Women-owned* MEdia tour


The girls have completed their MEdia Journey after several weeks of discussion about how stories are told everywhere and in all kinds of formats, including in print media.  So, we decided to take a field trip allowing them to see some of it in action.

We have a gorgeous local publication in Grand Valley Magazine, whose editorial mission, “is to celebrate the dynamic life, landscape, and people of the greater Grand Valley of Western Colorado.”  Which, it most definitely does!  It is a showcase of local talent, including award-winning writers, photographers, illustrators, and  even filmmakers!  Also, as an added-bonus for us,  it is *majority women owned!  What a great inspiration for our young ladies!


We were fortunate enough to have some time to sit with Grand Valley Magazine’s Art Director, Kitty Nicholason, during a recent meeting.

The magazine was 5 days from going to print, so we got a real-time example of what it takes to get a spread ready for print.  The girls were given an overview of the process and got to “design” a little, too!


GV2   GV5

One of the most poignant facts about this journey was it helped the girls think about who is responsible for telling all the stories they see around them and how they, themselves, can use their story to help “re-make” the forms of media they see around them.  Kitty showed the girls how easy (and surprisingly quick, as we were there only about an hour!) it is to “re-make” a photo, if you have the right tools.  She let them each choose an effect/process/etc to turn a perfectly “simple” (in the opinion of a 6th grader….mind you, they felt Gollum, the “my precious” character from The Hobbit movies, needed flowing hair and a crown!!)photo into something spectacular.


While the process was really entertaining, it was also an extremely excellent way to show the girls just how seeing shouldn’t always be believing.  It brought to life all the discussions we have had during this journey, as well as during our self-esteem discussions, about how they should try to look deeper.

The girls did talk with Kitty about how she uses tools, such as commonly-recognized Photoshop, to change photos and were very happy to note that, as a personal rule, Kitty doesn’t like to enhance a photo (especially of people) to the point where it is no longer recognizable.  It makes us happy to know, the beauty and quality we are getting in Grand Valley Magazine is a responsible reflection of all we are trying to teach our girls!


Cadette Leadership Award

  • Monitor AwardCadettes have taken stock of media in their world and the influence it has
  • Influence AwardCadettes understand the importance of having media reflect the realities of their world
  • Cultivate AwardCadettes have made a personal commitment to cultivate a new perspective on media

Leadership Awards are ready to be sewn onto their uniforms!  Great job girls!!! SUPER SPECIAL thanks to Kitty for her inspiration…the girls learned a lot and had a great time!


Business Incubation


We have several “business” badges planned for the meetings through January and early February.  At a recent meeting, in an attempt to make it a little more fun AND get the girls out of our regular meeting space, we took a field trip to our local Business Incubator Center. (BIC)  We are extremely fortunate to have this amazing resource in our small town.

A business “incubator” is exactly what it sounds like (think about a chicken egg in an incubator).  They are set up to help “incubate” business from the start-up phase to enable them to become more successful.  Their mission statement says it best, “The Business Incubator Center supports the launch, growth, stabilization and long-term success of business enterprises in Mesa County and the surrounding region. We measure success by our ability to guide entrepreneurs through sound business decisions and our positive influence on economic growth in the region”.

Our local Incubator was established in 1987.  They “house” 50-60 businesses on their site and assist upwards of 1000 clients a year.  “BIC was voted National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) Dinah Atkins Incubator of the Year/General and Special Focus in 2012/2013…as well as Incubator of the Year for 1995/1996 – Industrial/Service category, and is one of NBIA’s 50 Best Practices facilities.”  This is a RAVE review considering we are a county of about 150,000 people and our Incubator was competing with over 7,000 BICs globally!

After meeting our “tour guide” we sat in a conference room and received that brief history on what the BIC is and does (oopps…we forgot to take photos during this part).  Then, the girls got to take a tour of part of the facility.

This BIC has a lot of different types of clients on site, including manufacturing, culinary and services (such as pet training and educational tutoring!)

First we toured the kitchen space.  This is a rent-by-the-hour kitchen facility that is certified by the Health Department.  It allows a culinary business, such as a start up caterer, to make their product legally.



We then took a tour of what they call the “Maker Space”.  The girls absolutely LOVED this room.  This room is where they house a few small 3D-printers.  This room, in addition to being used by local youth learning to use the printers, is a place you can make a prototype of your “product” so you can show people, such as investors, what you are talking about in your business plan!



Lastly we toured a couple of spaces where adults, and a local youth robotics club, make robots.  We got to see 2 autonomous (as in they can drive themselves) cars that have been used in national competitions as well as a “first responder” robot.  VERY COOL!

Incu  Incu3

In addition to completing their Business Plan and Budget badges, we were recently talking about the girls’ Entrepreneur badge. In preliminary discussion,  they were coming up with “silly” ideas for how to earn the badge.  The leadership kept talking to them about how they should consider taking the badge seriously as they could even come up with the next “great thing”.  They seemed leery.  But, after this tour, when they realized young people like themselves are making money doing something they love, they came to the conclusion that anything is possible.  Knowing we have a local resource such as this, and a local Young Entrepreneur Academy, is good incentive!

Special thanks to Annalisa at the Business Incubator Center for the great tour!  We very much appreciate it!!!



Cadettes learn to BUDGET

Cadettes have a Budget badge.   Sometimes, we realize its difficult to make important business FUN!  But, at a recent meeting, we think we managed to do so by playing a game to help teach the girls about money management and budgeting.


We broke into partners and played CASHFLOW for Kids®. 

The website for the creators says it all really well, “When we play, it is the truest example of our real life behavior. Kids learn lessons by playing games– it’s the best way for them to practice character and habits that they’ll use later in life. CASHFLOW for Kids® helps develop a strong foundation of financial intelligence and encourages kids to use their money wisely.”

This game is created by Robert T. Kiyosaki, who is best known as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is the #1 personal finance book of all time. The book and audio programs have challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money.


“Playing CASHFLOW for Kids® teaches them how to make money work for them. Using fun, real-world examples, kids get to practice investing– acquiring assets and dealing with the perils of liabilities.”