In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Lorrie Marzulla in the Pikes Peak region was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. She has several GSCO volunteer roles, including:
- Longtime Service Unit Product Sales Manager for Service Units 412 and 406
- Member of the Gold Award Committee for the Pikes Peak region and mentor to Gold Award candidates
- Active member of the Pikes Peak region’s Cookie Committee
We asked Lorrie to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I was a Girl Scout as a Brownie, Junior, and two years as a Cadette. Our troop’s leader could no longer be a leader for our troop and we could not find another leader or troop to join, so we had to disband. It was a big disappointment for all of us.
Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?
Due to my Girl Scout experience, I felt that there would be dedicated adult leadership for my daughter’s troop. I felt that the Girl Scout legacy would be different for the girls in my troop. I wanted them to experience all of the wonderful skills and leadership opportunities that Girl Scouts had to offer.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I was always the Troop Cookie Mom for our troop and enjoyed helping the girls to achieve their goals in selling. Selling cookies was a necessary part of our agenda – raising funds to support lofty goals that were decided by the girls. We had a girl run troop from their first day of Juniors. It was expected and well-received.
I also am a judge for Reach for the Peak. I find it fascinating to watch these teams compete using their camping skills, but love to watch the teams figure out how to actually perform as a team. I feel anyone can learn the correct way to tie a knot, but working as a high performance team is a skill you learn with practice and with others to be successful.
I also volunteer as a mentor on the Gold Award Committee. I love helping these high achieving ladies develop wonderful projects that enhance our community and turn their ideas into a program that continues long after they graduate from high school. It is fun to watch their confidence and leadership grow as they establish their goals and then achieve them. It still amazes me how they achieve and close out a Gold Award project and still keep up their academics, sports, jobs, and everything else they are committed to in life. The girls really learn how to juggle priorities and learn how to put 10 lbs. of stuff in a 5 lb. can.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope they learn that if they set their mind to a goal, they can achieve it with proper planning. I hope girls learn how to work with others to achieve their goals and how to reach out to other women to gain support in all areas of life. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!
What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?
My favorite memory was camping as a troop when I was a Junior. I was a Girl Scout in Michigan and the camping experience was diverse and varied from the shores of the Great Lakes to canoeing and camping at the Girl Scout camps in Michigan. We loved to sled and winter camp at Camp Holly and loved sleeping in the cabin’s loft full of bunk beds. We used to make ‘spider webs’ out of string throughout the loft and then try to get from one end to the other without touching the string— very difficult and a lot of fun.
What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?
Every volunteer will encounter tough situations be it tough troop dynamics, parents who choose to not get involved or provide support, or well-intentioned plans going south. Just know that you are being observed by the girls in your troop and you are their role model. Solve dynamics and tough outcomes with a smile on your face. Use the words “oh well – what change can I make to have a better outcome next time.” I also believe that “girl-led” troops have the best outcomes. Start the girls early in learning how to run their own show. These troops are the most successful and stay together. Everyone likes making their own choices and this is very true in Girl Scouting. Keep it fun!
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at email@example.com.