Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Laurie Stragand of Littleton in the Metro Denver region was nominated by her daughter as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Laurie 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 first to help with the Brownie group in our troop. They had a lot of girls and the leaders seemed stretched thin. I thought I could make a difference with the group my daughter was in.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
My volunteering started with the Brownies and during my daughter’s second Brownie year. I have continued being a leader during my daughter’s time as a Junior and will carry on as a Cadette leader. I became our troop cookie mom in 2014-15 and have served as our cookie mom every year since. Last year, I also volunteered for the treasurer position.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
Girl Scouts has given me a surprising benefit from being both cookie mom and treasurer; with both of these positions my skill with Excel has increased dramatically. On a serious note, I have learned that you get out of Girl Scouting what you put into it and my daughter’s experience, along with the other girls, is better for my being actively involved.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope the girls have learned from me while helping them with the badges. As second year Juniors, the girls worked in groups and presented a badge for the rest of the Junior group. I hope this helps the girls learn to be more independent, purchase within a set budget, take the initiative to research and lead the badges, and practice public speaking skills to overcome the fear of presenting to a group. I also hope my own daughter has personally learned that it may not be easy to volunteer but with the right group/troop support it can be very rewarding.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
Before taking on the roles I have in our troop, I was not used to being out in front of people. I am very comfortable doing things in the background. As TCM for a troop of over 50 girls, I have created spreadsheets for booths to account for physical sales and the new digital side, for planning the initial cookie order, organizing cookie pickup times, and to schedule the last day for cookie return/settlement. Holding parents and girls accountable for money and the schedule forces you to be assertive to achieve a better outcome for the whole troop.
As treasurer, I have tried to make sure all the leaders are repaid the money they spend for badges and supplies in a timely manner. To do that, we had to raise our troop dues and explain why the increase was necessary. I feel in a smaller single level troop that would have been much easier than explaining to the parents of 50 girls in a multi-level troop why we needed a 60% increase in troop dues to continue to provide and an excellent program without the volunteer leaders personally covering the fees and expenses.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org