Tag Archives: Volunteer Appreciation Month

Volunteer Spotlight: Nawal Shahril

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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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Lorrie Marzulla

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In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Lorrie Marzulla 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. She has several GSCO volunteer roles, including:

  • Longtime Service Unit Product Sales Manager for Service Units 412 and 406
  • Member of the Gold Award Committee for the Pikes Peak region and mentor to Gold Award candidates
  • Active member of the Pikes Peak region’s Cookie Committee

We asked Lorrie 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 was a Girl Scout as a Brownie, Junior, and two years as a Cadette. Our troop’s leader could no longer be a leader for our troop and we could not find another leader or troop to join, so we had to disband. It was a big disappointment for all of us.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

Due to my Girl Scout experience, I felt that there would be dedicated adult leadership for my daughter’s troop. I felt that the Girl Scout legacy would be different for the girls in my troop. I wanted them to experience all of the wonderful skills and leadership opportunities that Girl Scouts had to offer.

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

I was always the Troop Cookie Mom for our troop and enjoyed helping the girls to achieve their goals in selling. Selling cookies was a necessary part of our agenda – raising funds to support lofty goals that were decided by the girls. We had a girl run troop from their first day of Juniors. It was expected and well-received.

I also am a judge for Reach for the Peak. I find it fascinating to watch these teams compete using their camping skills, but love to watch the teams figure out how to actually perform as a team. I feel anyone can learn the correct way to tie a knot, but working as a high performance team is a skill you learn with practice and with others to be successful.

I also volunteer as a mentor on the Gold Award Committee. I love helping these high achieving ladies develop wonderful projects that enhance our community and turn their ideas into a program that continues long after they graduate from high school. It is fun to watch their confidence and leadership grow as they establish their goals and then achieve them. It still amazes me how they achieve and close out a Gold Award project and still keep up their academics, sports, jobs, and everything else they are committed to in life. The girls really learn how to juggle priorities and learn how to put 10 lbs. of stuff in a 5 lb. can.

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

I hope they learn that if they set their mind to a goal, they can achieve it with proper planning. I hope girls learn how to work with others to achieve their goals and how to reach out to other women to gain support in all areas of life. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork!

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

My favorite memory was camping as a troop when I was a Junior. I was a Girl Scout in Michigan and the camping experience was diverse and varied from the shores of the Great Lakes to canoeing and camping at the Girl Scout camps in Michigan. We loved to sled and winter camp at Camp Holly and loved sleeping in the cabin’s loft full of bunk beds. We used to make ‘spider webs’ out of string throughout the loft and then try to get from one end to the other without touching the string— very difficult and a lot of fun.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Every volunteer will encounter tough situations be it tough troop dynamics, parents who choose to not get involved or provide support, or well-intentioned plans going south. Just know that you are being observed by the girls in your troop and you are their role model. Solve dynamics and tough outcomes with a smile on your face. Use the words “oh well – what change can I make to have a better outcome next time.”   I also believe that “girl-led” troops have the best outcomes. Start the girls early in learning how to run their own show. These troops are the most successful and stay together. Everyone likes making their own choices and this is very true in Girl Scouting. Keep it fun!

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 Event: An evening of painting and fun

Submitted by Girl Scouts of Colorado Volunteer Support Specialist Carmen Valdez

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, GSCO staff celebrated and honored the accomplishments of superstar volunteers in Pueblo. The evening also featured an investiture for our newest stars by our vested Girl Scouts. Lively music filled the air, as volunteers created a one-of-a-kind of masterpiece on canvas. Fun, laughter, and sisterhood was shared by all!

Volunteer Spotlight: Anita Lucero

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In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Anita Lucero 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!

Anita has been a troop leader for the last six years, but her commitment to our girls doesn’t stop there! She is also a Service Unit Manager, Service Unit Product Sales Manager, Cookie Cupboard Manager, Site Delivery Manager for a Colorado Springs delivery site, active member of the region’s Cookie Committee, and GPS Leader (putting on Product Sales rallies and the local mall lock-in). Under her leadership as Service Unit Manager, she has grown the service unit and for the past two years, the service unit has met its goals.

We asked Anita 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?

This is my 16th year in Girl Scouting, 10 years as a girl with this year being my sixth as an adult.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

Seven years ago, my daughter joined Girl Scouts with my niece and I was just the drop and go parent for the first part of the year. As I continued to see coloring sheets coming home after every meeting, I decided to check it out some more. She was bored with the activities that they were doing and so the two of us decided that if we were going to stay in Girl Scouts, we were going to start our own troop. I knew that as time would go on my Girl Scout past would catch up with me and help me along the way. However, I figured out many things had changed over the years, but the core values were the same and you learn as you go.

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

Well, my first and most important role is being a parent. I have to remember that the reason I became a volunteer was because of my daughters.  It is very important to give them as much time and support as I do to every other girl.  I have to remember to treat them like girls and not as assistants.  Although they will be amazing, but it’s not their time yet.  Secondly, I am a troop leader of six amazing girls: two Brownies, one Junior, one Cadette, and two Seniors. They are all very motivating in their own way and we have a ton of fun.  Next, I am Service Unit Manager and Service Unit Cookie Manager of 414 in the southeast area of Colorado Springs. I support about 25 troops all year long and mentor them in the beginning of their troop set-up until they feel comfortable to support their girls on their own. I always remember my first year and how nervous I was, so if I can take a little stress off their shoulders and teach each them a few tips and tricks to help along the way I do. The past two years I have also been on the Cookie Committee in Colorado Springs supporting troops, parents, girls, and staff in anything cookies. My husband and I have also been a cookie cupboard during the selling season, supporting troops in keeping inventory available for girls to sell.  Four years ago, I helped start a group in Colorado Springs called GPS (Girl Planning System).  They were all 6th to 12th graders already PA’s or wanted to be Program Aide trained.  Our first year we planned and carried out the annual Mall Lock-In.  This group has evolved over the years and we currently have 12 girls that have planned many programs to include Fall Rallies, Cookie Rallies, Badge Workshops, Mall Lock-In, and some of the girls are currently planning a day camp for this summer.  Lastly, I just help were needed, I do a ton of recruiting events, I teach at training’s, and support the staff in Pikes Peak Region with anything else they need.

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

I have learned that without these girls in Girl Scouting I would have a lot more free time.  Just kidding! I love to stay busy. I have learned that all of these girls are like good smelling onions. Every girl is different and sometimes we have to peel off more or less layers to find out who they really are and how to guide them through Girl Scouts. Some come because they are told to and others can’t get enough of it. Each girl has their own talents and their own weaknesses and we have to love them for the whole package. We have to be patient and caring. I have learned that as girls grow older their outlook on Girl Scouts changes and we have to respect their emotional feelings. I have also learned that some girls come to Girl Scouts because they obtain opportunities that they can’t get anywhere else. For example, it maybe something simple like how to build a bird house, or how sew a sit upon, or to camp, or travel out of state, or travel to Europe. Whatever it might be for some it could be building memories that last a life time, and I am privileged to be apart of that.

I hope that girls have learned how cool it can be to be a Girl Scout and how you don’t have to be ashamed to tell people at school that you are. I hope that girls learned that they are worth it in this world. They can be who they want to be and no one can stop them. I hope they have learned that you can be super-women without having all the super powers. You don’t have to be perfect you just have to be you, there are always people around you that have the strengths of your own weaknesses, and that what makes teams so great.  

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

Man this question is so hard!!! I have so many amazing memories from when I was a girl. But, the one that means the most to me is “Senior Trip 2000”  my best friend Sara and I were the only ones left in my troop. The year prior we completed our Silver Award and went to Disney World. But, the summer of 2000 we went on a trip of our lifetime.  We went to Europe with a group of selected Girl Scouts from what was the Wagon Wheel Council in Colorado Springs. We traveled through 7+ countries in just over 20 days. It was absolutely amazing. I saw so many beautiful things and made many new friends. I got to visit Pax Lodge and Our Chalet, two very beautiful Girl Scout World Centers. We went to Buckingham Palace, The Eiffel Tower,  a salt mine, The Louvre, and ate chicken everyday, but one amazingly enough cooked a different way every time. I learned how to pack and unpack and how to call home with a calling card. This trip gave me so many learning lessons that I would have never got sitting in a classroom. I learned on this trip and many years since that even though I may not see those same girls today I still know in my heart that they are sister Girl Scouts and we will forever have a connection.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

The best advice I can give to every volunteer (and staff) is without the girls we won’t have an organization. Each and every thing that we do daily, weekly, or monthly is for the girls. To my fellow volunteers, we are here to support and guide.  Girl Scouting is supposed to be girl-led so let it happen. No matter how bad our OCD is for control or for their success that we want them to have we have to remember it is okay to fail let them learn from their mistakes. Working with girls and teaching them something new will help them on their path. Listening and understanding of what they want to accomplish and volunteers supporting them will better them for their future roles of Girl Scouting. I encourage everyone to take updated training’s, ask questions, and be more involved. The more networking that you do with others the more educated you become.  Attend your Service Unit meetings and check/reply to your email. Shadow other troops and invite older girls to come with your Daisies and Brownies. Put those crayons down and take your girls (EVEN DAISIES) on a hike, go to camp (Sky High is AMAZING!!!!!), and tackle a fear or two.  Girl Scouting can be anything you want it to be sometimes you just have to try-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.

 

We love our Girl Scout volunteers!

Submitted by Girl Scouts of Colorado Volunteer Support Specialist Rebecca Lipman

Metro Denver

Denver

On Saturday, April 9, 2017, the Program Team for the Denver Metro region hosted the annual Volunteer Appreciation Event at the Denver Art Museum. We celebrated the first 100 years of Girl Scouts in Colorado and looked forward to the next 100 years! GSCO staff welcomed nearly 100 key volunteers and their families to celebrate their contributions over the past year. The event was held to recognize volunteers who go above and beyond in demonstrating their dedication to the Girl Scout movement at both the local and council levels.  Among these incredible volunteers were service unit team members and service unit managers, service unit product sales managers, trainers, mentors serving on the Gold Award Committee, and Outdoor Program Volunteers.  Most of these volunteers hold multiple roles beyond the troop level while continuing to serve girls on their troop leadership teams. Volunteers were recognized for years of service, different roles, and meeting service unit goals. Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie Foote gave a keynote speech thanking the volunteers for their service and highlighting some of the accomplishments of Girl Scouts of Colorado, which would not be possible without our amazing volunteers. Stephanie also spent some time meeting all the Girl Scouts in attendance and giving them her special CEO patch! 

One thing that made this event really special for everyone in attendance was the location. We were honored to be able to share the amazing work of the Denver Art Museum with volunteers and their families.  Volunteers were able to enjoy a fun day at the museum with their families before and after the reception.  Many volunteers said they appreciated being able to bring their families to the event and loved being able to explore the museum. A special thanks to the staff of the Denver Art Museum for helping us host such a unique event!

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Jester

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(Linda says she is usually the one behind the camera, so this is a photo of her girls.)

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Linda Jester in the Pikes Peak region has been a troop leader for the past 11 years– six of them in Colorado!  She was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

Since moving to Colorado, she has volunteered for GSCO in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Service Unit Manager for three years, during which time she has been very active in mentoring new leaders and often mentors volunteers outside of her service unit
  • Trainer for age level training and PA training
  • Assembling a comprehensive new leader checklist that follows Volunteer Essentials and all policies
  • Volunteer Recruiter for three years

We asked Linda 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 as a girl (1972-1974); since 2007 as an adult

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

Because my 5-year-old daughter wanted to join (her older brother was having fun as a Cub Scout). There were no troops at her school and all other local troops met after school at other locations. Since I worked, I couldn’t get her to those. The only way she could become a Girl Scout was if I started a troop. I did what I had to do for my daughter!

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

Troop Leader, Recruitment/Membership Specialist (different terms for this role in different councils), Service Unit Manager, adult and girl trainer, new leader mentor, and a whole bunch of other duties as needed over the years!

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

I have learned that the main thing holding girls back are moms! In general, today’s moms are generally over-protective (my opinion) and do way too much for their kids. I tried to teach the girls that they can do anything  and they are more capable than they think they are. They probably sometimes thought I was mean because I wouldn’t do things for them (“you can roll up your own sleeping bag”) and I made them do things they didn’t have to do at home (“yes, you have to wash your own dishes”)!

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

We were at Hamp Hut when the Waldo Canyon Fire started. My girls were rising 5th and 6th graders, but a troop of rising 2nd graders had just joined us for their first campout as Brownies. We had badge stations everywhere—back patio, front porch, on tables in the hut– and of course, the “bedroom” looked like a tornado had gone through. The girls were all just finishing up a snack they had baked in the kitchen (older ones helping the younger ones with their first Brownie badge activity) when I made the decision to evacuate. My girls sprang into action. They got everything packed up and loaded into the cars—including all the young Brownies and their things—in 45 minutes! We were just backing out when the ranger came by with the official notice to evacuate. I was so proud of the girls! They kept cool under pressure, got things done, and did their best to keep the younger girls calm.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Don’t try to do everything yourself! First, remember that troops should be girl-led. No, things won’t run smoothly, but that’s ok! It really is! Consider the age of the girls, but have them do as much as they can and certainly have them make decisions whenever possible. Second, it’s ok to ask parents to take on a task. You can come up with a list of jobs (including running a meeting—you don’t have to do every one!) and ask each family to take on one or two jobs. Trust me, you will burn yourself out if you try to do it all yourself.

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

Honoring the Girl Scout volunteer in your girl’s life

Submitted by Victoria Gigoux, Membership Connection Committee Member

Western Slope

Grand Junction

As Girl Scout volunteers, we are all aware of the countless hours of time we give to girls in Colorado and if you’ve ever asked “What’s the value of being a volunteer,” the answer just might surprise you!

According to Independent Sector, the estimated value of volunteer time, is just under $24.00 per hour. For many devoted volunteers, that could add up to a significant “gift” in a year, and much more sizeable over a lifetime.  Just as monetary donors get recognition for their generosity, so should volunteers who give of their time and talent, as well.

Do you have someone you need to thank?  Then, there’s no time like the present.  April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and while there are many options for formally recognizing and showing appreciation for outstanding volunteers who go above and beyond, in most cases, it’s simple peer-to-peer appreciation and genuine gestures that count the most.

A volunteer who feels they are doing a worthwhile job and feels appreciated for it, is more likely to continue to help out.  So, how can you express genuine appreciation to your volunteers, such as a co-leader, Service Unit Manager or Cookie Parent?  Although there are countless ways to say thanks, unless you have your own “Volunteer Appreciation Committee” (lucky!), it’s going to fall on you to keep your gratitude fresh and creative.

Here are ten ways to recognize, and show gratitude for, volunteers that you can incorporate into your menu of peer-to-peer kudos:

  • Tell your volunteers frequently that they are doing a good job – Although you shouldn’t forget to come up with some creative ways to formally say thanks, don’t overlook the power of a simple THANK YOU!  This can be verbally, or a simple handwritten note.
  • Thank You Box – Set out a box and index cards in a high traffic area. As people come and go, they can write a special message for the volunteer and put it in the box. Empty the box regularly and give these messages to your volunteer.
  • Spread the word – Put message of appreciation and photos on your website, in a troop newsletter and/or post them on your social media.
  • Remember holidays, birthdays and milestones – These are times volunteers will be likely be reflecting/thinking most on what they do and why, so let them know you are also thinking about them.
  • Small Gifts of Gratitude – Who doesn’t like gifts? Even something as small as a $5 Starbucks gift card is appreciated.  It shows effort and lets the volunteer know you were thinking of them at a time outside of Girl Scout time.  Tight on funds….ask parents to donate to your “appreciation” fund or reach out to shops in your community – you never know what you can get at a discount (or FREE!) if you don’t ask.
  • Share a Gift of Love – Ask those served, such as girls and parents, to make personal gifts. Art work, baked goods, poems, the possibilities are endless and a way to get girls and families involved.
  • Go Out Together – Go somewhere together, where you aren’t doing your “job” but have an opportunity to build on your relationships. This can be something as simple as a pot luck or Leader’s Night Out. You know what will work for your group of volunteers,  just pick a date and go!
  • Create a Scrapbook. Have co-leaders, parents, and girls write comments and quotes about the difference volunteers make and put them in a book. Add photos! If you aren’t crafty, there are many online places that can create wonderful keepsakes at reasonable prices.  This is an especially lovely gift for a volunteer who has reached a significant milestone, such as years of service.
  • Send a letter of thanks and recognition to the volunteer’s employer. Do your volunteers work outside of volunteering? This is an excellent to show your volunteer you appreciate them and their time, especially when some of the donated time has been during regular business hours, courtesy of the employer.  It also speaks to the volunteer’s integrity and work ethic.
  • Send a letter of thanks to the volunteer’s family – We all know how giving of our time affects the time we spend with our own families. Don’t ever neglect the family; this group of “forgotten volunteers”!   If a volunteer’s family recognizes the value of the time sacrificed, they are more likely to continue to encourage the volunteer to give of their time. And maybe, just maybe, you build on your volunteer pool!

Remember, recognition should be appropriate for the amount of donated time, the duties performed and the recipient’s unique personality.  And, don’t fret, it’s not the cost of the recognition that matters.  Don’t forget, in most cases, girls are who benefit the most from this dedication of time and should be involved in the process of showing appreciation.  So… get your girls (and families) involved, too!

Still looking for ways to show appreciation, there are other suggestions, resources and additional formal options too.  These can be found at http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation.html

Want to know more about how to connect with the MCC?  Check us out on the GSCO website:  http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Heather Gardner 

Heather Gardner portrait 2017 Denver, CO

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Heather Gardner, leader of Troop 675 in the Mountaineers Service Unit,  was nominated as a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community!

For the last three years, Heather has led her high school troop to plan a girl empowerment event, Perfectly Imperfect, Perfectly You!, with a great guest speaker. Last year, it was 9News Traffic Reporter and pilot Amelia Earhart. This year, it will be celebrity mountain climber Meghan Martin. Heather is described as “articulate and passionate about giving 5th-8th grade girls the tools for self esteem, confidence building, and more as they either enter or are in the middle school years.”  

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

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How long have you been a Girl Scout?

This is my 10th year being a Girl Scout leader/volunteer.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer to allow my daughter the opportunity to be in Girl Scouts. When I was 6-years-old, I tried to join Girl Scouts, but there were no troops or volunteers in my area. When my daughter was in first grade, we went to an orientation meeting and they did not have any available troops or volunteers for our area. I did not want her to miss out on Girl Scouts as I did, so I started a troop. 

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

Girl Scouts allows so many different volunteer roles and growth as a leader. Just a few of the roles I have had the privilege to fill are leader, cookie manager, troop secretary, finance advisor, volunteer coordinator, community outreach, overnight troop camping, CPR/First aid training, event planner, website designer, a second mom, friend, etc. There are so many ways to contribute as an individual, your strengths can always be utilized. 

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

The sky’s the limit! Don’t be afraid to think big, and never be afraid to ask. I truly try to set the example that everything is possible. When I first started to suggest ideas to the troop for events and/or guest speakers, I think my girls thought I was crazy. They never thought we could get so much support from our community, celebrity role models, other troops, etc. I believe I have inspired the girls to think big and that anything is possible.  

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

There are so many Girl Scout memories to choose from! Three of my favorite and most memorable moments were: 1.) Our troop was planning for our next girl empowerment event, and I had just flown in from a week-long business trip the day prior and was super tired. We were brainstorming for our event’s activities and completely got off topic. Some of the silliest things were said and laughed about that night. I truly believe you have to have those moments with your girls! If you ask any of them about it, they will know exactly what I’m talking about. 2.) One of the proudest moments of being a volunteer, was at our very first troop hosted the girl empowerment event. I remember that one of the younger attendees was having some anxiety issues, and one of my older girls took her under her wing and spent time just talking to her. I can’t tell you how proud I was of that moment, and how I felt that everything I did as a volunteer completely paid off then. 3.) Our troop went to Magic Sky Ranch for our annual family camping trip. This was the first time we had been to MSR, and we were in awe when we watched a lightning storm from our cabin window. We all sat there for about an hour in complete darkness, just enjoying the spectacle and each other’s company. 

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Ask for help! I am somewhat controlling, and have really had a tough time listening to my own advice. Over the last couple of years, I have asked for more help than ever – from my co-leader, parents, community, and girls. Surprisingly, people really do want to help, you just have to be specific with what you need. It can be as simple as asking to host a troop sleepover, picking up cookies and running cookie booths, helping with sewing on patches, sending out meeting reminders, going to monthly leader meetings, coming up with volunteer ideas, etc. If you try to do everything yourself, it no longer feels like a troop and you will tire fast. Ask for help and everyone feels involved and has a happier troop.

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

Five ways to thank your Girl Scout volunteer during Volunteer Appreciation Month

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From Girl Scouts of the USA

We know it, you know it, but do they realize it?

Our extraordinary volunteers are what make the adventurous Girl Scout world go round. And during April, we’re ensuring they hear how much girls and parents appreciate that.

Here are five fun ways to show your favorite volunteer your love and gratitude during National Volunteer Appreciation Month (and beyond!):

1. Make something. Who doesn’t love a handmade gift from the heart? Show the one-of-a-kind Girl Scout volunteer in your life just how much they mean to you by breaking out those arts and crafts supplies and getting creative. They’ll love it!

2. Shout ‘em out on social media. What better way to make your favorite Girl Scout volunteer feel special than to broadcast your thanks far and wide? They’re the best, and you’ll shout it loud and clear: I love my Girl Scout volunteer!

Be sure to include a line about why this volunteer (or volunteers!) is so special to you, and include the hashtag #NVW2017 to call out National Volunteer Week, which runs April 23–29.

3. Write them a love letter. Imagine their surprise when they open their mailbox and find a love letter from you. Need a little inspiration? Check out the letter Girl Scouts put together for these amazing volunteers!

4. Send an eCard. Is your Girl Scout volunteer a digital genius? Get innovative and send them a personalized eCard! It’s easy; pick your favorite G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ design, type their name, and share the card on social media or through email. Get started today!

5. Have your girl decide. Girl Scouts is girl-led, after all! The relationships between a Girl Scout and her volunteers are precious, so her thank you can be, too! Ask your girl how she would like to give back to volunteers this month. Does she want to sing a song, cook a delicious meal, or save up to buy flowers? Get those creative juices flowing, and help her take the lead!