Tag Archives: National Volunteer Appreciation Month

Volunteer Spotlight: Catherine Bendl

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Catherine Bendl of Golden in the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Catherine 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 my girls were interested in trying Girl Scouts and I wanted to make sure their experience was a good one. Now that I’m a troop leader, I appreciate those volunteers who help to make events and outings possible because they are willing to help.

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

I am currently troop leader for our Cadette troop. It is such a rewarding experience and I’m so glad I took the leap to start a troop. Watching these older girls connect is so wonderful! Previously, I volunteered as an adult member of troops and helped with overnights, cookie sales, badge work, and meeting prep.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that volunteering is usually so easy and ends up being so worth it in the end. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned that giving time to help others is a vital part of what makes us successful people. I hope that they see that giving of yourself brings joy to others and to self.

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

I started my own business just before we started the new troop last fall. This experience has helped me to pursue my business in going after new clients and taking risks doing tasks I’ve never done before. I hope by making my business successful that the girls will learn that being a leader is a positive thing and will help them in the future. 

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: Aneida Slomski

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Aneida Slomski of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Aneida 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 got my daughters into Girl Scouts because I enjoyed being a Girl Scout when I was a girl. It’s a great program and after a couple years, the troop needed a new leader, so I volunteered.

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

I started out as a Brownie Leader, and then we became a multi-level troop and I went up through the levels with my daughters. I work with the Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors now and I’m the treasurer for our troop. I love working with this level because they’re so capable and have such good ideas. I have volunteered at day camps and service units. Now, I’m a service unit co-director. I’m on various committees on the service unit level to help plan our fall campout and World Thinking Day activities. I help coordinate summer activities with our troop, like campouts and trips to go caving (the crawling on your knees kind, not the walking kind) and whitewater rafting. We have camped at three different Girl Scout camps in Colorado through the years. I’ve also helped coordinate many trips to local businesses and organizations, so the girls can learn how things work in our area and the girls can get service project ideas.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I am a homebody. The girls really get me out of my comfort zone and I like it. I started out not even knowing how to start a fire. I had to learn to cook outdoors; I think sometimes I cook better outdoors than indoors! I learned PowerPoint and Excel to help the troop. The first spreadsheet I made added the phone number. I had to learn knots, map and compass, lashing, and other outdoor skills, so I could teach the girls for the Reach for the Peak camping competition. They learned from the leaders, and then they just ran with it. They got so good at it that they reached the point where they told the leaders where to sign and where to drive them and they won the highest award.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls have learned to try new things. If a girl has an idea (and they always have amazing ideas), there are adults who will help them get to where they want to be, cheering them on. I hope the girls learn about the outdoors and how capable they are in that environment. In a multi-level troop, they really get the opportunity to work with girls of different ages and cultural backgrounds. I hope they have learned that our differences are no big deal.

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

Being a leader has taught me to be on the lookout for exciting things to share with the girls and to work with others to make them happen. As an innovator, I’ve learned to create events from scratch like day camps and cultural events. I am not the type to take a lot of risks, but I was a risk-taker and a leader when I organized a townhall meeting to save Sky High Ranch. I have never gotten involved like that before, and it was really amazing to see my adult daughters, the girls from our area, former camp counselors, and so many local leaders coming together to speak up and save our camp. Council listened, they were very supportive, and Sky High Ranch was open for summer camp again. We did it for the girls.

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: Christine Kucera

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Christine Kucera of Steamboat Springs in the Mountain Communities region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Christine 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’ve become a Girl Scout volunteer for many reasons. First, I volunteered to become a troop leader while in college at Illinois State University. I missed all of the fun activities and my connection to younger girls. I felt that I had a lot to share with a group of Brownies. I had a wonderful time taking them camping and teaching them what I remembered as most special to me.

After I got married and moved to California, I volunteered again. I wasn’t ready to have children of my own yet, but again missed my connection with girls. I became very involved with a troop of girls through Juniors and Cadettes. We taught them life skills, took them canoeing, camping, and skiing.  One of them had never seen snow and now takes her family skiing.

We moved to Colorado and took a break from volunteering to spend more time on the slopes and raising children. I resisted volunteering for a while because I felt that I was too busy with my two children. My kids went to a small local charter school north of Steamboat Springs and I realized that my daughter needs to get to know more town kids to help ease her eventual integration into the high school. I was able to find a Girl Scout troop that would hold off starting the meeting after school until we could arrive. This was a nice sized troop that had lots of fun playing games and singing songs, but was not doing any badges. I was hoping to have my daughter enjoy Girl Scouts without her mom as the leader, but I stepped in and helped. I led this troop through Bronze and Silver awards, trained them to win Reach for the Peak, and am guiding them down their paths to the Gold Award. Girl Scouts has become an important part of my soul.

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

I now have many roles in Girl Scouts. I am a Senior/Ambassador troop leader, member of the local Girl Scout grant committee, Mountain Communities region volunteer trainer, local troop camp director, and 2018 National Delegate. My troop and I lead many local events each year, ranging from bridging, World Thinking Day, cookie rallies, monthly multiage group meetings, and annual troop camp. I am a trainer for adults, especially 101 and Camping and Cooking. I am the trainer for Program Aides and soon Volunteer in Training. I plan and implement PA-run troop camp for Juniors and older each summer. I was honored to be selected as a National Delegate and want to take my troop to the National Convention in Florida in October 2020.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that when girls are challenged, they step up and can accomplish anything. I have seen Daisies learn how to use a compass, tie lashing, and do dishes for all of camp with more maturity than the average middle schooler. I have seen girls struggle with the stress of the Reach for the Peak Competition, immediately start planning their next year’s theme and come back two years later to win the Peak Award. My troop ran a local older girl super troop, teaching outdoor skills, Girl Scout ceremonies, songs and games, and had girls repeatedly ask me when I will be healthy enough to start it up again this year until I got it scheduled. I have watched my daughter work diligently for a year and a half on her Gold Award, only to say “I know I could be done at this point, but I want to go bigger and make a real difference.” I have girls from my California troop who contacted me over Facebook and reminisce with me about the things we did and how they are sharing those things with their families. I have learned that everything I do with Girl Scouts makes a lasting impact on young women and it makes me feel inspired every time I see an unspoken thank you.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that girls learn to pass on their strengths while improving their weaknesses. My greatest hope is they realize that they are role models for people younger and older than themselves and they can make as big of an impact as they desire.

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

My greatest desire is to give my daughter amazing experiences that help her through her life journey. While trying to accomplish this, I have stepped up and become a go-getter. I have had to come up with innovative ways to share everything I know and teach her things I am learning for the first time. I have taken risks that I would not have dreamed of before that have made me a stronger person. Have I become a better leader than before? I think that goes without saying. Even more importantly than my personal growth, I have watched all the girls I’ve interacted with turn in a G.I.R.L. by following my example. Girl Scouts makes all of us better women.

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: Cindy Miller

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Cindy Miller of Denver in the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Cindy 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 am passionate about women in leadership and have always been active in women’s leadership organizations. Girl Scouts provides the most amazing leadership development programs for girls. The broad membership of Girl Scouts means that we impact so many girls as an organization. As a volunteer, I get to impact the organization as a whole and also individual girls, which I love.

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

I am a Gold Award mentor and committee member. I mentor up to five girls at a time. I serve on the GSCO Board of Directors and as a Committee Chair, and I volunteer to support events around the state whenever or wherever I can. I help with the 99’s Aviation Patch Day each year (I’m also a member of the 99’s), and I love working at a cookie distribution site each year. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

That our future is a good one because there are so many smart, engaged young women in Girl Scouts, who are already making an impact on the world. I can’t wait to see what they do next. I’ve also learned that there are so many dedicated volunteers, who do so much for Girl Scouts. I am humbled by the time and energy  that so many of them invest.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that girls learn to approach challenges as opportunities to learn, that solving a problem is rewarding, and that learning new things is always exciting even if you don’t think you will “use” that skill or information again. I learn a great deal from girls (and other volunteers) – especially the highest awards girls. The problems they see in the community and the world, and how they go about making an impact, inspires me.

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

I think I was already a G.I.R.L. I just didn’t have that acronym to describe it. Volunteering with Girl Scouts, however, has given me the opportunity to apply my leadership skills in new ways. Being around other G.I.R.L.s, I have learned to see and think about problems in new ways (innovator).

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: Becky Woodbridge

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Becky Woodbridge of Durango in the Southwestern Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Becky 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 daughter was the main reason why I volunteered for Girl Scouts. However, I became a leader because I wanted to support as many girls as I can in my community. I am an advocate for women to use their voice and live with dignity. Beliefs are formed when we are young and I feel strongly that girls need support early on, so they grow into being a strong leader and to build the belief that they have the right to use their voice and what they say and do matters. I was a Girl Scout and it was a tremendous foundation for my morals, values, and character.

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

I am the troop founder and leader of 26243 in Durango. We started in July 2018 and currently have 12 girls: Daisies, Brownies, and a Junior. We are expanding our troop in the fall and adding a third co-leader. I am a very active troop leader and we are very involved in the community events.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Oh boy where do I start… I had wonderful memories of Girl Scouts, but mostly it was Girl Scout Camp, selling cookies (1970’s), and doing a craft at a meeting. Beyond that, I was not really familiar what a Girl Scout meeting was all about. There was so much to learn and especially all of the new products, learning tools and resources like the Volunteer Toolkit. I have learned how to listen to what the girls want in a meeting, structure a meeting, and manage different age groups. The Daisies operate so differently than the Brownies.

What do you hope girls have learned from you? 

I hope girls have learned by my example. Leadership has many different facets. Listening to concerns and addressing them. Be polite and treat everyone of all ages with respect and follow the Girl Scout Law. To be adventurous, enjoy the journey, and take risks.

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

I’ve been a leader of my own real estate company, a lead purser with American Airlines, and now Girl Scouts. Applying it to children with the right degree of go getting, inspiring innovation, taking risk in new territory has pushed me to be better and more effective leader. Without a doubt Girl Scouts is playing a very important role for me as a leader with my new start up business. It’s making me stronger!

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: Amanda Hanson

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Amanda Hanson of Montrose in the Southwestern Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Amanda 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 joined Girl Scouts mainly to be able to attend events with my girls and help as needed. After being in our troop for about six months, I was asked to become a leader for Daisies. It worked perfectly because my youngest was a Daisy.

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

I started out as a support volunteer. With our cookie money from last year, we took the troop on a camping trip to Mesa Verde. I coordinated all the meals, pre-made most of them, shopped for the food and served it while camping. Just before going on our camping trip, I was asked to become the Daisy leader. During this cookie season, I helped get our troop cookie cupboard set up. I also helped parents with booth sign-ups. I was a booth coordinator and helped make sure other booth coordinators had their supplies as well. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that the girls really soak in what you teach them. I love seeing and hearing about girls working on service projects and doing things, such as picking up trash even without being prompted. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I love how the Girl Scout Law is a foundation for everything in life. I love how as a Daisy leader, I get to teach the Law and how it pertains to every aspect of who we are. Many kids and adults these days lack the basic life skills, such as being honest and fair, respecting authority, and being considerate and caring. My hope as a leader is that these girls will take a stand to be different than the standard “normal” and remember the Law no matter how long they participate in Girl Scouts.

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

I am naturally an introverted person. I don’t like to step out of my comfort zone and was extremely hesitant about becoming a leader. Being a volunteer has pushed me to step up and help where I would normally shy away. It’s allowed me to show my girls and others that it is ok to do something new. I’ve learned to be confident in teaching other girls, give the girls tools and resources to learn new things, and help them build on existing skills and ideas. 

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: Amberly Petty

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Amberly Petty of Meeker in the Western Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Amberly 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 daughter started begging to be a Girl Scout around the age of four. At that point, I’m pretty sure she was just in it for the cookies. Once she started kindergarten, I registered her and asked the local troop leader if she needed any help. Soon after, I was thrown unexpectedly into the world of Girl Scouts: camp outs, songs, field trips, badge work, and the Promise and Law. What started as just wanting a bit of extra bonding time with my daughter turned into finding a community and an organization that truly aligns with my values and morals. While growing up, I did not have the opportunity to be in this sisterhood, so now I am making up for lost time. I’m excited for the possibilities that await not only me, but my daughter and our troop. I want to not only be a living example of our Law and Promise, but also instill these values in all girls and help shape the leaders of tomorrow. 

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

I’m currently serving as a co-leader for our troop. During my first year, I also jumped in to serve as the fall product program manager and a co-cookie manager. I am excited to see where my journey will take me and plan to continue to serve in different capacities. In time, I would love to one day help lead trainings for new leaders. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Wow. I can’t possibly list all the things I’ve learned as we’d be here for hours… Some of the most recent things that come to mind are patience and conflict resolution. Being a leader has been incredibly rewarding, but there have also been many challenges as well. Learning to work with so many people (girls and adults) has been difficult, intriguing, and fun. There are so many different leadership styles, skills sets, strengths, and weaknesses that it can be overwhelming at times. I’m learning to do many things differently than I may have planned or expected, which is truly rewarding and extremely worthwhile. One of the other most impactful things I’ve learned is that this really is a girl-led program: even our youngest girls can lead in huge ways. The girls surprise me at every meeting with something new to learn. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

First and foremost, I hope the girls have learned I am their ally, partner, equal, and friend. I hope they see me as a safe person and resource for them to come to if they need help or have questions. I hope they view me as someone they can feel comfortable around. I hope they have learned that mistakes are okay and just the building blocks of larger successes. I hope they’ve learned that silliness is a large part in the recipe for happiness and fun. And, I hope they’ve learned that we are a team, a sisterhood, and will work together through fun times and challenging times. 

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

These girls have and are still shaping me into things I never thought possible for myself. They helped me set large goals for this year’s cookie season that I thought were impossible. I watched them prove me wrong week after week. They pushed me outside of my own comfort zone to be a go-getting risk-taker, while innovating new ways to sell and have fun. The girls in my troop push me to be the best leader I can be. They ask intriguing questions, keep me on my toes, and allow me room to be myself and make mistakes at times, too. I’m forever grateful for the person they are molding me into and I can only hope I am impacting them half as much as they are impacting me.

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: Rini Kirkpatrick

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Rini Kirkpatrick in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Rini 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?

Growing up in Indonesia, I was in Girl Scouts for several years. During that time, I saw my parents being involved by helping out with activities, such as camping trips, hikes, and other activities. I learned a lot as a Girl Scout, and even though I did not continue past middle school, I wanted that experience for our daughter.

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

I started out at the troop level as a leader for our daughter’s Daisy troop. As we continued our Girl Scouting adventures, I became more involved with the service unit. I served as a service unit cookie manager for several years, and was involved in the parent-daughter volunteer camp for three years. I was also on the committee with the first Youth Engaged in Learning about Leadership (YELL) event in Northern Colorado. Currently, our troop is hosting the Power Up anti-bullying program update pilot, so we can offer it to troops in the region. In addition, I support the SU fall product program manager and the older girl Gift Wrap Committee. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Through the years, I learned that being a volunteer was a great way to connect and be involved with our daughter, as well as other girls. Looking back, I feel a sense of wonder of how much the girls in the troop have grown into leaders. The Girl Scout program includes so many options, they meet the varied interests of girls. I hope I was able to make a difference in girls’ lives, so they can reach their full potential, achieve their dreams, and make a difference in the world. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

Perseverance. Standing up for yourself and for others. Learning there are different ways you can make a difference, and it does not have to be a big thing to make a difference. Courage. Willing to make new friends, even if you don’t know anyone. Finding your people. Working together. Being open to new experiences. Having open hearts and open minds.

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

When working to provide girls with the best leadership experience, I have gone out my comfort zone to organize and participate in activities that I had not previously done. I hope by guiding girls to take charge of their own activities, I show that leaders are not necessarily those who are in front, but also those who ensure that people around them have the opportunity to grow into their fullest potential. 

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: Jessica Heacock

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jessica of Dolores in the Western Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jessica 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 started out being talked into a co-leader position, and “all I needed to do was sign on the bank account.” Our original leader quit right after cookie season started last year, and at first I was terrified. I’ve been the leader since, and it’s been a blessing in disguise. 

My family has made friends with families that have common goals like we do, and we have planned set aside time (meetings), that we learn and work together.

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

I’ve been co-leader, leader, and troop cookie manager. I also distribute volunteer recruiting supplies as needed, and serve on the service unit team. All roles take different amounts of time, and some people are ready for cookies to be done right after they start. My family makes it a family time experience while selling cookies, and my girls love doing it.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I’ve learned a lot of things as a Girl Scout volunteer. I’ve learned different ways to teach and let girls help. I’ve learned the Girl Scout steps myself, as I was not one when I was younger. The things we learn at meetings help our daily life.  Most importantly, I’ve learned to be flexible, as not all girls learn the same way and at the same rate. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope girls have learned how to be a strong leader and valuable individual in our community and communication skills. All of those traits will take them a long way in life. 

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

I’ve personally learned a lot of things, but the best part is I’m passing skills to my daughters as well.  We applied risk- taker when we made our initial cookie order. We also offered to take other troops’ stock because my girls were having fun selling. We transferred 102 packages of S’mores after March 1, so we could enter into the S’mores drawing, all not knowing if we could sell the cookies. I’ve learned a lot of leader skills teaching lessons, and using the VTK. We try to apply go-getter to everything we do, whether it’s selling cookies, or finishing homework. The best part is, everything we learn can be applied to everyday life. 

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: Catherine Rice

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Catherine Rice of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Catherine 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 fond memories of my short five years as a Brownie and Girl Scout and had wanted my daughter to have the same fun. I was the classic story of a busy, working  mother who attended an organizational meeting and said, “I cannot be the leader, but I will help.”  Of course, I was the only one who even said that much! Thus I became a leader, so that we could get a Brownie troop started (Daisies had not yet begun).  It was one of my wisest decisions. I happily remained the leader of Hawaii Troop 614 for 15 years, seeing nine girls earn their Gold Awards. When my daughter gave birth to a girl, we saw more green blood! We could not wait for her to become a Daisy, and I am now in year seven as one of the co-leaders with her mother of Colorado Troop 41002 and having fun all over again.  Why?  Because I believe completely in the Girl Scout Program which encourages girls to be their best and become leaders all while having so much fun and making lifelong friendships. I have seen my girls become international travelers, a media success, business owners, doctors, an active community volunteer, a national forest executive, and three of them are Girl Scout leaders, so I know it works!  Watching our younger girls grow so quickly and become G.I.R.L.s is such a thrill because I see the program still working.

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

During my first 15 years as a Leader, our school had a troop in nearly every grade. For several years, I was the liaison between the school and the Girl Scout Board and I was a member of the Girl Scout Board. Our service unit was very large and very active, so I was involved with the annual parades, calendar production and sales, and several large statewide camps celebrating Girl Scout milestones. I was very honored to receipt the Volunteer Appreciation Pin.  One of my more exciting adventures was as an adult chaperone for Melinda Caroll’s Girl Scout Choir. We traveled around the state and attended the National Convention in 1993.  And I accompanied one of my Gold Girl Scouts, who had created an educational traveling recycling project, to an environmental camp at the Edith Macy Center in New York attended by one girl and adult from each State. It was fun and interesting to see the many different sides of Girl Scouting. My role now is mostly as a leader, who tries to help wherever I can and being a retired grandmother allows me the freedom to attended most activities and trainings. I was able to help with recruitment events during the summer and fall and on the service unit level, I have helped to plan camps and World Thinking Day events. I am also part of the Girl Scout Travel Group.  Being a Girl Scout Volunteer has blessed me with many lifelong adult friendships as well.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

The girls are my inspiration!!!  Throughout my Girl Scout volunteer days, the girls have always been the more creative and motivational ones.  The leaders may give them ideas, but watching them run with those ideas is phenomenal.  Doing as much as I can to keep girls in the program through high school is my current goal because I have seen the doors that the Girl Scouting experience has opened for my first troop. There are so many opportunities for older girls. I have also learned that camping and selling cookies in warm Hawaii is so much easier than in freezing Colorado! 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

Hopefully, I have been a good role model for the girls, showing them that anything is possible and that doing crazy things is fun at any age. Living the Girl Scout Way is very important to me and I hope that they feel and act the same. Mostly, I want them to always remember their Girl Scout years with fondness, laughing at funny memories, proud of their hard work, remembering that Girl Scouts leave a place better than they found it, and that we always strive to 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 kept me going in so many ways. Throughout a very stressful career in the financial world, it reminded me that “I got this” no matter the challenge. I’m not so sure I have been a great innovator, but I have learned from the girls! Girl Scouting has made me courageous and strong and always willing to try new things – that is the fun of it all. I was always a follower in school, but after being a Girl Scout leader I found that I could be the head of a group. I remember being so nervous in front of parent meetings that my voice would shake, but after many years of doing it over and over I am much more comfortable.

Thinking back through the years while writing this, I realize how much more I have gained from Girl Scouts than I have given. There were many late nights of planning and writing newsletters (typed in the beginning!), keeping the records organized, buying supplies, days of lugging everything to and from meetings, making sure everyone was safe, but I don’t remember those details. I remember my two sets of Brownies (30 years apart!) looking in the “pond” and seeing themselves, our brown and white situpons, my wonderful assistant leaders and helpful parents (still good friends), our hikes, going to camps, taking 26 Juniors to another island and Easter sunrise on the beach, sitting around our silly inflatable pool at a big statewide camp, 12 costumed Girl Scout parades through Waikiki, and being so proud listening to all of those Gold Award speeches. And my first girls will never let me forget the time I left the meat in my freezer before Easter Brunch at a large family camp! With my current troop, I will remember those darling little Daisies, our first Brownie sleepover, Wild Nights at the Zoo, crawling and sliding through the mud in Cave of the Winds, delivering our HTH cookies to Hope and Home, earning our MEdia Journey at a Hamp Hup overnight, teas, service unit amps, and many badge workshops. 

I am so thankful that those many years ago I said, “I will help”, and will always encourage others 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.