Category Archives: Volunteer News

Volunteer View: November 2017

Grow your troop and you could win sweet prizes! Help us unleash the power in more G.I.R.L.s by pledging to add one or more new girls to your troop by March 1, 2018. Pledge takers who share how their troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda will be entered to win prizes, including the chance to be featured on GSUSA’s Facebook page!

The pledge closes November 15, 2017, so don’t wait!

Take the pledge

Camp sessions go live on Dec. 1

Get ready for another fun summer at Girl Scout Camp! Sessions go live on December 1, and camp registration opens on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.

Can’t wait for summer? Check out events coming up through the winter and spring at our camp properties »

New activities in the Volunteer Toolkit

Troops can use the Volunteer Toolkit to plan out their whole year and have a roster of all troop member information, accessible via computer or mobile device, as well as tools to facilitate communication between parents and troop leaders. VTK now allows you to access 18 activities, including a Get Outside option.

For Daisy, Brownie, and Junior troops, VTK comes with pre-populated plans for every meeting. All new STEM and outdoor program content is available!

For Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops, a fully customized year is available, allowing older girls to take charge of the planning, along with program curriculum under the Resources tab.

Learn more

Get ready for cookie season

Thank you for an amazing fall product program! Girls should deliver fall product items this week, and rewards will be delivered to service units during the week of November 27.

Is your troop ready for the 2018 Cookie Program? Make sure you have a completed ACH and a troop cookie manager with a signed TCM Agreement. New TCMs should start their background check process as soon as possible as they can take up to four weeks to finalize.

Troops that sold at least $350 in online sales during the Fall Product Program will be eligible to join the S’mores Club and can earn Pandora™ bracelets if they have a selling girl average of 300 packages during the cookie program.

New! Conflict Fluency training

Want to feel confident about handling conflict situations in your troop? Log on to our e-learning site to access our Conflict Fluency training. The class offers guided instruction on managing and resolving disagreements, and will equip you with how to handle issues as they arise.

Go to e-learning »

Get outdoors with OAC this winter

The Outdoor Adventure Club has two events opening up to single-event registration this month:

Sign up to be notified when single-event registrations open for OAC Explorers or OAC Trailblazers.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 18: Packing for Impact with Project C.U.R.E.
Girls will fill Kits for Kids, engage in fun activities with medical personnel and other Girl Scouts, and learn about children around the world that they will be helping.

Dec. 2: Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey
Everyone is encouraged a bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to toss on the ice when Metro State makes their first goal. Bears will be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Denver and Aurora.

Dec. 3: Sky High Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony & Brunch
Come to Sky High Ranch to help us celebrate our annual Tree Lighting. We’ll have a buffet, family photo ops, crafts, ornaments, hot drinks, and of course, goodies!

Dec. 10: Tomahawk Brunch at the Barnyard with Santa
Join us for brunch with Santa and meet his furry barnyard friends. Eat a delicious brunch buffet, savor sweets and lollies aplenty, take photos with Santa, and warm up fireside with hot cocoa and cider.

Want event details delivered to your inbox weekly? Sign up for the Events email at gscoblog.org.

Volunteers needed: Parade of Lights

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, Colorado’s largest holiday parade, is in Downtown Denver on December 1 and 2, 2017. We are currently looking for volunteers to participate as costumed characters, banner elves, and grandstand ambassadors. These volunteers (12-years-old and older) will be assigned to a unit and specific costume and face paint. The volunteers will march the two-mile parade route (under the supervision of a unit captain) in character while waiving at the thousands of locals who come to watch the parade each year.

Persons interested in participating in this year’s parade should go to www.denverparadeoflights.com and fill out an application as soon as possible. Positions are filling up quickly!

Recruit parents to help your Girl Scout troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

You know those parents who always step up, lend a hand, and bring the fun to your Girl Scout troop? Wouldn’t it be amazing if more followed their lead and signed up to volunteer? 

Girl Scout troop leader Richel Newborg is never short on volunteers, but not because she’s lucky—she puts in the effort to bring them into the fold. After reading her tried-and-true tips on Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog, The Trailhead, we knew we had to spread her wisdom throughout the Movement. Check out Richel’s advice in her own words below, follow her lead, and watch as your troop gets all the support you could ever need!

1. Set an expectation that everyone volunteers and we are in this together.

My first opportunity to let parents know I need their help is when new members join the group. We always welcome each new member and their family at the girls’ first troop meeting. I introduce key members of our troop leadership and I let parents know that they will be asked to volunteer for at least one thing. Usually I list in writing which things I know I’ll need help with and a brief description of what duties are involved. This way parents are free to select what interests them. 

Some of these jobs might be helping pack for the camping trip, cookie mom, bringing snacks, or cutting out pieces for SWAPS. Your troop will have different positions depending on how you expect your year to unfold, so customize your own list according to your needs. Let everyone know that by pitching in and helping even with a small task means no one is responsible for all the work and it balances out across the board. It’s an important lesson for the girls to learn too. 

A few jobs you might need filled in your troop are: 

  • troop treasurer
  • cookie volunteer
  • initial cookie check-out assistant
  • snack planning
  • carpool drivers
  • camping lead
  • SWAPS volunteer
  • recruitment supporter
  • community outreach
  • event planning (bridging ceremonies, holiday parties, Court of Awards, etc.) 
2. Use a family talent survey and require every family to fill one out.

This is a survey where parents are asked about their own Girl Scout background as well as what talents and tasks they may be able to help with. From this you can learn a lot about who’s on your team! When my girls’ parents completed their surveys, I quickly discovered we had tons of parents with camping gear and the skills to go with it. We also learned 10 parents were CPR certified and two worked in the medical field. Go through your roster and make sure every parent has responded, and remind non-responders that this is one way you can get to know them and learn how they all can support the troop. 

3. Plan a family event and then fit the job to the personality.

When you host a fun family event, you’ll quickly learn a lot about the parents in your troop. It’s true that some folks love to be in front of kids, some have great teaching skills, while others are terrified, and don’t know what to do. At our family events we make sure to have a mix of activities, games and team building-type activities that everyone participates in with their girls. 

This gives everyone an opportunity to have fun together and you’ll quickly know everyone’s personalities from how they participate. 

4. Ask parents personally for their help.

In the age of social media and email, avoid the mistake of asking for volunteers by a broadcast email. That approach almost never works and will only cause you frustration. It’s also important that you refrain from complaining publicly about a lack of volunteers in your troop. Honestly, nothing scares off helpers faster than someone that’s complaining!

Instead address parents in a small group or in a one-on-one conversation. Make sure you speak with a positive tone and avoid being confrontational. Campouts, BBQs, and events that are geared to be “mixers” are a perfect time to ask, because parents tend to be relaxed and not stressed about their other obligations. Don’t feel like you have to fill every role by the end of your first month of meetings. Some people may need to get to know you and your group before they step up. 

5. Once someone says yes, follow up and set them up for success.

As soon as you can, you’ll also want to contact the volunteer to give them all the information they need to be successful. You’ll also need to let them know if there is any training specific to their position that they will need to attend or complete such as a council background check. 

For instance a dad that wants to take the lead on camping trips needs to not only register as an adult and get a background check, he’ll also need to take your council’s required training. A mom who said she wants to help with cookies might need to attend an online training or come to a service unit meeting to get information on how a Girl Scout Cookie Program works. Since some of these trainings can be done online and some must be done in person, it’s important to provide them with this information. Check with your council for the best online resources, and to find out about in person trainings. 

6. Recognize the volunteer right away.

Once someone says they will help, make sure you thank them. I like to write a personal note and hand it to them at the next meeting. Also at the next troop meeting, in front of all the parents and girls, announce the new volunteer’s role. Then ask everyone to thank him or her for stepping up and helping support the troop. This makes the newcomer feel great about volunteering and makes it a bit tougher to back out! It also lets the girls know they have a team supporting their Girl Scout experience throughout the year! 

Follow these tips and keep a positive attitude and you’ll quickly learn that there are many parents that want to help!

Closing the STEM gender gap, one Girl Scout badge at a time

From Girl Scouts of the USA 

It’s no secret that there are fewer women than men in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields today. In fact, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs, despite filling close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy. And women who do hold STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in other industries—making the gender wage gap comparatively smaller in STEM fields. 
At Girl Scouts, we’re more than ready for a change—and STEM leaders start here, with us. Since our founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has introduced girls of all ages, from five-year-old Daisies to high school Ambassadors, to these important fields to help them see for themselves how they can improve the world using valuable STEM skills.
We are the foremost experts in preparing the next generation of female STEM leaders. Want proof? Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they’re considering a career in technology. 

It all starts with a badge. Girl Scouts has more than 35 of them—many introduced earlier this year—that challenge girls to stretch their STEM skills to make the world a better place. And because everything behind our badges is girl-led and girl-approved, we believe each badge can be an important step a girl takes to help close the STEM gender gap once and for all. 

Only 1 out of 3 environmental engineers are women. 

Meet the Water badge for Girl Scout Ambassadors.
With the Water badge, Ambassadors learn innovative ways to find, treat, and conserve this natural resource. Girls can explore the engineering behind dams and water treatment plants and how they help the environment. They might look into hydroelectricity and how they can use it to power the community and address environmental concerns. Or they could get inspired to design their own water filters or initiate rainwater collections to save drinking water. Talk about innovative! Earn this badge

Meet the Trees badge for Girl Scout Cadettes.
Cadettes put their naturalist hats on when earning their Trees badge, digging into the science of trees—from identifying different species on a hike to learning about all the ways we can protect them. Girls make connections between how trees benefit the earth and the people on it, including as components of fuel, medicine, shelter, and more. And as any Girl Scout would, girls use their new tree knowledge to take action in their communities! Earn this badge

Just 1 in 3 chemists are women. 

Meet the Home Scientist badge for Girl Scout Brownies.
Thanks to the Home Scientist badge, Brownies can tap into their inner scientist by conducting various (fun!) experiments in their own home. Girls can test density, concoct tasty treats using the principles of science, discover how carbon dioxide reacts with other compounds, marvel at static electricity, and so much more! Get that periodic table ready! Earn this badge

Roughly 1 out of 10 physicists and astronomers are women. 

Meet the Sky badge for Girl Scout Seniors. 
Seniors are doing more than looking at the night sky when they earn their Sky badge. They’re studying specific stars, constellations, and planets. These girls can learn how telescopes work and how astronomers use them to study the universe. Seniors are also exploring the world of aviation and space missions! How cool is that?! Earn this badge.

Fewer than 1 in 5 women are industrial engineers. 

Meet the Inventor badge for Girl Scout Brownies.
On their way to earning the Inventor badge, Brownies put their STEM skills to use to solve key problems. After warming up their inventor’s mind, girls come up with a list of problems they see play out every day that they’d like to solve. They then pick one they’re especially passionate about and strategize an innovative solution—drafting designs, presenting their ideas to friends and family, and even building prototypes! Earn this badge.

Fewer than 1 in 4 computer and information scientists are women. 

Meet the Website Designer badge for Girl Scout Seniors.
What’s awesome about our Website Designer badge is that girls decide what their website will be about. They might elaborate on a favorite hobby, highlight progress on their Girl Scout Gold Award project, create a digital journal—whatever their passion! With this badge, girls can learn to build a website from scratch, program, and create site blueprints and wireframes. They can also dive into web design, learning about fonts, imaging, and more. And once their site launches, girls are tasked with getting the word out about it! Earn this badge.

Just 1 out of 10 electrical or computer hardware engineers are women. 

Meet the Robotics badges for Girl Scout Daisies.
Through earning these three badges, Daisies learn all about robots, including how they solve problems in STEM fields. Girls brainstorm ways a robot could solve one of their own problems, learn how engineers talk to robots by programming algorithms, and use their new skills to create a robot prototype! Did we mention Daisies start in kindergarten? Now if that’s not impressive… Earn these badges

Less than 8% of mechanical engineers are women. 

Meet the Programming Robots badge for Girl Scout Juniors.
Juniors put their coding skills to the test when earning their Programming Robots badge. After learning about the intricacies of robots, including the sensors that make up a robot’s “brain,” girls program their own algorithms to instruct robots to move and react in a certain situation. The algorithms are then translated into a special code that girls can test and correct using a device of their choosing. Earn this badge.

Discover more Girl Scout STEM badges (and our other fun badges!) via our Badge Explorer. And this is just the beginning! Over the next two years, Girl Scouts will launch 18 Cybersecurity badges and a series of Space Science badges. We’re so excited!

In related news, earlier this week we announced a brand new initiative to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. The Girl Scout STEM Pledge is an initiative that seeks to raise $70 million by 2025, affecting 2.5 million girls. To support the Girl Scout STEM Pledge, visit www.girlscouts.org/STEMpledge.

 

Cookie University is coming

Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce additional training for troop cookie managers for the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program. If you’re planning to serve as a TCM this year, THANK YOU! We understand the time, commitment, and heart this volunteer role requires and we truly appreciate it. We will host a variety of Cookie University training sessions throughout the state.

Cookie University is an excellent opportunity for you to spend time with other troop cookie managers, get your required basic cookie training, and most importantly, ensure your troop’s Starting Inventory Order is well thought-out and meets the needs of your girl and troop. You can also participate in some exciting enrichment sessions, including Inventory Management, Digital Cookie, eBudde, and Sale Etiquette.

You can register for Cookie University by going to the Events page (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events/training-events.html) on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website. If you can’t attend the training session in your area, feel free to attend one in another area.

2018 Cookie University Flyer

Take the G.I.R.L. Agenda Pledge to grow your troop


From Girl Scouts of the USA

Calling all troop leaders! Through your dedication to the girls you serve every day, you’ve already shown us that you believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) to stand up, speak out, and accomplish amazing things. Help us unleash that power in even more girls today by pledging to add one or more girls to your troop by March 1, 2018—and you’ll qualify to win some fantastic prizes!

Take the pledge between November 1 and November 15, 2017, and tell us how your troop is working to advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda in your community. The agenda is our nationwide initiative to elevate every voice in the advancement of girls’ leadership and status in the world. By pledging to add at least one new girl to your troop, you’ll help even more girls spark positive change through civic action!

Taking the pledge is easy:

  Upload an image of your trailblazing troop.

 Take the pledge.

 Share how your troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda.

 Start recruiting girls for your troop.


What Your Troop Can Win

Once the pledge closes, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. Agenda patch for their troop. In addition, four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have GSUSA share their story on Facebook (on Thanksgiving!), as well as receive the patch for their troop. SWEET!

Pledges must be submitted by November 15, 2017 by an adult 18 or over. One entry per troop. See the official rules for full details.

Need Help Recruiting Girls for Your Troop?

Don’t sweat it—we’ll give you the tools to make it happen. Once you complete the pledge, check your email inbox for some articles and resources you can share with your friends and family to introduce them to the power of Girl Scouting, and spread the word that you’re looking for more girls to join your troop!

Still have questions? Review our FAQ for more information.

The Girl Scout way: G.I.R.L. 2017

Submitted by Chris Kucera

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

I recently had an amazing Girl Scout experience that I want to share. I knew that going to National Convention as a delegate would be exciting, but I had no idea that it would change the way I look at Girl Scouting. I have returned from Ohio more motivated than ever before, and want to encourage you to share my energy. Even more importantly, I want to convince all Girl Scouts to attend a National Convention themselves.

I am a Mountain Communities Trainer and also teach the Program Aid course. I am a strong advocate of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and enjoy opportunities to teach others. I’ve worked with so many talented Girl Scouts, but I was blown away by the girls chosen as national delegates. The girl delegates were active in giving opinions on our voting topics. They were thoughtful, insightful, passionate, and persuasive. However, when the discussion topic of how to get more girls into Girl Scouting and keep them, they were incredible. These young women had talked with other girls and shared their stories. They had concerns about diversity, funding, and leadership. They expressed that while many girls are tired of Journeys, others really like them. They presented original ideas that made everyone in the room think, “Wow, why aren’t we doing that?”

I want to encourage all of you to return to your troops and let the girls take the reins. It takes a bit of encouragement to get them on the leadership path, but I’ve seen what can happen when they succeed. I can only hope that my daughter becomes half as successful and amazing as the young women chosen to represent their councils.

I had a meeting with my friend and mentor, Nancy Mucklow, who encouraged me to apply to be a delegate. She wants to plan some big Girl Scout travel, and I virtually doubled her list. Did you know that there is a petition to name the bridge over the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge? When I told my troop about a chance to participate in their bridging ceremony, their eyes lit up and I think they started their packing list in their heads. I was unaware that Girl Scouts has a camp in Minnesota that does Boundary Waters canoe trips, and the cost is so low it’s staggering. You can go as a large group, an individual, or even a family. I was thrilled to find out that this high adventure trip is affordable and am starting to look at dates. I hope that I can encourage others to join me. I also learned a great deal more about the different world centers and Nancy is starting our travel plans for 2019 – I can’t wait!

The Hall of Experiences was just amazing. I learned information that I never realized existed.  It had activities for the girls, from crafts, to the local science museum, to NASA. We were especially impressed with one gentleman at the NASA booth. Not only did he tell us about current science and demonstrate thrilling technology, he gave out important advice about high school and college classes to focus on and emphasized the importance of earning your Gold Award before applying for colleges. My favorite part of our conversation though, was about his daughter’s troop that he leads. We talked with our first colleges, and the advisors there taught my daughter the important questions she should be asking. They talked to her, not me. They asked her the important questions and helped her narrow down her scattered thoughts. I’m grateful for their approach in helping my daughter start her college search.

The breakout sessions were so informative and fun. My daughter attended the girl only yoga and self-defense class. She was very excited to prove herself to the self-defense instructor. She was told to hit the instructor if attacked. When the instructor snuck up on my daughters back and grabbed her hand, my daughter turned and hit her. The instructor was so thrilled that it was caught on video and she posed together yelling YEAH! While she was beating up adults, I attended a bullying seminar. While this was not normally not my thing, I was extremely impressed and inspired. The speaker had a different way of looking at the topic, and I can’t wait to share what I learned.

The inspirational speakers and videos were simply phenomenal. Coming from a family of gymnasts, hearing Gabby Douglas speak was thrilling. Chelsea Clinton was a joy and we just loved her discussion with the Young Women of Distinction about their Gold Awards. The psychologist that spoke was simply amazing. I am still discussing her theories with my daughter. However, in my opinion, the best speaker of the Convention was our very own CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. The way she could engage every person in the audience, regardless of their age was so wonderful. She loved getting all of us to stand up, dance and celebrate Girl Scouting together. If her speaking skills weren’t enough, she also took the time to talk with anyone who wanted her ear and smile for hundreds of selfies. If you have never heard amazing woman speak, I encourage you to seek her out.

The point that I want to stress is that National Convention is just so much more than just a convention. It’s a lifetime experience. I met people who have been attending National Convention since the 80’s. I was inspired by one woman who brings her granddaughters to every National Convention. I find this idea compelling and hope to someday be able to follow in this woman’s footsteps. Did I forget to talk about SWAPS? Just imagine bringing 250 swaps representing our great state and trading with Girl Scouts from around the country – and the world!

When I returned from convention, I was simply exhausted. There were so many fun and interesting things going on that we averaged about five and a half hours of sleep a night. The most amazing part of the convention started after I got home and got a real eight hours of sleep. I have ideas. I have plans. I am motivated. I see how my local troop and my volunteer efforts fit into Girl Scouts around the country. I want to see Girl Scouts of Colorado become a leader in our amazing national organization. I want to see more Girl Scouts, young and old, attend national conventions and come home as inspired as me. I want you to join me at the next national convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida!

To sign the petition for the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge:
https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/advocacy/the-girl-scout-advocacy-network/sign-a-petition-to-name-the-savannah-bridge.html

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Three ways to honor Juliette Gordon Low on Girl Scout Founder’s Day

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Juliette Gordon Low’s desire to make the world a better place was evident early in her life. When she was just 16, she convinced her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club with her, to make clothing for families who had recently immigrated to the U.S. This was Juliette’s first foray into civic action, organizing in the community, and inspiring girls to take the lead for the greater good.

Fast forward to 1912, when Juliette, affectionately known as “Daisy” by her family and close friends, gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she’d learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth. With this, the first Girl Scout troop was formed—and the Girl Scout Movement was born to serve all girls nationwide.

Our earliest Girl Scouts, along with our pioneering founder, blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. And ever since, Girl Scouts has provided girls with transformative experiences that set them up to lead in their own lives and the world. Because of Girl Scouts, millions of G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ have been prepared for a lifetime of leadership—from hiking under the stars to accepting a mission to the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with their troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running their own cookie business to tackling cybersecurity.

Here are three things you can do to honor Juliette Gordon Low and her remarkable legacy on Founder’s Day:

  1.  Proudly shout out what Girl Scouts has done for you! Share your story on social using #becauseofGirlScouts—and be sure to tag @girlscouts on Instagram and Twitter. You might even be included in our collection of #becauseofGirlScouts stories.
  2.  Elevate the legacy of Girl Scouts’ founder—sign our petition to support renaming the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah after Juliette Gordon Low. There are so many reasons this iconic bridge should honor our go-getting founder!
  3. Share your #GIRLagenda by posting on the civic issues and causes you’re passionate about and taking action to impact—in the process, you’ll motivate others to act, as you honor our founder and shared mission to make the world a better place. Need a little inspiration? Tips for leading positive change through civic action? Check out our G.I.R.L. Agenda resources, which include materials for girls ages 5–17—and adults, too!

Simple tips to grow your troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!

Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead

1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.

It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).

When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.

2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.

Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.

3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).

No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.

4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.

There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a service unit or council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are. 

Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)

5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.

Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!

Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.

Save the date: Women’s Week 2018 at Meadow Mountain Ranch

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Meadow Mountain Ranch

This summer, the fourth year of Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch brought together new and returning friends from nine different states to the Colorado high country.  Women’s Week is open to any women/ladies/girls who are at least 18 years of age, who may or may not be Girl Scouts presently, or who may or may not ever have attended camp at any time anywhere.  In other words, come one, come all – – – the more the merrier!

The best part about Women’s Week (WW for short) is that the sky is truly the limit!  There is no preplanned program or schedule, except as determined by the menus and meals.  More about food a little later!  If you would like to do a particular thing, just make a request and we’ll try to see that it happens.  If you would like to offer a special activity or program, just hang up a sign saying where and when it will happen, and bring with you the tools or materials to share with others.

There is plenty of time in our three-night/four-day event to rest and relax, explore, visit, sing, laugh, cook, sleep, read, hike, etc.  Do you like to get up early in the morning?  Coffee is always on its way before breakfast and a few of us enjoy the still morning solitude to listen to the birds, feel the breeze, and watch the sun come up over the hills.  Like to stay up late?  Campfires are always on the agenda, so we can give you “a place where people gather to make friends of all kinds,” and then we can help you “sing your way home at the close of the day.”

Women’s Week usually begins with a Big Circle Tour of MMR, which will take you to see most of what’s on the property for your further exploration.  Up to the east past the C.I.T. house under restoration at this time, maybe up as far as Vista Spur to see the panorama of peaks that tower over us, back across by “The Shelf,” out to the Back Meadow, and around through the fire break along the back trail and over to Pinecrest where the Memorial Unit Shelter is under construction.

Cooking is a big part of Women’s Week, and the patrol assigned to be chefs will have guidance from Susan Baker and her growing-up girls to offer a delicious variety of cuisine, carefully planned to allow for dietary needs as well as experimentation.  We’ve done bean-hole cooking, stick cooking, reflector oven baking, and dutch oven offerings.  We’ve cooked on charcoal, open fires, or propane stoves, depending on the preference of the cooks or the (hopefully not!) fire restrictions. We once made rhubarb jam in the main camp kitchen to share with everyone.  No, Women’s Week food is not always like regular camp food, as we’ve included a chili cook-off, stir fry to die for, fresh fruits and veggies prepared many different ways, and special surprises along the way.  Ever made a “Fluffernutter?” or a “Darn Good/Dough Boy”?  Do you have special culinary requests you’d like to see us try?

So, here are some highlights from summer 2017 at Women’s Week: A climb up Meadow Mountain.  Crafts of bark painting, Morse-Code beading, monkey fists, tile mosaics. Yang or Taijiguan style of Tai-Chi in the mornings to relax the body and soul.  “Tajer Tales” and “The Thirteen Clocks.”  Sunrise hike to Vista Spur.  Self-guided Nature Trail. A bog explore to see “the tufas” in the lower meadow.  Service projects to help with fire mitigation and stripping logs for the new unit shelter at Pinecrest.

Summer of 2018 will feature a special dedication ceremony for the new Pinecrest Memorial Unit Shelter.  Completion of this project will allow for more complete use of this larger more remote unit on the southern boundary of the camp.  Contact Penny Roberts if you’d like to be involved in creating a memorial to special people who helped bring you personally through Girl Scouting to be the woman you are today.

So, dates are set for the fifth Women’s Week for the summer of 2018.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR, SAVE THE DATES, OR REGISTER RIGHT NOW!  Monday, July 23 (first meal is lunch) through Thursday, July 26 (last meal is champagne brunch).  Cost is $180 for the entire event or $60 for any daily increments including three meals.  Contact the very informal camp director, Penny “Pan” Roberts, PO Box 211, Estes Park, Co. 80517, probertscolo@gmail.com or by phone at (970) 586 1775. 

It’s great when moms and daughters and granddaughters come, or when MMR camp staff alums make connections with previous campers from decades ago, or when friends who never got to go to camp ever can join this wonderful experience.  It’s great when we take time out, get away, unwind, unplug, or just generally recreate ourselves.  We take good care of each other and come away with peace and satisfaction that comes from just being outdoors.  At camp, where life is more real.   Hope to see you then.

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