Tag Archives: 2021 Volunteer Appreciation Month

Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy Jackson

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Sandy Jackson from the Western Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Sandy 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 grew up in a Girl Scout family. My mother was a long time troop leader as well as served on the Chipeta Girl Scout Council Board. Girl Scouts had a big impact on me and I wanted to share that influence with others.

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

I was briefly a troop leader. Our family has hosted Girl Scout day camps and jamborees at our ranch for many years. Most recently, I have been a Gold Award mentor and serve on the Gold Award Committee for the Western Slope.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

There have been so many things that have been reinforced through being a Girl Scout volunteer. Girls are amazing, they can accomplish so many things. Sometimes they need a little guidance, but often support is all that is needed. The organization of Girl Scouts is doing a great job “changing” with the times and it is so important to demonstrate the multiple paths a girl can follow.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they have learned that they can accomplish anything, to push their comfort zone, and go for Gold!

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: Jean Beucler

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jean Beucler in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jean 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?

Maggie Hayes, the founder of the GECCCO (Girls Experiencing Camping Canoeing and Cycling Outdoors) outdoor adventure troop inspired me to become a volunteer. As a family, we love everything outdoors! When my daughter joined Maggie’s troop, the parents were expected to lead activities that included outdoor activities from hiking to international trips. That group of leaders/volunteers mentored and supported me. The girls were eager and enthusiastic. When Maggie retired as leader (she is still involved with the group after 26+ years!), I was ready to assume the leadership position.

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

Except for a brief stint as a Girl Scout Brownie, my Girl Scout career began as a volunteer. I started as a parent volunteer supporting meetings and activities. During GECCCOs, I added leadership to my resume. I supported the girls’ planning processes for activities, trips (local and international), Reach for the Peak Outdoor Skills competition (we earned the Peak award four times!), rendezvous, service, and money earning endeavors. I was even troop cookie manager a time or two. Following my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school, I reevaluated what my continued contribution to Girl Scouts could be. That led me to becoming a Girl Scout trainer, joining the Global Action Committee, volunteering at resident camp, and helping to facilitate a GSUSA destination that showcased Colorado and involved riding horses every day! But, there was something I still wanted to do. As much as I love everything I have experienced with girls outdoors, the missing piece for me was horses. I was deeply disappointed that GSCO had no progressive, comprehensive equine program. So, in the midst of a pandemic, I started an equine specialty troop, WHOA (Women Horses and Outdoor Adventure). This group has enabled girls to explore their love for horses in a safe, instructive manner. COVID-19 restrictions have limited our activities outside of lessons and trail rides, but we hope to explore the many facets of horse activities, disciplines, and professions in the next 26+ years. Oh yeah, and we are working on another GSUSA Destination with our troop partners, Sylvan Dale Ranch and Heart-J Center, for 2023!

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I love being a volunteer for Girl Scouts because each troop is such an autonomous organization. If you can dream it, you can do it. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the best money earning opportunity a Girl Scout will ever have. When girls believe their troop is “girl-led” (even when it seems to you like you are doing a disproportionate amount of the work), it still achieves the goal of developing girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

You are never too old for adventure! You don’t have to excel at an activity to enjoy it. Embrace the unique perspective each individual brings to the group. There are no disabilities, simply different abilities.

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: Katy Herstein

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Katy Herstein of Highlands Ranch in the Metro  Denver is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Katy 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?

When my now 17-year-old daughter was entering Kindergarten, a flyer came home from school about Girl Scout troops forming. I went to a parent meeting and hearing how I could affect the growth of girls outside schools and sports spoke volumes to me. I wasn’t completely aware I was looking for something for myself to grow from as well. Reflecting back on the moment I raised my hand to be a leader, I realize it was as much for me as for my daughter.

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

I began as a leader and very quickly realized that I was very passionate about Girl Scouts and made the move to do more for the organization. I run two troops and am a service unit leader. I also am a member of the MCC and sit on the committee for Volunteer Recognition.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that I have a lot of enthusiasm for learning new things!  Girl Scouts gives girls the opportunity to dive deep into learning new skills and embrace continued growth. I didn’t realize I had such a passion for also stretching my wings and learn along with them.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that I have passed on the process of Discover, Connect, and Take Action. I love this process for everything in life and I talk about it a lot with my Girl Scouts. I feel it is a great process to go through in so many things in life. It triggers curiosity and to dive deeper into understanding things and then taking action in the right places to make a change.

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: Kacey Turner

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Kacey Turner in the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Kacey 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 daughter. When she was in second grade, I decided to move her to a new school. She didn’t know anyone and was super shy, so we decided to enroll her in Girl Scouts to try to break her out of her shell. I became a parent volunteer. When the leader left the following year, myself and two other moms became co-leaders together.

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

I started off as a parent volunteer, then I became a part of a co-leading team, then I became a leader and ran my own troop. I also helped out on the service unit team as needed and in a joke at a volunteer event, I stuck my tongue at our service unit manager who was looking for a new service unit product manager and she volunteered me in return. I have loved being the SUPM. We joke all of the time about how you never stick your tongue at the service unit manager. I also help my daughter’s troop with camp in the summer. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned to be patient and to just have fun and laugh, and to go with the flow. I think the best moments I’ve had with my girls are when our plans go awry and we just wing it. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope my girls have learned to just be the best version of themselves that they can be. To try their hardest and never give up and to laugh and have fun doing whatever it is that they do. 

 

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: Shana Barbera

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Shana Barbera in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Shana 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 when my daughter was in kindergarten.  I volunteered to be her Daisy co-leader. 

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

I quickly became her Daisy leader and I have continued moving up and leading her group for eight years. I have also taken on a few other roles. I have been the troop cookie manager for five years now. And, I am also the service unit cookie manager and service unit fall product manager for two years now. I also plan on taking on a new role this year with a another leader and we will be training our Cadettes for Reach for the Peak and taking them to the competition. I’m super excited for this opportunity. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned so much as a Girl Scout volunteer! I have learned a ton of life/survival skills that I probably wouldn’t have learned or practiced had I not been in Girl Scouts. But most importantly, I get a close-up glimpse of my daughter growing up and developing into the sweet, confident young lady she is today, plus all the wonderful girls I get to work with and watch grow. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls I get to work with will learn from me that it is ok to be different. It is ok to have our own opinions. I hope they learn how to be confident, kind and courageous, and that they always have fun.

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: Jill Hoilman

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jill Hoilman from the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jill 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?

In 2000, my daughter became a Daisy. And as so many other moms before me, I was introduced to the Girl Scout organization. The following year the troop needed an assistant leader, so I joined at the Brownie level to help the troop out. In 2002, the main troop leader moved away and I was asked by the other parents to take the troop on. Wanting to give careful thought to the commitment and make sure the organization would be compatible with my Christian beliefs, I researched Girl Scouts of the USA. That year was the 90th anniversary and a new theme had just been released. It was “Girl Scouts, For Every Girl, Everywhere.” That really spoke to me. I loved the idea of a club that accepted every girl. As a public school teacher, I saw the value in bringing girls together outside of school work to camp, sing, do crafts, and develop leadership skills. As a parent, I welcomed the opportunity for my daughter to get to know girls from all walks of life and travel to meet girls in other countries. And now, 20 years later, I am still involved in providing the program to every girl, everywhere.

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

My favorite role is that of troop leader. I have had 11 troops over the years and each of the girls has a place in my heart. I still hear from many of them. As an avid camper I have enjoyed roles of unit camp director, day camp organizer, and volunteer staff at council camps. In my unit, I have served as the treasurer, recruiter, large events coordinator, service unit manager, and currently, program director for 6th – 12th grade troops. At the state level, I was a charter member of the MCC. I served nine years as a national representative, attending GSUSA conventions in Georgia, Indiana, and Texas. I supervised the Colorado Girl Delegates at two of those conventions which allowed me to work with girls from all around the state and the nation.

One can hardly be in Girl Scouts for 20 years without being involved in the Cookie Program. I have held volunteer positions at the troop, unit, area, and state level. Many of the positions I held as a cookie team member no longer exist. Did you know that originally we set around a table at council with slips of paper from troops listing their booth sale request?  Then, we manually assigned the sales. I remember the first computer program that was written in-house at the council level to do this function. It was so exciting to leave the council office late that night  when it was completed, drive home, turn on our single home computer, and receive the test email to see if it was going to work! How far we have come to our fabulous programs of today. The Girl Scout organization continues to evolve with the times.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have been learning right along with the girls over the years as we have gone on field trips to the Dumb Friends League, a sewage plant, the bank, NREL, the fire station, a dam, a female mechanic, a news/weather station, homeless shelter, the emissions station, the post office, the sheriffs station, and a hospital ER. It gives me great satisfaction that the girls are expanding their knowledge with each of these experiences. Each badge develops a unique skill set and encourages lifelong learning.

I have also learned from the girls! My high school troops keep me up to date with technology. I got my first smartphone only because the girls promised to help me learn to use it. That skill allows me to keep in contact with troops in a way email does not, especially the high school girls. Honestly, I balked a bit when COVID-19 caused our troops to move to Zoom meetings. I considered that it might be time to retire since I was going to have so many new things to learn in using the virtual format. But, then I thought of the 55 girls I am currently working with and wondered what all those girls would do during the long months of the pandemic. So, I plunged in and with the help of my high school girls and some other leaders, got a Zoom account, and learned how to use its programs. After some trial and error, we have developed a format of girls picking up a supply sack from a table in my driveway a few days before the meeting. Then, on meeting day we get together on Zoom and open up the bags. The girls enjoy having hands-on items to work on as we earn badges together virtually. The younger troops have baked, painted, worked in clay, and earned a cookie badge. 23 of the unit Seniors completed the Sow What? Journey (including the Take Action project of decorating and filling Thanksgiving dinner boxes for 31 families). And, many are finishing up the Games Visionary badge. Both Senior and Ambassador troops earned the new Democracy badge. One of my Ambassador troops had a blast with the Photography badge and another focused on College Knowledge. We have supplemented with online resources from Girl Scouts of Colorado and a few girls have attended badge seminars. While we are all anxious to see each other again, we are persevering at home, together.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

It’s important to me that the girls realize this is their club. They should set the mood and atmosphere, creating a safe, no judgement, place to meet and work together. Certainly, they need to be taught how to do this and it starts in Daisies. I begin by encouraging the girls to help each other. When one asks to have her orange pealed or juice box opened or craft assembled, I direct her to find a sister Girl Scout who has already managed to do it. So, we look around and see who is doing the job well. Then, we ask her to assist the girl who wants help. It is very affirming at six-years-old to be recognized as being good enough at something that an adult ask you to help another six-year-old. My job then as the adult is to make sure every girl is recognized and all play a part in the “helping.” As girls advance through the program, this skillset continues to develop through Take Action projects, leadership roles, PA Training, and Highest Awards, allowing girls to build confidence and character.

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: Gretchen Solidum

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Gretchen Solidum from Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Gretchen 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?

As a kid, I was a Girl Scout from Brownie thru Junior years and really enjoyed learning new things and loved going off to summer camp. The summer I was in third grade, I was so determined to earn my badges at home and marked up my badge book to see what I could do on my own with my mom signing off.  By earning the cooking badge, I really started to learn how to cook and it sparked a passion for baking that has continued to this day. I became a Girl Scout volunteer my daughter’s second year as a Daisy, three years ago. Our troop first formed with kindergarten/first grade girls and I had just changed jobs from Castle Rock to Colorado Springs and started to feel like I had more time to be involved with the troop.  Our previous TCM had just moved away and I was curious about how the cookie season worked and how our Daisies could become more confident speaking to others, making eye contact, and achieving their goals as individuals as well as a troop. It has been phenomenal to watch the more outspoken girls help the shy ones and the excitement they get when they make that sale or hit their goals. I’ve seen these achievements translate outside of cookies to how they interact in a group.

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

I have been our troop’s TCM the past three years, a co-leader the past two years, and this year, my husband and I were also the westside Cookie Cupboard in Colorado Springs. I like numbers and seeing what we can do to increase our funds for the girls to go on new experiences and I enjoy helping others. Being a co-leader has been fun and I’m grateful for my other leader, Betsy Douglass, to share ideas to engage the girls and help them grow. The cupboard has been more fun than I realized with a unique opportunity to meet other leaders, hear their troop’s goals and past trips, and make connections for future planning and opportunities.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

To give the girls the encouragement and freedom to make decisions, make mistakes, and just have fun.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that they understand that we all have something to contribute, something to say, and that we all have value. Our troop is still young and we hope that they continue to support one another and they see the potential that each of them has to make change. 

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: Lindsay Smith

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Lindsay Smith in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Lindsay 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 have fond memories of my Girl Scout days and going to Sky High Ranch for camp when I was a Brownie, so I was excited when my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts. When she bridged from a Daisy to Brownie, the troop was in need of another leader and I had the time and desire to get more involved, so it was the perfect opportunity to dive right in!

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

I’ve been a Brownie leader for the last two years and I hope to continue in that role or move up as my daughter bridges.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned the importance of pre-planning, but also flexibility when activities don’t go exactly as anticipated. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and have learned things right along side the girls when we’re doing badge work. I enjoy being a mentor and watching the girls grow. Most of all, I love hanging out with the girls, being silly, laughing, having fun, and learning from them.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope I’m helping the girls feel empowered and confident in themselves and excited about the things we are doing in Girl Scouts. I want the girls to know that our meetings are always a safe place where they can be themselves and build solid friendships. I also hope the girls learn they can set big goals and work hard to accomplish them, not only in Girl Scouts but life.

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: Elisabeth Fries

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Elisabeth Fries from the Western Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elisabeth 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 GirlScout volunteer?

I grew up with a single mom who worked fulltime, yet still made time to be my Girl Scout leader. Some of my favorite memories growing up were Girl Scout-related activities, such as going to camp, making crafts, and a song she wrote for us entitled “The Girl Scout Shuffle.” Now, that I have a daughter, I want to offer her the same experiences (and memories) my mom gave me. It seems to be working because Girl Scouts is by far my daughter’s favorite extracurricular activity, and she tells everyone she meets that I’m her leader! 

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

I started the troop and lead it with another amazing woman, Miss Stacie. This year, I was also the fall product program manager and troop cookie manager.

What have you learned as a GirlScout volunteer?

I have learned that it’s the greatest volunteer position in the world! My Daisies have little hearts of gold and simply want to spread sunshine everywhere they go. They have reminded me of how beautiful this world is even in a time of uncertainty and fear.

What do you hope girlshave learned from you?

To be a sister to every Girl Scout! I want them to know they can do anything they put their minds to and Girl Scouts will always be a “safe space” for them.

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: Lina Zimmer

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Lina Zimmer in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Lina 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 volunteer originally to be supportive of my daughter and to be able to attend meetings and events. As time went on, I realized that there was a real need for someone to be there for the girls in a leadership role.

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

After my initial volunteer role, I decided to start my own troop due to the need in my area. In addition to currently managing two troops, I have filled the roles of a troop fall product program manager, service unit fall product program manager, troop cookie manager, and am a current member of the Pike’s Peak Region Cookie Committee. I’ve worked in the community to secure agreements with local businesses for council cookie sites, as well as locations for our troop’s My Sales. I enjoy building strong relationships in our community. 
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I’ve learned that Girl Scouts truly is a great program for young ladies to learn and grow into future leaders in a safe and supportive environment. I’ve also realized a tremendous amount of personal growth through my time with Girl Scouts.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned, and continue to learn, that putting in the work will always yield positive results. I also hope that they gain the confidence to know, in their hearts, that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to and that is all of our responsibility to make the world a better place.

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