Volunteer Spotlight: Terri Dayton

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Terri Dayton 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 Terri 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?

While I was in the Air Force, stationed in Norway, several high school girls needed a leader. Since I grew up as a Girl Scout, I figured why not.  We had a blast together. I continued as a leader in Maryland for my daughter, Erica. Continuing that tradition when we moved to Colorado. It was an instant way to make friends. I have now been a leader for five troops.  Some my girls have been in an one that my daughters were not in. I love witnessing the growth of the girls from Daisies and Brownies, to young adults. It is so much fun teaching and mentoring them.

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

Wow:  I have had soooo many roles. 

  1. Leader and co-leader of five troops in Colorado and Maryland
  2. SU Camp Director in Maryland
  3. SU Secretary in SU 16
  4. SU Manager/Director SU 16
  5. SU Treasurer SU 16
  6. Gold Award Mentor

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

How to be flexible. There is rarely a time where I have something planned and we stick to it. I have often gone from Plan A all the way to Plan L. To have extra ideas, games, songs, crafts, explanations, and reasons in my back and front pockets. I have learned to listen and watch the girls for cues of what works and what isn’t working. Each girl is special whether she is mine or someone else’s. We all have something special, unique to bring to the table.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

Hopefully, some life skills, flexibility, mentoring and leadership.  Most of all: love for each other. I think all the time we have spent together over the years, that my girls have learned that if something is not working, then we need to move on to something else. I have witnessed girls grow from timid young people to leaders in their career field, watching that one “tomboy” girl in elementary, middle, and high school become a fashion designer, helping girls find their passion, their dream, making a goal, then a plan, watching them live their dream is awesome. 

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

I:  I have learned to be more flexible. Looking for ways to meet all the girls needs not just one or two and to help girls at every level. The girls have taught me to listen, think, discuss ways to improve, and or change an idea.

L:  I am a far better Girl Scout leader by taking this journey with the girls. Instead of leading all the time, I love to mentor them to become leaders, to find the best part of themselves all the time, believe it and live it.

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