Tag Archives: Membership Connection Committee

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Fuller, MCC member

I joined Girl Scouts as a snaggle-toothed second grade Brownie (which was the age at which Girl Scouting began, back in the olden days of the early ‘60’s).  I’m not aware of any burning desire to be a Girl Scout.  At the time, there were few after-school activities and perhaps, my mother was glad to have me participate in one of them.  But, oh what a difference it made in my life!  Girl Scouting provided consistency and a safe place from a chaotic home life.  We moved a fair amount and I could always count on Girl Scouts to provide me an opportunity for new friends and adventures.  And soon after I relocated to Colorado with my husband and children, signing up as a Girl Scout allowed me to make friends quickly.  After nearly 30 years in Colorado, my friends are mostly Girl Scouts, with whom I gather, meet and greet, and travel.  Retiring from the staff of the former Mile Hi Legacy Council ten years ago, I continue to lunch with my former colleagues.  Now, who else can claim such a long-lived, inspiring network of former co-workers as friends?

I was retired, however, not willing to be left out of the loop of Girl Scout doings, hence my interest in the Membership Connection Committee (MCC).  What’s kept me involved with the MCC for the last 10 years?  Kept in the loop, indeed, with an understanding of the current direction and efforts of Girl Scouts in Colorado.  Able to make a small contribution on matters of governance and membership.  Meeting other Girl Scouts, girls and adults, with a responsibility to inspire, educate, and support.  My term will soon come to an end and I hope I’ll be welcomed back after the required hiatus.

I’ve served as a troop leader, trainer, service unit manager, event organizer, and now board member in my nearly 50 years of Girl Scouting.  I’m a Lifetime Member of GSUSA.  I currently support two troops and continue to train in leadership and outdoor skills.  Serving as an MCC member gives me a great deal of satisfaction since it allows me to share my skills and opinions in ways that influence the future of our organization and our members.  I have two sons [“huge, handsome and handy”, former Boy Scouts and “Girl Scout boys (until they became too distracting at Girl Scout events)”] and had, at one time, 26,000 ‘daughters’.  A terrific experience that enriched my world, provided me with adventures (around the state, the USA and the world) and made me a better person, trying to live by the Promise and Law.  Through my mentoring of young Girl Scouts, I know I’ve made a difference and that feels good.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Marti Shuster, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

45 years

How long have you been on MCC?

Less than a year

What inspired you to join MCC?

Back in Michigan, I had been a part of a similar committee and wanted to play my part in keeping communication open between staff and volunteers.

What have you learned through being part of this committee?

This is a hard working group of people from all over Colorado who strive to make Girl Scouts a great experience for all girls.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other volunteers?

It’s a great way to get involved and stay involved and make a difference to Girl Scouts in Colorado.

Tell us about yourself.

I moved to Colorado four years ago from Florida (and Michigan where I grew up). I truly believe in what Girl Scouts represents and what it teaches girls. That’s why I have stayed in so long. I am currently the leader of my granddaughter’s Daisy troop and I love working with these young girls. I can tell how they have grown in just one year. Can’t wait to see how they progress over the next eleven!

I am also a member of GSCO History Committee.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Bissell, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I have been a Girl Scout for 47 years.  Some of those were girl years, but most of them are adult years. I have  been a leader of every level except Girl Scout Daisies. My favorites were 30+ years as an older girl leader/advisor. Those were great years and I have kept in touch with many of “my girls.”  It is wonderful to see how they have changed from girl to woman.

How long have you been on MCC? 

This will be my second time to be on the MCC. My first time was in 2012 for two terms, I think.

What inspired you to join MCC? 

I love Girl Scouts and I want as many girls as possible to get to be a Girl Scout. My part of Colorado covers lots of miles and there are very few girls who participate in Girl Scouting in this area.  I want to make Girl Scouting available to girls in small towns.  I want to be able to help them achieve Highest Awards, travel abroad, and go on Destinations.  I also want to show girls and leaders that they can lead and that their dreams and goals can be met through Girl Scouting.  Lack of communication is a real problem here because so many do not have internet access and, since so much of Girls Scouting is now online, I would like to see more communications through other ways. I hope that progress can be made through MCC to help GSCO realize that there are big gaps in online communications that is not the girls’ faults.  There has to be another way to deliver program.

What have you learned through being part of this committee?

The more people work together to achieve a common goal, the better the experience and the outcome.  Working together is also a great example for girls to learn.  When they see what can happen with a group working together for a common goal, they will be more likely to use that in their lives, too.  Usually, the more people that share a goal and are willing to work for it, the better the committee will be in the future and the more likely that they will share their skills in team building with their troops who, in turn, will use it as they work for a girl-led troop and the more confidence that they will have to achieve it.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other volunteers?

I have noticed, when I do trainings, that most of the leaders have no idea as to how GSCO works, how decisions are made, and what it takes to make Girl Scouting possible.  MCC is a good way to “get your feet wet.”  It does a lot of it’s work by phone, isn’t so expensive that most people could handle it.  You don’t have to travel a long way several times a year. An MCC member gets to know a lot of people in her territory as she talks to them about various concerns. I like it because I get to talk face-to-face with them and can answer questions, and, most of all, establish and a network of people who want to help the troop and the girl and the adult succeed, a relationship that can lead to better understanding of how GSCO works and they have someone they have met who is an person who really cares about girls and the Girl Scout program.

Tell us about yourself.

I am 71-years-old and my husband, Wayne, and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary this summer.  I was born in Texas, went to school in Texas, married in Texas, lived for 2 1/2 years in Canada teaching in a coed boarding school while my husband was in Vietnam.  We have two children, a son, Terry (he and his wife Heather live in Broomfield) and a daughter, Beth (she and her husband Todd, live in Fort Worth and they have our three grandsons, Justyn, Jaxson, and Joshua.  Beth is a Gold Award recipient and Lifetime Girl Scout  and is the principal of an elementary school. Terry will be starting a new job in June.

Wayne and I love to travel.  We have been to almost all 50 states, all but two of the Canadian provinces, Europe, Africa, Ukraine, Vietnam, Ireland, and Central America.  Both of us are now retired and we were in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China in January and our anniversary gift to each other will be a trip to England and Scotland in August.

My Girl Scout experience began as a Brownie in Texas when cookies were around $1 a package.  I earned my First Class Award in high school.  I have been a day camp director, took girls to Macy Conference Center in New York, attended the WAGGGS international conference the year it was held at Macy. I was an alternate to the Vermont Round-Up and, as an adult was on the program staff twice  for a Wider Opportunity with 1,200 girls in   Tennessee. One year I was the music leader and another year I was the ceremonies director.  I was elected for two terms as the president of the Board of Directors for the Columbine Girl Scout  region here in southeastern Colorado.  I am currently a trainer, program resource person, on three different Gold Award Mentors committees right now, the GSCO History Committee,  GSCO Global Girl Scouting committee, and will begin my second time to be on MCC. I am also a Lifetime member of GSUSA and I am looking forward to 2020 to celebrate 50 years as a Girl Scout.  I was on the 100th GSUSA celebration state committee in 2012. I coordinated the library display here in Pueblo and did the Flat Juliette activities for the state event.  AND…I love being a Girl Scout!

I am the youth ministry leader at our church.  One of my duties with that is Vacation Bible School.  This is my  5th year to write my own curriculum and it’s a lot of fun!  I am responsible for the children’s classes at our church and I teach two classes every week.  I am retired from Dillards.  My favorite hobbies are reading and music.  I am currently trying to declutter our house and it should be finished some time in the next century! I love romance books and historical books and my favorite book is the Bible.  I have an Associate of Arts degree from Lubbock Christian University (College back then) and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Abilene Christian University (College back then).  I also did some post -graduate work at ACC, but, I never finished it.

I may have left something out, but, this is MORE than enough!

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Victoria Gigoux, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout volunteer?

Eight years

How long have you been a member of the MCC?

Three years

What inspired you to join MCC?

I was interested in staying connected and having a voice representing the Western Slope.

What have you learned through being a part of this committee?

I’ve learned that my voice does matter. I feel some of the things I have said and the subcommittees I have been a part of have helped shape the Girl Scout experience for both girls and volunteers.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other GSCO volunteers?

It’s a fulfilling way to keep your finger on the pulse of where GSCO is going and have a voice that might impact that direction

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a full-time-working, mother of three girls; all Girl Scouts. I’ve been married to my husband, Gerald, since 2001.  We live in Grand Junction with our kids, dog, turtle, hamster, chickens, and turkeys and we also board two horses.  Outside of this craziness, I lead two multi-level Girl Scout troops, totaling around 50 girls each year from K-9th. I am a member of the Mesa County Service Unit leadership team and help with the President’s Council , in addition to being on the MCC and a rep to the board.  Outside of Girl Scouts, I volunteer for my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, as Finance Advisor for our collegiate chapter at CU and as a Province Chair supporting all alumnae chapters in five states, including Colorado.  In my “free” time, I love to read, cook and travel.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Terry Henrickson, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout volunteer?

Six years

How long have you been a member of the MCC?

Three years

What inspired you to join MCC?

I joined MCC to bring the concerns of rural troops to the council and to help the council’s message reach out to our area.

What have you learned through being a part of this committee?

I learned how much our staff and board put into making Girl Scouts of Colorado work.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other GSCO volunteers?

MCC helps volunteers see how diverse the needs and offerings of other areas of the state are.

Tell us about yourself.

When I was a girl, I was raised with the ideal that I could do or become anything and that there were more opportunities out there beyond what I could see. This is what I want to instill in my daughter and her friends, and through Girl Scouts I’ve found a way to help them explore their world and find their passions.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

Honoring the Girl Scout volunteer in your girl’s life

Submitted by Victoria Gigoux, Membership Connection Committee Member

Western Slope

Grand Junction

As Girl Scout volunteers, we are all aware of the countless hours of time we give to girls in Colorado and if you’ve ever asked “What’s the value of being a volunteer,” the answer just might surprise you!

According to Independent Sector, the estimated value of volunteer time, is just under $24.00 per hour. For many devoted volunteers, that could add up to a significant “gift” in a year, and much more sizeable over a lifetime.  Just as monetary donors get recognition for their generosity, so should volunteers who give of their time and talent, as well.

Do you have someone you need to thank?  Then, there’s no time like the present.  April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and while there are many options for formally recognizing and showing appreciation for outstanding volunteers who go above and beyond, in most cases, it’s simple peer-to-peer appreciation and genuine gestures that count the most.

A volunteer who feels they are doing a worthwhile job and feels appreciated for it, is more likely to continue to help out.  So, how can you express genuine appreciation to your volunteers, such as a co-leader, Service Unit Manager or Cookie Parent?  Although there are countless ways to say thanks, unless you have your own “Volunteer Appreciation Committee” (lucky!), it’s going to fall on you to keep your gratitude fresh and creative.

Here are ten ways to recognize, and show gratitude for, volunteers that you can incorporate into your menu of peer-to-peer kudos:

  • Tell your volunteers frequently that they are doing a good job – Although you shouldn’t forget to come up with some creative ways to formally say thanks, don’t overlook the power of a simple THANK YOU!  This can be verbally, or a simple handwritten note.
  • Thank You Box – Set out a box and index cards in a high traffic area. As people come and go, they can write a special message for the volunteer and put it in the box. Empty the box regularly and give these messages to your volunteer.
  • Spread the word – Put message of appreciation and photos on your website, in a troop newsletter and/or post them on your social media.
  • Remember holidays, birthdays and milestones – These are times volunteers will be likely be reflecting/thinking most on what they do and why, so let them know you are also thinking about them.
  • Small Gifts of Gratitude – Who doesn’t like gifts? Even something as small as a $5 Starbucks gift card is appreciated.  It shows effort and lets the volunteer know you were thinking of them at a time outside of Girl Scout time.  Tight on funds….ask parents to donate to your “appreciation” fund or reach out to shops in your community – you never know what you can get at a discount (or FREE!) if you don’t ask.
  • Share a Gift of Love – Ask those served, such as girls and parents, to make personal gifts. Art work, baked goods, poems, the possibilities are endless and a way to get girls and families involved.
  • Go Out Together – Go somewhere together, where you aren’t doing your “job” but have an opportunity to build on your relationships. This can be something as simple as a pot luck or Leader’s Night Out. You know what will work for your group of volunteers,  just pick a date and go!
  • Create a Scrapbook. Have co-leaders, parents, and girls write comments and quotes about the difference volunteers make and put them in a book. Add photos! If you aren’t crafty, there are many online places that can create wonderful keepsakes at reasonable prices.  This is an especially lovely gift for a volunteer who has reached a significant milestone, such as years of service.
  • Send a letter of thanks and recognition to the volunteer’s employer. Do your volunteers work outside of volunteering? This is an excellent to show your volunteer you appreciate them and their time, especially when some of the donated time has been during regular business hours, courtesy of the employer.  It also speaks to the volunteer’s integrity and work ethic.
  • Send a letter of thanks to the volunteer’s family – We all know how giving of our time affects the time we spend with our own families. Don’t ever neglect the family; this group of “forgotten volunteers”!   If a volunteer’s family recognizes the value of the time sacrificed, they are more likely to continue to encourage the volunteer to give of their time. And maybe, just maybe, you build on your volunteer pool!

Remember, recognition should be appropriate for the amount of donated time, the duties performed and the recipient’s unique personality.  And, don’t fret, it’s not the cost of the recognition that matters.  Don’t forget, in most cases, girls are who benefit the most from this dedication of time and should be involved in the process of showing appreciation.  So… get your girls (and families) involved, too!

Still looking for ways to show appreciation, there are other suggestions, resources and additional formal options too.  These can be found at http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation.html

Want to know more about how to connect with the MCC?  Check us out on the GSCO website:  http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

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

 

 

The voices of membership

Submitted by Caroline Cornell

Metro Denver

Denver

During the fall Leadership Summits over 2,500 years of Girl Scout experience gathered to provide their insight on Volunteer Recognitions during the Voices sessions at five locations across Colorado. Over 350 volunteers participated in the facilitated process to provide feedback about improving the process to acknowledge our exemplary volunteers’ efforts. The sessions were hosted by the Membership Connection Committee (MCC).

At present, only one-half of one percent of volunteers across Colorado (approximately 30 out of 6,000 adults) receive some form of GSCO or GSUSA National Recognition. “Currently we know that GSCO does not recognize enough of its volunteers,” said Rae Ann Dougherty, former MCC Chair and Board Chair Elect. MCC is working to change that by asking members if they are aware of the available awards and how to inform more members about the nomination process.

“During the Voices sessions, we received evaluation forms from 47 table groups that yielded over twenty pages of feedback,” said MCC Member Linda Fuller who facilitated the process. “We had great responses from participants to share with Council staff about how the process could be made less intimidating to nominate a volunteer for an award.”

Voices showed MCC that the majority of volunteers didn’t know about recognitions to formally acknowledge their troop leaders and peers. We also learned that direct communication with all members is central to recognizing our key service providers so that our volunteers don’t feel like they like the recognitions process is self-promoting. And lastly MCC learned that any and all forms of appreciation are, well… appreciated by volunteers; however, the general consensus was that most treasured a special word of thanks from the girls and their families.

Let’s start by making the process to nominate your favorite Girl Scout volunteer more approachable now! The 2016/17 Volunteer Recognition process is open to nominate someone in your area honoring outstanding service performed for Girl Scouting. You can reach the form here. (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/forms-and-resources/adult-recognition-nominations.html) Visit the Volunteer Appreciation page on our website (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation.html) to learn more about the available adult recognitions. There is a handy guidebook to help explain each step of the way to nominate a Troop Leader, Service Unit Manger, Cookie Mom, Community Partner, or at large Volunteer for recognition and six different awards available based on service given to Girl Scouting: Volunteer Excellence, Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge, Thanks Badge II, and GSCO President’s Award. Each award requires a person to nominate a volunteer and then coordinate with 2-4 additional people to write a supporting letter to endorse the nomination. All nominations and supporting letters are due by MARCH 31 each year.

MCC would like to thank all GSCO volunteers who attended a Voices session and shared their feedback. We would also like to thank ALL volunteers across Colorado for their hard work and dedication to Girl Scouting. You can learn more about the MCC here. (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html).

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

Praise for GSCO’s Membership Connection Committee

Girl Scouts of the USA is praising Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) for its relationship with YOU (our members)–  thanks to the work of the Membership Connection Committee (MCC) and the Global Action Committee! In a recent email, a member of GSUSA’s Global team wrote, “Your Council (GSCO) and partnership has been identified as a wonderful example of successful application of global integration into Girl Scout programming. Your hard work in a variety of areas (travel, global in Journeys, special programming, etc.) makes your Council a real model from which we wish others to learn from.”

GSCO is the only council to have an MCC as its governance system. The MCC is the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give GSCO members a strong voice in the issues they care most about.

While the MCC did not officially begin until 2008 when GSCO was formed, its roots go back much further. Several years earlier, volunteers in the former Mile-Hi Council committed to Global Girl Scouting decided to join forces with Global Girl Scouting Committees in Colorado’s legacy councils, including Mountain Prairie, Wagon Wheel, and Chaparral. Rae Ann Doughtery, former MCC Chair and Board Chair Elect, was a member of the Global Girl Scouting Committee in the Mile-Hi Council. At the time, she says the goal of this new statewide group was simple: expand global Girl Scouting.

“The international sisterhood of Girl Scouting is unique and huge,” she said. “It includes Girl Scouts around the world and those in Denver, Sterling, and all across Colorado.”

After the merger in 2008, several members of Global Girl Scout Committees from legacy councils came together to continue the work, as well as join the newly formed MCC. MCC members were tasked with making sure that Girl Scouts across Colorado had a voice in the newly-formed GSCO.

Today, nearly a decade after the formation of GSCO, the MCC is getting back to its roots and looking for new and fun ways for Girl Scouts to connect with their sisters here in Colorado, across the country, and around the world.

“The GSCO Global Action Committee is a key part of keeping that international sisterhood alive in Colorado,” Dougherty said.

MCC members gathered earlier this month at Tomahawk Ranch to discuss what’s next for the group. Their new goal is to help GSCO develop three-year plan to increase adult engagement, which includes recruiting new adult volunteers, strengthening service units, and improving communication between GSCO and volunteers. Much of what they are focusing on is determining three-year outcomes and one-year deliverables.

“Our conversation established a new direction for MCC for the next three years largely based on membership feedback from across the state” said MCC chair Caroline Cornell.

GSCO is extremely lucky to have the MCC, but for the committee to continue its good work, it needs members from across to Colorado. If you’re interested in expanding your volunteer-role with GSCO beyond your troop, apply for a seat on the MCC. Learn more here: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

 

Bringing the Girl Scout National Convention home

From Jennifer Colosimo from Arvada who is an Assistant Troop Leader (Cadette Troop 316), Membership Connection Committee Member, National Council Delegate and representative to the Colorado Girl Scouts Board of Directors


"National Convention"

Many Girl Scout members don’t realize that there is National Girl Scout Council that is charged with giving broad policy direction to the future of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States.  The National Council, made up primarily of delegates from United State councils, convenes every three years to vote on business proposals, reflect on topics like women in corporate leadership positions and girl advocacy, and to have fun celebrating the Girl Scout Movement!

Colorado recently sent delegates, including three girl delegates, staff members, and additional girls attending the Girl Scout Leadership Institute to convention. This year’s National Convention, which was held in Houston in November, held special significance for Girl Scouts as the organization officially kicked off their 100th anniversary celebrations for 2012 and named 2012 the “Year of the Girl.”

As a Colorado delegate, we went to Fallapaloozas and held three webinars to obtain the opinions of the Girl Scout members in the state of Colorado on three proposals. We voted according to the feedback obtained across the state.

The first proposal passed and authorized local councils to charge an annual council services fee for girl members. Our council is not going to charge a general fee  (not to be confused with event-related fees for specific events like camp, council events or travel) at this time.

The second proposal didn’t pass. It was going to change the timing of when delegates were elected.  Many of the girl delegates said they couldn’t have been elected any earlier because, when they were 12 years old, they didn’t know what they might do when they turned 14!  (I feel the same way, and I’m in my 40s :))

The third proposal didn’t pass, but was sent to a task force. It was heavily debated as it would have created the ability of a council to have a rolling membership year for each girl that commenced on the date she first registered. Having been a leader for 8 years, I was interested in options for membership, but not the administrative nightmare of tracking each girl’s enrollment date!

But don’t think this experience was all Robert’s Rule of Order. OK, a lot of it was. But there was some fun! The 12 girls who attended from Colorado sang songs as we walked through downtown Houston the first night. All the Colorado adults and girls who attended experienced courage, confidence and character in another part of the country and had the opportunity to feel the strength of the Girl Scout Movement. The program keynotes included Lifetime Girl Scouts such as Katie Couric and Robin Roberts. The official 100th anniversary kickoff event was a huge party, and the convention floor featured tons of great stuff for girls and leaders.

If you’re interested in contributing in the same way in the state of Colorado, our Membership Connection Committee (MCC) is very active and looking for new members, particularly in the Denver metro area. Visit the Girl Scouts of Colorado website for more information. We’d love to have you apply, and maybe join us in Salt Lake City in 2014 for the next convention!