Tag Archives: cookies volunteers

Using your Cookie Credits is easier than you think

The 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program is in the books and now it is time to celebrate all of your hard work and dedication! One of the best ways to do that is with Cookie Credits. There are so many exciting ways to use Cookie Credits, including:

  • GSCO troop or service unit trip, event, or activity with a per girl fee
  • GSCO sponsored or hosted event or activity
  • EF Tours
  • Girl Scout destinations
  • Highest Awards materials and fees
  • Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop (in-person or via phone). If the item you are looking for is not currently in stock, ask a retail associate if the item can be ordered.
  • Volunteer-run day camps or events with a per girl cost
  • GSCO summer camp (Important Note: In accordance with IRS guidelines, you cannot use Cookie Credits to attend Girl Scout camps in other states/councils.)

Troops and girls can be reimbursed for these activities using the Cookie Credit Reimbursement Form. When redeeming the credits use the Credit Redemption Form for Camp.

Cookie Credits may NOT be used to pay for/renew membership, pay fees to outside vendors for individual girls, purchase items that the Girl Scout shop does not carry or cannot order, or pay for travel expenses for adults or those not related to Girl Scouts of Colorado.

For questions about what Cookie Credits can be used for, please contact: financial.followup@gscolorado.org

Can I use Cookie Credits to attend a Girl Scouts of Colorado-sponsored or hosted event/activity?

Yes, as long as there is a per girl cost.

Can I use Cookie Credits to host an event for Girl Scouts?

No. For money earning/troop budgeting questions, refer to Volunteer Essentials. You can also email financial.followup@gscolorado.org

Can troops use Cookie Credits to reimburse adults?

No. For money earning/troop budgeting questions, refer to Volunteer Essentials. You can also email financial.followup@gscolorado.org

Can Juliettes use Cookie Credits to reimburse adults?

No.

How can I find out how much I have in Cookie Credits?

You can verify the amount remaining on your cookie card by going to www.mercury-gift.com

I was previously told that I could use Cookie Credits to renew membership, so why is GSCO making this change? 

This change was made in 2016 to come into compliance with IRS regulations. Those regulations do not allow girls, volunteers, or others to pay for their membership with Cookie Credits.

Can troops pool their cookie credits together to pursue a troop activity? 

Yes, with the full consent of the girls in the troop, a troop may pool their Cookie Credits for reimbursement for a Girl Scout related cost that complies with the guidelines above.

Hometown Hero donation to Colorado Parks and Wildlife game wardens

Submitted by Laura Hopkins

Metro Denver

Littleton

The Cadettes of Troop 60074 decided to make game wardens (wildlife officers) in the Colorado Parks and Wildlife division one their Hometown Heroes this year! Since most of the game wardens don’t work out of an office, the girls delivered the Girl Scout Cookies as a surprise during their monthly regional staff meeting. The game wardens were so happy to get cookies! Their supervisor told us that no one had ever given them cookies in the 14 years she’d been there! We were so glad the girls chose to give them some cookie love! The game wardens loved them back with goodie bags filled with stuffed animals in Colorado Parks and Wildlife t-shirts, prairie bird identification books, Colorado wildlife identification books, and calendars. It felt so great to pick some Hometown Heroes that don’t get much recognition!

The girls also donated cookies to the park rangers and volunteers at Barr Lake State Park, and the staff at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife SOLE (Schools & Outdoor Learning Environments) program. All these Hometown Heroes were great choices, especially since our troop is busy working on our “Outdoor” Journey!

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Teri Shafer

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Teri Shafer of Westminster in the Metro Denver region is both a troop leader and a Product Program 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 Teri 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 oldest daughter joined Girl Scouts in kindergarten.  When my younger daughter entered kindergarten, she too wanted to be a Girl Scout. At back to school, I filled out an interest form and, knowing someone needs to start a troop, decided to check the box that I was willing to volunteer. Eight years later, I never once regretted checking that box!

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

I was almost immediately contacted and asked if I wanted to start a troop so I very quickly became a troop leader.  Along the way, I’ve enjoyed mentoring other troops and new leaders.  I have participated in recruiting events. I also have volunteered as a SUFSM for our service unit and this year took on the role of SUCM. I annually take on the jobs of FSM and TCM for our troop which readily prepared me for stepping into the SU roles.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I would have a hard time listing all the things I’ve learned as a Girl Scout volunteer! I have learned to allow the girls more and more control of everything about the troop as they have grown and matured. They now run all meetings and plan out everything they are going to do. I’ve really loved watching this progression and they have all stepped up to be amazing leaders. Not only CAN they take charge, but they love doing it and it has been very empowering for each of the girls. I’ve also learned that I enjoy working with kids and it encouraged me to start a new career as a substitute teacher. I doubt I would have started on this path without my experience in Girl Scouts!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned from me to not be afraid to step up and take on a new challenge. They were so nervous when they first started leading meetings and I just kept encouraging them to have fun with it and not worry so much about fitting everything in or doing everything perfectly. They really seem to have embraced this and are absolute pros at it! I also hope they’ve learned a lot (and I’m pretty sure they have!) about running a business from selling cookies. I have always expected them to take it seriously and although they can have fun while selling cookies they do have a job to perform. They are all so amazing at it and have enjoyed running cookie rallies to share their talents and knowledge with younger girls. Any one of the girls in my troop could get a job today with what they have learned from selling cookies!

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

My experience with Girl Scouts has definitely encouraged me to take on additional leadership roles in my life such as joining the PTO or stepping into service unit leadership roles. It also led to my career as a substitute teacher. I hope that taking on new challenges shows the girls in my troop and my own daughters that it can be rewarding and they shouldn’t be afraid of new challenges.  

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: Cassie Aymami

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Cassie Aymami of Littleton in the Metro Denver region is the manager of the South JeffCo Cookie Cupboard. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Cassie 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?

A few years ago, my daughter was asking to join Girl Scouts. Unfortunately, there was not a troop at her school. So, I started a troop with a great co-leader. There are many girls who don’t get opportunities to try new things, explore, be brave, take risks, and go after their goals and dreams. I love the thrill of new adventures and thought it’d be fun and rewarding to share adventures with the girls. 

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

Troop leader, cookie cupboard,  service unit fall sale and cookie sale manager. And anything else Girl Scouts of Colorado asks for help with.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

1. Everyone has a story. Each person has their own unique story and it’s important to respect, appreciate, and take the time to learn their story.

2. The smallest of things can have a big impact. One new opportunity or one kind message can open a whole new world to these young girls. They will see that what they thought was impossible is possible. They will know they can accomplish anything.

3. Gratitude. Being a volunteer has changed how I look at things. It reminds me on a daily basis what really matters: family, friends, health, and to remember the small things that give me joy.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they learn what I have learned: everyone has a story, the smallest of things can have a big impact and gratitude. I hope they also learn making mistakes is okay. Mistakes mean you are trying and you are learning. Taking risks might mean a mistake along the way, but it’s okay. Take the path that is needed to get to your goal and to fulfill your dreams.

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

I have always been these things and have raised my children this way. The G.I.R.L is part of being a strong, independent, honest, positive, respectful, loving, courageous, and successful young lady. All the qualities of the leaders we need and are making through Girl Scouts. 

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: Carrie Harding

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Carrie Harding of Parker in the Metro Denver region is both a troop volunteer and a product program 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 Carrie 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 I wanted to be sure my daughter and other girls had the opportunity to experience Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout while in elementary school and have some very fond memories of those experiences. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot about myself, other people, and how people do things differently.

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

I have served in several volunteer roles over the years, including co-leader, troop fall program manager, troop cookie manager, service unit fall program manager, service unit cookie manager, service unit manager, trainer, school coordinator, and as a member of the GSCO Cookie Committee and the Membership Connection Committee (MCC).

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned more about the importance of flexibility, structure, being honest and upfront with others, patience, and consequences. My most rewarding experiences have been those where girls have demonstrated they have confidence in an area.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope girls have learned that they can do anything they set their mind to. I also hope they’ve learned the importance of having fun, that it’s ‘”okay” to not do what everyone else is doing, being authentic, and the importance of planning and preparation.

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

My experience as a volunteer has helped me further appreciate the power of girls! It has also encouraged me to continue my own entrepreneurial pursuits all of which involve being a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader.

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: Carol Lucero

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Carol Lucero of Thornton in the Metro Denver region leads an older girl troop in the Sunset Hills service unit. She and her troop do a very cool service project to send stars from retired flags to retiring service members and families of fallen service members. Carol is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Carol 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 was a Girl Scout for a few years growing up. I remember selling cookies for $1/package, going to Girl Scout Camp, and walking to troop meetings after school. But, I more distinctly remember all the fun and events my three brothers did with Boy Scouts- long camping and hiking trips, service projects, their Eagle Awards. Both of my parents were heavily involved in Boy Scout Leadership roles and it shaped much of the family calendar. Girl Scouts kind of fell by the wayside once I switched schools and was no longer going to school with any of the girls in my troop. To be honest, I signed my daughter up for Girl Scouts in kindergarten, so I would have a cookie hook-up. After six years serving as cookie mom, our troop leader and her daughters quit. Over the years, I had come to know and love the Girl Scouts as my own girls and wanted them to continue growing in scouting and working towards their Gold Awards. So, four years ago, I volunteered to take over as troop leader, so I could continue sharing in Girl Scouts with my daughter and the other girls in the troop. Our Daisy Troop of 27 was six Cadettes with attrition. We’re now at three Seniors and one Cadette. Working with the four girls left in this troop has provided me an opportunity to double-down on efforts to find activities these ‘older girls’ will enjoy, that will keep their attention, that provide learning opportunities and most importantly, inspire selflessness and personal growth.  I’ve pushed my daughter for 10 years to continue in Girl Scouts until she earns the Gold Award. I’ll continue to volunteer, and support her, until she reaches that lofty status.

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

I served as cookie mom for six years. For the past four years, I have been the troop leader, fall product program coordinator, and troop cookie manager for Troop 63979.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

The biggest lesson I have learned from volunteering with Girl Scouts is it truly takes a village to raise and shape and inspire these girls to be leaders. I’m thankful for my small troop of four girls (sisters, plus two more) because I have their two amazing families supporting our efforts. The parents of our girls coordinate transportation, meeting times, badge curriculum, events, and every other “thing” that comes up. Our troop would not be successful if the parents didn’t help! I can always count on them to step up whenever I need another hand- driving down to the GSCO Shop for supplies, taking a CPR class to attend Cookie Camp, driving the event carpool, etc. Our three families are really one big family, having worked together for the past 10 years to support our girl’s efforts to earn the Gold Award. As troop leader, I’ve found I rely a great deal on the other troop leaders in my Service unit. For ideas, inspiration, encouragement, friendship, and even a kind ear when I need to unload about some trivial frustration. The women in Sunset Hills service unit are like my sisters- given I grew up with only brothers, I appreciate having relationships with women in my shoes. We all work in different career fields, come from varied backgrounds, and wide ranging experience, yet we work together to provide our girls opportunities to explore and wonder.  I appreciate that when I need help, or am hosting an event, or put out a call to support a community service effort- the troop leaders in Sunset Hills respond. We are all vested in the success of each of our troops.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

This is a loaded question. My greatest hope is that I have inspired my girls to push boundaries (appropriately), strive for personal excellence (in whatever path their heart chooses), to treat each other with love and kindness, and to never stop learning. In the past four years, we have done a great deal of badge work. The girls earned 21 Cadette badges and are working on Senior badge number six. Doing so has provided opportunities for them to step outside their comfort zones, respond to community issues by providing solutions, and explore topics they otherwise would not choose for themselves. The girls have planned and carried out three weekend camping trips with monies they’ve earned from selling thousands of packages of cookies. They’ve found common ground in their different hobbies and interests. They’ve asked hard questions of friends, parents, community members, and others. They’ve worked countless hours themselves to create a better world for themselves, their friends, their communities, and others.  For example, we volunteered with the Rocky Mountain National Parks’ Road Hogs, a group of retired volunteers who work year round to keep RMNP going. Our girls worked side by side with the Hogs, shovels, backhoes, tractors, and all, to clear debris from Bear Lake Road one hot day in July.

Our troop founded Stars for Heroes in July 2016 in response to the murder of five Police Officers in Dallas, Texas. We collect retired American flags and repurpose the embroidered stars into pocket sized momentos to thank first responders and veterans for their service. In nearly two years, we have distributed more than 30,000 stars from more than 600 flags. This includes 50 stars each that we have mailed to the agencies of the 429 fallen heroes since Dallas. We meet monthly for our troop meeting, but also usually monthly to process stars.

Additionally, the girls have submitted an entry to the City of Thornton Outside the Box Traffic Mural project based on their work with the Senior Journey, Girltopia. This Journey called upon the girls to imagine, inspire, and create a world perfect for girls and to share that Girltopia with others. We’re on the edge of our seats as we won’t know until the end of the month if their submission was selected. This is just another example of young women creating change and inspiring hope.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L.?

As a classic Type-A extrovert, I’ve always had a tendency to push the limits, speak up for myself, chase dreams and try new things. Being a troop leader has allowed me to model this same thirst for life to the girls in my troop. Being a go-getter means encouraging my girls to pursue their passions, to find their niche and develop it. Two of my girls have their black belt in karate. One of my girls is an accomplished artist. The other a talented dancer. They all do well academically. They get up, and they go. Being the troop leader for Girl Scout Seniors is the biggest challenge to being an innovator. How do I keep their attention? How do I meld their varied interests and talents? How do I keep them engaged in Girl Scouting? By working with the other moms, we brainstorm and then provide outside the box chances for our girls to keep growing, learning, and sharing.  We give the girls a great deal of choice to decide what badges to earn, what SU events to participate in, and what programs to get involved in with the community to make a difference. I believe being a risk-taker and a leader go hand in hand, you can’t really be one and not the other. I have to demonstrate to my girls what it looks like to make hard choices, volunteer my talents, and have a positive work ethic, so they witness first hand that women really can have it all, and cake too. I work full time, I volunteer full time, I drive the carpool and chaperone to activities five nights per week. I think its important to demonstrate to these girls, our future leaders, that everything is possible. I’m excited to watch their talents blossom, their passions cement and their personalities come to life. They are each so unique and different, but have come to love and respect each other through the years. Not only are we building future leaders, we’re solidifying lifelong friendships. I may be super busy, but being a troop leader for these girls means I make them and their best interests a priority.

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: Brenda Fry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Brenda Fry of Severance in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is a retired troop leader, current service unit manager, service unit cookie manager, and service unit recruitment manager. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Brenda 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 to be involved in my daughter’s troop and to help fill the need for volunteers, as I know how important Girl Scouting is for our younger generation being a Girl Scout myself.  

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

I originally started as a support volunteer for the troop and assisting at a couple of day camps that our service unit sponsored. I then became a troop co-leader onto a troop leader and then as I saw our service unit struggle with structure, I accepted the position of service unit manager not only for 726 Windsor/Severance, but also 704 Eaton/Ault/Nunn/Pierce. I also had accepted the positions of service unit fall program manager and service unit cookie manager for both service units.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a volunteer, you have some many contacts not only with each troop but also within your region. You as a volunteer can assist with the success of the troops in your area. I also try to be supportive of not only the troops I work with, but also GSCO as we try to pass along the information to our troop leaders or leadership team to share with their parents/girls. Volunteers can also be key resources in assisting girls in obtaining their Gold Awards, which is the highest award in Girl Scouts.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I feel it is important to the girls build their confidence, character, and courage. These are some of the core elements that Girl Scouts want to help teach girls. By the girls participating in product programs, it helps them to build their confidence and find the courage to talk to adults and have a meaningful conversation about their goals and what they are doing to achieve those goals. I also enjoy watching the girls grow and become their own person with great ideas and want to be a role model to younger Girl Scouts.

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

By being a volunteer with Girl Scouts, it has helped me step out of my comfort zone and find ways to get the troop leaders or troop leadership team on board to participate in the product programs and to want to expand our girl membership in both service units that I work with. I am working with council on ways to not only retain our current volunteers, but to also find ways to recruit new girls. While recruiting new girls we don’t necessarily increase numbers in existing troops, but to start new troops with the support to be successful. We are looking at possibly partnering new troops with existing troops in a mentor type way so they would be able to have a direct contact of someone who probably has gone through some of the same challenges they are facing and find answers that could work.  

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: Jenni Grossman

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jenni Grossman of Grand Junction in the Western Slope region started out as a troop support volunteer, but quickly took on more volunteer roles, including troop cookie manager. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jenni 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 first became a Girl Scout volunteer to allow my own girls to get involved in Girl Scouts. We were living in Denver and they needed another adult body to help the troop. I agreed and mostly observed. The girls liked the activities they were participating in and I liked the idea of girls becoming leaders. Then, we moved to Grand Junction. My two daughters wanted to continue Girl Scouts. So, we got them signed up to find out that they needed a leader for them to participate. I was hesitant to jump in, so I agreed to co-leading and have never looked back. I now have four girls participating in Girl Scouts (Daisies- Cadettes).  I lead the Cadettes group and have been the troop cookie manager for the last three years. I learn as much from the girls as I hope they learn from me. Girls need positive adults in their lives, especially as they get older and I want to give them one more adult they can trust, laugh with, talk to, and learn from. I never have a day where I don’t feel like going to our troop meetings- being met with hugs from the girls makes it all worth it.  I also get to spend time with my own girls, letting them blossom, and learn things in the Girl Scout program. 

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

Right now, I help with part of a constantly growing troop of 34 girls.  We have girls in our troop from the Daisy level through Cadette.  I currently am the Cadette leader.  This role has helped me turn things over to be girl-led. My Cadettes pick the badges they want to teach and they teach their sister scouts. It is incredible to watch them become teachers, gaining confidence, courage, and life skills along the way! 

I have lead at the Brownie and Junior levels as well. I also have been the troop cookie manager for the last three years. I have helped support some of our newer leaders and helped them become more comfortable at the Girl Scout level they are guiding. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned that girls are powerful! They can do anything they put their minds out to accomplish. One of my proudest moments so far was seeing my oldest daughter earn her Bronze Award last year and I was one of the leaders who helped facilitate the girls pursuing the award. She earned that award and immediately thought of what she might like to do to earn her Silver Award. If we as leaders guide the girls into reaching and dreaming for their potential, we have accomplished so much. I have also learned that no matter where girls come from, even though some may come from hard places, if they have leaders cheering them on and supporting them, they will grow. 

My Brownie daughter did not enjoy selling cookies last year as she too was scared. This year, she lead the way to decorate the wagon for door-to-door sales, wore a cookie costume with excitement at booth sales, and sold cookies nightly at her own stand in front of our house.  Girl Scout volunteers help change lives for Girl Scouts!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls see that the world is a bigger place than just their family and their school. I am also a foster mom and I have brought this aspect of my life into Girl Scouts as well. We had a little boy with Autism come into our family and I shared Girl Scouts with him. He also helped teach our Girl Scouts about differences and disabilities. This experience made our Girl Scouts so much more patient, understanding, and opened their eyes to how they treat others. His brain did not work the same way and the girls learned so much from him.  We extended it and earned an Autism patch. The girls learned that just because others might act different, say things that might be unusual, or use their bodies differently, they are still humans just like the girls and need love and understanding. This lesson for Girl Scouts in my troop was powerful!  

I also hope the girls have gained confidence from being in my troop. My kindergarten Daisy daughter did not have positive experiences with adults. She went into cookie season terrified to talk to adults. Her sisters  challenged her to sell cookies and I encouraged her. We went to our school and she was supposed to go to every staff member in the building to sell cookies. She was terrified to do the first couple. She looked at the ground when she asked them to buy cookies. When she was asked how much cookies cost, she would shrug her shoulders. We practiced and role played at home. After a few more sales, she began to look customers in the eye, stood taller with confidence when she talked, and sold almost 100 packages of cookies. She learned to count on her fingers how much more than one package of cookies would cost. She learned to look others in the eyes and make eye contact when you talk instead of looking at the ground. She learned that adults do not have to be scary but can be your customers, and her self-confidence and positive self-image blossomed!

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

My Girl Scout Cadettes have challenged me recently. We have done a troop camp for a couple years. The girls said that this year, that is not good enough. They want to dig deeper into camping and hiking by going backpacking to earn their Trailblazer and Primitive Camper badges. This is totally out of my comfort zone. I am learning things about backpacking right alongside the girls and am taking a risk. I am fearful for this backpacking trip, but I told myself that I can’t expect the girls to try new things if I don’t expect the same of myself!

 

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Bruun

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Chris Bruun of Englewood in the Metro Denver region has served as a troop leader, troop support volunteer, and cookie dad. He is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Chris to answer a few quick questions about his volunteer experience. We hope you find his as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

My daughter wanted to be a Girl Scout and there wasn’t a troop at her school, so I started one. She got a couple of other girls from her school, but we drew in most of the rest from the surrounding schools. It was a very active troop. Meeting every other week and field trip every other week. I did my best to make sure the badges were not earned by sitting in a cafeteria but by learning something in the cafeteria and experiencing it on a field trip.

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

I started as a troop leader, and was also the cookie dad and field trip planner that first year.  I had a blast doing it! This year, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be as active in the troop, so I closed the one I started and moved Emma to another one. This is a huge multi-level troop. I am still a volunteer with this troop and really enjoying watching the girls explore the world through Girl Scouts. I am going to be helping with camping for the troop this summer.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have never been in charge of that many young ladies at once or been responsible for pushing knowledge into kids heads. And while I realize it is a very obvious realization, they all needed it presented differently to take it in. I found I really like seeing that light of understanding come on when we were exploring new ideas through the badges!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I have done my best to teach the girls that failure is a part of life. The goal is to try, we will all fail once and a while. We have to dust our selves off and try again. We learn more from our failures then we do from our successes. Giving them a safe place to fail and then try again and succeed is truly a great feeling.

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

I am really amused at this question for obvious reasons.  Mostly because I am not a girl. That said the ideals that are encompassed in this motto are obviously applicable to both genders. Being a leader keeps you on your toes. These girls are eager to learn and experience the world and want to learn new things and earn new badges. As a leader, you have to keep at least one step ahead of them and to do that you need to be thinking out of the box. The lessen plans for the badges are a good first stop, but not the be all and end all to leading the girls. Once they get the idea in their head you need to be ready to move beyond the lesson plan to explore even more. Lots of the badges are just a taste of what they as Girl Scouts can go explore.  

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