DENVER — Girl Scouts have always found a home inside community buildings, schools, and churches for more than 100 years. But now, they have a space to call their own.
Girl Scouts of Colorado opened the first-in-the-nation Girl Scout DreamLab center in Denver's Lowry neighborhood.
The center in Colorado will be the first of eight new centers around the country, including two that are opening this summer.
"Our troops are meeting often in church basements or libraries, and that’s great and it’s wonderful when the community offers up those spaces for our troops to meet, but that’s harder to find in a post-COVID world, and they’re not made for girls," Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark said. "Those spaces aren’t made and designed for girls and by girls like the DreamLab is."
The DreamLab is part of a national Girl Scouts property strategy to create visible, innovative spaces where girls can try new things, like STEM projects, podcasting, performing on stage or climbing a bouldering wall.
The DreamLabs are designed to elevate the Girl Scout experience among those who are new or unfamiliar with Girl Scouting and provide a welcoming space designed to be a Girl Scout destination that is modern, engaging and appealing to today’s girl.
"Girl Scouts is all about trying new things, taking risks, building friendships, and building your leadership skills, and all of that can happen here," Clark said.
On March 12, the same day that Gov. Jared Polis proclaimed “Girl Scout Dream Day,” nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts, their families, and community members gathered to try out the DreamLab.
Girl Scouts of Colorado opens nation's first DreamLab
"We’re really excited that this space is going to help us raise these girls into the future leaders of tomorrow that our communities need so much," Clark said.
Future leaders like Jillian Ingle, a 13-year-old Girl Scout cadet.
"We're walking over to the podcast booth and it was one of the things I've been super excited about with this DreamLab opening," Jillian said.
She's already dreaming up what her first podcast episode will be about.
"I would probably talk about mental and physical health and how to keep your mind healthy," Ingle said. "We can come in and record podcasts, which is something I would never be able to do without Girl Scouts."
Right now, Jillian's troop meets at her house, so she's excited to start using the DreamLab, where she can make new friends.
"It's so hard to like just really bond, and to meet these other girls and know what they've done with Girl Scouts and what they've learned just helps me so much," she said.
In a space designed by girls for girls, the hope is here, scouts will realize their full potential.
Girl Scouts of Colorado began the process to select a site and prepare to open the first DreamLab more than a year ago. The first DreamLab was funded in part through a partnership with GSUSA.
The DreamLab will be available for Girl Scout troops to reserve for meeting and activity spaces starting April 18 and will be home to partner programs, badge workshops and Family Fun Days.
You don't have to be a Girl Scout to check out the DreamLab. Soon, they plan to have free weekend activities for anyone who wants to visit. There is a boutique and community members are welcome to stop by, too.
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