Category Archives: Volunteer News

Volunteer Appreciation Month: A tree for every volunteer

Girl Scouts prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. You – our amazing volunteers – play a big part in their success.

Our appreciation gift to volunteers this year is to have thousands of trees planted in areas around the state of Colorado that have been devastated by wildfires and floods. We made a donation to the Restoring Colorado’s Forests Fund, through the Colorado State Forest Service, to purchase a tree in honor of each of our volunteers.

Your time, energy, and dedication to making Girl Scouts a great experience for girls has a lasting and positive impact. In recognition of all the amazing things that you do, we chose the gift of trees that will also have a lasting and positive impact by helping to restore forested areas in our beautiful state.

Thank you for being a Girl Scout volunteer!

Stephanie A. Foote, President and CEO

Girl Scouts of Colorado

Thank You Letter to Girl Scouts of CO From Mike Lester

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Ellenberger

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Melissa Ellenberger of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is both a troop leader and service unit 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 Melissa 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?

Girl Scouting is a family tradition.  My mother was my troop leader and earned the Curved Bar Award. As a Girl Scout, I earned the Gold Award.  I volunteered to ensure my daughter had a great Girl Scout experience.  

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

At first, I was a leader.  As I got more involved, I became the service unit cookie manager,  trainer, and service unit manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

That the Girl Scout experience is just as valid and important today as it was 20, 40, and 60 years ago.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

That following the Girl Scout Law means you can live an amazing life and have a whole lot of fun.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

I’m a teacher as well as Girl Scout volunteer. The two go hand-in-hand in showing off my G.I.R.L. skills.

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: Toni Rath

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Toni Rath of Berthoud in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is  a troop leader, service unit manager, service unit cookie manager, and member of GSCO’s Membership Connection Committee.  She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Toni 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 husband is retired Air Force so volunteering was just what we do as a family. My girls wanted to join Girl Scouts and the troop needed a leader so I said “Sure, why not!”

The girls were young so they would have no idea that I didn’t know at the time (or anytime we do something new!) what I was doing as long as we had fun.

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

This list keeps getting longer.. troop leader, service unit manager, PA/VIT girl trainer, service unit cookie manager and trainer, day camp unit leader, and I just started on MCC.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

WOW, I have learned A LOT!!  When doing a badge or a patch with the girls, I learn more about them and how much I actually didn’t know about the topic of the badge. I think the girls teach me more than anything. They show me a new perspective and different ways something can be accomplished.  As a service unit manager, I have learned how important each and every volunteer in our area is, no matter how big or small their roll is. Each comes with a  gift or expertise that our girls can really learn from. I have also learned how important it is to know my fellow service unit managers in other areas to get troop ideas, information and support and hopefully able to do the same for them.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls have learned to ask more questions of each other and of themselves and really listen to better know those around them, and know themselves. Activities really rule their lives these days and it is important to really listen and reflect on what is important to them. I also hope that they have learned how to be encouraging. A kind word and the ability to notice when someone has made the right choice can go a long way! They need to know if I am willing to be patient with them and go down the rabbit hole to learn to recover from a mistake, as they get older, they can do the same for themselves and their peers.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Well, those cookies aren’t going to walk to a booth and sell themselves! Ok, maybe they will as long as someone gets them there.. As the girls in our troop get older, it seems the push to get them to go and get gets harder. I have to model that for them.  If I want them to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and a leader, I have to do the same. They push me to at least try something new, make something better, and ask others to join me on my crazy journey. I can’t ask them to do something if I am not willing to do the same.

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: Erin Wogaman

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Erin Wogaman of Canon City in the Pikes Peak region has served as a troop leader and Product Program volunteer for many years. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Erin 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 became a Girl Scout volunteer because of my daughter. She is the youngest of three and has two older brothers. I still remember my time as a Brownie, with my mom as my troop leader, making place mats, sit-upons, camping, and so much more. I knew that I wanted my daughter to have those memories to cherish. I did end up bridging to Junior, but we had moved and it wasn’t the same without my mom being involved. I promised my daughter that for as long as she is a Girl Scout, I will be one as well…possibly longer.

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

After the role of parent to an amazing Cadette, I am a troop leader of a multi-level troop. I am in my 9th year as an adult volunteer and have started several troops in New Mexico and Colorado. My troop consists of nine Daisies, twelve Brownies, four Juniors, and five Cadettes. Next year, we will add Seniors to our troop family. I am a service unit manager and service unit product program manager. I love working with the other leaders in my service unit and we have become a second family. We have grown in the last year and have plans to continue that growth. I am also an adult advisory member for our older girl group called SPLAT. We are still in the beginning stages, as this is our first year. The SPLAT girls represent different troops in our service unit. The girls planned and led our Cookie Rally this year and will be planning summer and fall activities. I am a member of the Pikes Peak Region Cookie Committee, an adult trainer, and recruiter for my service unit.  

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Working with girls of different ages and with different abilities requires patience and the understanding that all girls can do anything they set their minds to. Every girl, in every troop, brings something new to the troop and they need the opportunity to shine and lead to their ability. I have learned that Daisies can start campfires, cook meals, participate in a flag ceremony, and so much more. I have the ability to give girls an amazing experience of leadership, courage, and learning life skills. I have learned that I must provide them with the opportunities to be the girl-led troop that they are.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I want them to learn to take risks, to challenge themselves, and to try out for that sport, solo, or part in the play. I want them to know that Girl Scouts is something they should be proud of. This is their experience and that they each have a voice. I hope they have learned that living the Girl Scout Law every day will take them far and they will make the world a better place.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Being a Girl Scout volunteer has pushed me to challenge myself to be a better person and to put others first more often. Getting up in front of strangers has never been something I enjoy, other than with girls. This year, I challenged myself to take on new roles and those roles require me to break those walls, to take risks, to lead with other adults, and to challenge our service unit to grow and offer the best experience for our girls. As a leader, I will never ask my girls to do something that I am not willing to do. I even challenged myself (after much coaxing) to walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge. I have always said that I would be the one crawling down the middle of the bridge. I won’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My heart was racing and my legs were shaking, but I did it. I want my girls to know that they have my support to try those scary things in life and I will be here to cheer them on.

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: Elizabeth Moore

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Elizabeth Moore of Conifer in the Metro Denver region has served as a troop leader and service unit volunteer for many years. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elizabeth 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?

Initially, I began volunteering because it was the only way for my daughters to get the Girl Scout experience I wanted for them. As my role expanded, however, my motivation became to deliver the Girl Scout experience to as many girls within my sphere of influence that I could.

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

First and foremost, I am a troop leader. My troop spans from kindergarten Daisies to a 9th grade Senior. I have many co-leaders that help me manage all the different levels of girls, but I manage most of the administrative work and a lot of the activity planning. Right now, I am actively leading the Daisy and Cadette levels. I also serve as service unit manager (a natural outgrowth from managing such a large troop) and a trainer (primarily to fill the need I saw within my service unit).

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned a lot about event planning and communication. I’ve learned about teaching girls at all ages. I’ve also learned a lot about myself – what I’m capable of, what my strengths are, and where I can still use some help.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that girls have learned how to be confident, how to pursue things they are interested in learning about, and how to take risks that they might not otherwise.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

My experiences in Girl Scouts have enabled me to reenter the workforce after 10 years of raising my children. I never would have had the skills – or the confidence! – I needed without having volunteered.

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: Amy Caperton

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Amy Caperton of Littleton in the Metro Denver region has served as a troop leader and Product Program volunteer for many years. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Amy 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 became a leader when my younger daughter started kindergarten. My older daughter was already involved in Girl Scouts, so I wanted to be sure my younger daughter also had an opportunity to do so. I was not sure I would have time to do it with working full-time and having three children, however it has been a great experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I would not change it for anything.

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

I started as troop cookie manager for my older daughter’s troop. I did that for 12 years. I was also my service unit’s cookie cupboard for two years. I moved on to service unit cookie manager, a role which I have done now for eight years. I have also been fall product program manager for my service unit for the last three years. Finally, and most importantly, I have been a leader for my troop since kindergarten, so this is my 11th year as their leader.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that it is important to listen to what the girls have to say, be patient and understanding, and have lots of resources available to accomplish our troop goals.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls in my troop, wether presently or not, have learned to stand up for what they believe in, speak for themselves, be accountable for their words and actions, not be afraid to take risks, think outside the box, and be kind to others– truly live by the Girl Scout Law.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

I have become a go-getter in figuring out what I needed to do to accomplish my troop’s goals. I had to be an innovator by rolling with the punches. When things don’t go as planned, I’ve learned you have to adapt.  I’ve had to be a risk-taker by trying new things and getting outside my comfort zone at times. My role as leader has benefitted me by helping me be more outspoken in other aspects of my life as well. I think overall it has benefitted me to know I can accomplish what I set out to do and also be more confident in myself.

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: March 2018

Know an amazing Girl Scout troop leader, service unit cookie manager, troop cookie manager, or service unit team member? Recognize the outstanding work of your fellow volunteers by nominating them for a volunteer award!

The Membership Connection Committee has challenged every service unit across Colorado to identify at least one outstanding volunteer and nominate them for an adult volunteer recognition award this year, so what are you waiting for?

Learn more about the award options

Tips on how to write a nomination or endorsement

Nominations and endorsements are due March 31. For questions, check out the Volunteer Appreciation Award Packet, or contact Shannon Weaver, adult experience manager, at shannon.weaver@gscolorado.org.

Find an award

RSVP now for Highest Awards celebrations

We cannot wait to celebrate the newest Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts across the state this spring! Every attendee must RSVP online for the event they are planning to attend. Information about how to prepare for the celebration will be included in your confirmation email. Register early as events may reach capacity and close before the posted RSVP deadline.

Outdoor Skills Extravaganza

Are you excited to get outdoors with your troop? The Outdoor Skills Extravaganza at Sky High Ranch will help you feel prepared to go on outdoor adventures with your girls. This unique adult training and enrichment event will include hands-on experiences and resources for troop volunteers to use in planning girl-led outdoor trips and adventures. There are also a limited number of spots for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.

Camp registration round two is open
We’ve opened more spaces of popular sessions, and have a few new offerings. Search our session list today to learn more about camps like:

  • June 25-29 and July 16-20: Highlands Ranch Horseback Day Camp
    Girls will learn all about horses: grooming, handling, riding skills, equine knowledge, and arena and trail rides!
  • July 22-27: Summer Heat Fire Camp
    Girls will gain hands-on experience in firefighting, leadership, and teamwork over a week spent on real firefighting drills and training.

Pay camp balances by April 30 to lock in Early Bird Prices.

New Resources in VTK

Under the new Resources tab in the Volunteer Toolkit, you will find new Journey and badge content by program level, videos for new leaders, Highest Awards guidelines, and so much more! If you have questions about the Volunteer Toolkit, or need assistance in using it, please contact Shannon Weaver, adult experience manager.

Log into VTK »

Women’s Week at MMR

Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch is in its fifth year, and we are confident that this year will be even better than ever!  Have fun outdoors and be campers again! This program is open to all adult women at least 18 years of age. Attendees do not need Girl Scouting or camping experience to participate.

Learn more

 

Smart Cookie: March 12, 2018

What a way to celebrate Girl Scouts’ 106th birthday today – by wrapping up what may be the most impressive Girl Scout Cookie Program in Colorado’s history! What would our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, think of today’s go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders as they pushed hard to reach their goals? These girls never cease to amaze us, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the guidance and support you give them along the way. The program wrapped up yesterday and now you’ll need to attend to a few details to close out.

Close out of eBudde

Troops will be locked out of eBudde at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13. Before then you need to ensure you’ve allocated all cookies to the girls in your troop, entered and verified all transactions, and submitted the final reward order. Also, don’t forget to print your final troop sales report. If you have any questions about cookie closeouts, please reach out to the Service Unit Cookie Manager in your area.

If you need additional Hometown Hero cookies, first check with other troops in your area to see if they have inventory to transfer. Hometown Hero Cookie Cupboards will close on March 14. Remember, all transactions (troop-to-troop transfers or cupboard orders) will need to be placed by Tuesday.

Money problems

Money problem reports are due by March 16 at 5 p.m. The ACH debit of funds to council will occur on March 21.

Let’s celebrate!

Now, sit back and celebrate with your girls! Remind them of all the great skills they’ve practiced during the cookie program: they’ve set goals, made decisions, practiced business ethics, worked on their people skills, and managed money. Seriously, these girls rocked it all! Keep it girl-led and let the girls decide how they want to celebrate, but here are a few ideas to get started brainstorming…

  1. Get energized outdoors: The weather has been beautiful – get outside and enjoy! Check the events calendar for a fun outing near you.
  2. Serious about service: No doubt your girls set a community service goal along with their cookie program goal. Now’s the time to get going. Make plans to deliver your Hometown Hero cookies as a troop and take a tour of the facility or meet the people served there. The deadline to deliver HTH cookies is June 29. Need help with ideas on how to give back? Check out the Community Service section of our Anytime Activities list. Or take a look at the Take Action Toolkits for each program level to help your girls get started changing the world!
  3. Pamper party: Go all out girly with a relaxing pj and pamper party. Pjs, a few fun treats, and a girl power movie are all you need to have a relaxing night, but if you want to throw in polish and face masks, go for it.
  4. Have a gift-making craft night: Cookie season takes a lot of volunteer power. Gather your girls to make homemade thank you gifts for those who helped them reach their goals: parents who walked them door-to-door, parents and troop leaders who volunteered for booths, the troop cookie manager, and many more! They don’t need to be complex or pricey to show appreciation. Pinterest has tons of ideas!

Gold Award mentors statewide awarded President’s Award

Adult recognition awards are designed to recognize volunteers who have gone above and beyond the expectations of the volunteer role they hold, and who have deeply impacted Girl Scouts in ways that support and further GSCO’s goals and mission. The prestigious President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable, impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals.

As girls earn the highest distinction in Girl Scouts, we expect their mentors to help them meet our high standards and expectations of team building, measurability, sustainability, global/national connection, and uniqueness – the foundations of the Gold Award. Gold Award mentors/committee members across the state went above and beyond to support the development and implementation of the Girl Scout Gold Award program in the 2015-16 membership year and continue to do so today. The position asks that each member attend a Gold Award training and stay up to date on changes, review all project proposals, final reports, and presentation, work individually with mentees, observe girls in action, attend 75% of monthly meetings, and participate in celebrations. All members have met each expectation and exceeded expectations.

Several members reviewed the Gold Award training design, made improvements, and are now active Gold Award trainers who facilitate in-person trainings across the state. In the 2015-16 membership year, more than 200 girls and 115 adults received Gold Award training across the state.

Gold Award brainstorming sessions were offered in Denver, Longmont, and Grand Junction with mentors attending all and helping girls one-on-one explore ideas and establish next steps.

Six regional Highest Awards celebrations were held across the state and each one of them was volunteer supported. These events would not have been successful without the participation/support from all the Gold Award mentors/committee members.

Sarah Greichen, 2016 Gold Award Girl Scout and National Young Woman of Distinction wrote in her endorsement for this award, “Girl Scouts in pursuit of their Gold Awards are greatly impacted by their Gold Award mentors. Gold Award mentors teach girls vital skills such as organization, public speaking, leadership, business skills, etc. They serve as role models who provide guidance, advice, and critique. All Girl Scouts are positively impacted by their mentors.”

Jan Lucas, Gold Award Girl Scout and member of the GSCO Board of Directors, wrote in her endorsement of the award, “The Girl Scouts pursing their Gold Award are motivated, challenged, and supported through their mentor. This is an invaluable and life long relationship that is developed to even help them through other challenging times in their life. This committee is more than just a committee to help with this one project – the mission of this committee has given way to a bigger vision and that is a relationship for a lifetime.”

Highlights from 2015-16 include:

– Total Highest Awardees statewide = 1,618
– 48 Gold Award recipients (mentored by 17 different mentors)
– 393 Silver Award recipients (increase of 10.1% from 2015)
– 1,177 Bronze Award recipients (increase of 14.7% from 2015)
– Approximate total of girls who RSVP’d for celebrations = 692
– Approximate total girls at celebrations = 637
– Mentor/volunteer lead trainings and brainstorming sessions
– Mentor assistance with conflict resolution
– Mentor support for staff decisions and implementation
– Second annual Gold Award mentor retreat with representation from each region

27 Gold Award mentors were officially given their award spring 2017 and many were presented with their certificate at the 2017 Gold Award Mentor Retreat in November at Hamp Hut. The mentors who received this exciting award are:

Alison Clark-Hardesty
Alyssa Street
Amy Bissell
Bonnie Ledet
Cara Heist
Carey Hofner
Cindy Miller
Connie Campbell
Debbie Haskins
Diana Smith
Eva Bauer
Heidi Ragsdale
Jennifer Colosimo
Karen Wilson
Kathi Reddan
Katie Hess
Kay Shaw
Leslee Randolph
Linda Robinson
Lorrie Marzulla
Maggie Murray
Nancy Mucklow
Rachael TerLouw
Sandy Jackson
Shauna Clemmer
Sheryl Blish
Stephani Vick

Since spring 2017, nine new Gold Award mentors have joined and we continue to onboard new members each month.

Congratulations GSCO Gold Award mentors! We appreciate all your hard work and dedication to the Gold Award program in Colorado!

Best Cookie Dad contest: Troop Cookie Dad of the year

Submitted by Lauren and Taylor E.

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Lauren: This is my dad’s third year as my troop’s cookie manager. He’s also been our cookie coach every year! He helps my troop make sure we all have enough cookies to sell to reach our goals, helps shuttle cookies to all the booths, and makes sure we know what to say at the booths to our customers. He does a really good job and my troop leaders love him, too! He takes me to his morning networking meetings so I can do my cookie sales pitch and sell to all of his friends- that’s awesome because I’ve gotten to sell a lot of cookies that way! Our dad’s awesome!

Taylor: When I first started selling cookies, I was very quiet and not very sure of myself. My dad worked on my cookie sales pitch with me, practiced what to say if someone says no, and helped me build up my confidence. He’s funny and always knows how to help keep me going!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!