Since the fall of 2012, 39 Girl Scout teenagers of GECCCO (Girls Enjoying Camping, Canoeing and Cycling Outdoors) Troop 71106 from Northern Colorado (Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Greeley) have been working on a special fundraising effort for their beloved Meadow Mountain Ranch (MMR) Girl Scout camp near Allenspark.
In 2011 this troop lost a cherished member of their group, Taite Pugh of Loveland. Taite had special needs and epilepsy and died unexpectedly. While in Girl Scouts, one of Taite’s favorite activities was zip lining, which she did on an international trip to Costa Rica. She also loved camping with her troop at MMR. And after learning MMR’s future plans of being a high adventure camp for girls, with a zip line being one of the wish list camp features, the girls knew they needed to help with the fundraising efforts and name the zip line to honor the memory of Taite.
On Thursday, March 28th, the troop made their first fundraising milestone, presenting a check to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s CEO, Stephanie Foote, for $10,000 at a Fort Collins Service Center ceremony.
“We are really touched that the GECCCOs decided to keep her memory going through this project,” said Taite’s mother, Cheryl, who shed tears of pride along with her husband and Taite’s father, Mark, at the March 28th ceremony. “Taite left an impression on these girls. They always were good about including her. Girl Scouts opened many new doors. And the trip to Costa Rica was a trip of a lifetime.”
Troop 71106 needs to raise $70,000 for the project, so fundraising efforts are still ongoing. They have held fundraisers for this project, such as a pancake breakfast in the fall and selling bracelets. A part of all their fundraising efforts, including 2013 Cookie Program proceeds, also are dedicated to the zip line project. (The troop sold nearly 10,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies and is fundraising for travel adventures they are planning to Peru and Alaska, to name a few.) Additionally, the troop is in the process of researching and applying for community grants.
“We hope this project inspires other troops to do community service,” said one of the troop members, Krista Beucler, who also commented that the troop is learning a lot through this project.
Once Taite fell in love with zip lining in Costa Rica she was always the first in line pointing and saying “up, up.” The troop hopes to help more children like Taite with special needs and disabilities find a love for zip lining by starting an annual day for them on this new zip line.
“We really can’t wait to complete the project. The project will make a difference for thousands and thousands of Girl Scouts,” said Sarah Bales, another member of the troop.
For more information on the MMR zip line project and how you can make a contribution, contact Elizabeth Winn at 970-319-3037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fox 31 Denver covered this event and aired a story on their morning show on Friday, March 29th. The Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper also ran a short article and photo in their April 4th edition.