Volunteer View: February 2018

Still looking for the perfect session for summer camp? Camp registration round two opens on March 1 at 9 a.m.! With round two, we’ll open up more spaces of popular sessions.
Can’t wait for summer? We’ve got lots of events coming up at our properties this spring, including:

More Camp

Highest Awards deadline is March 1

If your girls have completed their Bronze or Silver Award, submit the online notification to GSCO by March 1 to be invited to statewide Highest Awards Celebrations this spring. When you submit notification, you will also order pins, certificates, and letters of recognition for each girl. Online RSVPs for 2018 Highest Awards Celebrations will open in March.
Power Up Facilitator Training March 11
Learn to facilitate Power Up, Girl Scouts of Colorado’s anti-bullying program! Cadettes currently in grades 7-8, Seniors, Ambassadors, and adult volunteers can register for this training taking place at Sky High Ranch on March 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is $25 per person and will close on March 5. Troops are asked to send no more than 4 representatives.
New Resources added to VTK
Under the Volunteer Toolkit’s new Resources tab, you will find all the new Journeys and Badges content by program level, how to videos for new leaders, information guides to share with families, and so much more!
The new VTK Help Menu lets you click on the help button, browse the list of how-to topics or type in your question, and it will walk you through every step!
Recognize an amazing volunteer
Girl Scout volunteers are changing the lives of girls in their communities every day. Some volunteers go above and beyond all expectations and have a definite impact on not only their troop, but also their service unit and sometimes, the whole council. Acknowledge an outstanding volunteer that you know by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award.
Nominations are due on or before March 31.
The Membership Connection Committee (MCC) has issued a challenge to every service unit across Colorado to recognize at least one outstanding volunteer who has gone above and beyond this year.
MCC is seeking members from across Colorado, especially in the Denver Metro and Fort Collins areas. Learn about MCC qualifications and commitments oremail the MCC Chair for more information.
Are you a smart cookie?
Smart Cookie emails come out every Monday during the cookie program, and contain all the information you need for success. Are you not receiving Smart Cookie? Contact your VSS.

Catch up on this year’s cookie news »

Upcoming Events
Feb. 23: Pajama Jam with the Denver Nuggets
It’s our annual Girl Scout night and sleepover at the Pepsi Center. Enjoy discounted tickets and fun fan experiences after the game. The top three troops with the most ticket referrals by Feb. 16 will choose from prizes, including a cookie booth at the Pepsi Center after the game.

March 2: Girl Scout Night with the Colorado Avalanche 
Come cheer on the Avs as they take on the Minnesota Wild. The first 80 Girl Scouts, friends, and family who buy tickets through our link will get a special co-branded Avalanche/GSCO beanie. The Avs are offering a cookie booth before the game to the troop with the most ticket referrals by Feb. 16.

March 9-11: OAC Explorers at Keystone Science School
Sixth-grade Cadettes are welcome to join the Outdoor Adventure Club for a winter wonderland weekend at Keystone Science School. Activities will include cross-country skiing, show shoeing, and snow activity Olympics.

March 10: Sky High Ranch Open House
Visit Sky High before summer and get to know this beautiful property. Meet staff who will be there for summer camp. No registration necessary.

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

Best Cookie Dad contest: Always there for me

Submitted by Riley S.

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

My name is Riley and I am in third grade. This is my second year as a Brownie and I love Girl Scouts.

My dad rocks! He is always there to help me out. This cookie season he has been taking me door-to-door – even though it was only 14-degrees! Last weekend, he did a booth with my troop and got so many people to stop by dancing and acting silly with us. I love that he is so helpful.

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!

Power of Cookie: Meet Mia, a goal-setter

Submitted by Yvette K.

Metro Denver

Denver

Mia has set a goal to sell 7,000 packages of Girl Scout Cookies. When she sets her mind to something, she goes for it. Her Hometown Hero is an animal shelter in Denver. She also plans to make blankets and treats for the animals there.

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

Best Cookie Dad contest: Dinya’s cookie partner

Submitted by Dinya

Southwestern Colorado

Cortez

My dad is the best helper. When we sell cookies, he’s always helping me haul them around and set up booths. This year on Super bowl Sunday, we walked the neighborhood before the big game. I sold a lot with his help delivering the cookies and keeping track of the money. My dad has always been a big helper when I do cookies every year. Last year, he sat with me at the booths when I sold even though it was cold. Last year, he made my booth a cool cookie banner. I loved it. This year, we are signed up for lots of booths. My dad will be with me there to sell. I know I will hit my goal with his help. He has been an awesome Girl Scout dad since I started as a Daisy.

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!

Centennial Cadettes lead self-defense seminar

Submitted by Katie C., Eliza D., Megan L., Madison S., and Olivia R. of Troop 2732

Metro Denver

Centennial

We are the Cadettes of Troop 2732 and for our Silver Award, we educated fellow Girl Scouts about self-awareness and defense. We taught a seminar at Tiger Rock Martial Arts of Lone Tree under the guidance of Fifth Degree Black Belt Clint Asay. Leading up to the event, we spent many hours planning, researching, and training. Our hard work paid off with an amazing event on December 9, 2017. We also have a YouTube channel called “We Are Fierce GS” where people can go to watch our videos for many years to come. Check us out at: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCrHyKphCBUSE32BCAbx2rxQ. Also, check out our VLOG on our YouTube Channel where we tell you more about what we learned while completing our project.

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

Daisy Cookie Rookies earn “Count It Up” leaf

Submitted by Nancy Mucklow

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

With Daisy Troop 55321’s first-ever Girl Scout cookie booth coming up, we decided to learn more about the cookies and work on the “Count It Up” leaf.

We found an EXPERT cookie seller to help us learn all we could about the BEST way to sell Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scout Cadette Claire helped us learn the names of each cookie and the price per package. We also discovered what is in each kind of cookie and why someone might want to buy each cookie. If you like to drink tea, you might want to buy the Savannah Smiles because they are yummy with tea!

Then, we practiced how to sell to customers. We each got to be a cookie seller and a cookie buyer, so we could practice our skills!

What else do you need for a cookie booth!? Booth signs, of course. We split up and made informational signs for our booth.

Finally, we all got to take home samples of each cookie to try with our families. The suspense is hard, but we can’t wait to share our newfound cookie knowledge with our families!

We are go -getters because we can’t wait to be courageous and sell cookies for the first time! We are also risk-takers because some of our members are selling cookies door-to-door and this is our first year of cookie selling. AND, we are watching girls lead in action by inviting an older Girl Scout to share her expert knowledge.

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

Creativity sells (and tastes pretty good)

Submitted by Victoria Gigoux

Western Slope

Grand Junction

It’s that time of year again. Cookies! We all know, for the most part, our beloved Girl Scout Cookies sell themselves. An adorable first grader in a little blue uniform simply bats her lashes and people are yelling “take my money!” But, as girls get older it seems to get more and more difficult to sell by traditional means. As a troop leader of Cadettes and Seniors, who have been selling for nearly 10 years, it’s also difficult to motivate when they know it isn’t going to be as easy for them now as it was before. But, I truly believe, there is ALWAYS a way.

Ironically, as it gets harder and harder for the girls to sell by traditional means, they are also trying to save for bigger and bigger things. Our troop has been saving for an international trip for a couple of years. I have three daughters selling, who are going on this trip. Older girls = more challenging plus the fact that I have three in my very own family. FUN….right?!? So, last year we sat down as a family to map out ways to increase our sales to help the girls pay off their trip, in addition to our already tapped out door-to-door, booth, and family-friends online “attacks.” Like my husband likes to say “we need death by a thousand paper cuts” (translation – hit them from every direction!)

The girls thought we should find ways to sell to local businesses in ways that were more than a package or two at a time. Who is going to need a whole package, or more, in one sitting? Immediately, restaurants came to the top of our list.

After verifying all rules we needed to adhere to through GSCO, the girls reached out to three, locally owned, businesses last year. We stayed local for many reasons, including no corporate red tape and the fact that it is easier to sit down with a decision maker. After the girls’ discussions, two businesses decided they could find ways to use Girl Scout Cookies in menu items during cookie season. One was so successful, this year we had an immediate multi-case order on day one.

The secret to this success…What isn’t to love about ice cream? Add in Girl Scout Cookies, and BAM! Our best, and now repeat, customer is Graff Dairy. Graff is a locally owned and operated, family friendly micro creamery. It has been an institution in the Grand Valley for many, many years and their product is divine. According to their website, Graff is “not just about the product. We are a place for families. A business that believes in our community and providing opportunities for our employees.” Making an impact on our local community is such a huge part of the fabric of our troop and of Girl Scouts in general. Shopping and engaging with local businesses is yet another way to make an impact.

While we have had a great success, it’s important to remember there is definitely work involved in creating partnerships like this. There is much more preparation and discussion needed, many more “selling skills” than just “would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” But, sitting down, face-to-face, with a decision maker also enhances the skills we are teaching our girls every time we discuss cookies or leadership, or courage and confidence.

Parents and leaders alike, I want to encourage you to sit down with your girls and make a plan. Get creative! Think of just ONE WAY, each year, that you can do something DIFFERENT in your sales plan and I can almost guarantee you can’t fail. What our family has learned is that you can’t always go with the flow. Most successes in life come from thinking outside the (cookie) box.

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

Four badges Seniors can earn during the Girl Scout Cookie Program

From Girl Scouts of the USA

As a Girl Scout Senior (grades 9–10) taking part in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, you’re helping lead the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world. You’re learning essential life skills, setting (and crushing!) impressive goals, and using your cookie earnings to go on epic adventures and make the world a better place!

Many of these incredible skills and accomplishments start with a Girl Scout badge—and we’re about to explore all of the badges Seniors can earn during cookie season.

Have you thought about where you’re headed after high school? Going to a state university? Community college? Trade school? Wherever your dreams take you, your future education will cost money—luckily, through the Financing My Future badge, you can learn how to plan for those expenses! First you’ll figure out your goals, then you’ll research the types of schools that will help you reach them. Once you have a few options in front of you, you’ll compare and determine which fits your wants and needs the best. Next, the fun part—making your dreams a reality. You’ll explore different financial aid options, including loans and scholarships (such as these!), and starting a savings account. Earn this badge. 

By earning the Buying Power badge, you’ll understand the long-term impact of making a big purchase and how to prepare for it. To get started with this badge, you’ll select an item like a car or new cell phone plan, then compare your options and look up consumer reviews. Next it’s time to dive deep into the numbers! You’ll be challenged to determine the long-term costs of your purchase. Does it require a down payment or payment plan? Should you wait and save more before jumping in? You’ll have to figure it out and build a plan to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Earn this badge. 

When you earn the My Portfolio badge, you’ll learn to show how your cookie-selling skills benefit you every single day—and eventually help with college admissions and future job interviews! You’ll start with your cookie resume and portfolio, describing and showcasing all your amazing abilities and accomplishments during cookie season. Then you’ll practice sharing your hard work by role-playing an interview, get advice from experts on marketing yourself, and more! Earn this badge.

Through the Customer Loyalty badge, you’ll take what you already know as a consumer to help you engage customers and ensure customer loyalty during and after cookie season. And think about this: you already know that when you sell Girl Scout Cookies, the money you earn lets your troop participate in epic adventures—but do your customers know? One the best ways to build customer loyalty is by making them feel like a part of your business—and after all, thanks to their purchase, you get closer to your cookie goal. In earning this badge, you’ll also learn how to make your new customers repeat-customers by building your customer database, coming up with unique ways to say “thank you,” and maintaining connections beyond cookie season. Earn this badge. 

Have you earned one of these awesome badges but don’t know where to place it on your vest or sash? Our new visual guide to Girl Scout Senior uniforms can help!

And this cookie season, put your new skills to the test by entering Girl Scout Cookie Pro Contest 2018. Six winners—one per grade level—will be selected to win a trip to New York City for the ultimate Cookie Entrepreneur Experience and a spot on the iconic Girl Scout Cookie box! WHOA. Enter today.

Check out the other badges Girl Scouts can earn during cookie season by grade level:

Daisy Brownies | Cadettes | Juniors | Seniors | Ambassadors

 

Earn hours toward your Take Action badge by helping GSCO

GSCO’s Denver office is looking for eager troops or girls to help with their outdoor program gear. Volunteering can help you earn hours toward your Take Action Badge!

We need Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, or Ambassadors to meet us at the Denver office starting as soon as this weekend to help with the following tasks: 

  • Pitch tents and compile all working parts of the tents
  • Open pop-up canopies 
  • Take home cast iron, Dutch ovens, and cook kits to clean – then return to Denver office

Help will be on a first come, first served basis in gaining hours towards the Take Action Bar. 

Please contact Marissa Rooney, outdoor program coordinator, to set-up a time that works with you/your girls to help with these tasks.

Open to Junior, Cadette, Senior, or Ambassadors only. 

What’s the big deal about volunteer recognitions?

Submitted by Caroline Cornell

Metro Denver

Aurora

Are you up for a quest?  My challenge to each service unit across Colorado is to find your outstanding volunteer for 2017/18 and nominate her (or him) for an adult recognition award.  It’s an easy process and will make a world of difference when you celebrate your success.  The deadline for submission is March 31, 2018.

Why bother recognizing our volunteers?

In a perfect world, girls would remember to thank their troop leaders every year on Leader Appreciation Day (pssst – it’s April 22).  To celebrate, parents might help their daughter write her troop leader a special note.  Or, bring her a small surprise like a plant or some homemade cupcakes.  But wait, who tells girls and their parents that it’s Leader Appreciation Day?  Yep, that’s the trap most of us fall into.  The reality is, troop leaders don’t.  Because it just feels weird.

I GET IT. We’re all volunteers.  We’re not in it for the recognition.  We don’t need a t-shirt.  We come back year after year to experience the satisfaction of watching a girl grow from a timid Daisy to a confident and strong Gold Award Girl Scout who’s ready to bridge to adulthood.  Let’s face it, we’re here for the hugs.

Formal volunteer recognition isn’t something a volunteer would ever ask for, but it is something that makes her feel valued and appreciated.  Kind of like when your kids magically clean their bedroom for your birthday and you didn’t need to remind them about it.

What does it fell like to receive an adult volunteer recognition?

About seven years ago, my service unit decided  to celebrate our volunteers by recognizing at least one person who’s done an outstanding job that year.  Just to make it interesting, we keep it top secret until we hold our end of year celebration.  It’s become a great tradition and has yielded some really big surprises.  Being a volunteer should be celebrated.

As the Membership Connection Committee chair, I know that Girl Scouts of Colorado recognized nearly twice as many volunteers in 2017 than we did the year before.  This increase still means we only recognized about 1% of our volunteers.

What do I do next?

Nominate someone today!  Applications are open now and must be completed by March 31, 2018, to qualify for this year’s award cycle.  http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html. All of the details about the application process including the qualifications can be found in the Appreciation Award Packet.

Questions about the MCC?  Learn more at: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

Girl Scouts of Colorado