Category Archives: Volunteer News

When things go wrong, but it’s actually a good thing…

Submitted by Kate Goodman

Metro Denver

Centennial

Sometimes, when I’m in the throes of planning meetings and activities, I wonder, “What are we really doing? Is all my work as a troop leader or volunteer worth it?”

This past weekend, I got an answer. I want to share a story about a recent service unit campout, and my A-ha! moment with my troop of 8th grade Cadettes.

It was a hectic week to begin with – a few weeks into the school year. Another leader was planning to take our four Girl Scouts up to Tomahawk Ranch for the service unit campout on Friday night, because I was coming home from a work trip late Friday. I would come up Saturday morning with the materials our troop was using to do a craft with the younger girls: a quick flashlight using copper tape, craft sticks, and those little lightbulbs- LEDs.

On Tuesday, my co-leader reported her car was out of commission, so we scrambled and found another parent who could shuttle the five of them to Tomahawk Ranch on Friday. With that settled on late Tuesday, I got up early on Wednesday and assembled the health and permission forms. I worked, then hurried home and caught my flight to a conference. I arrived home late Friday to learn everyone had gotten off safely to the campout. Relieved, I fell into bed, planning to quickly pack first thing in the morning.

I woke and began assembling my sleeping bag and day pack. A quick search of the craft materials sent my heart into adrenaline-fueled thumping – I couldn’t find two of the essential items – the copper tape and the bag of LEDs. I’d had to special order these – I wasn’t going to breeze through the craft store and get more on my way out of town. After a staticky call to my service unit leader up at camp to verify my daughter hadn’t packed these things, I resigned myself to needing to brainstorm a NEW hour-long activity for the younger girls, and began my hour-plus long drive to reach Tomahawk. In the meantime, my co-leader shared the trouble with the Cadettes, and the girls began brainstorming.

An hour later, I arrived at camp, found the location of our station, and started talking to my co-leader and girls and a bonus Cadette from another troop.

They didn’t need my ideas. They had come up with a name-learning game, appropriate song, and activity around fire pit safety and how to start a fire, complete with hands-on gathering of ‘dead and down’ tinder, kindling, and fuel. The younger Girl Scouts had a great time at our station. They asked good questions. They joined in on the song. And they set up mock camp fires, using the “log cabin” structure – wait no, my troop taught them it was the “hashtag.” (Aaaand now I feel old.)

Five rotations later (with a lunch break in the middle) my troop had educated more than 100 other girls on these concepts. Mostly, I had stood back and watched. I occasionally pointed out the time to help them stay on schedule. I didn’t need to design the craft for them. I didn’t need to tell them how to simplify certain concepts or to make it fun. I didn’t have to tell them to split up the leading time and make sure they included our bonus Cadette. They just did it.

That was my answer. I needed to say less, suggest less, and listen more. It took a panicked-filled hour-long drive from home to camp to come to terms with it, but there it was. Girl Scouting was working exactly as designed, and my troop was living proof.

That evening, when my daughter set up and lit the campfire for the entire service unit, nearly single-handedly*, the younger girls called out encouragement and concern (she had to sit inside the extra-large stone ring to set up and start the fire). Here, I realized, was the whole Girl Scouting mission in one day: older Girl Scouts drawing upon their knowledge and skills to teach the younger girls, and then showing them that they, not the adults had the ability to do things for themselves. It didn’t hurt that it all ended with roasting marshmallows for s’mores!

* This is a whole other story!

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

Volunteer View: September 2018

Fall Product Program begins September 22!

Get ready to soar above and go beyond! The Fall Product Program  starts September 22. In-person order taking runs through October 14. Online order taking ends October 29. All troops must have a completed ACH form for the 2018-19 membership year in order to participate.

S’mores Club is exclusively for Girl Scouts of Colorado girls and adult volunteers who rock both the 2018 Fall Product and 2019 Cookie Programs! Make sure your troop participates in the Fall Product Program so you can join the club.

Learn more

Last Leadership Summit and Super Saturday Training Events

Get energized for the new membership year! Meet other volunteers, share your ideas, get your questions answered, and enhance your skills by taking classes that support your experience as a volunteer!

Networking opportunities and a variety of volunteer training and enrichment classes will be offered for new and experienced leaders, along with classes for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors.

Volunteers are welcome to register and attend any of the final Leadership Summit and Super Saturday training events.

Check the events calendar on the GSCO website to register.
Leadership Summits

Sept. 29 – Denver – Register Now!

Super Saturdays

Sept. 29 – Durango – Register now!

Oct. 20 – Grand Junction – Register now!

Questions? Please contact Shannon Weaver, adult experience manager.

Event List

Outdoor Programs

OAC
The Outdoor Adventure Club’s 2018-2019 season starts in September with our first events taking girls canoeing, shooting archery, and mountain biking! Sign up for our single event interest list, see upcoming dates and get more information.

Volunteer Run Camps Summer 2019

​Is your volunteer group or older girl troop interested in running a day camp for girls outside of your service unit in summer 2019? Volunteer-run camps can be a money-earning or leadership opportunity for older girl troops, and help support the statewide outdoor program offerings. Camp submissions are due October 8 to be included in the camp mailer. The first step for new or interested camp directors is to meet with Anna Danila, outdoor program manager. Email Anna for more information.

Highest Awards
Highest Awards deadline
All girls who have bridged to Cadettes or Seniors have until Sept. 30 to notify GSCO they have earned their Bronze or Silver Award, respectively. Fill out the online Bronze or Silver Award notification form to let us know that your girls have earned a highest award.
High School Seniors Start Gold NOW
Any Girl Scout who is a senior in high school and considering earning her Gold Award needs to start the Gold Award process NOW! With less than six months to the Highest Awards celebration deadline (March 1) and a year until the final cutoff for Gold (September 30), seniors in high school are quickly running out of time to earn their Gold Award. Girls who are currently in grade 12, must submit a Gold Award project proposal by May 1, 2019. After May 1, they are no longer eligible to earn their Gold Award.
eLearning Enrichment
Fall Product Program training is live on our eLearning site. This training is for service unit fall program managers and troop fall program managers. The training consists of three parts: girl view access: volunteer view access; and council specifics, such as deadlines, proceeds, rewards, and the S’mores Club!  Volunteers must view the entire training video and pass the quiz at the end, in order to complete the course and get their certificate.
Troops participating in the Fall Product Program, can earn proceeds to fund their activities and meet the requirements for being part of the S’mores Club – earning special rewards.
Questions about GSCO eLearning? Please contact Shannon Weaver, adult experience manager, at Shannon.Weaver@gscolorado.org
Join MCC at Leadership Summits
Membership Connection Committee will be at all Leadership Summits and select other training events to conduct Voices 2018 while surveying members on a range of topics designed to provide feedback to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors and senior council leadership. Your feedback is valued and important, please plan to stop by and visit with us and express your opinion!

Interested in learning more?  Search the GSCO Blog for “MCC” or visit us online. You can also contact the MCC Chair, Caroline Cornell for additional information.

Join the GSCO Older Girl Network
We have created a BAND site for networking with older girls, families and leaders across Colorado. Request to join by completing a couple quick questions to check that you are affiliated with Girl Scouts.

 

Upcoming Events

Girl Scout Night with Colorado Mesa University Women’s Volleyball (Free!)
October 13, Grand Junction

Cheer on the The Mavericks as they take on Westminster College.

Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge
October 13, Morrison

Representatives from local STEM-focused organizations will lead hands-on activities for Girl Scouts!

Secrets to Success
October 20, Colorado Springs

Girls ages 12-18 will connect with professional women in a variety of fields of work, giving them a unique opportunity to learn directly from incredible women in our community.

2018 Fall Product Program: How to help your girl

Through the Fall Product Program, Girl Scouts earn funds that their troops can use to participate in Girl Scout activities such as earning badges, camping, taking trips, and more! The 2018 Fall Product Program begins September 22. Your support of her participation in this skill-building activity ensures she enjoys the experience and rewards. Thank you for supporting your Girl Scout and Girl Scouts of Colorado!

Here are a few ways caregivers can support their girl:

  • Register your Girl Scout. Check with your troop fall product manager or troop leader to make sure your Girl Scout is registered for the 2018-19 membership year.
  • Agree to the requirements. A permission slip must be completed by caregivers and turned into the troop fall product manager. This slip acknowledges your responsibility for products and money. You must fill out the permission slip to receive the order card and materials needed for your girl to participate.
  • Adhere to deadlines. Order card orders must be entered in the M2OS system or turned in to your troop fall product manager by October 14, 2018. All money due for the products ordered and received must be paid by the troop’s deadline.
  • Protect the products and money. Collect money at the time the order is placed. Once you sign for products received, you assume responsibility for the product itself and its value. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to collect payment from customers, and funds are due in full to the troop fall product manager by the troop’s deadline.
  • Help your Girl Scout throughout the program. Guide her to set practical goals, listen to her practice her sales pitch, and help her set up her online M2 storefront.

Need more help? Contact your service unit fall program manager or GSCO product program specialist. Don’t know who that is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Denver Leadership Summit: Register now for this training event

Join GSCO for a Leadership Summit on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at the Community College of Aurora. This is your chance to connect with other GSCO volunteers, share ideas, take enrichment classes and essential volunteer training, and get your Girl Scout year off to a great start!

Event Highlights:

Program level 101 courses are available – Multi-level, Cadette and Older Girls, Junior, and Daisy/Brownie. Want to know how to best work with the girls in your troop and make it a girl-led experience? Take a 101 class and the enrichment class, Troop Management Simplified .

Want more support from the families in your troop? Register for the Engaging Families class and get the tools that you need to get the support that you want!

Not sure how to tackle planning an event for the troops in your area? Take the Event Planning: Tips and Tricks class.

Want to put your years of experience as a Girl Scout volunteer to good use and learn how to recruit girls and adults and start more troops in your community? There’s a class for that –Community and School Recruitment Strategies.

Are you a new leader who would like to learn Girl Scout Traditions and Ceremonies, Songs, and Games? Perfect! You will find those classes during the afternoon session at the Leadership Summit.

Register Now! All GSCO volunteers are welcome at this event.

Schedule for Saturday, September 29:

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. – Registration and displays in the southwest lobby
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Morning courses
*12 – 1 p.m. – Lunch
1:15 – 2:45 p.m. – Early afternoon courses
3 – 4:30 p.m. – Late afternoon courses

*The event registration fee includes coffee and snacks through-out the day, and a catered lunch. Please bring a water bottle.

Location:

Community College of Aurora

16000 East CentreTech Parkway

Aurora, Colorado 80011-9036

Registration:

Click on the link below to read more information about classes offered and to register for the Denver Leadership Summit:

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/leadership_summit_in_75499965.html

If you have any questions about this training or have trouble completing registration, please contact inquiry@gscolorado.org or 877-404-5708. Registration closes Tuesday, September 25 at midnight.

Grand Junction and Durango Super Saturday training events

Kick-off the new Girl Scout year by meeting other volunteers, sharing your ideas, getting your questions answered, and enhancing your skills!

Take these enrichment classes that support your experience as a volunteer:

  • Engaging Parents and Caregivers
  • Difficult Conversations and Conflict Resolution
  • Managing Multi-level Troops

You’ll also have an opportunity to participate in new program badge activities.

There are classes especially for older girls too! Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors can take multiple classes:

  • Taking Ownership of Your Girl Scout Experience
  • Let’s Go on an Adventure!
  • Using Your Leadership Skills for Change
  • “Selling” Your Girl Scouts Experience

Or girls can opt for taking alternative classes in the morning:

  • Option 1: Gold Award Training
  • Option 2: New Badge Activity and Difficult Conversations and Conflict Resolution – and then joining the Using Your Leadership Skills for Change and “Selling” Your Girl Scouts Experience in the afternoon.       ​

Super Saturdays

Sept. 29, 2018 – Durango – Register now!

Oct. 20, 2018 – Grand Junction – Register now!

All event attendees must have a current Girl Scout membership. Questions? Please contact Shannon Weaver, adult experience manager, at Shannon.Weaver@gscolorado.org

 

 

Top 15 tips for troop leaders

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Starting a Girl Scout troop is a big deal! Some people jump in with both feet, and others might be a little nervous, perhaps not sure where to start or who to turn to for help. 

If you fall into the second group, no worries! We jumped on Facebook, where we turned to the experts—bona fide troop leaders—for insight only they can provide. Specifically, we asked them for the single best piece of advice they have for new troop leaders. The response was overwhelming! There were so many great comments, it was hard to narrow them down. But here are some of our favorites, many of them reflecting clear themes among comments received, and all serving as valuable guidance for new troop leaders (and even those who’ve been at it a while) on starting and running a Girl Scout troop.

And remember, when in doubt, contact your local Girl Scout council.

What does inclusion look like?

Submitted by Jody Clair

Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs

I have a Girl Scout in my troop that came to us under the idea that she may not have fit in. This never sits well, as we do our best to treat girls the fairly and we teach them to treat each other fairly.

This was a semi-shy, not sure what to expect young lady. I guaranteed her that we made sure everyone is included. She chose to join us.

This year, we did a troop overnight at Hamp Hut with multi-levels. Girl Scout Rhi made sure all girls were included in games and activities- even the younger ones in a different level. She went out of her way to make sure all the younger girls had a turn and she taught them so much. Yes, the other Girl Scouts participated, but there was something more about Girl Scout Rhi.

The other leaders and I watched her bloom into this amazing young lady that was making sure all girls were included and was going above and beyond. She has also said she likes the girls, but doesn’t ever want another Girl Scout or girl treated without respect or kindness. What does inclusion look like? This young lady and Girl Scout.

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

Leadership Summit training events

Want to encourage girls joined -at-the-hip in your troop, to make new friends, but keep the old? Learn how to clique proof your troop! Want more support during your troop year? Learn how to engage families in your troop! Want to know how to plan awesome events for your troop or service unit? Take the Event Planning enrichment class!

Come to a Leadership Summit. Take a variety of enrichment classes and essential required training. Meet and connect with your peers, enjoy a catered lunch, and start your troop year with the information you need to be successful!

Register Now!  Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs.

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/leadership_summit_in.html

Register Now!  Saturday, September 8 at First United Methodist Church in Loveland.

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2018/leadership_summit_in_450758101.html

Register Now!  Saturday, September 29 at Community College of Aurora in Metro Denver.

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/girlscoutsofcolorado/en/events-repository/2018/leadership_summit_in_75499965.html

There are classes for older girls too!

Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors can participate in leadership enrichment courses to expand their skills and knowledge to prepare them for their future in Girl Scouts and beyond. Girls will sign-up for the entire day.  This is a FREE leadership development opportunity! Girls should bring a sack lunch and light snacks will be provided. Sessions include Gold Award, Highest Awards and Take Action, Taking Ownership of Your Girl Scout Experience, Let’s Go on an Adventure, Using Your Leadership Skills for Change, and “Selling” Your Girl Scouts Experience. Meet other teenage Girl Scouts and share your experiences.

To read class descriptions and register for older girl classes, go to our events page at:

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events/training-events.html

Small Craft Safety certification course

Want to go boating? If you’d like to take your Girl Scouts boating, you can register for the Small Craft Safety certification course. The Small Craft Safety certification is required to take any Girl Scouts boating. This one-day course will cover all the basics of canoeing and kayaking. The course will thoroughly cover boating equipment, paddle strokes, swamped boat rescues, and ways to keep boating fun and safe!

When: Saturday, September 15, 2018

Time: 8 A.M. – 4 P.M.

Where: Sky High Ranch

Registration Deadline: Thursday, September 6

Registration link:

https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/small_craft_safety_certification_pp_09_15_2018

Girl Scouts insignia: Where does it all go?

From Girl Scouts of the USA

There are so many different badges, patches, awards, and other insignia that Girl Scouts can wear, but where does it all go? Whether she has a vest, tunic, or sash, she can proudly show off her accomplishments. This handy guide illustrates where to place insignia on a Girl Scout uniform for every grade level—or you can check out the fun videos below! 

Daisies

Brownies
Juniors
Cadettes
Seniors
Ambassadors