Girl Scouts make strong girls, good cookies | PostIndependent.com
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Girl Scouts make strong girls, good cookies

Nonprofit SpotlightKay Vasilakis

Girl Scouts learn much more than selling cookies, but everyone looks forward to that time of the year. And that time of the year is now!The Girl Scout troop program allows girls of similar age ranges to try out varieties of activities, field trips and projects to identify skills and interests. Two adults provide mentorship to a group of girls who meet either weekly or semimonthly throughout the year. Outreach programming reaches out to a community to fulfill a need. For example, the Girls are Great Program is designed for fifth-grade girls to help them transition into middle school. Two adult volunteers facilitate activities and discussions around the prevention of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use, peer pressure, team building, self-image, and more. Girl Scouts can also provide science programs, dealing with ‘differences’ programs, health and fitness, or any topic that a community needs for girls.The Girl Scouts organization requires volunteers and leaders complete an application process and pass a background check. Several leaders have retired from Girl Scouting or have moved, and local Girl Scouts could benefit from both outreach facilitators and troop leaders.Older girls, ages 11-17, can participate in Studio 2B, a flexible program featuring serious topics including date rape and relationship abuse, and activities related to these topics.Rifle troops 249, 253, and 251 all participated in a book drive in December and collected over 100 books to be donated to Head Start, Early Start, and local preschools. Troop 253 sponsored three angels from the Angel Tree in Rifle. Troops 253, 249, 252, and 248 delighted Rifle’s Senior Housing residents with Christmas caroling.In the next two months, a Winter Weekend scheduled for girls in fourth grade and up to learn snow shoeing, winter weather survival, rock-climbing, and other physical activities. An overnight event called Mission Possible will take place in Glenwood Springs. Girls recover and decipher a top-secret document, working as a team to overcome different obstacles and collect clues to their document’s location. This program creates leadership and teaches team building skills. And who could forget the cookies? Everybody anticipates Girl Scout cookies, which will be on sale from Jan. 7-21. If you miss the window, you can still order until the end of February, or pick up cookies at area booth sales on the three weekends of Feb. 19 and 26, and March 6. Neighborhood delivery will take begin Feb. 11. The cookies program allows girls an opportunity to learn about money management, goal setting and people skills. “I came into this thinking that Girl Scouting was a nice organization that would be good for my daughter,” said Jenny Peed, assistant executive director of membership and program. “Girl Scouting isn’t just nice. It is so much more than nice. It gives girls a safe place to go and to try things. It has increased my own daughter’s confidence and abilities. In Girl Scouting, it isn’t about what you can or can’t do, its about what you want to try. Girls can travel to England, experiment with engineering, develop a budget, become competent in outdoor skills, and so much more.”Rainy Day Designs is hosting an opening reception of the Mountain Valley Artists from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14 at Rainy Day Designs’ studio, located at 16 N. Fourth St. in Carbondale. The show runs from Jan. 10 through Feb.28 and features the work included in the 2005 Calendar of Expressions, created by artists who receive services at Mountain Valley Developmental Services in Glenwood Springs. Rainy Day Designs designed the calendar from this artwork. The original art was created using varied media and all art is for sale.Psychiatrist Dr. Lowell Stratton will present an afternoon educational workshop titled “Childhood Disorders” from 1-4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, at Colorado West Counseling Services, 6916 Highway 82. Discussion includes the spectrum of autism, attention deficit disorders, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorders experienced by children. Diagnostic criteria, treatment approaches and the use of medication will also be discussed, as well as myths and facts about the use of children’s medication. Information: 945-2583.Kay Vasilakis’ column, ‘Nonprofit Spotlight’, appears every other Wednesday. For news tips and inspirations, please call 984-2308, or 945-8515, extension 513, or e-mail at kvasilakis@postindependent.com


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