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 firstname.lastname@example.org.