Tag Archives: Volunteer Appreciation Month

Volunteer Spotlight: Elba Barr

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Elba Barr of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region has been a Girl Scout volunteer for more than a decade, serving in many different roles. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elba 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 been a volunteer with Girl Scouts in some capacity for nearly 15 years. I became a volunteer because the direct impact my leaders had on me as a kid. I decided to continue volunteering because I understand that I have a generational impact working with these amazing young ladies. ​In these young ladies, I have intense hope and faith in our future, cause they are trailblazers!

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

I have been a Gold Award mentor (in other councils), multi-level troop leader, service unit fall program and cookie program manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that actively trying failing at something is the greatest achievement someone can take​. We as a society focus so much on perfection and not how many chances/failed attempts it takes to get there. I think celebrating and recognizing failure and how to learn from it is the greatest thing I have learned and share with these girls. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope my girls have learned from me that the answer to a question will always b​e no if never asked. I want them to ask all the “stupid” or “obvious” questions and continue to learn/grow to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

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

I have started and failed in business adventures. I have learned that being a leader is not the easy option and that taken the “hard left over the easy right” is a constant challenge and that billions of new ideas every day waiting to be discovered you just have to try. But, the most important thing I have learned being a volunteer is that I don’t need to be the best in someone else’s vision, I just need to be the best version of me I can be at this time, because next year or five years from now, I’m going to be different.  

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 Appreciation Month: A tree for every volunteer

Girl Scouts prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. You – our amazing volunteers – play a big part in their success.

Our appreciation gift to volunteers this year is to have thousands of trees planted in areas around the state of Colorado that have been devastated by wildfires and floods. We made a donation to the Restoring Colorado’s Forests Fund, through the Colorado State Forest Service, to purchase a tree in honor of each of our volunteers.

Your time, energy, and dedication to making Girl Scouts a great experience for girls has a lasting and positive impact. In recognition of all the amazing things that you do, we chose the gift of trees that will also have a lasting and positive impact by helping to restore forested areas in our beautiful state.

Thank you for being a Girl Scout volunteer!

Stephanie A. Foote, President and CEO

Girl Scouts of Colorado

Thank You Letter to Girl Scouts of CO From Mike Lester

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Ellenberger

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Melissa Ellenberger of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak region is both a troop leader and service unit volunteer. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Melissa 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?

Girl Scouting is a family tradition.  My mother was my troop leader and earned the Curved Bar Award. As a Girl Scout, I earned the Gold Award.  I volunteered to ensure my daughter had a great Girl Scout experience.  

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

At first, I was a leader.  As I got more involved, I became the service unit cookie manager,  trainer, and service unit manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

That the Girl Scout experience is just as valid and important today as it was 20, 40, and 60 years ago.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

That following the Girl Scout Law means you can live an amazing life and have a whole lot of fun.

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

I’m a teacher as well as Girl Scout volunteer. The two go hand-in-hand in showing off my G.I.R.L. skills.

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: Toni Rath

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Toni Rath of Berthoud in the Northern & Northeastern CO region is  a troop leader, service unit manager, service unit cookie manager, and member of GSCO’s Membership Connection Committee.  She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Toni 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 husband is retired Air Force so volunteering was just what we do as a family. My girls wanted to join Girl Scouts and the troop needed a leader so I said “Sure, why not!”

The girls were young so they would have no idea that I didn’t know at the time (or anytime we do something new!) what I was doing as long as we had fun.

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

This list keeps getting longer.. troop leader, service unit manager, PA/VIT girl trainer, service unit cookie manager and trainer, day camp unit leader, and I just started on MCC.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

WOW, I have learned A LOT!!  When doing a badge or a patch with the girls, I learn more about them and how much I actually didn’t know about the topic of the badge. I think the girls teach me more than anything. They show me a new perspective and different ways something can be accomplished.  As a service unit manager, I have learned how important each and every volunteer in our area is, no matter how big or small their roll is. Each comes with a  gift or expertise that our girls can really learn from. I have also learned how important it is to know my fellow service unit managers in other areas to get troop ideas, information and support and hopefully able to do the same for them.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls have learned to ask more questions of each other and of themselves and really listen to better know those around them, and know themselves. Activities really rule their lives these days and it is important to really listen and reflect on what is important to them. I also hope that they have learned how to be encouraging. A kind word and the ability to notice when someone has made the right choice can go a long way! They need to know if I am willing to be patient with them and go down the rabbit hole to learn to recover from a mistake, as they get older, they can do the same for themselves and their peers.

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

Well, those cookies aren’t going to walk to a booth and sell themselves! Ok, maybe they will as long as someone gets them there.. As the girls in our troop get older, it seems the push to get them to go and get gets harder. I have to model that for them.  If I want them to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and a leader, I have to do the same. They push me to at least try something new, make something better, and ask others to join me on my crazy journey. I can’t ask them to do something if I am not willing 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.

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth Moore

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Elizabeth Moore of Conifer in the Metro Denver region has served as a troop leader and service unit volunteer for many years. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Elizabeth 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?

Initially, I began volunteering because it was the only way for my daughters to get the Girl Scout experience I wanted for them. As my role expanded, however, my motivation became to deliver the Girl Scout experience to as many girls within my sphere of influence that I could.

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

First and foremost, I am a troop leader. My troop spans from kindergarten Daisies to a 9th grade Senior. I have many co-leaders that help me manage all the different levels of girls, but I manage most of the administrative work and a lot of the activity planning. Right now, I am actively leading the Daisy and Cadette levels. I also serve as service unit manager (a natural outgrowth from managing such a large troop) and a trainer (primarily to fill the need I saw within my service unit).

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned a lot about event planning and communication. I’ve learned about teaching girls at all ages. I’ve also learned a lot about myself – what I’m capable of, what my strengths are, and where I can still use some help.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that girls have learned how to be confident, how to pursue things they are interested in learning about, and how to take risks that they might not otherwise.

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

My experiences in Girl Scouts have enabled me to reenter the workforce after 10 years of raising my children. I never would have had the skills – or the confidence! – I needed without having volunteered.

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: Amy Caperton

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Amy Caperton of Littleton in the Metro Denver region has served as a troop leader and Product Program volunteer for many years. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Amy 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 leader when my younger daughter started kindergarten. My older daughter was already involved in Girl Scouts, so I wanted to be sure my younger daughter also had an opportunity to do so. I was not sure I would have time to do it with working full-time and having three children, however it has been a great experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I would not change it for anything.

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

I started as troop cookie manager for my older daughter’s troop. I did that for 12 years. I was also my service unit’s cookie cupboard for two years. I moved on to service unit cookie manager, a role which I have done now for eight years. I have also been fall product program manager for my service unit for the last three years. Finally, and most importantly, I have been a leader for my troop since kindergarten, so this is my 11th year as their leader.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that it is important to listen to what the girls have to say, be patient and understanding, and have lots of resources available to accomplish our troop goals.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls in my troop, wether presently or not, have learned to stand up for what they believe in, speak for themselves, be accountable for their words and actions, not be afraid to take risks, think outside the box, and be kind to others– truly live by the Girl Scout Law.

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

I have become a go-getter in figuring out what I needed to do to accomplish my troop’s goals. I had to be an innovator by rolling with the punches. When things don’t go as planned, I’ve learned you have to adapt.  I’ve had to be a risk-taker by trying new things and getting outside my comfort zone at times. My role as leader has benefitted me by helping me be more outspoken in other aspects of my life as well. I think overall it has benefitted me to know I can accomplish what I set out to do and also be more confident in myself.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.

What’s the big deal about volunteer recognitions?

Submitted by Caroline Cornell

Metro Denver

Aurora

Are you up for a quest?  My challenge to each service unit across Colorado is to find your outstanding volunteer for 2017/18 and nominate her (or him) for an adult recognition award.  It’s an easy process and will make a world of difference when you celebrate your success.  The deadline for submission is March 31, 2018.

Why bother recognizing our volunteers?

In a perfect world, girls would remember to thank their troop leaders every year on Leader Appreciation Day (pssst – it’s April 22).  To celebrate, parents might help their daughter write her troop leader a special note.  Or, bring her a small surprise like a plant or some homemade cupcakes.  But wait, who tells girls and their parents that it’s Leader Appreciation Day?  Yep, that’s the trap most of us fall into.  The reality is, troop leaders don’t.  Because it just feels weird.

I GET IT. We’re all volunteers.  We’re not in it for the recognition.  We don’t need a t-shirt.  We come back year after year to experience the satisfaction of watching a girl grow from a timid Daisy to a confident and strong Gold Award Girl Scout who’s ready to bridge to adulthood.  Let’s face it, we’re here for the hugs.

Formal volunteer recognition isn’t something a volunteer would ever ask for, but it is something that makes her feel valued and appreciated.  Kind of like when your kids magically clean their bedroom for your birthday and you didn’t need to remind them about it.

What does it fell like to receive an adult volunteer recognition?

About seven years ago, my service unit decided  to celebrate our volunteers by recognizing at least one person who’s done an outstanding job that year.  Just to make it interesting, we keep it top secret until we hold our end of year celebration.  It’s become a great tradition and has yielded some really big surprises.  Being a volunteer should be celebrated.

As the Membership Connection Committee chair, I know that Girl Scouts of Colorado recognized nearly twice as many volunteers in 2017 than we did the year before.  This increase still means we only recognized about 1% of our volunteers.

What do I do next?

Nominate someone today!  Applications are open now and must be completed by March 31, 2018, to qualify for this year’s award cycle.  http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html. All of the details about the application process including the qualifications can be found in the Appreciation Award Packet.

Questions about the MCC?  Learn more at: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Inez Winter

6F6B0220-D7FF-4AA3-BC8D-3A34D366D275

 

 

 

 

 

 

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Troop Leader Inez Winter in Pagosa Springs was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. She recently shared the following letter about why she is a GSCO volunteer.

C604DBDE-3944-4E0C-82E7-DD6E5DB6BF3F IMG_0670

I have always known that I wanted to be a Girl Scout leader. I remember being of Brownie-age and watching the kids down the street heading for their Girl Scout meeting. I don’t know why my mom didn’t let me be in Girl Scouts at that time. I told myself at a young age that if I couldn’t be a Girl Scout I would someday be a leader. I was so excited when my daughter started kindergarten and brought home the flyer to join. I went to the organizational meeting and of course, I was the first person to raise my hand to be a leader. I was able to be a leader for my oldest daughter for almost seven years and for my youngest for two years. Now, many years later, I am into my second year as a leader for my two granddaughters. We currently have 12 girls in our troop. This is the beginning of my 10th year as a Girl Scout leader. I can honestly say that being a Girl Scout leader was one of the choices that I made with my heart and a choice that I have never regretted making. I have many girls who, still to this day, tell me about how much of a difference that I have made in their lives. I am still in contact with many of “my girls.” Many of them are mothers themselves now and it always puts a smile on my face when we talk about the “old days,” going to Rancho Girl Scout Camp, camping at the Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, and so many other places that we went to. We always made memories that will truly last a lifetime. If you have an extra couple of hours a week, we’d love to have you join us as an assistant leader or better yet start your own troop as a leader.

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: Melissa Palka

image1

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Melissa Palka in the Pikes Peak region is a lifetime Girl Scout and a leader for Troop 40910.  She is a very dedicated volunteer who juggles her medical career, family, and her Girl Scout leadership role with a lot of energy and grace.  Melissa is very highly spoken of by her peers and is well loved by the girls she leads. We asked her to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I have been a Girl Scout for 27 years, 11 as a Girl Scout, 16 as a leader.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer because I believe in the Girl Scout mission. I want to assist you ladies in recognizing, and achieving their maximal potential. 

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

I have had the privilege of holding various leadership positions. I have worked in outreach multi-level troops at Boys and Girls clubs, military posts, and in the community. I currently am a Brownie troop leader.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned many things. Girl Scouts teaches me new things often. I have learned organization, communication, and leadership skills. Most important lesson I have learned: let the girls lead!

I hope the girls have learned: this world is full of amazing opportunities, believe in yourself, be persistent while working hard, and you will be successful.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

My favorite Girl Scout memory was a trip to Our Chalet in Switzerland, where me met international Girl Guides, hiked in the Swiss Alps, and traveled to various cities in Europe. What an incredible experience!

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Words of advice for volunteers: use a planner to stay organized, communicate often with parents (I love email updates), value Girl Scout input in the planning, you do NOT have to coordinate everything as the leader, have fun and the girls will too!

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: Nawal Shahril

nawalshahril

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Nawal Shahril in the Pikes Peak region was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community. Although she is only in her second year of leadership, Nawal has been described by her co-leaders as a “dynamo,” who puts a tremendous amount of love and energy into leading her girls in the troop.  She is creative, fun, and works very hard.

GSCO asked Nawal to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

Two years

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

It was a no-brainer when my girls expressed an interest in joining Girl Scouts. I always wanted to be one back in my hometown in Malaysia. When the opportunity of joining Girl Scouts with my kids came up, I jumped on it and embarked on this wonderful journey.

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

Before we start any badges or journey, I always question myself “What can I do/offer more to these girls to create an experience that they will never forget?” Activities don’t just limit to follow certain guidelines, but to go beyond what is expected in every facet of Girl Scouting. My team and I brainstorm, plan, and execute activities that excite, build confidence, are fun, and out of the norm to challenge the girl’s thinking and expose them to various cultures and aspects of life. I act as a planner, the go-to person, a buddy, and most importantly, a sister to every Girl Scout.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?

By just looking at the badges chart, I know instantly that we are going to learn so much and have the best adventure ahead. I’ve learned to be more creative in my approach and be a better planner and at time management. I’ve learned that different individuals have different needs and you just have to have different tricks up your sleeves. I hope that my enthusiasm, fun, and positivity inspire every girl that I met to be bold, brave, and not to be afraid to dream big. Girls can achieve anything that they have set to achieve.

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

I would say every event that brought the girls together is my favorite memory so far! Camping, World Thinking Day.. you name it! I just love the giggles, cheers, laughter, and fun time the girls had together. Reminded me of myself when I was that age 🙂

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

The moment you feel like quitting or giving up because Girl Scouts’ activities took almost 60% of your free time, just stop and reevaluate. Your kids will grow up pretty fast and you might not have the chance to be with them to do all sorts of activities. As long as they are enjoying and making a difference in their lives through Girl Scouting, you know that you are not going to quit just yet. Just enjoy the process and absorb as much as you can. It’s all worth it!

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.