Category Archives: Volunteer News

Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Krska

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Katie Krska in the Pikes Peak region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO volunteer. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Katie 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 grew up in San Diego where I was a Girl Scout for six years. My time in Girl Scouts as a child was both memorable and rewarding. One of the biggest reasons that I am a Girl Scout leader is that the adventurous and fun-loving Girl Scout in me is not ready to hang her vest up just yet. The opportunities for my current Girl Scouts are endless! I am forever seeking to find them the next exciting event that will excite them or teach them a great life lesson or skill. I am having just as much fun as they are! My favorite memory so far is canoeing at Camp Jackson last summer with my troop. Seeing the joy and excitement on the girls’ faces will forever remain in my heart. 

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

I have been Girl Scout Troop 41983’s troop manager for the past eight years. I am our troop’s “super organizer” and wear many different hats. I plan the majority of our troop events and activities; I function as our treasurer; I am responsible for ordering all badges and patches for our troop; I keep our calendar and troop website up to date; I am our troop’s first aider (nurse); and I am our troop’s historian. 

This year, I became Service Unit 412’s co-manager with one of my leaders, Tracey Ruzicka. I have been responsible for planning our annual service unit camp that we will attend this August. It should be a blast!

I also lead my Girl Scouts in their Catholic Committee on Scouting badge work. I will be leading kindergarten Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts at the annual retreat that will be held in October 2017. I also will be leading our Cadettes this year as their mentor in earning their Marian Medals.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a Girl Scout Leader, I have learned how important it is to empower young girls to be the best version of themselves. Every girl has a different personality and has different interests. It is fun to watch them come together with all of their wonderful differences to make a positive impact in each other’s lives and in the community. Each of them has something to say and something to bring to the table. It is our duty as leaders to make sure that all of their voices are heard, and everyone has a chance to shine in their own way. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

In my career as a Girl Scout leader, my hope is to instill in my Girl Scouts that the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law are not just for Girl Scout meetings or events, but they are guidelines on how to live their lives.  

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

 

Volunteer View: July 2017

We’re excited to announce new Journeys and badges for you to explore with your troop, coming July 18!
These new Journeys and badges not only make timely additions and enhancements to our existing girl programming, but also create a more robust experience, including Take Action projects, for subject areas that are most compelling to today’s girls—– science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and outdoor activities.
Combined with existing STEM and outdoor programs, as well as programming in life skills and entrepreneurship, these new Journeys and badges are designed to help girls unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ as they achieve the five outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: sense of self, positive values, challenge seeking, healthy relationships, and community problem solving.
2017 Fall Sale Program
The Girl Scouts Fall Sale Program is a great way for troops to earn startup money for the year. All troops receive 13% of their magazine orders as troop proceeds, plus $1/item for nuts and chocolates.
Centennial Campfire at Meadow Mountain Ranch
The Centennial Campfire has been rescheduled to August 27. Join us for an afternoon of fun at MMR!
Attend a Leadership Summit
A Leadership Summit is a fun-filled day that will get you energized for the new membership year and enhance your leadership skills! A variety of leadership development and enrichment classes will be offered for new and experienced leaders, as well as Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Each event will have a keynote speaker and networking opportunity.
  • August 26: Colorado Springs (register now!)
  • September 16: Highlands Ranch
  • September 23: Fort Collins
  • September 30: Grand Junction
  • October 14: Pueblo
  • October 15: Denver
Get outdoors with GSCO
Outdoor Adventure Club Passport sales have closed, but we will be offering single-event passes for purchase. Visit our OAC page for more information and to sign up to be notified when single-event sales open!
If you are interested in volunteer directing a camp or outdoor program in the 2017-2018 season, make sure you have connected with Anna Danila, Outdoor Program Manager, to be included in upcoming communications about timelines, outdoor program volunteer roles, and trainings. Submissions for the camp mailer are due on October 2.
Join the Older Girl Advisory Board
The Older Girl Advisory Board is recruiting new members in Pueblo, Western Slope/Southwest Colorado, and Metro Denver. The Older Girl Advisory Board, also known as OGAB, is a group of 14 girls in grades 9-12 from across the state who provide feedback on projects including mentoring, program development, older girl engagement, and product sales. Interested girls entering grades 9-12 for this school year can apply today.
OGAB volunteers needed
OGAB is also seeking 2-3 adult volunteers to help guide this high-level group of girls in making their voices heard. Adult volunteers would act as chaperones during periodic overnight camp retreats and commit to sitting in on one web call a month with the OGAB representatives. Volunteers need to possess strong organizational and communication skills and work well with teenagers.
Contact Katie Singleton for more information and to apply for one of these unique adult volunteer positions.
Share your G.I.R.L. Story
Girl Scouts are adventure seekers, problem solvers, and so much more! We are G.I.R.L.s (go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, leaders)!

Gold Award and Highest Awards & Take Action trainings at Leadership Summits

Girl Scouts of Colorado is thrilled to offer both Gold Award and Highest Awards & Take Action trainings at the Leadership Summits across the state this summer and fall!

You may be asking, “What is a Leadership Summit?” Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Leadership Summits are learning conferences that offer volunteers (and girls!) the opportunity to get energized for the new membership year and check required trainings off the “to-do” list. In addition to offering trainings for new and experienced volunteers, we are offering Gold Award training for girls who are getting ready to “Go Gold”.

Gold Award training is required for any girl interested in pursuing her Gold Award. Parents and troop leaders are encouraged to attend as well.

Highest Awards & Take Action is the perfect opportunity to connect with other troop leaders about successful service projects and learn how to let girls take the lead in making a difference in their community with “Take Action” projects that girls will complete in their Journeys, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award projects.

August 26, Colorado Springs
September 16, Denver Metro
September 23, Northern Colorado
September 30, Grand Junction
October 14, Pueblo (Gold Award and Highest Awards Training TBD)

The full schedule for each event will be posted soon along with links for registration.

Questions about Highest Awards? Email highestawards@gscolorado.org

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Volunteer Spotlight: Nicole Niles

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Nicole Niles in the Pikes Peak region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO volunteer. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Nicole 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?

My daughter of course! I didn’t get to go far on my Girl Scout journey due to an out-of-state move and family issues when I was young. When I became a mom to my beautiful girl, I knew I wanted to get her involved when she was old enough. 10 years later here I still am volunteering.

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

The many roles I play just like the most of us 🙂 I am a troop leader and fall and cookie sale manager. I serve on our service unit’s board as secretary and I am a GPS advisor. GPS is “girl planning system, ” a group of girls who help plan various events around the Pikes Peak region. I help on the cookie committee and most importantly, I am the mother of a Girl Scout, so helping her on her journey to achieve her goals is my biggest role.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

What have I learned ? Well, I have learned a lot. Peer pressure is a big issue these girls face, along with the image factor. I have seen a lot of girls quit Girl Scouts because friends did not think it was cool and these girls wanted to protect their image and not be associated with the group. I have also learned that aside from the girls who give up, there are also those that stand taller because of being a Girl Scout and they are not bothered with the image and they want to go farther in their journey and help fellow girls around them succeed and reach their goals.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

If the girls I encounter during Girl Scouts can take anything away from me, I hope that they take away the hard work and perseverance of their journey. I see and encounter such a strong group of girls, who aside from sports, school, work, social life, and family,  give just as much effort to Girl Scouts and I hope that they know how proud I am of their hard work and determination and know they will go far in life and can achieve anything they set their mind too!

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

I have so many over the last years, but the one that touched me the most was during the cookie sale two years ago. My entire troop sold for each other. I know all leaders divide cookies differently and we all have our own way. The way my troop divides puts it as what you sell is what you earn to include booths. Two years ago not a single girl in my troop just sold for herself. One sold for so and so trying to get the Build-A-Bear experience.  One sold for a girl to go to a Top Seller event and on and on the cycle went. I spent cookie: season in tears, amazed at the lessons my troop/girls have learned: Be a sister to every Girl Scout, friendly, and helpful. That has to be my most memorable memory that touched me in my Girl Scout journey.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Reach out for help. Take advantage of the trainings offered both online and in office. Seek out help from your service unit. Don’t be afraid to ask even if you are asking a girl 🙂 There are several girls who actually seek out to help and mentor new troops. Girl Scouts is thousands strong. Use your resources and use them wisely!

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

Gold Award Mentors needed for Northern CO and Pikes Peak regions

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Submitted by GSCO Highest Awards Manager Aimee Bianca

Arguably, the most impactful part of Girl Scouts is the earning of the Girl Scout Gold Award. This prestigious award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouts and challenges high school girls to initiate meaningful, sustainable change locally, nationally, and/or globally through unique “Take Action” projects of their own creation.
In Colorado, girls work individually with a Gold Award Mentor throughout their Gold Award journey to ensure they are well supported and their projects meet all the standards and expectations of a Gold Award. Mentors are all volunteers who are experts on the Gold Award and sit on their region’s Gold Award Committee in addition to working one on one with Gold Award candidates.

If you are strong woman with project management skills who is interested in building leadership skills with a young woman, you might be the perfect Gold Award Mentor!

Girl Scouts of Colorado needs new Gold Award Mentors in Northern and Northeastern Colorado and the Pikes Peak regions. With more and more girls “going Gold”, we need more mentors to work with candidates one-on-one!

Download and review the full position description and email highestawards@gscolorado.org if you are interested in this exciting volunteer position with Girl Scouts of Colorado.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Theresa Szczurek

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Lifetime Girl Scout Theresa Szczurek of Boulder recently received the Volunteer Service Award from GSCO for decades of service. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

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

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I joined Girl Scouts as a 4th grader in Cicero, IL and participated through high school.  Now, I am a Lifetime Girl Scout.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I love being a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts builds girls with courage, character, and confidence and prepares girls to be leaders. Over 64% percent of today’s women leaders in the United States in civic, corporate, political, and entrepreneurial arenas were once Girl Scouts including Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and many others.

At first in New Jersey in the late 1980’s even before I had children, I was a Girl Scout Cadette leader for a few years to help build strong girls. After returning to Colorado and when my daughter entered first grade, I helped organize her Brownie troop at her elementary school. I wanted my daughter to grow strong, make friends, learn new skills, build her confidence and courage, strengthen her core values and character, and see the world through the experience of this powerful, world-wide organization.  Being a Girl Scout volunteer is for me a pursuit of passionate purpose — it is in line with my values and gifts (or passion), helps me work toward the purpose of growing girls with courage, confidence, an character, presents many opportunities to pursue this purpose and assess progress along the way.

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

I have been a Brownie, Junior, and Cadette leader in Boulder. I currently am and have been since 2010 a Senior and Ambassador Girl Scout troop co-advisor for super Troop 70007, which has Girl Scouts from throughout Boulder County.  I enjoy being the Gold Advisor, among other things, helping our Girl Scouts earn the highest award.

I have been a member of the Zephyr Service Unit leadership team since 2013. It supports Girl Scout troops throughout Boulder and beyond. I help coordinate the program and calendar and serve as the Highest Award advisor to the SU. 

I was the Keynote speaker at the Leadership Summit in Boulder in Fall 2016.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?

One of the most important lessons for me to learn, was to let go of being the Troop Leader and instead become the Troop Advisor by letting the Girl Scouts lead.  This role as an adult volunteer evolves as a troop moves from Brownies to Ambassadors and the Girl Scouts grow in their abilities.  It means that sometimes the girls will do things differently then I envision.  I recall when our troop was running Outdoor Skills Day Camps. My daughter Annie was the overall Camp Coordinator that year.  A big snowstorm was forecast for the Saturday of one of our camps. GSCO decided to cancel all activities that day, but let our troop make its own decision on running our camp or not. While I would have decided to go along with GSCO and cancel the camp, Annie made the courageous decision to run the camp. It was a huge learning and leadership experience for her. The storm was not as bad as forecast and 70 younger pre-registered Girl Scouts had a fabulous time rather than being stuck at home.  Annie also decided to give parents an option to pull their girl out and get a refund.

It means letting them fail and learn from it, if they don’t step up to lead.  One year our Senior / Ambassador troop decided it wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise leaving from Florida. The girls did not step up to do the research and make the decision in time. That trip did not happen, but instead they were able to get organized and go on a Colorado camping trip. Here are a few other lessons learned:

Four Practical Pointers from Girl Scout Travel.  

  1. Open and Be Flexible. Annie had been raising money for two years to go to the India Centre, Sangam. She sold 1000’s of packages of Girl Scout Cookies and wrapping paper, led outdoor skills day camps as fundraisers, and even applied for (and won) a Look Wider International Travel Scholarship from Girl Scouts of Colorado. This council-wide trip to Sangam, for high school age Girl Scouts from across the State of Colorado, did not come together as it should have.  So in February, Annie and I regrouped, assessed the situation, and concluded – Why not go as a mother / daughter team to Our Chalet, the oldest WAGGGS Centre located in Switzerland, and Pax Lodge in UK?  By being flexible with a broader vision, we pivoted and took action to go to Europe.  We are glad we did! 

Here was the Attraction Strategy at work –hold a broad intention and open to opportunities that are everywhere, while thinking, feeling passionately, and taking action to get what you want.  How can you attract an alternative solution when you are stuck?

  1. Pack Lightly. Note, packing includes your attitude as well as your bag. Once you have packed your bag, evaluate if you really need each item, and reduce by at least one third. Pack even lighter. Oh how we wish we would have done this on our Europe trip. 

We arrived at 7 p.m. by train into Bern, Switzerland, the lovely capital, after a long traveling day that started in Iceland at 6 a.m. We could not find the information booth to get a map.  With the hotel address in hand, we started walking burdened with our backpacks – it is not far, people  said.  45 minutes later, tired and hungry, we searched for a taxi.  Finally, we found one.  As we were about to put our heavy bags into the cab, the driver pointed,  “Just walk that way 100 meters.” Finally 300 meters later, as despair was about to set in, we saw our hotel.  While indeed we had packed many positive items, next time we will come without as much gear. 

Here was the Pack Strategy – when embarking on a path of passionate purpose, pack energizers that encourage you along the way and unpack hindrances that discourage you.  How can you lighten your personal or professional load? 

  1. Are You Ready? Are You Prepared?  Finnish Girl Guides respond to these questions, “Born ready!  Always prepared!”  Part of our adventure included reaching the summit of three peaks.  Our goal was to summit Bunderspitz.  We prepared through the week with increasingly longer hikes day by day.  Using the divide-and-conquer strategy, we started hiking around 7:30 p.m. on the first segment and arrived at the Cheesemaker’s Hut at 9:30 p.m. where we got a few hours sleep.  At 2:30 a.m. in total darkness and silence, we were ready for the assault.  We accomplished the overall goal piece by piece – first to the highest barn on the mountain where we ate an early breakfast, then through the fog to the saddle, and then on through the final stretch to the summit for sunrise at 5:35 a.m.  While the clear, panoramic view we yearned for never appeared, we did catch glimpses of the majestic mountains.  Then slowly we descended five hours back to Our Chalet feeling exhilarated. 

Here was the Persistence Strategy in action:  mindfully persevere with focused determination using a divide-and-conquer tactic. Try tackling your next big project using the divide and conquer approach of the Persistence Strategy.  

  1. Make New Friends, But Keep the Old. With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the world, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world.  We share common values of building girls with courage, character, and confidence and taking action.  Recently WAGGGS launched a Global Action Theme whereby girls worldwide say “together we can change our world.” This awareness raising programme is directly linked to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (https://www.wagggs.org/en/what-we-do/sustainable-development-goals-and-global-action-theme/).  One SDG is:  promote gender equality and empower women. 70 percent of the world’s 1.2 billion people living in poverty are women, and 45 million girls around the world are being denied an education. WAGGGS believes that ‘empowering girls will change our world.’

At Our Chalet and Pax Lodge we made new international friends, reaffirmed our values, had fun singing songs, challenged ourselves physically and mentally, built a new skill by taking lots of photos, rejuvenated, and much more.  In addition to precious mother / daughter together time before Annie left for college, we even met the WAGGGS commissioner from Taiwan. 

Here was the Connections Strategy at work – build relationships with and bring along on life’s journey the proper people and support network and lessen the impact of improper ones.    Who is or should be part of your support network?

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

There are so many memories from seeing two Girl Scouts helping each other in a magical moment learn to fish, recognizing the scouts grow in their abilities to run their own cookie business,  the younger girls progress in outdoor skills from short hike to backyard camping to lodge overnights to tent camping to backpacking, working with other leaders and parents, traveling domestically such as canoeing on the Buffalo River in Arkansas and internationally such as a 10-day adventure and service trip to Costa Rica, and helping scouts establish a plan and execute on it to earn their Highest Awards.   I have been so honored to be the troop advisor to nine (9) scouts who have earned their Gold Award with three more now at the Gold Candidate stage — WOW! 

My favorite memory, if I had to choose just one, is the mother / daughter trip to Our Chalet, the oldest WAGGGS Centre located in Switzerland, and Pax Lodge in UK.  I highly recommend going to the international centres. 

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What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Being a Girl Scout volunteer is for me a pursuit of passionate purpose — it is in line with my values and gifts (or passion), helps me work toward the purpose of growing strong leaders, presents many opportunities to pursue this purpose, and give a chance to assess progress and learn along the way. 

Volunteers, recognize the important work you are doing in helping girls pursue their passions and grow with courage, confidence, and character.  I hope you agree, there is nothing more meaningful and important.  That is why I love being a Girl Scout!

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

Volunteer View: June 2017

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This fall, take a day to invest in your personal leadership journey and feed your inner G.I.R.L. success. Experienced volunteers can choose from advanced classes on taking your girls’ leadership to the next level and what to do when conflict arises. New volunteers can complete their program level 101s. Discover the new journeys, learn songs and games, and more! Each location will feature a special keynote speaker, Voices feedback forum, and networking galore.

  • August 26: Colorado Springs
  • September 16: Metro Denver
  • September 23: Northern Colorado
  • September 30: Grand Junction
  • October 14: Pueblo
  • October 15: Metro Denver

Registration will open soon. Questions? Contact Hannah Kuehl.

Buy your OAC Passport by June 30

The Outdoor Adventure Club is gearing up for its second year of fun, and it’s not too late to get in on the adventure! Passports are still available, but only until June 30. This year girls will go dogsledding, whitewater rafting, rock climbing and, stand-up paddleboarding to name just a few activities!

Buy your OAC Passport: https://girlscoutsco.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App

Get started on your 2018 summer programming

Thinking of leading a day camp, family camp, or troop camp open to other troops or groups next year? The first step in your planning is to meet with Anna Danila, outdoor program manager. This applies to programs lasting longer than one day and/or those including an overnight experience.  Email Anna to set up a meeting.

Volunteer with OGAB

The Older Girl Advisory Board is seeking adult volunteers to help guide this high-level group of girls in making their voices heard. The Older Girl Advisory Board, also known as OGAB, is a group of 14 girls in grades 9-12 from across the state of Colorado who provide feedback on projects ranging from mentoring to program development to older girl engagement to product sales. Adult volunteers would act as chaperones during periodic overnight camp retreats and commit to participating in one web call per month with the OGAB representatives. Volunteers need to possess strong organizational and communication skills and work well with teenagers.

Contact Katie Singleton for more information and to apply for one of these unique adult volunteer positions.

New Journeys coming soon

New Journeys and badges will be released through the Volunteer Toolkit this summer! The Journeys will include Think Like an Engineer, Think Like a Programmer, and Think Like a Citizen Scientist. Look for more information coming soon.

Congratulations, Top Sellers!

Cookie Top Sellers will be celebrated over the next few weeks at our annual top seller events. Any girls who sold 750 packages or more during the 2017 Cookie Sale Program and have not received their invitation should contact their Product Sales Specialist immediately to RSVP.

All Cookie Credit Cards, including those held at council for camp that were not used, have been mailed directly to each girl who earned them. If credits have not been received please reach out to the Product Sales Team as soon as possible to see if they have been returned to council for any reason.

This year’s Fall Sale Program will begin on September 23. Look for more information next month!

Volunteer Spotlight: Tara Szabo Maxson

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Tara Szabo Maxson of Troop 65477 in the Denver Metro region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO volunteer. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

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

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I was a Daisy and a Brownie as a child.  I have been a volunteer since 2015.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I wanted to get to know other families in our school community.

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

I lead a second grade Brownie troop and am starting a kindergarten Daisy troop in the fall.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? 

I have learned that every girl is truly different and special.  It is amazing to see that even the little ones are already quite diverse in their strengths and talents.  It can be hard with a large troop, but I try to capitalize on this as much as possible.

I have also learned that your team of parents is invaluable.  I have three awesome co-leaders and an amazing cookie mom who make my life easier for sure!  We are surrounded by a fantastic group of parents.  We have had a waiting list to join our troop for the past two years and I attribute that to having a great group of parents who work hard to provide a positive experience for our kids and who also network on our behalf in the neighborhood and at school.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that girls live by (not just memorize) the Girl Scout Promise and Law.  We have focused a lot on learning how to take care of the earth and all of its inhabitants and also the importance of taking care of one another by being a sister to every Girl Scout.  I hope my girls do this outside of Girl Scouts throughout their whole lives.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

As a child, I grew up in Aurora, so I camped at both Tomahawk Ranch and Sky High Ranch.  I recall the summer between second and third grade, walking back in the dark to our bunks after our evening campfire, holding hands with my life-long best friend and feeling a little scared of the dark woods, but safe with my camp buddy and my troop.  It was a special feeling of bravery and independence, but achieved in a safe setting, which is what I think Girl Scouts strives to provide all girls.

As an adult, it has been special to me to share Girl Scout activities with my daughter.  I cried a little when she was inducted into Girl Scouts during a ceremony led by a neighboring middle school troop.  I also recall fondly holding my own daughter’s hand while we hiked the trails behind the Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch for our troop’s second year Daisy Earth and Sky Journey.  Also, our troop brainstormed ideas for our Take Action plan this past spring and then voted on each other’s ideas.  My daughter suggested we take care packages to Children’s Hospital and her idea had the winning vote.  I was so proud of her thought process, as she really considered how we could use our cookie funds to “make the world a better place.”  I am proud of all that my older daughter has accomplished in Girl Scouts and I look forward to seeing what both of my kids do in in the future.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

  1. Seek help if you need it.  The staff at council doesn’t always know what you need, so you must ask!  They will help you if they know the answer or find the answer if they don’t.  Also, attend your Service Unit meetings at least periodically to network. Leaders of older girl troops have already walked in your shoes and can give you the best practical advice.  You can also go to them if you have issues with girls or parents to ask how they handled similar things in their troop in the past.
  1. Plan your calendar out in advance for the school year.  I plan our troop’s events around our school’s master calendar when it comes out each May and then we can hit the ground running in September.  Even if you don’t know exactly what you might do on a given day, at least get it on the calendar for your families to plan ahead.  This will help with attendance and parent participation.
  1. Don’t be afraid to do things your own way.  Girl Scouts provides enough leeway that you can build your own curriculum and let your girls lead the way to do what they want to do. 
  1. Build your village.  Keep asking parents if they will sign up as support volunteers and encourage them to renew each year.  Get to know the people who manage the buildings where you host your meetings (and give them a few HTH packages each year for thanks for all they do for you!).  Recruit at your school’s “Back to School” night. Most importantly, find awesome partner leaders and cookie managers!  The more adult support you have, the better your experience will be and the richer the experience will be for the girls in your troop!

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Audrey Jessen

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Audrey Jessen  of Troop 571 at Grant Ranch School has served as a troop leader for six years.  For the last two years, she has been involved with Girl Scout Cookies for the entire Grizzly Gulch area, training troop leaders and cookie managers on what to do.  Audrey was nominated anonymously as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. Her nominator wrote, “Everything Audrey does she does for kids. She is a substitute teacher, treasurer of the PTO, our leader, a mom, and who knows what else. I don’t know where she finds the time for it all but she does and she puts her all into everything!”

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

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I have been a Girl Scout for six years, plus three years when I was younger.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer six years ago so I could start a troop for my daughter.

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

I started as a troop leader and cookie mom.  After my first year, I became a SUCM, which I have done for five years now.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I have learned to have patience and to roll with things because sometimes no matter how well planned something is, if the girls don’t want to do it, they won’t.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

My favorite memory as a Girl Scout was going to the pumpkin patch after days of rain and tromping around in the mud, I can still feel how heavy my boots were when they were caked in it.

My favorite thing as a leader is being able to watch the girls interact and have fun…there is nothing better than a group of kids laughing.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Talk to other volunteers and most importantly find what works best for you, even if no one else does it that way. 

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

New Journeys for G.I.R.L.s

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How will you take the lead like a Girl Scout in the 2017-18 Girl Scout year? New Journeys for G.I.R.L.s (go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, leaders) of all ages can help you do just that– all while making your world a better place!

Girl Scouts of the USA will roll out seven new Journeys in myGS (Volunteer Toolkit) in July 2017. Each Journey (whether new or old) is topic-specific, includes hands-on activities, and incorporates Discover, Connect, and a Take Action project. Depending upon the content, some Journeys are shorter and some are longer. They are:

It’s Your World—Change It!

  • Available for purchase in council stores (adult guide and girl book) for Daisies- Ambassadors
  • On the myGS for Daisies only as part of a 15 meeting Year Plan

It’s Your Planet—Love It

  • Available for purchase in council stores (adult guide and girl book) for for Daisies- Ambassadors
  • On myGS for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior as part of a 15 meeting Year Plan

It’s Your Story—Tell It!

  • Available for purchase in council stores (adult guide and girl book) for for Daisies- Ambassadors
  • On the myGS for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior as part of a 15 meeting Year Plan

Outdoor

  • Available on myGS for Brownie and Junior as nine sessions in total, which includes three outdoor badges plus three Take Action meetings and is part of a 15 meeting Year Plan.
  • Available on myGS for Daisies as six sessions in total, which includes two outdoor badges plus two Take Action meetings and is part of a 15 meeting Year Plan.
  • Available for Multi-level for Daisy/Brownie/Junior troops.
  • Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador will be available for Back to Troop as PDFs on myGS.

Think Like an Engineer

  • Available on myGS for Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Multi-level troops. The Journey is six sessions in total, including three Take Action meetings, and is part of a 15 meeting Year Plan.

Think Like a Programmer

  • Available on myGS for Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Multi-level troops. The Journey is six sessions in total, including three Take Action meetings, and is part of a 15 meeting Year Plan.

Think Like a Citizen Scientist

  • Available on myGS for Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Multi-level troops. The Journey is six sessions in total, including three Take Action meetings, and is part of a 15 meeting Year Plan.

Haven’t renewed your membership yet? What are waiting for? Early Bird registration is now open. Any girl renewed by June 15, 2017 will receive a free Early Bird patch. Any troop that has completed the Annual Troop Report for this membership year and has two Troop Leadership Team members renewed by June 15 will receive a $25 credit to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop. Renew today: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/membership-promos.html