Tag Archives: Membership Connection Committee

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!