Category Archives: Volunteer News

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

Volunteer View: May 2017

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Renew your G.I.R.L. today!

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

Is your girl an outdoor adventurer?

Registration for the Outdoor Adventure Club is open! This year, girls will go dogsledding, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and stand-up paddle boarding, just to name a few activities.

Learn more and sign up: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/our-program/older-girls/outdoor-adventure-club.html

Thinking of leading a day camp, family camp, or troop camp next year? For programs that last longer than one day or include an overnight, the first step in your planning is to meet with our Outdoor Program Manager, Anna Danila. Camp information will be due early this fall. Contact Anna today to set up a meeting.

We still have limited spaces available at camp, snag your spot today!

Register now:  https://girlscoutsco.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App

How do you lead like a Girl Scout?

Share your story on the GSCO blog: www.gscoblog.org/share

The OGAB and MCC need You

The Older Girl Advisory Board is recruiting new members in Pueblo, Western Slope, Southwest Colorado, and the Denver Metro area. The OGAB is a group of 14 girls in grades 9-12 from across the state who provide feedback on projects including mentoring, program development, and older girl engagement. Girls entering grades 9-12 for the 2017/18 school year can contact Katie Singleton for more information.

Volunteers, would you like to make a difference to this organization and its membership? The Membership Connection Committee enables insightful volunteers from across the state to collaborate with GSCO board members and senior staff. The MCC serves as a sounding board for new ideas and feedback on existing programs. Programs like the Outdoor Adventure Club and Older Girl Advisory Board grew from MCC feedback.
Learn more about the MCC and apply online »

Give your girl a lifetime membership

Registered girls who are graduating high school or equivalent this year are eligible to become lifetime members at the reduced cost of $195. Contact your Volunteer Support Specialist if you have questions.

Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda Pope

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Amanda Pope in the Johnstown/Milliken area has been a Service Unit Manager for about two years now and has excelled at providing her service unit with updates and being fully informed. She reaches out when needed to provide her volunteers with correct information and does a great job in her role as SUM. She is also a team player and always tries to help out with recruitment.

Amanda was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. She recently shared the following letter about why she is a GSCO volunteer.

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I have been a Girl Scout for two years.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I wanted to be more involved in the Girl Scout activities my daughter was participating in.

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

My primary role is as the Service Unit Manager for the Johnstown/Milliken area.  I also help out as a parent volunteer with my daughters troop when needed.

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

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I’ve learned to step up and speak up for myself and my daughter and our opinions count just as much as anybody else’s.  As a volunteer, we are here to help the girls become the best they can be as they grow and mature.  I hope the girls have learned to respect and treat each other as equals and always keep in mind that not one of is better or more important than the next girl.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

So far, my favorite memory with Girl Scouts has been going to Sky High Ranch for Cookie Camp last summer with my daughter and her troop.  The girls had a great time and we got in lots of walking. The counselors/volunteers working at the camp were all Girl Scouts themselves which was great for the girls to see that you can be a Girl Scout at any age. There were a variety of activities for all ages.  It’s been a very long time since I have been camping in the mountains and the first time for my daughter.  I was a great experience. 

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Listen to the girls and remember this is for them.  As a parent and volunteer, we need all need to learn to put our individual agendas aside and focus on what is best for the 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.

Grant available for Women’s Wilderness Summit Sisters retreat

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Submitted by Annie Pierce, GSCO Property and Outdoor Program Administrator

This year, Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to offer one of our adult volunteers a space at the Summit Sister’s Camp run by Women’s Wilderness. Women’s Wilderness is hosting this camp at Meadow Mountain Ranch June 4, 2017 to June 6, 2017. Women’s Wilderness’s mission is to strengthen the courage, confidence, and leadership qualities of girls and women through the challenge and support of group wilderness and community based experiences. Summit Sisters focuses on a deep nature connection, connection to your body, inspiration and calling, and competence and outdoor skills. Presentations at Summit Sisters this year will include: The Call of the Earth, Self Confidence Formula, Wildlife Tracking in the Rockies, Inner Beauty Workshop, and so much more. For more information about Summit Sisters, please visit their website at https://www.womenswilderness.org/summit-sisters/.

We will choose one adult volunteer for a free space at the Summit Sister’s Camp – a $450 value! All meals, lodging, and programming are provided. To apply for this opportunity, click on the following link and complete the questionnaire no later than May 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. All applicants will be contacted on May 15 after the winner of the grant has been chosen. Applicants must have a current or lifetime membership with Girl Scouts of Colorado.

The link to the application is  https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/grantforsummitsisters06042017_06062017.

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Inez Winter

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In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Troop Leader Inez Winter in Pagosa Springs was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. She recently shared the following letter about why she is a GSCO volunteer.

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I have always known that I wanted to be a Girl Scout leader. I remember being of Brownie-age and watching the kids down the street heading for their Girl Scout meeting. I don’t know why my mom didn’t let me be in Girl Scouts at that time. I told myself at a young age that if I couldn’t be a Girl Scout I would someday be a leader. I was so excited when my daughter started kindergarten and brought home the flyer to join. I went to the organizational meeting and of course, I was the first person to raise my hand to be a leader. I was able to be a leader for my oldest daughter for almost seven years and for my youngest for two years. Now, many years later, I am into my second year as a leader for my two granddaughters. We currently have 12 girls in our troop. This is the beginning of my 10th year as a Girl Scout leader. I can honestly say that being a Girl Scout leader was one of the choices that I made with my heart and a choice that I have never regretted making. I have many girls who, still to this day, tell me about how much of a difference that I have made in their lives. I am still in contact with many of “my girls.” Many of them are mothers themselves now and it always puts a smile on my face when we talk about the “old days,” going to Rancho Girl Scout Camp, camping at the Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, and so many other places that we went to. We always made memories that will truly last a lifetime. If you have an extra couple of hours a week, we’d love to have you join us as an assistant leader or better yet start your own troop as a leader.

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: Melissa Palka

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In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Melissa Palka in the Pikes Peak region is a lifetime Girl Scout and a leader for Troop 40910.  She is a very dedicated volunteer who juggles her medical career, family, and her Girl Scout leadership role with a lot of energy and grace.  Melissa is very highly spoken of by her peers and is well loved by the girls she leads. We asked her to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I have been a Girl Scout for 27 years, 11 as a Girl Scout, 16 as a leader.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer because I believe in the Girl Scout mission. I want to assist you ladies in recognizing, and achieving their maximal potential. 

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

I have had the privilege of holding various leadership positions. I have worked in outreach multi-level troops at Boys and Girls clubs, military posts, and in the community. I currently am a Brownie troop leader.

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

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned many things. Girl Scouts teaches me new things often. I have learned organization, communication, and leadership skills. Most important lesson I have learned: let the girls lead!

I hope the girls have learned: this world is full of amazing opportunities, believe in yourself, be persistent while working hard, and you will be successful.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

My favorite Girl Scout memory was a trip to Our Chalet in Switzerland, where me met international Girl Guides, hiked in the Swiss Alps, and traveled to various cities in Europe. What an incredible experience!

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Words of advice for volunteers: use a planner to stay organized, communicate often with parents (I love email updates), value Girl Scout input in the planning, you do NOT have to coordinate everything as the leader, have fun and the girls will too!

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: Nawal Shahril

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In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Nawal Shahril in the Pikes Peak region was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. Although she is only in her second year of leadership, Nawal has been described by her co-leaders as a “dynamo,” who puts a tremendous amount of love and energy into leading her girls in the troop.  She is creative, fun, and works very hard.

GSCO asked Nawal to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

Two years

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

It was a no-brainer when my girls expressed an interest in joining Girl Scouts. I always wanted to be one back in my hometown in Malaysia. When the opportunity of joining Girl Scouts with my kids came up, I jumped on it and embarked on this wonderful journey.

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

Before we start any badges or journey, I always question myself “What can I do/offer more to these girls to create an experience that they will never forget?” Activities don’t just limit to follow certain guidelines, but to go beyond what is expected in every facet of Girl Scouting. My team and I brainstorm, plan, and execute activities that excite, build confidence, are fun, and out of the norm to challenge the girl’s thinking and expose them to various cultures and aspects of life. I act as a planner, the go-to person, a buddy, and most importantly, a sister to every Girl Scout.

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

By just looking at the badges chart, I know instantly that we are going to learn so much and have the best adventure ahead. I’ve learned to be more creative in my approach and be a better planner and at time management. I’ve learned that different individuals have different needs and you just have to have different tricks up your sleeves. I hope that my enthusiasm, fun, and positivity inspire every girl that I met to be bold, brave, and not to be afraid to dream big. Girls can achieve anything that they have set to achieve.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

I would say every event that brought the girls together is my favorite memory so far! Camping, World Thinking Day.. you name it! I just love the giggles, cheers, laughter, and fun time the girls had together. Reminded me of myself when I was that age 🙂

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

The moment you feel like quitting or giving up because Girl Scouts’ activities took almost 60% of your free time, just stop and reevaluate. Your kids will grow up pretty fast and you might not have the chance to be with them to do all sorts of activities. As long as they are enjoying and making a difference in their lives through Girl Scouting, you know that you are not going to quit just yet. Just enjoy the process and absorb as much as you can. It’s all worth it!

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