Tag Archives: volunteer

Volunteers needed: Parade of Lights

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, Colorado’s largest holiday parade, is in Downtown Denver on December 1 and 2, 2017. We are currently looking for volunteers to participate as costumed characters, banner elves, and grandstand ambassadors. These volunteers (12-years-old and older) will be assigned to a unit and specific costume and face paint. The volunteers will march the two-mile parade route (under the supervision of a unit captain) in character while waiving at the thousands of locals who come to watch the parade each year.

Persons interested in participating in this year’s parade should go to www.denverparadeoflights.com and fill out an application as soon as possible. Positions are filling up quickly!

Recruit parents to help your Girl Scout troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

You know those parents who always step up, lend a hand, and bring the fun to your Girl Scout troop? Wouldn’t it be amazing if more followed their lead and signed up to volunteer? 

Girl Scout troop leader Richel Newborg is never short on volunteers, but not because she’s lucky—she puts in the effort to bring them into the fold. After reading her tried-and-true tips on Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog, The Trailhead, we knew we had to spread her wisdom throughout the Movement. Check out Richel’s advice in her own words below, follow her lead, and watch as your troop gets all the support you could ever need!

1. Set an expectation that everyone volunteers and we are in this together.

My first opportunity to let parents know I need their help is when new members join the group. We always welcome each new member and their family at the girls’ first troop meeting. I introduce key members of our troop leadership and I let parents know that they will be asked to volunteer for at least one thing. Usually I list in writing which things I know I’ll need help with and a brief description of what duties are involved. This way parents are free to select what interests them. 

Some of these jobs might be helping pack for the camping trip, cookie mom, bringing snacks, or cutting out pieces for SWAPS. Your troop will have different positions depending on how you expect your year to unfold, so customize your own list according to your needs. Let everyone know that by pitching in and helping even with a small task means no one is responsible for all the work and it balances out across the board. It’s an important lesson for the girls to learn too. 

A few jobs you might need filled in your troop are: 

  • troop treasurer
  • cookie volunteer
  • initial cookie check-out assistant
  • snack planning
  • carpool drivers
  • camping lead
  • SWAPS volunteer
  • recruitment supporter
  • community outreach
  • event planning (bridging ceremonies, holiday parties, Court of Awards, etc.) 
2. Use a family talent survey and require every family to fill one out.

This is a survey where parents are asked about their own Girl Scout background as well as what talents and tasks they may be able to help with. From this you can learn a lot about who’s on your team! When my girls’ parents completed their surveys, I quickly discovered we had tons of parents with camping gear and the skills to go with it. We also learned 10 parents were CPR certified and two worked in the medical field. Go through your roster and make sure every parent has responded, and remind non-responders that this is one way you can get to know them and learn how they all can support the troop. 

3. Plan a family event and then fit the job to the personality.

When you host a fun family event, you’ll quickly learn a lot about the parents in your troop. It’s true that some folks love to be in front of kids, some have great teaching skills, while others are terrified, and don’t know what to do. At our family events we make sure to have a mix of activities, games and team building-type activities that everyone participates in with their girls. 

This gives everyone an opportunity to have fun together and you’ll quickly know everyone’s personalities from how they participate. 

4. Ask parents personally for their help.

In the age of social media and email, avoid the mistake of asking for volunteers by a broadcast email. That approach almost never works and will only cause you frustration. It’s also important that you refrain from complaining publicly about a lack of volunteers in your troop. Honestly, nothing scares off helpers faster than someone that’s complaining!

Instead address parents in a small group or in a one-on-one conversation. Make sure you speak with a positive tone and avoid being confrontational. Campouts, BBQs, and events that are geared to be “mixers” are a perfect time to ask, because parents tend to be relaxed and not stressed about their other obligations. Don’t feel like you have to fill every role by the end of your first month of meetings. Some people may need to get to know you and your group before they step up. 

5. Once someone says yes, follow up and set them up for success.

As soon as you can, you’ll also want to contact the volunteer to give them all the information they need to be successful. You’ll also need to let them know if there is any training specific to their position that they will need to attend or complete such as a council background check. 

For instance a dad that wants to take the lead on camping trips needs to not only register as an adult and get a background check, he’ll also need to take your council’s required training. A mom who said she wants to help with cookies might need to attend an online training or come to a service unit meeting to get information on how a Girl Scout Cookie Program works. Since some of these trainings can be done online and some must be done in person, it’s important to provide them with this information. Check with your council for the best online resources, and to find out about in person trainings. 

6. Recognize the volunteer right away.

Once someone says they will help, make sure you thank them. I like to write a personal note and hand it to them at the next meeting. Also at the next troop meeting, in front of all the parents and girls, announce the new volunteer’s role. Then ask everyone to thank him or her for stepping up and helping support the troop. This makes the newcomer feel great about volunteering and makes it a bit tougher to back out! It also lets the girls know they have a team supporting their Girl Scout experience throughout the year! 

Follow these tips and keep a positive attitude and you’ll quickly learn that there are many parents that want to help!

Simple tips to grow your troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!

Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead

1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.

It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).

When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.

2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.

Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.

3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).

No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.

4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.

There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a service unit or council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are. 

Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)

5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.

Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!

Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.

Three winning ways to welcome new girls to your troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Your troop may already be up and running, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to welcome new members! Adding new girls to your troop—even midyear—can help energize your group, showcase the Girl Scout spirit of sisterhood and inclusion, and demonstrate by example how Girl Scouts is the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Period.

After all, Girl Scouts is all about trying new things, building new skills, and getting to know new friends in a safe and supportive all-girl environment—with guidance from caring troop leaders like you, of course!

To smooth the transition for your newbies, incorporate these fun activities into your meetings, and new girls will feel at home in no time at all!

1. Set up a storytelling meet-and-greet!
One of the absolute best ways to connect with others is by swapping stories. Introduce newcomers at their first meeting, then have everyone else introduce themselves, covering the basics, like their first name, age, and years in Girl Scouts. Encourage your seasoned Girl Scouts to go a little more in-depth by sharing something about their families, pets, or interests. Maybe each girl can pick three things about herself she’d like her new Girl Scout sisters to know. Once all troop members have introduced themselves, ask new girls to share some of their own stories. 

Be sure to build in time for questions so the girls have even more opportunities to connect and share. Make it super interactive and fun by finishing up the meeting with a cool trivia game to see how much they remember about one another! 

2. Showcase what your troop loves to do most! 
At a new girl’s first or second meeting, work with the other girls to plan an activity around things the troop loves to do most, whether that be community service, outdoor adventure, photography, or science experiments. What better way to get a new Girl Scout’s experience off to an exciting and memorable start than to head straight into the action? 

At the beginning of the meeting, have a couple girls take the lead and explain the activity and why they love it so much. For subsequent meetings, give new girls the opportunity to choose activities they love most and help them plan something special to share with the troop! 

3. Encourage her to take the lead!

Girl Scouting is all about taking the lead and making things happen, so let newcomers do so early and often. You can start small, having them lead a simple activity, or go big by encouraging them to teach their Girl Scout sisters about an issue that really matters to them. You might also go around the room and have everyone share what taking the lead like a Girl Scout means to them, complete with real-life examples to help new girls really get a grasp of leadership and everything they have the power to accomplish as Girl Scouts. Allow them time to ask questions, too. Learning and leading, that’s how we Girl Scouts do it!

Volunteer Spotlight: Nancy Mucklow

Nancy Mucklow

 

Ask Nancy Mucklow how long she’s been a Girl Scout and she’ll say “forever!” This lifetime Girl Scout joined our sisterhood in the second grade and hasn’t looked back. She planned on having a daughter and becoming a troop leader, but life doesn’t always work out like we plan.

After she and her husband moved to Steamboat in 1989, they had two boys. Nancy remained involved in Girl Scouts as a Service Unit Manager, but soon the boys’ 4H activities required more of her attention. Even though Girl Scouts had to “take the backseat” for a few years, she remained involved and did what she could to support local girls, leaders, and other volunteers.  After her youngest son graduated from high school a few years ago, she jumped full force back into Girl Scouts.

“Nancy has REALLY helped grow Girl Scouts in our Mountain Communities, particularly in her service unit,” said Cricket Hawkins, Volunteer Support Specialist for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

So, how did she do it? Nancy will tell you it was one volunteer…  one troop… one girl at a time. She got to know each of them personally. What did they want to do as Girl Scouts? What did they need help with? What activities did they only dream of doing and what was getting in their way of accomplishing their goals?

Nancy did all she could to help. She worked to secure local funding, which enabled Routt County Girl Scouts to go horseback riding regardless of their ability to pay. She has also helped to organize a STEM Day, troop camping trips, and events designed for specific age groups, like Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors.

“Our older girls need to be participating in events designed just for them, so Girl Scouts is more than just a line on their resume or college application,” she said.

Nancy realizes she is able to do more than the average volunteer, but that doesn’t stop her from encouraging others to help whenever and wherever they can.

“Whatever small amount you are doing—whether it’s providing snacks at a meeting or driving girls to a field trip–  it’s important. Even if you can only do one small thing, it matters and it makes a difference in the lives of girls,” Nancy said.

Nancy is also a member of the Girl Scouts Board of Directors. Her term expires later this year, so she applied for a seat on the GSCO Membership Connection Committee. In addition to her role as a Girl Scout volunteer, Nancy also sits on the board of the Routt County United Way and volunteers with the local Methodist church.

Share the Love: Celebrate the Special Volunteer in Your Life!

BG

Volunteers around the country are the extraordinary force that make Girl Scouting possible every day—and that is truly amazing. They give their time, spark, and hearts to make a difference in the lives of girls who in turn help make the world a better place. Now that’s a team effort!

Celebrate the special Girl Scout volunteer in your life, past or present, with this awesome shareable card during this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Week! Download it, bring a few printouts to an upcoming troop meeting, and ask everyone to include a note sharing the love for the amazing effort your own Girl Scout volunteer puts in month after month.

And don’t forget, today and every day, to let them know how appreciated they are. Share with them how they make a difference in your life, how they brighten your day, and how everything they do makes an impact—on girls and the world.

Why is your Cookie Dad the best?

Dads are an important part of the Girl Scouts of Colorado Cookie Team. That’s why this selling season we want to honor dads, who help cookie bosses all across Colorado meet their sales goals.

If your Cookie Dad is the best, write a short essay about what he does that is so awesome and submit it through Share Your Stories on the Girl Scouts of Colorado web-site. Be sure to include a photo of him, preferably involved in a Girl Scout Cookies-related activity. However, any photo will do. You may also submit a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video. All submissions must be received by March 27, 2015, which is also the end of the cookie sale.

The best stories will be shared on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog and social media networks. We also have a special prize for the best submissions to show dad just how much we appreciate him for being part of the Girl Scouts of Colorado Cookie Team.

If you have questions, please email Girl Scouts of Colorado Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper.

Cookie bosses go digital

Submitted by GSUSA

Yes, you read that right! Digital Cookie is a groundbreaking new addition to the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program you know and love—the first-ever national digital platform in the program’s history. This enhancement takes the cookie program beyond the booth, creating another fun, safe, interactive space for girls to sell cookies. It’s a total game changer!

And this is just the beginning. The 2014 launch of Digital Cookie is only the first phase of a multi-year project to get Girl Scouts building their online cookie businesses—learning more, earning more, and having more fun. Future versions of Digital Cookie will provide improved user experiences for girls and cookie customers alike, and a more robust customer interface to make it even easier for customers to support girls through their cookie purchases.

Right now the majority of the 112 Girl Scout councils nationwide are participating in Digital Cookie during the 2014–2015 cookie season, and more are expected to be on board by the end of 2015, using an updated “version 2.0.”

Just like with our traditional cookie sale, all the money girls earn through Digital Cookie stays with their local council, and girls decide how to reinvest it back into their neighborhoods and communities. Like all Girl Scout Cookie consumers, Digital Cookie customers are not only getting a delicious treat—they are also making an important investment in their communities.

Keep in mind, though, that Girl Scout Cookies are still only available during Girl Scout Cookie season, so whether you stock up at a traditional sale or through Digital Cookie, make sure you get them before they are gone!

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers…

Will Digital Cookie be available in my area?

Visit www.girlscouts.org/digitalcookieto see if Digital Cookie is available in your market.

How will shipping be calculated?

All shipping costs associated with Digital Cookie are in line with industry standards set by many reputable delivery services. The cost associated is comparable to what a customer would pay when buying Girl Scout Cookies at a booth sale and shipping the cookies themselves.

Is this online option safe for girls? 

Digital Cookie emphasizes the safety of both girls and customers. There are specific safety requirements and regulations put in place that are in line with the traditional cookie program’s safety regulations, with the appropriate caregiver monitoring the cookie sale. As is true with the traditional cookie program, a parent, guardian, caregiver, or buddy (depending on the age of the Girl Scout) must be with the girl when she’s delivering cookies.

What about the girls who are not participating in Digital Cookie?

Girls not participating in Digital Cookie may call and send email messages to alert friends and family to product sales, and they can accept customer commitments via email or telephone. Girls who are 13 years of age or older may use social networking sites to market product, but must follow council and GSUSA guidelines.

Today’s girls are digital natives, and they wanted a cookie program that could teach them twenty-first-century skills in twenty-first-century ways—skills they’ll need to have in order to be leaders in today’s high-tech world. Well, that cookie program is now here, and we’re more excited than ever before!

Colorado Gives Day 2013 a success!

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Thank you Colorado for your support of Girl Scouts of Colorado on Colorado Gives Day 2013! We had a record-setting year and raised more than $36,000!! This money will go a long way in helping us build the leaders of tomorrow, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have made a difference!

If you didn’t have a chance to support Girl Scouts of Colorado on Colorado Gives Day, please visit our website to learn more about the year-round opportunities to help our organization. If you can’t give monetarily, we are always in need of volunteers, especially volunteers who can lead Girl Scout troops. And you don’t have to have a girl enrolled in Girl Scouts to be a troop leader either!

Thank you for making our holiday season just a little brighter this year!

Volunteer with Denver Santa Claus Shop

Volunteers & Donations needed for Denver Santa Claus Shop: The Denver Santa Claus Shop has the mission of “A Toy for Every Girl and Boy”, and they need your help! The Denver Santa Claus Shop is in need of toy donations (especially Barbies – new or gently used/loved) and other dolls (please no stuffed animals). Donations can be dropped off at metro Denver Mattress November 10 to December 11, or you can bring them with you when you volunteer. 

Volunteer needs:

SORTING: December – 3rd, 5th, 10th, & 12th From 4:30 to 7:00 pm – dinner and drink will be served.

DECORATING AND SORTING: December 7th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Donuts, bagels, juice, snacks & lunch will be served. There will be 3 shifts for larger groups of 5 or more to control nos. of volunteers working at one time. Shifts are 9:00 to 11:00 or 11:00 to 1:00 or 1:00 to 3:00 let me know which 2-hour shift you would like.

SHELF STOCKING AND CLEAN-UP: December – 13th, 14th, & 16th – 2:30 to 3:30 pm December 17th  – 2:30 to 4:30 pm just clean up

WE’D LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US: To join any of the pre-shop festivities, we request that you contact Lynn Stambaugh by email preshopgal@denversantaclausshop.org or at 720-312-4592 to sign-up for a spot. To learn more about the Denver Santa Claus Shop go to http://www.denversantaclausshop.org/