Volunteer Spotlight: Elba Barr

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Elba Barr of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region has been a Girl Scout volunteer for more than a decade, serving in many different roles. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elba to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have been a volunteer with Girl Scouts in some capacity for nearly 15 years. I became a volunteer because the direct impact my leaders had on me as a kid. I decided to continue volunteering because I understand that I have a generational impact working with these amazing young ladies. ​In these young ladies, I have intense hope and faith in our future, cause they are trailblazers!

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

I have been a Gold Award mentor (in other councils), multi-level troop leader, service unit fall program and cookie program manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that actively trying failing at something is the greatest achievement someone can take​. We as a society focus so much on perfection and not how many chances/failed attempts it takes to get there. I think celebrating and recognizing failure and how to learn from it is the greatest thing I have learned and share with these girls. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope my girls have learned from me that the answer to a question will always b​e no if never asked. I want them to ask all the “stupid” or “obvious” questions and continue to learn/grow to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

I have started and failed in business adventures. I have learned that being a leader is not the easy option and that taken the “hard left over the easy right” is a constant challenge and that billions of new ideas every day waiting to be discovered you just have to try. But, the most important thing I have learned being a volunteer is that I don’t need to be the best in someone else’s vision, I just need to be the best version of me I can be at this time, because next year or five years from now, I’m going to be different.  

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.