end of the day. Mary, who ran the Builders Club at I Am Academy, was interested in Sweet Dream. Mary wanted the kids to help build bags for Sweet Dream.

Susie asked me if I wanted to help her with this project and obviously I jumped for joy and said yes. :) Susie gave me the outline of what needed to be done and then let me do it all. She gave me the supplies at the next Treasure Time and I started working. I had to cut all the ribbon that the blankets would be tied with, laminate cards with encouraging words on them, and I had to sow soft tags that read, “God loves me” onto the blankets. That was a lot of work! There were over 150 cards and blankets, it took forever to get all of that done! Still, there was the actual event at I am Academy.

In March, Susie, Wayne, my mom, and I took all the supplies I had gotten ready up to the school. I met Mary and then she let me take charge and I taught the kids how to build the bags. These bags were a little bit different than normal bags, they were smaller, and were specifically meant for Domestic Violence Centers.

During the hour time period I went around and helped kids build bags; those kids made over 180 Sweet Dream bags! It was a lot of hard work as well as fun. Some of the kids were my age (8th grade, now 9th :)) and were a little hard to work with. They were sometimes rude and would talk in Spanish, look at me, then burst out into laughter. They purposely tried to make me feel uncomfortable, and I had to have humility and let it go. I also tried very hard when they didn’t know how to build they bags correctly because they weren’t listening when I was explaining it to the group. Although the older kids were harder to work with, the younger kids were really sweet.

Susie told me afterwards that one little boy wanted to take a blanket home and she told him that they were meant for kids going through a really tough time. The little girl next to her, who hadn’t said a word the whole time we were there, said, “Well I think that might be me. We’re practically living on the streets.” It’s really hard not to break down in tears when you hear a little girl say something like that.

After the hour with the kids, Mary invited me to come and talk to the Kiwanis Club and just give a five minute speech about everything I learned. At that breakfast I got to meet a nice man who’s running for Governor, a former Ms. Colorado, and I got to miss school. :)

I’ve learned that I’m very privileged, and when I think I’m not being treated fairly or I want something that I can’t have, that I have a lot more than some of those kids do. And I should be focused on being grateful for what I do have instead of being ungrateful for what I don’t have. Lastly I’ve learned that I’ve been raised in a place where I can feel safe, and those kids haven’t. The older kids have that sassy attitude as a defense mechanism. You have to recognize that it’s even more important to treat their unkindness with kindness.

I’m proud to say that I’ve learned a lot, worked hard, and had fun. I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to meet Susie and Wayne Fox, as my life would not be the same without them or Sweet Dream In A Bag.

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

Posted in Denver Metro, Highest Awards, Take Action | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Girl Scouts work to increase Meadow Mountain Ranch’s legacy

9253373675_620b42ae25_oSubmitted by Penny Roberts

It started with MMR enthusiasts trying to support their beloved Meadow Mountain Ranch. Three former camp counselors from MMR from long years passed have embarked on an ambitious project to collect and compile a comprehensive a history of MMR, and we invite you to help us. Using this blog medium we can expand our search to as many former staff members, CITs, campers, parents, leaders, and friends as possible. This project is being conducted with the support and encouragement of the GSCO History Collection volunteers out of the Loveland History Center.

Penny Boustead (“Pippin’”), Linda Ray (“Echo”) and Penny Roberts (“Pan”) are the ring-leaders of this daunting task. E-mail addresses follow: Penny Boustead penluone@bresnan.net; Linda Ray echog@kc.rr.com; Penny Roberts proberts@larimer.org.

The project keeps growing, including current names and contact information, dates of contact with MMR, positions of former staff, dates and information about building projects – - – even including “camp kids” (children of staff members) and “camp pets.” Information is being gleaned from staff books, e-mail listings, MMR alumnae data bases, personal contacts, and FaceBook contacts. Pan recently made a trip to the History Center in Loveland to scan the ephemera collected there about MMR and the original purchase data, a few gems of information about previous development plans and projects, and lots of additional names and dates of what happened when. Much more in-depth research will be required to get through all the documents, files and books about the property and its history.

If you would like to join us, please send whatever information you wish to provide. You can send written information, to any one of us via e-mail. You can scan and send documents to any of us. If you are ready to actually pass on your own personal collection of photos, slides, t-shirts, books, memorabilia, documents, plaques, awards – - – anything at all pertaining to MMR – - – please mail them to Penny Roberts at PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517. We will see they are directed to the right place. Please help us out by including approximate dates of their use/issue, as well as other details that you might like to share. The who, what, when, where and how are always important in history pursuits.

Please pass the word. Find us everyone and everything of note about MMR. Fifty three years is a lot of history, but our connections and involvements reach all over the country, and indeed, all around the world. Let us sort it all out – - – no detail is too small, and don’t assume that we already have that information, because it’s possible that we don’t.

A display cabinet will be installed and filled with memorabilia and information about MMR in the Homestead House during the Women’s Week at MMR on Saturday, August 2nd this summer. The displays can be added to and changed as time goes along, and this cabinet and display are being provided by History Group and Promise Partners members to help out this History Project. Also, the time capsule at MMR, originally installed in 1987 and opened in 2012 will be re-filled and sealed for the next 25 years on August 2.

We will keep you updated. It’s an exciting time to be involved in a new history project, and MMR holds such a precious place in many of our hearts that it is a joy to work on it.

Posted in Camp, Northern and Northeastern Colorado, Uncategorized, volunteers | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Park Hill Cadettes take action in Costa Rica

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Submitted by Kristin Coulter
Denver, CO

In June, 10 Cadette Girl Scouts from Park Hill-based Troop 3573 along with 3 adult chaperones traveled to Costa Rica for a 9 days of fun and education led by EF Tours. Wow, this trip was full of memorable adventures! The group went horseback riding, kayaking, zip lining (the longest zip line in Latin America¬­almost a mile long!) and learned about many jungle animals and insects and the unique eco-system of the country. To connect the trip with ideals found in the Girl Scout Law the incoming 6th and 7th grade girls participated in two unique activities.

One activity was to visit a rural school to learn about how Costa Rican schools differs from those in the United States. Some big differences were the school calendar and the mandatory uniforms. The children in Costa Rica go to school from February through the end of November, which coordinates with local harvest time. Also every student in the country wears a uniform. Elementary students wear white shirts and navy pants. Secondary students wear light blue shirts and navy pants.

Costa Rica has a highly literate population with a 96% literacy rate compared to the U.S. at 99%. While the school system is strong, many rural areas are in need of support. To help the seven students in the one-room school visited by the troop, the girls donated much needed school supplies. In return, the students preformed a traditional dance and then the Girl Scouts and students spontaneously launched into a game of soccer. It was so exciting to be in the country during Costa Rica¹s World Cup winning streak!

The second activity was a chance to participate in a reforestation project. The girls named their tree ³Chica Vida² which roughly translates into Girl Life. Costa Ricans say “Pura Vida” as a greeting, so the girls wanted to incorporate part of the local phrase into the tree name and our tour guide referred to our all female group as “chicas,” so that is how Chica Vida was born. The Girl Scouts decided not to name the tree anything Girl Scout related because the tree the city helped the troop plant in Forest Parkway in 2009 died. The girls named their Parkway tree “Daisy” since they were Daisy Girl Scouts at the time. The city replaced the dead tree two more times and the girls continued to give each subsequent tree a Girl Scout related name, and each time the tree died. The scouts didn¹t want to risk the life of another tree. Live little Chica Vida!

You may ask how were we able to do all this? How was a Girl Scout troop from Park Hill able to travel to Central America? Well, we were determined and we made a plan. Over a two-year period the Troop 3573 raised money for the trip by selling cookies, selling their handmade crafts, babysitting, selling lemonade, saving gift money, and family support. Girl Scouts builds, courage, confidence and character. We can¹t wait to travel again!

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

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Resident camp to return to Sky High in 2015

Sky high
Girl Scouts of Colorado has listened to our members, and after reviewing the findings of the Outdoor Property Evaluation Task Force, our executive leadership has decided to move our resident camp program from Magic Sky Ranch to Sky High Ranch next summer.

The task force spent a year diligently evaluating each Girl Scout property, including holding town hall meetings, conducting surveys with our membership and analyzing the financial costs and revenues. GSCO aims to stay relevant and listen to what our girls say they want in a camp experience. Girls have said they prefer a more rustic, outdoor-based camp program, like that available at Sky High Ranch. It’s also critical that the council maintain a strong financial balance to keep our organization strong and thriving; and we are currently operating at a half a million dollar deficit at Magic Sky Ranch. Operating resident camp out of Sky High will be more popular with our number one customers – our girls — as well as a smarter use of financial resources.

We have the highest regard for the beautiful property at Magic Sky Ranch with its great facilities and wonderful staff; and they will have the opportunity to apply for new opportunities with GSCO’s outdoor program team. We appreciate the Magic Sky staff’s commitment to continuing to provide outstanding programs to girls and finishing out the final season of resident camp at Magic Sky Ranch on a high note. No final decisions have been made about the future of the property at Magic Sky Ranch.

Outdoor program planning for 2015 (for troops and volunteers leading programs):

We know that our members will be very excited about the return to resident camp at Sky High Ranch, where generations of girls have experienced magical Girl Scout outdoor adventures. The girl capacity for resident camp will remain consistent with the transition from Magic Sky to Sky High.

At Magic Sky, our members and supporters will be able to rent and enjoy  the new cabins as well as the older facilities on the front end of the property (Old Lodge, seasonal units and tent sites). The Dining Hall and Activity Center will be closed as a cost saving measure.  Groups will be able to reserve space at the Old Lodge year-round, and in the new cabins, stays will be limited to 2-nights.

In addition to Magic Sky, next summer our members will have the opportunity to troop camp at Meadow Mountain Ranch, where we’re pleased to announce that we’ve reopened the lodge and the Pinecrest Unit. Troops can book the lodge for day, overnight, and for cooking their meals.

Lazy Acres will remain open during the same season as our other ranch properties and will offer individual troop camp and volunteer-led outdoor program experiences for girls.

Summer resident camp and year-round programs will continue as they have at Tomahawk Ranch.

Additionally, we encourage individual troop and service unit camping and troop usage at our lodge properties: Twisted Pine, Pawnee Lodge, and Hamp Hut.

 This major change will increase options for troops at GSCO properties. We have extended the season for rental by two weeks at Lazy Acres, Meadow Mountain Ranch, and Magic Sky Ranch’s newer cabins. The season will be May 16 through September 30 — this adds two weeks of use to each property.

When reserving space or planning any outdoor program, troops can reserve equipment and activities through the GSCO Equipment/Activities Page on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website.

We still have space available at several sessions at Magic Sky Ranch during this final summer of resident camp, so get your girl in for a last chance at a Magic Sky resident camp experience! Registration deadlines have passed, but we can still get you in. Call 877-404-5708 for assistance.  https://girlscoutsco.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App

Want to get involved? The Outdoor Programs Advisory Committee is seeking new members. If you want to work on projects involving non-resident camp outdoor programs, this is the committee for you. This is a committee of action. Members can apply here: https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=tn22MbMtgiS23ZUyGu9HgQ

In addition, we are currently recruiting volunteers who would like to lead outdoor programs such as day camps and 3-day overnight troop camps for summer of 2015. Please contact haley.peel@gscolorado.org to be put on the interest list. We will send out information by mid-July regarding processes, deadlines, and  how to get into GSCO’s summer camp promotional mix.

We would like to hear your thoughts as we prepare for this outdoor program transition.

Posted in Camp, CEO Corner, Council News, Magic Sky Ranch, Organizational changes, Properties, Sky High Ranch, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Summit County troop travels to Savannah

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Submitted by Rilla Long
Troop 13829
Summit County

Troop #3829 trip to Savannah, Georgia
July 9:

After a very long and taxing day of traveling yesterday we all woke up rested and ready to see the sights of Savannah, Georgia. For breakfast this morning we ate at our hotel, The Inn at Ellis Square, and then set off to walk to the Juliette Low home. While at the Juliette Low home we went on a scavenger hunt, learned a lot about Juliette’s history, and got to see what houses looked like back then. During that period of time we had box lunches at the Smooth Cafe and did a little bit of shopping. After our tour, some pictures in the courtyard, and some shopping in the gift shop we went back to our hotel and had some free time were some of us girls went to the fountain across the street and played in it. A little later we all went for a walk on River Street were we did some more shopping and took a ferry.

July 10:

Today we went to the First Girl Scout Headquarters. There we learned some new facts about how Girl Scouts started and different kinds of girl scouts. We learned about the evolution of the Girl Scout uniforms from the first outfits. We also did a tour of the Andrew Lowe home (the father of Daisy’s husband). We did a quick tour of the home. It was definitely worth standing the humidity for.. We saw what it was like after Daisy lived there. She made many renovations after William Lowe died. Like many other Lows she died in that house. Later that day we did a little shopping then we went to do a chocolate tasting. It was DELICIOUS and very interesting at the same time. At around 7:15 we walked to the Savannah Theaters and saw the Jukebox songs performance which was a lot of fun. After that we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

July 11:

Today we woke up and went to breakfast. It was our last day in Savannah and we had a great time. Right now we are going to Tybee Island. We went and stopped to drop off our bags at the hotel. Right after that we took a shuttle to go to Mike’s dolphin tour. there we saw at least 100 dolphins. After Mike’s tour we decided to go to the beach and swim in the very salty waters. We spent a couple of hours at the beach before we went to go swimming in the swimming pool. While on our dolphin tour our tour guide mentioned baby turtles nests, so after swimming we changed and took a moonlight walk on the beach to see if we could find any of the turtle nests, which we did.

July 12:

Today we woke up, ate breakfast, and then rushed to the beach so we could learn about marine biology from the Marine Science Center. During that we learned about turtles and any other types of marine life, we even caught some ghost shrimp, a crab, and some jellyfish. Since we met all the requirements we also got the Marine Biology badge after that we went to the beach and played there until it was dark.

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form.
http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/share You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

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State’s Top Sellers Celebrate at CEO’s House

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The state’s top cookie sellers arrived in style to dinner at the home of Girl Scouts of Colorado’s President and CEO Stephanie Foote on Saturday, July 12. The guests of honor arrived at Stephanie’s house by limo and spent the evening celebrating and sharing their success.

“My friends didn’t believe that I was going to a Girl Scout dinner in a limo,” said Caitlin Lorch, 18, of Dillon. So she Instagramed the proof. The girls enjoyed a taco bar and fancy bundt cakes for dessert.

These special girls came from as far away as Durango and Silt to attend this private dinner party. Congrats, girls! Each girl shared their secret to their cookie selling success, and you can hear their tips here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_G9n00uaXA&feature=youtu.be. GSCO Board Chair Connie Campbell attended the dinner as well and remarked their their advice would help them to succeed in all areas of their life, now and in the future. Incoming Board Chair Michelle Rose-Hughes and Board Member Jennifer Colosimo attended as well.

Top 14 of 14
Paige Phelps, Thornton — 5157 packages
Madison Walker, Arvada — 3663 packages
Caitlin Lorch, Dillon –3520 packages
Jacquelyne Orozco-Egan, Aurora — 3502 packages
Joanna Steger, Lochbuie — 2793 packages
Ciara Leal, Lakewood — 2712 packages
Olivia Gomez-Cruz, Durango — 2590 packages
Erica Dorgan, Arvada — 2586 packages
Brittany Blish, Arvada — 2572 packages
Charlotte Blish, Arvada — 2571 packages
Rhaya Carmichael, Silt — 2501 packages
Lorinda Bargas, Englewood — 2444 packages
Emma Harris, Castle Rock — 2229 packages
Alycia Vigil, Lakewood — 2165 packages

See all of the photos from the special evening https://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/sets/72157645676942314/

Posted in Cookies, Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Travel to Belize in 2015!

Submitted by Jody Clair

Go to Belize!
7/8/2015 – 7/14/2015
Contact Jody Clair for more info @ 719-433-8489

Visit http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/events/1355 to apply

Only $3,025 Per girl

Your 7-Day Trip includes:
 Flight to Belize from Denver International Airport Round trip  New River Lagoon
 Lamanai Ruins
 Visit to a local school
 Peccary Hills National Park
 Guided Jungle Hike
 Cave tubing
 Zip-line tour
 Xunantunich Ruins in San Ignacio
 Chaa Creek Natural History Center
 Baboon Sanctuary
 Ambergris Caye
 6 Overnights with breakfast and dinner daily, and 5 lunches

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

Posted in Travel | Tagged | Leave a comment

An awesome day camp that is truly girl-led

Submitted by Lois Killion
I wanted to take a little time to write about the camp the girls are attending this week, and I hope that you will consider it for your girls next year. The girls are at Camp Kiwa up at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. After 50 years at Kiwa Korral in Lyons, they had to relocate after the floods of last September destroyed the Girl Scout property.

They have had a few adjustment pains, but the way they have bounced back is simply amazing!! It is a quick ride up I-25 to Hwy 119, or a straight shot up Hwy 287 (Wadsworth) up to Hwy 119. It doesn’t take long at all to get there. One of the things I am truly amazed at is that the camp really, truly is girl led.

The PA’s (Program Aides) and the PAI’s (Program Aide In Training) do so much of the work. The girls have really benefitted from having the older girls lead the younger girls. Every day they have different PA’s lead their unit to the activities. The activities are then led by more PA’s. They do crafts, rocket launching, had a cookout on real fires.

They brought in a water slide for all the girls. They went on a treasure hunt with compasses, and had a wonderful storyteller come in to tell the Indian story of Thunder and Lightning. They made firestarters, they made path markers out of concrete to donate to the Lyons library, to give the library some color as they rebuild. They are doing a coin drive to help the library get new books. The great thing about the camp, it is so family friendly. It is volunteer based, and because of this, they have opportunities for the whole family to enjoy camp. If a person volunteers and is at camp, boys can attend, and even the little ones (2, 3, 4) are part of camp. The little ones have to be potty trained, but they are getting the full camp experience just like the girls. The boys didn’t make fairy wings as a craft, they made dragon wings (including some fake blood). I love that the experience is open to everyone, so that the parents can be involved and volunteering.

For the mini’s, they only charge $20 for the week. Everyone including the boys and the mini’s gets a camp shirt, they will get a picture of the group they are in as a remembrance. I have been volunteering and I now have a camp name…Shutterbug. I am the official camp photographer, and a DVD will be created for the camp to remember what a fun time they have had this week. (I’m taking over 750 pictures a day of all the various activities). A little bonus about being at Boulder County Fairgrounds…flush toilets, a kitchen and an indoor building with electricity!!

The camp strives to make sure it is an allergy friendly zone. There are no nuts or peanuts, and after talking to some parents, it is the only camp they will send their kids to because of the concern for allergies. I chose this camp based on cost, but I would return in a heartbeat. I loved that the camp was a lower cost than some of the other girl scout day camps, and that a sibling discount was offered. Now that I have experienced it, I would go even if the price is higher. If you ever wanted to send your daughter to camp, I highly recommend this one!! It is so family friendly, and they always need volunteers. With the ability to bring the boys and the little ones, it really opens up that opportunity. There are dads there as well as moms, and there are even grandparents who are spending the week volunteering. Camp Kiwa has been the best day camp experience we have had, and I plan to go back as long as the girls want to continue. My oldest told me she wants to be a PA when she gets older, and to me, that says a lot!!

Posted in Day camp, Northern and Northeastern Colorado | Tagged | Leave a comment

Silver Award sleepover

Submitted by Sam Fleming
For our Silver Award, my troop and I decided that bullying was an issue that we cared about and started planning a power-up sleepover for girl scout juniors. During our sleepover, we discussed issues with bullying and the effects it has on people and how to deal with and stop it. Our event also had a guest speaker, Cathy Millon, who talked to the girls about specific types of bullying. We ended up having around 30 girls who had tons of fun playing games and learning new things. Our Silver Award event was a great success!
Posted in Northern and Northeastern Colorado, Take Action | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cookin’ Craftin’ CRAZINESS Daycamp in Steamboat!

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Submitted by Nancy Mucklow

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Girl Scouts hosted a day camp and overnight for 28 girls… our first in many years! With a theme of Craftin, Cookin Craziness, we made situpons, tied knots, planned flag ceremonies, learned knife and fire safety, as well as Leave No Trace camping rules and we pitched our own tents and learned how to use dunk bags. Along with the learning, we had a lot of CRAZY fun, with Zumba, Constellations, Skits in a Bag, Glow in the Dark games and making new friends while singing TONS of Girl Scout songs with our Cadette Patrol Leaders. Incredible Edibles included hobo dinners cooked over the fire, new fangled banana boats and edible fire snacks along with a campfire and S’mores and a watermelon cake celebration! We can’t wait to camp together with our Girl Scout friends again soon!

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