Submitted by Caroline Cornell
During the fall Leadership Summits over 2,500 years of Girl Scout experience gathered to provide their insight on Volunteer Recognitions during the Voices sessions at five locations across Colorado. Over 350 volunteers participated in the facilitated process to provide feedback about improving the process to acknowledge our exemplary volunteers’ efforts. The sessions were hosted by the Membership Connection Committee (MCC).
At present, only one-half of one percent of volunteers across Colorado (approximately 30 out of 6,000 adults) receive some form of GSCO or GSUSA National Recognition. “Currently we know that GSCO does not recognize enough of its volunteers,” said Rae Ann Dougherty, former MCC Chair and Board Chair Elect. MCC is working to change that by asking members if they are aware of the available awards and how to inform more members about the nomination process.
“During the Voices sessions, we received evaluation forms from 47 table groups that yielded over twenty pages of feedback,” said MCC Member Linda Fuller who facilitated the process. “We had great responses from participants to share with Council staff about how the process could be made less intimidating to nominate a volunteer for an award.”
Voices showed MCC that the majority of volunteers didn’t know about recognitions to formally acknowledge their troop leaders and peers. We also learned that direct communication with all members is central to recognizing our key service providers so that our volunteers don’t feel like they like the recognitions process is self-promoting. And lastly MCC learned that any and all forms of appreciation are, well… appreciated by volunteers; however, the general consensus was that most treasured a special word of thanks from the girls and their families.
Let’s start by making the process to nominate your favorite Girl Scout volunteer more approachable now! The 2016/17 Volunteer Recognition process is open to nominate someone in your area honoring outstanding service performed for Girl Scouting. You can reach the form here. (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/forms-and-resources/adult-recognition-nominations.html) Visit the Volunteer Appreciation page on our website (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation.html) to learn more about the available adult recognitions. There is a handy guidebook to help explain each step of the way to nominate a Troop Leader, Service Unit Manger, Cookie Mom, Community Partner, or at large Volunteer for recognition and six different awards available based on service given to Girl Scouting: Volunteer Excellence, Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge, Thanks Badge II, and GSCO President’s Award. Each award requires a person to nominate a volunteer and then coordinate with 2-4 additional people to write a supporting letter to endorse the nomination. All nominations and supporting letters are due by MARCH 31 each year.
MCC would like to thank all GSCO volunteers who attended a Voices session and shared their feedback. We would also like to thank ALL volunteers across Colorado for their hard work and dedication to Girl Scouting. You can learn more about the MCC here. (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html).
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