Category Archives: Volunteer News

RAFT Offers Resources for Troops

As Fall begins, it’s time to start prepping troop activities for the school year. If you’re searching for the materials to bring your ideas to life, fear not! RAFT Colorado is to the rescue.

RAFT has been working with Girl Scouts for more than 9 years, providing leaders with the inspiring supplies and educational ideas they need to engage their troops in fun, meaningful activities. At our Resource Center in Denver, you can find the affordable tools and learning experiences to fulfill your troop goals for the year.

If you’re looking for engaging activities and crafts for unit camps, RAFT has got you covered! RAFT also has the fun and funky materials to help you decorate for your Bling your Booth cookie booth contest this February.

RAFT is a membership organization, and troop leaders get $5 off their membership, which means you get access to all our resources for just $20 a year. For more information on all that RAFT has to offer, visit our website at www.raftcolorado.org.

Volunteer View: October 2017

We’ve got lots of exciting events coming up at our properties! Play games in your favorite costume, trick-or-treat, or light up the tree with GSCO at one of our fun parties. Sign up for our Halloween parties, and see the full list of upcoming events on the blog.

More events: http://gscoblog.org/2017/08/outdoor-programs-save-the-date-2017-2018/

Mark your calendars

  • Destinations round one applications are due Nov. 10 to Anna Danila.
  • Camp registration launches Jan. 19 at 9 a.m.

 

Help plan the older girl Journey weekend

Girl Scouts of Colorado is seeking girls currently in grades 6-11 to join a planning board for the next Older Girl Journey Weekend. This weekend retreat will take place at Sky High Ranch on Sept. 21-23, 2018. This girl planning board will plan every aspect of the retreat, including choosing the Journey and planning the activities.

An informational webinar will be held on Nov. 15 from 6-7 p.m. for any interested girls. Use this link to join online. Contact Katie Singleton with questions.

Work with the Membership Connection Committee

The MCC is collecting information about the service unit experience across Colorado. Make your voice heard by taking this five-minute survey.

Want to be part of the MCC? They’re seeking new members, particularly from the areas of Denver metro and northern Colorado.

Learn more: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

Start earning your Gold Award now

Any girl who is a senior in high school and thinking about her Gold Award needs to start now!

 The Gold Award has a suggested minimum of 80 hours and last year, girls spent an average of 146 hours earning their Gold Award. With the March 1 deadline for Highest Awards celebrations less than six months away and final cutoff for seniors less than a year away, seniors in high school should not be waiting to start their Gold Award.

Questions about Highest Awards? Email our Highest Awards manager.

Upcoming events

Oct. 20: Girl Scout Night with CMU Women’s Soccer, Grand Junction
Come early and meet the team! No pre-registration required. Tickets can be purchased for family members at the gate.

Oct. 28: Girl Scout Day and Cheer Clinic with UNC Bears Football, Greeley
Girl Scouts are invited to Cheer Clinic hosted by UNC’s Division I Cheer Team. Girls will perform during the game and get a special cheer patch.

Nov. 4: Junior Animal Habitat Badge Workshop with Pueblo Zoo, Pueblo
Complete badge requirements for this fun Junior badge by learning about the animals at the zoo.

Nov. 5: Day of Dance with the Colorado Ballet, Denver
Come learn dances and techniques for Ballet, Brazilian, and Creative Modern Dance. Brownies can earn requirements towards the Dance Badge. All program levels welcome.

Nov. 11: Daisy and Brownie Day at the Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster
Brownies earn requirements towards the Bug Badge and Daisies will earn requirements towards the Rosie petal.

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Fuller, MCC member

I joined Girl Scouts as a snaggle-toothed second grade Brownie (which was the age at which Girl Scouting began, back in the olden days of the early ‘60’s).  I’m not aware of any burning desire to be a Girl Scout.  At the time, there were few after-school activities and perhaps, my mother was glad to have me participate in one of them.  But, oh what a difference it made in my life!  Girl Scouting provided consistency and a safe place from a chaotic home life.  We moved a fair amount and I could always count on Girl Scouts to provide me an opportunity for new friends and adventures.  And soon after I relocated to Colorado with my husband and children, signing up as a Girl Scout allowed me to make friends quickly.  After nearly 30 years in Colorado, my friends are mostly Girl Scouts, with whom I gather, meet and greet, and travel.  Retiring from the staff of the former Mile Hi Legacy Council ten years ago, I continue to lunch with my former colleagues.  Now, who else can claim such a long-lived, inspiring network of former co-workers as friends?

I was retired, however, not willing to be left out of the loop of Girl Scout doings, hence my interest in the Membership Connection Committee (MCC).  What’s kept me involved with the MCC for the last 10 years?  Kept in the loop, indeed, with an understanding of the current direction and efforts of Girl Scouts in Colorado.  Able to make a small contribution on matters of governance and membership.  Meeting other Girl Scouts, girls and adults, with a responsibility to inspire, educate, and support.  My term will soon come to an end and I hope I’ll be welcomed back after the required hiatus.

I’ve served as a troop leader, trainer, service unit manager, event organizer, and now board member in my nearly 50 years of Girl Scouting.  I’m a Lifetime Member of GSUSA.  I currently support two troops and continue to train in leadership and outdoor skills.  Serving as an MCC member gives me a great deal of satisfaction since it allows me to share my skills and opinions in ways that influence the future of our organization and our members.  I have two sons [“huge, handsome and handy”, former Boy Scouts and “Girl Scout boys (until they became too distracting at Girl Scout events)”] and had, at one time, 26,000 ‘daughters’.  A terrific experience that enriched my world, provided me with adventures (around the state, the USA and the world) and made me a better person, trying to live by the Promise and Law.  Through my mentoring of young Girl Scouts, I know I’ve made a difference and that feels good.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

 

Qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity

Troop leaders, will your troop qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity?

The S’mores Club booth selection reward is back for the 2017-18 Girl Scout year and you don’t want to miss it!

To qualify for the S’mores Club, your troop must sell at least $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program. The in-person delivery portion of the program ends Oct. 15 and the online portion of the Fall Sale Program ends on Oct. 30.

If your  troop sells $350 or more online during the 2017 Fall Product Program, you will be notified in December via the email provided through the Troop Fall Sale Manager agreement and permitted to select one Cookie Booth in eBudde ahead of the council booth selection process.

If you have questions regarding the requirements or details for the booth selection opportunity, please reach out to your SUFSM or PSS. For full details on the S’mores Club Reward, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/smores

Three winning ways to welcome new girls to your troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Your troop may already be up and running, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to welcome new members! Adding new girls to your troop—even midyear—can help energize your group, showcase the Girl Scout spirit of sisterhood and inclusion, and demonstrate by example how Girl Scouts is the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Period.

After all, Girl Scouts is all about trying new things, building new skills, and getting to know new friends in a safe and supportive all-girl environment—with guidance from caring troop leaders like you, of course!

To smooth the transition for your newbies, incorporate these fun activities into your meetings, and new girls will feel at home in no time at all!

1. Set up a storytelling meet-and-greet!
One of the absolute best ways to connect with others is by swapping stories. Introduce newcomers at their first meeting, then have everyone else introduce themselves, covering the basics, like their first name, age, and years in Girl Scouts. Encourage your seasoned Girl Scouts to go a little more in-depth by sharing something about their families, pets, or interests. Maybe each girl can pick three things about herself she’d like her new Girl Scout sisters to know. Once all troop members have introduced themselves, ask new girls to share some of their own stories. 

Be sure to build in time for questions so the girls have even more opportunities to connect and share. Make it super interactive and fun by finishing up the meeting with a cool trivia game to see how much they remember about one another! 

2. Showcase what your troop loves to do most! 
At a new girl’s first or second meeting, work with the other girls to plan an activity around things the troop loves to do most, whether that be community service, outdoor adventure, photography, or science experiments. What better way to get a new Girl Scout’s experience off to an exciting and memorable start than to head straight into the action? 

At the beginning of the meeting, have a couple girls take the lead and explain the activity and why they love it so much. For subsequent meetings, give new girls the opportunity to choose activities they love most and help them plan something special to share with the troop! 

3. Encourage her to take the lead!

Girl Scouting is all about taking the lead and making things happen, so let newcomers do so early and often. You can start small, having them lead a simple activity, or go big by encouraging them to teach their Girl Scout sisters about an issue that really matters to them. You might also go around the room and have everyone share what taking the lead like a Girl Scout means to them, complete with real-life examples to help new girls really get a grasp of leadership and everything they have the power to accomplish as Girl Scouts. Allow them time to ask questions, too. Learning and leading, that’s how we Girl Scouts do it!

Four surprising benefits of introducing a friend to Girl Scouts

From Girl Scouts of the USA

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long I’ll be your friend.” 

Every Girl Scout knows this song. It’s sung across the country at troop meetings, friendship circles, campfires, and more. Why does it mean so much to Girl Scouts? Because it solidifies our more than 100-year history of sisterhood, inclusion, and shared adventure. Not to mention, Girl Scouts is the perfect place to make new friends who help nurture one another on the path to leadership and success (and often last a lifetime)! 

We know that bringing those silver and gold friends together might sound overwhelming at first, but did you know there are some surprising benefits to having your girl’s friend groups mix? Here are four of ‘em! 

1. She’ll bridge her worlds. One of the best things about Girl Scouts is that girls can incorporate the skills they learn, the experiences they enjoy, and the lessons they reap into their everyday lives at home, in school, and in their community. So, why not bring all of that Girl Scout awesomeness into their friend groups, too? By bringing a close neighbor or schoolmate to a Girl Scout meeting, your girl can see two of her worlds collide in an amazing way as she realizes Girl Scouts isn’t just an activity, but a unique experience she can use and share every day and weave seamlessly into many parts of her life.


2. She’ll practice her leadership skills. 
By introducing a close friend to the world of Girl Scouting, your girl has a chance to take the lead and show her friend the ropes (and maybe even how to tie a few!). She’ll teach her friend the Girl Scout Promise; show off the latest badge troop members earned and explain how they did it; encourage her friend to try something new; and, most importantly, share what Girl Scouts means to her. Not only does this give your girl a confidence boost but it also gives her a chance to inspire others to unleash the leader in them! If Girl Scouts is something she loves and believes in, what better way to take the lead than to offer that same experience to someone she cares about?
3. She’ll gain a new perspective. Have you ever looked at a giant painting too close and missed the bigger picture? Sure, you’re having so much fun admiring the details—from each delicate brush stroke to the thoughtful coloring—but sometimes taking a step back to look at something from the outside in can help you appreciate what you’re really seeing. By watching her friend experience Girl Scouting for the first time, your girl will also see the experience from new eyes, reinvigorating her love for Girl Scouts as well as her appreciation for the magnitude of what she is learning and doing every day to empower herself and make the world a better place. Talk about seeing the bigger picture!

4. She’ll understand the importance of sisterhood. Being a sister to every Girl Scout may be intuitive to most, but seeing it in person as her troop accepts a potential new member can be eye-opening for a young girl. It helps her appreciate the benefits of having a band of sisters who will have her back no matter what and will inspire her to always do the same for others—it’s the Girl Scout way, after all!

So, next time you notice one of your girl’s friends asking about what she does in Girl Scouts, contact your troop leader to see if you can cohost an “Bring-a-Friend” meeting—one that let’s new girls and their parents participate in Girl Scout activities and possibly join in on the fun as they discover what Girl Scouts could bring to their own lives.

Tips for troop leaders: Videos now available

Being a Girl Scout volunteer is no easy task! That’s why Girl Scouts of the USA has created a few “quick tip” videos for troop leaders on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the best way to get girls’ attention to troop safety.  Watch and share the videos with your fellow volunteers by visiting the GSCO YouTube page or see below.

Controlling the Room

Tips for troop leaders on the best way to get the attention of the girls in their troop.

Leader-daughter Dynamic

Tips for how to manage when troop leaders have their daughter in their troop.

Positive Troop Environment

Tips for creating and maintaining a sage and positive troop environment.

Start-up Activities

Examples of successful activities for the girls to do at the beginning of the troop meeting.

Troop Safety

Tips for troop leaders to ensure they are following safety guidelines with their troop.

Welcoming New Girls

Tips for troop leaders to ensure new girls feel welcome as a new troop member.

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, to honor Women of Distinction in Denver

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, will join Girl Scouts of Colorado in celebrating “20 years of Amazing Women” at the annual Thin Mint Dinner in Denver. The event on October 19, 2017, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center will recognize all 426 Women of Distinction who have been honored in the Denver-metro area since the program began in 1997. Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor Sylvia as an honorary Woman of Distinction.

A lifelong Girl Scout herself, Sylvia is committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. A former rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sylvia has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, including founder, president, and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics. A fierce advocate for education, Sylvia has also worked as a strategic consultant to national organizations that strive to improve outcomes with America’s rising generation of youth, as well as a national advocate for STEM education.

Since 1997, Girl Scouts of Colorado has honored top female leaders in our community as Women of Distinction, based on their remarkable achievements as business, community, and civic leaders. All 426 of these women are examples of corporate, civic, and philanthropic leadership and serve as role models for female leaders of tomorrow. The Women of Distinction program brings together a group of women dedicated to raising support for Girl Scout leadership programs.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, seven Women of Distinction are being recognized. These Women of Distinction were voted by their peers, and will receive an award in the following categories at the 2017 Thin Mint Dinner:

  • Advocacy for Youth – Elaine Gantz Berman ’02, Former Member, State Board of Education
  • Progressive Community Leader – Juana Bordas ’03, President, Mestiza Leadership International
  • Accomplished Philanthropist – Arlene Hirschfeld ’97, Community Volunteer
  • Dedication to Girl Scouts – Jean C. Jones ’07, Former CEO, Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council
  • Lifetime Achievement – LaRae Orullian ’97, Retired National President, Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Advocate for Women & Girls – Jill S. Tietjen ’97, P.E., President and CEO, Technically Speaking, Inc.
  • Commitment to Public Service – Hon. Elbra M. Wedgeworth ’04, Chief Government and Community Relations Officer, Denver Health

The Thin Mint Dinner is October 19, 2017, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center from 5:30 to 8: 30 p.m. The event includes Thin Mint cocktails and dessert made with Thin Mints, three-course meal, and event program.

Thank you to our 20th Anniversary Thin Mint Dinner Silver Presenting Sponsors: DISH and MDC Richmond American Homes Foundation, and Bronze Presenting Sponsor: CoBiz Financial. For information regarding tickets and sponsorships, visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org/woddenver or contact Heidi Books at 303-607-4833 or at heidi.books@gscolorado.org. Girl Scouts of Colorado volunteers may purchase discounted tickets for this event by contacting Carol Griffin at 303-607-4879 or at carol.griffin@gscolorado.org.

 

 

Nancy Mucklow honored at bridging ceremony

Submitted by Cricket Hawkins

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

On the last warm Sunday of the summer of 2017, Girl Scouts in Steamboat Springs presented Nancy Mucklow with the “Thanks” badge. Nominated by Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors chair-elect Rae Ann Dougherty, Nancy did not expect the overwhelming number of endorsements that also supported the honor. Ms. Dougherty was unable to attend, but provided the following statement for the ceremony:

“Because of Nancy’s spirited devotion, Girl Scouts of Colorado is fortunate to have a strong and growing base of active Girl Scouts of all ages in Steamboat Springs, a key area of our Mountain Communities region! Not only does she share and invite girls from all over the state to participate in Steamboat events, her energy routinely spills out into other geographic areas throughout the state with a VERY positive impact. Without Nancy’s dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and energy, I believe we would not have as strong, dynamic, and vibrant Girl Scout Program in Steamboat Springs. Even with her male dominated family, she shepherds many girls, as well as adult volunteers, through the program.”

You can read more about Nancy, this special honor, and her Girl Scout story in the Steamboat Pilot and Today.

Prior to the surprise presentation, many Girl Scouts bridged to Brownie through Ambassador level with a full rededication ceremony. Thank you everyone for a wonderful afternoon!

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

 

Planning for Highest Awards

As school kicks in to high gear, you might be planning your year with your Girl Scout troop. If you are a Junior, Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador or a parent or troop leader of a girl in these Girl Scout levels, Highest Awards should be on your brain!

The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are the highest achievements in Girl Scouting and focus on identifying a community issue, researching the issue, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with a team of community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability so the project can continue impacting people even after girls have earned their award.

More than 1,400 girls across the state earned their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award last year and we hope to see these numbers continue to grow year after year.

To support girls, parents, and troop leaders throughout the Highest Awards process, we have many helpful resources on our website and offer “Highest Awards and Take Action” trainings both in person and online.

In person trainings at upcoming Leadership Summits: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events/training-events.html

Online Training October 9, 2017: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2017/highest_awards_take__1895293302.html

Online Training December 14, 2017: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2017/highest_awards_take__405167769.html

Questions? Visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/highest-awards, http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/dam/girlscoutsofcolorado/documents/Highest%20Awards%20Call%20to%20Action.pdf, or email highestawards@gscolorado.org