Tag Archives: Volunteer Appreciation Month

Volunteer Spotlight: Mariah Emond

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Mariah Emond of Delta 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 Mariah 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 as I wanted my daughter to have the same access to amazing opportunities I had as a girl in Girl Scouts. I enjoy the camaraderie with other mothers raising a Girl Scout. I love to be seen as a part of another girl’s life as a positive supporter- encouraging them to hang out another 15 minutes at the booth sale as I know their goal to earn their incentive is but another buying customer! I am truly a supporter of all prosocial, after school activities that work on skill development for our youth- these kids need it now more than ever. 

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

This is my first volunteer position as an adult! I enjoyed 11 years of being a Girl Scout and two years at summer camp near Deckers as the Challenge Course Facilitator. So far, I had been able to help at Applefest with the outreach table. I help with our bi-monthly troop meetings. I attended the cookie rally sleepover and made a short presentation on ways to sell more cookies! We created the first summer camp on the Western Slope in Delta County and had tons of fun exploring the history of Fort Uncompaghre and swimming. Most of all, I am a parent of an amazing little go-getter and love to help her sell nuts, magazines, and cookies.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Everything is possible with teamwork and creative thinking! Having Ms. Mary Bucklin as our troop leader and SU, we are especially blessed to have her years of experience that she shares graciously. I watch her be attentive to all the girls, organize the parents, and make up a year of activities with us! I want to grow up and be just like her- giving, gracious, and so passionate about giving girls the opportunities to succeed. I also have learned so much from our co-leader, Kris Love, about the new Girl Scout processes of cookie buying, apps, and ways to keep everything organized in Girl Scouts. I also love to read on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Blog about al the things we can participate in statewide. It’s great information about the connectedness of an organization. The new online trainings are helpful and to the point on a wide variety of things- like outdoor cooking!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they see that they can be anyone they dream of, that they can be fierce with their dreams, and kind to the world while they achieve their dream. I want all girls to know that the level playing field of life exists, if we as women dare to recreate the perception of ourselves into authors of out life and the story is our own unique one to tell. I hope that we can grow a kind generation, one that cares for all the resources on the planet!

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

I take more risks to get to know people. I am a social person, but not always with people I haven’t yet met. I feel more confident talking to people about the wide world of Girl Scouts and have pushed outside my normal comfort zone. It’s been fun getting to work on new projects that don’t require my professional self to show up- I can just be a caring parent/adult and enjoy having fun with our troop. I feel that Girl Scouts made my foundation for leadership skills and I have always love to learn more to be a better leader. I feel confident that we have the tools in Girl Scouts to share with every girl to grow up to be herself and good to the world!

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: PJ Chenoweth

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

GSCO asked PJ 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 after my daughter had been a Girl Scout for about three years. I loved what the program had done for her self-confidence, her ability to speak in front of others, and how it had expanded her circle of friends to include Girl Scouts in other towns. I completely believe this program does amazing things for the girls who participate, and I want to continue to keep this program available in my town.

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

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have worked with girls to earn badges and complete Journeys, guided them through small community service projects, and for the past two years, I have served as the troop’s cookie manager.

I was also fortunate to have assisted with day camp for a couple of years.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned several valuable skills including inventory management, meeting planning including planning on the fly, great camping skills, and more. But, the best thing I’ve learned being a Girl Scout volunteer is that there is a vast group of women and girls that does their best to live by the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and it’s a great feeling to know there are so many who are ready to take action in times of need.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls I have interacted with have learned skills that they can use later in life, I hope they have learned not to limit themselves in setting goals, and I hope they have learned to always do their best to live by the Law and Promise, but to know that everyone slips up sometimes.

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

My experience as a volunteer helped me become a G.I.R.L. by getting me out of my comfort zone. I had to become a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader by jumping in as the troop’s leader and cookie manager shortly after beginning a new Girl Scout year. Suddenly, it was all on me to keep the troop going. I quickly recruited another parent to become my co-leader, and we were off on adventure!

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 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: Lisa Ali

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Lisa Ali 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 askedLisa 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 always wanted to be a Girl Scout. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance growing up as there was not enough volunteers in our neighborhood. I remember thinking as a little girl that I sure wished I could be a Girl Scout and wear an amazing Brownie uniform and go camping with all my girlfriends. I remember thinking that if I ever had a daughter, I would be a leader, so that she would get the chance to dawn the Brownie cap. I didn’t want her to miss out on becoming the best little human she could be and the experiences she would have with her Girl Scout friends would be priceless. So, when my daughter smiled up at me one day and shared that she wanted to be a Girl Scout, (she had a flyer in her Thursday folder from school) I looked into it. There were NO open troops of Daisies in our area. Initially, I felt defeated until council introduced Tiffany Stone to me and we met for coffee one afternoon and the rest is history. Our troop was established and the Daisies who began with the troop are still together as second year Juniors and first year Cadettes.

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

I was terrified to be a Girl Scout leader as I seriously had NO clue on how to run a Girl Scout troop. I was at a loss and I tell you thank goodness for my co-leader as she is creative, motivated, and AMAZING. So amazing that since she runs the Urban Trails Service Unit I had to throw my hat in the ring and I have been the service unit cookie manager finishing my fourth year.  So, I am a Girl Scout mom, leader, and SUCM. I just love the volunteers in Urban Trails as they are an amazing group of people who make having the roles I play worth every moment. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Well, as a volunteer I have learned a variety of things about myself, my daughter, engaging parents, and team work. Being a leader is a lot of work. Helping the girls learn how to be the best humans they can be through kindness, empathy, diversity, and respecting themselves and showing respect to others has been an amazing challenge. It was like herding cats when they were Daisies, all that energy and sparkle it was almost impossible to contain. When they became Brownies and they started to take an active interested in “being girl led,” it was challenging to let them have more of the control and creativity, as they continued to explore who they are as individuals and as a troop. I learned what the term “safe failures” means and how it helps our girls become confident and self sufficient. Teaching them to stand up for themselves and others in a way that is kind and assertive has been such an area of growth.  Watching them support one another as they take on life challenges or they see a fellow Girl Scout sister emotionally hurting and supporting them without prompts, was the most amazing reward for me to experience. I think in regards to what I have learned about being a Girl Scout volunteer regarding my troop has been the girls learning that they don’t always win, an that is okay, taking a loss or a failure for a learning experience and trying harder the next time has been breath taking.  Our girls have always been go-getters, innovators, risk -takers, and are becoming leaders. From the very inception of our troop, we have always had the expectations the girls would give back to their community as part of their yearly activities. Every year they have picked a give back project and paid for it through some of the earnings from the Fall Product or Girl Scout Cookie programs.  Our girls have given cookies and suitcases to kids in foster care, so that they don’t have to move from home to home with their belongings in a plastic bags. They have built and painted a little library for the community where their meetings are held and created a community garden amongst other things.  It has been a joy to watch them grow, not only physically but emotionally and mentally. I know I rambled as I began to write my thoughts got a way from me. I have learned that it takes a village to have an amazing troop. We have that, between the leaders, the girls and the parents and all the support they give our troop is able to thrive. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they have learned to believe in themselves, that making mistakes is just fine, being a team is empowering, and that being accountable for your actions is key to growth as a beautiful human. 

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

Well, this is a loaded question. I am a Puerto Rican, African American, Caucasian adopted woman who struggles with dyslexia and ADHD.  I don’t like being in the spotlight as all my life I have struggled with finding my place of belonging and believing in myself.  You know self esteem issues and all that.  Being an adopted bi-racial person, I was always the square peg that just didn’t quite fit. I wanted something different for my daughter, I wanted her to have a sense of belonging from a very young age. So, I knew that I wanted to create a troop that is diverse in all ways possible. I wanted to have a place where all girls regardless of their ethnic background, socio economic situation, family dynamics, cultural experience, or learning style had a place to feel accepted for who they are as they are. I wanted to create a troop where all girls had a sense of belonging and sisterhood was true.  Becoming a Girl Scout volunteer, I knew as a brand-new troop leader that I was going to make mistakes, grow from them, and become a better person. Definitely not without hard work and some bumps along the way. I believe that I have become a go-getter by exceeding my boundaries and challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone. Hiking in the woods, sleeping in uncomfortable places, and walking in the dark with the fear of bears are just a few of the obstacles I have overcome.  Not to mention placing myself in a role where others depend on me as the person who can support and help them have a successful cookie season.  Managing all the ins and outs of being a SUCM in an organized fashion takes patiences, innovation, and leadership.  The challenge of my dyslexia and ADHD has always been so difficult growing up and not wanting others to see me as flawed I always seemed to shy away from leadership roles which would have me standing out in the crowd. I was much more of a blend into the shadows type of person. I now understand ADHD and dyslexia are part of who I am and that being a risk-taker, go-getter, and innovator has made me a great leader therefore helping me to embrace ALL that I am. I am grateful for the parents in our troop, the girls and especially my co-leader because without all these individuals I may still have been someone who was okay with staying in the shadows.  Volunteering has helped me grow, heal and accept me for me and I now know I am enough.  

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.