Tag Archives: cookies volunteers

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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Elba Barr

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Elba Barr of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region has been a Girl Scout volunteer for more than a decade, serving in many different roles. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elba 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 been a volunteer with Girl Scouts in some capacity for nearly 15 years. I became a volunteer because the direct impact my leaders had on me as a kid. I decided to continue volunteering because I understand that I have a generational impact working with these amazing young ladies. ​In these young ladies, I have intense hope and faith in our future, cause they are trailblazers!

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

I have been a Gold Award mentor (in other councils), multi-level troop leader, service unit fall program and cookie program manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that actively trying failing at something is the greatest achievement someone can take​. We as a society focus so much on perfection and not how many chances/failed attempts it takes to get there. I think celebrating and recognizing failure and how to learn from it is the greatest thing I have learned and share with these girls. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope my girls have learned from me that the answer to a question will always b​e no if never asked. I want them to ask all the “stupid” or “obvious” questions and continue to learn/grow to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

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

I have started and failed in business adventures. I have learned that being a leader is not the easy option and that taken the “hard left over the easy right” is a constant challenge and that billions of new ideas every day waiting to be discovered you just have to try. But, the most important thing I have learned being a volunteer is that I don’t need to be the best in someone else’s vision, I just need to be the best version of me I can be at this time, because next year or five years from now, I’m going to be different.  

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: 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.

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!

Best Cookie Dad contest: Our super dad

Submitted by Abigail and Genevieve R.

Metro Denver

Castle Rock

I am glad to have a great dad who is there to help us sell cookies. Being a Girl Scout Cookie Dad in February (a.k.a. cookie month) is not easy! It is even trickier if you are a dad to two Girl Scouts, who set some high cookie goals! I have been selling cookies for four years and my little sister, Genevieve, just started selling cookies this year. My dad has been there for both of us during this busy cookie season. He helped us sell cookies by taking my sister and I to small businesses in town. He stayed with us at the booths and held a “Cookies For Sale” sign with us and helped us count money. He also had to pick up extra chores around the house when our mom would take us to sell cookies door-to-door or at booths. We would not be able to reach and surpass our goals if it was not for our wonderful dad!

My sister and I learned that earning money through cookie sales would give us an opportunity to attend Girl Scout events and classes. We both like being a part of the big Girl Scout family!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.

Best Cookie Dad contest: Cookie Dad is Cookie Man

Submitted by Kate Harvie

Western Slope

Montrose

This Cookie Dad isn’t even a dad! He doesn’t just help his soon-to-be stepdaughter and her troop leader mom, this super supportive Cookie Man took the day off work to drive 130 miles round trip just to get 100 cases of Thin Mints for the Montrose Cookie Cupboard! He saved the cookie booth weekend for all Girl Scouts in the area! In the photo above, he is loading 100 cases of cookies into his truck. He was so focused on “properly stacking the cases” he wouldn’t even look up. He’s slightly serious about those Thin Mints.

Brian Grasman can also be found delivering cookies to the troop at booths all over town, helping load and unload cookies from vehicles, and he’s even been known to serve as a “mystery shopper” during National Girl Scout Cookie weekend, handing out patches to girls with stellar customer service.

Troop 17122 and Service Unit 129 couldn’t have survived the 2018 cookie season without him!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.

Best Cookie Dad contest: Why my Cookie Dad is the best

Submitted byJosie O., Junior Troop 61631

Metro Denver

Littleton

My dad (people call him Patrick) is the best Cookie Dad because he uses his truck and trailer to pick up our troop’s cookies every year. This is a big deal because our troop picks up 5,000+ packages at the first pick up. He also supports me by eating packages of Tagalongs secretly in the garage (without Mom knowing). He gives me funny phrases to say to my customers, like, “Excuse me? What time is it?….It’s Girl Scout cookie time!”

He brings me to the neighborhood where he grew up to sell cookies door-to-door to his old friends and neighbors. He helps me make yard signs, counts my inventory, and then eats more Tagalongs. My dad is my number one customer and my number one sales trainer. He helped me sell 1,031 packages this year. He’s the best Cookie Dad out there!

I’m a G.I.R.L. because I’m a risk-taker. This summer I’m moving out of my comfort zone by going to Girl Scout Camp without anyone from my troop. I know I’ll make new friends. I’m a little nervous, but hey, I’m a risk-taker!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.