Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Aneida Slomski of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Aneida 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 got my daughters into Girl Scouts because I enjoyed being a Girl Scout when I was a girl. It’s a great program and after a couple years, the troop needed a new leader, so I volunteered.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I started out as a Brownie Leader, and then we became a multi-level troop and I went up through the levels with my daughters. I work with the Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors now and I’m the treasurer for our troop. I love working with this level because they’re so capable and have such good ideas. I have volunteered at day camps and service units. Now, I’m a service unit co-director. I’m on various committees on the service unit level to help plan our fall campout and World Thinking Day activities. I help coordinate summer activities with our troop, like campouts and trips to go caving (the crawling on your knees kind, not the walking kind) and whitewater rafting. We have camped at three different Girl Scout camps in Colorado through the years. I’ve also helped coordinate many trips to local businesses and organizations, so the girls can learn how things work in our area and the girls can get service project ideas.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I am a homebody. The girls really get me out of my comfort zone and I like it. I started out not even knowing how to start a fire. I had to learn to cook outdoors; I think sometimes I cook better outdoors than indoors! I learned PowerPoint and Excel to help the troop. The first spreadsheet I made added the phone number. I had to learn knots, map and compass, lashing, and other outdoor skills, so I could teach the girls for the Reach for the Peak camping competition. They learned from the leaders, and then they just ran with it. They got so good at it that they reached the point where they told the leaders where to sign and where to drive them and they won the highest award.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope the girls have learned to try new things. If a girl has an idea (and they always have amazing ideas), there are adults who will help them get to where they want to be, cheering them on. I hope the girls learn about the outdoors and how capable they are in that environment. In a multi-level troop, they really get the opportunity to work with girls of different ages and cultural backgrounds. I hope they have learned that our differences are no big deal.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
Being a leader has taught me to be on the lookout for exciting things to share with the girls and to work with others to make them happen. As an innovator, I’ve learned to create events from scratch like day camps and cultural events. I am not the type to take a lot of risks, but I was a risk-taker and a leader when I organized a townhall meeting to save Sky High Ranch. I have never gotten involved like that before, and it was really amazing to see my adult daughters, the girls from our area, former camp counselors, and so many local leaders coming together to speak up and save our camp. Council listened, they were very supportive, and Sky High Ranch was open for summer camp again. We did it for the girls.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.