Tag Archives: Volunteer Appreciation

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Ramsour

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jessica Ramsour 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 Jessica to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer because I was a Girl Scout from Brownies through the end of high school and I wanted my daughter to be able to have the same wonderful experiences that I had as a Girl Scout. When I went to enroll her in a troop when she started Kindergarten, there wasn’t an open troop near us, so I decided to be her troop leader (as my mom was for me) and start a troop for her and her friends.

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

I am a troop leader for 13 Brownies and Juniors, as well as the service unit manager. I enjoy getting to work with the girls in my troop and watch them learn and grow. It is so fun to see how far they have come and what they have learned. I also enjoy getting to work with the other leaders in my unit and help provide fun activities that the girls all enjoy, no matter their age.

 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned to be more patient and that it is really fun to see the girls learn, grow, and gain the confidence to open up and take on new responsibilities. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope that the girls have learned that they can try anything and that it is okay to not succeed. It doesn’t mean that they can’t do it, they just need to try again and maybe in a different way than they first planned to accomplish the task.

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: Bonnet Riddles

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Bonnet Riddles 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 Bonnet 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 I saw the tremendous value in the program. My troop leader status happened rather by accident. Our current leader was stepping down and without new leadership our troop wouldn’t be able to continue. Despite my many fears over taking on such an endeavor, I knew I had to try for my daughter’s sake, but also for the other girls. They had already built such an amazing sisterhood! 

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

My first volunteer role was as a support parent. I helped with cookie booths and attended most in-person meetings. If I could lend a helping hand in some way, I did. Now as the troop leader, I have many volunteer roles, but am supported by an amazing volunteer team. 
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
As a Girl Scout volunteer, I get to learn right alongside the girls. Whenever we are exploring new communities, ideas, or topics, it’s guaranteed that I will learn something. It’s been a lot of fun exploring new passions and learning more about myself while helping the girls explore their growing identities. 
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope that I can pass along to my girls that you should always be learning and growing as a person. I strive to instill a great sense of responsibility in them for what is going on in their lives and communities. I don’t want them to be bystanders in their lives. 
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: Gena Baker

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Gena Baker 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 Gena 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 the leaders of our troop were moving on with their older girls. I’d seen such growth in my daughter that I didn’t want to risk the troop dissolving and her losing the opportunity to continue participating. Also, because I knew that another mom was ready and willing to step up so neither of us would be alone in this journey! I was in Girl Scouts for a few years as a child and I have fond memories of meetings, outings, and camping (all things I want my daughter to have a chance to make friends while doing!).

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

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I wear many hats! Not only is it my role to help organize and maintain records for the troop, but also to interact with the girls, set a positive example, serve as a mentor and teacher, demonstrate positive relationships with other adults in the troop, put on meetings, plan for events, and be a facilitator to help make the girls’ wishes and hopes a reality. In addition to being a member of the TLT, this year I also was a product program manager for fall product program and that was a new layer of responsibility to learn through. It’s been a great experience this year, even through some challenges we’ve faced, and I’m excited to do it again!

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned as a Girl Scout volunteer is how to be a little more resilient and able to appreciate the differences between individuals. My daughter faced a challenge this year that had me ready to quit. It was actually her perspective on it after the fact that helped me to shift my view, open my mind, and be able to process and move forward. I am so proud of her for sharing her thoughts with me and showing me (and others) her forgiveness and huge heart!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

My one hope for the girls is that they learned that they are important, their thoughts matter, and they have worth! We learned about becoming citizen scientists this year and I’d love to end the year knowing that the girls left with a better understanding of the impact they’re capable of in this world and that every little piece, every detail, is important to the bigger picture. That’s a big ask, I’m aware, so I’ll be happy knowing that the girls just felt like their time was well spent and they learned something. lol  I’d like them to feel affirmed by us, their friends, their troop family that they are important to us.

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: Shannon Cordova

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Shannon Cordova 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 Shannon 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 daughter was interested in joining. I wanted to be a part of it and take an interest in the things and activities that interested her.

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

I started out as  a simple volunteer. I helped where and when needed. I was an extra set of eyes, I helped at cookie booths, and with activities such as World Thinking Day.  Last year, our troop leader left the area and our girls found themselves without a leader, so I became the leader of the troop.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

The most important thing I learned is that the girls do not need a hero. They just need someone that cares and is invested in them. They have the most amazing ideas and with a little bit of guidance can come up with some pretty cool ideas for badges and activities.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they learn to be free thinkers. I hope they learn to share their thoughts and ideas loud and proud. I hope they learn that they can do anything they want to do. Most importantly, I hope they learn to support each other.

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: Kristina Gonzalez

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

GSCO asked Kristina 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 is a Girl Scout, and this is something we enjoy doing together. 

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

As a troop leader, I enjoy planning meetings and watching the girls learn and grow. It is an amazing experience to see the girls develop strength and independence, and build relationships with the other girls. I feel like it is a privilege to be part of their journeys, and to be able to support these girls as they grow and learn. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

So many things! I have learned how to be supportive and kind, while taking a step back and letting the girls run the show. I have learned that these girls are so resilient and strong! The last year has been so tough for everyone, but these girls still show up to meetings with a smile on their face and a genuine excitement to learn and be with their Girl Scout sisters. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I really hope that the girls learn that they are smart, funny, brave, and resilient! The strength and spirit that these girls have is so amazing, and I hope that they have learned that they are truly AMAZING! 

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: Victoria Gigoux

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Victoria Gigoux of Grand Junction 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 Victoria 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 originally became a leader so I could spend time with my kids. I work fulltime, but I was able to leave a little early to take 90-minutes each week with my (at the time) Kindergarten and first grade daughters.  A year later, I had another little girl, so here I am 12 years later as a volunteer with three girls who are still active Girl Scouts. Those two little girls are in 11th and 12th grade this year, but with a fifth grader, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon!

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

  • Troop Leadership
    • Leader in two troops, 12214 and 10065, covering Daisies through Ambassadors
    • Cookie Manager
  • Region One/Service Unit
    • Currently Service Unit Co-Manager for Western Slope, having been here once before
    • Service Unit Treasurer for several years
  • President’s Cabinet
  • Cookies and Cocktails Event Lead
  • Statewide Committees
    • Currently, at-Large member of Board Governance Committee
    • Previously, MCC, having also served as MCC rep to the Board of Directors for four years
  • Previously, Volunteer Awards review committee

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

How much time do you have?  Kidding…

Truthfully, I’ve learned that I love doing this way more than I ever imagined I would. What started out as about two hours a week of spending quality time with my own kids has become such a huge part of who I am. I love volunteering with this organization at every level. I have formed my very best female friendships as a result of working with my truly amazing co-leaders. I have grown networks in my community as a result of my time on the service unit, on statewide committees, and working closely with GSCO staff. I have gained 120-ish (I lost count) new “daughters” over 12 years of being a leader, each I care for as much as my own children. I have learned I would be where I am in life or who I am as a person without each of these relationships. I feel, quite by accident, I am a mentor. I have learned my passion in life is relationship building and fostering girls and women as leaders.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

When I talk about my Girl Scouts, I like to say, “if any one of *my* (because, of course, they are ALL mine!) girls come to a crossroads in life and hears my voice in their head, then I’ve done my job.” To me, this means I hope they’ve learned whatever is most valuable to them in life, whether it be self-confidence, making good choices, trying new things, being kind to others, never giving up….whatever!  If there is a choice and they don’t know where to go or what to do, I hope they always know they have someone in their life who always had their back, was always cheering for them and wishing for the very best life had to offer. I hope they know there is always time to do what you love, to spend with those you value, and give back. I also hope they realize I mean it when I call them “mine” because I am invested, long term, in each of them. If they ever need someone to turn to, I am always just a message away!

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: Barbara Light

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Barbara Light 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 Barbara 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 the mother of five, with only one daughter. I have very fond memories of being a Girl Scout when I was a girl and wanted those opportunities for her. When my very shy girl became interested, I knew she was going to have a great time. We searched for a Girl Scout troop and had luck getting enrolled. At first I wanted to let her do this on her own, to explore without me, to find some independence. With having so many brothers, I wanted her to have a space where she could grow, find her voice, and have “girl time.” When one of the very nice starting troop leaders needed to move on, after only a few months of our joining, I couldn’t let that be the end. I decided to step up and fill the leader spot. It is one of the most rewarding decisions I have ever made. It is a huge bonding experience for my daughter and me, as well as, all the friends we have gathered on the way.

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

I am a troop leader and service unit fall product manager. I believe in Girl Scouts and will help where I can. I have volunteered for cookie distribution day and helped at day camp programs.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have loved watching not only my daughter, but all the girls in my troop build confidence and grit. I know I have also grown in my leadership skills and I probably learn as much as the girls. It is quite a difference to know how to do something yourself and teach someone else to do it. It also takes quite a bit of courage to step back and let them do it for themselves.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope my girls learn that they are never done learning; that they have a voice and are capable of great things; that if they have a goal and work out the steps, they can achieve their passion. I hope they keep the attitude that they don’t have to be the expert, but are still willing to try. I hope they learn they are allowed to be silly sometimes. I hope they lift others with encouragement and always remember they have a whole sisterhood that has their back.

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: Tricia Whitehouse

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Tricia Whitehouse 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 Tricia 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 wanted to become a Girl Scout volunteer to encourage girls to grow and become courageous, strong women who make the world a better place. I also became a Girl Scout volunteer because of the impact that Girl Scouts made in my life when I was younger. I had been a Girl Scout member for approximately seven years. I started as a Brownie and continued through to a Cadette. Unfortunately, our troop disbanded at that time and without the internet; I didn’t know that I could have gone on further independently or I would have. It has always been somewhat of a regret that I wasn’t able to continue on to get my Gold, Silver, or Bronze Awards because our troop leaders never taught us about those achievements in Girl Scouts. Now, I realize that I can still make a difference as an adult volunteer to inspire girls to become leaders in the world around them.

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

My primary role I serve is as a co-leader for our Girl Scout Daisy troop of 12 first graders. I have been a co-leader since our troop was established. I have also served as our troop’s fall product program manager during those years. Last year, I began volunteering as our service unit’s fall product program manager along with another leader’s assistance, Meri Fish. We made an amazing team together. My newest role I serve in our service unit is as an outdoor coordinator.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

There are many things that I have learned as a Girl Scout volunteer. I have enjoyed watching our girls grow to discover their potential, gain confidence, develop new friends and relationships, and take action to make the world a better place through Girl Scouts. I have also learned more about myself in my leadership role that I can carry over into my professional career. It encourages me to grow and develop my own skills as a leader and in the varying roles I serve in the service unit. It has also given me more confidence in being a role model. I have learned that being a part of a leadership team that works so efficiently together, provides our troop with fun new adventures, surprises, and memories throughout their Girl Scout experience. Finally, I feel the most important thing I have learned is that Girl Scouts can truly accomplish amazing things with the help of volunteers who support them.  

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they learn by my leadership example how to be kind, considerate, inclusive, and respectful of others. Secondly, I hope the girls will learn how to make a positive impact on those around them by using tools they have and will learn throughout their Girl Scout experience. I want our Girl Scouts to have the opportunity to experience everything that Girl Scouts has to offer them. I hope they learn that they can do anything they want to accomplish if they empower themselves with the skills needed to excel and values to succeed and reach their fullest potential. I hope I effectively guide and inspire them that they have the courage, confidence, and character to overcome any challenge they may face and to be their own advocate for their dreams and ideas. I want to continuously encourage them to shape their Girl Scout Leadership Experience as they grow and progress through Girl Scouts. So, in their future endeavors, they will develop into strong leaders who continue to use these skills throughout their life to make a difference in the world. I hope our Girl Scouts learn that they always will have a safe place to come with any care, concern, and ideas.  Finally, I hope they learn that they are an important part of my life and they make my world a better place being in 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. 

The History of Volunteer Appreciation Month

Hello from the Girl Scouts of Colorado History Center in Loveland!

Happy National Volunteers Month (April), National Volunteers Week (April 18-24), and Girl Scouts Leader’s Day, also Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day (April 22)! This is a time to honor and thank ALL our outstanding volunteers, whether they are leaders, full time, part-time, or episodic.

National Volunteer Week was first held in 1943 in Canada and was established by the United States government in 1974, occurring annually in the third week of April. It was made official worldwide in 1990. April became National Volunteer Month when President George H. W. Bush’s 1000 Points of Light campaign in 1991 (created as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to encourage and empower the spirit of service) merged with the National Volunteer Center Network Today. These holidays are organized by Points of Light, now the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Americans volunteer 8.8 billion hours annually and with such a massive amount of time donated for the greater cause, all non-volunteers owe this month to celebrate 30-days of appreciation to volunteering efforts.

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) proclaimed Girl Scouts Leader’s Day on April 22, 1982 to recognize the volunteers who serve as role models to millions of youth each year. They selected the date of April 22 because it falls near National Volunteer Week each year. That day in 1982 a flag honoring Girl Scout leaders was flown over the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Girl Scouts has honored, thanked, appreciated its volunteers in many ways since its founding by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912. Originally, the highest award in Girl Guiding, the Silver Fish, first appeared in 1911 and then for a short time in Girl Scouting.  Only three American women were awarded the Silver Fish – Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts USA; Anne Hyde Choate, Juliette’s goddaughter and the second president of Girl Scouts USA; and Helen Storrow, donor of Our Chalet.

Today, Girl Scouts of Colorado has special awards for adult volunteers such as the Rising Star Pin and  President’s Award. GSUSA National awards are the Volunteer of Excellence Pin, Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge, and Thanks Badge II. The GSUSA special award for global-minded volunteers is the Juliette Gordon Low World Friendship Medal. (See https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation.html for more information.) One of our treasured GSCO History Center volunteers, JoAnne Busch, has received the Juliette Gordon Low World Friendship Medal for her global Girl Scout volunteer efforts.

Girl Scout Leader’s Day is the time for girls to show their leaders and community volunteers their gratitude for all that they do for their troop and service unit. One former GSCO leader (actually, she is again now a leader of her granddaughter’s troop!) remembers a volunteer appreciation tea party when each volunteer took home the teacup and saucer that their tea was served in. It is stored along with many special mugs and cups at the GSCO History Center. Another leader remembers her girls decorating her lawn and trees with blue ribbons (the Girl Scout way of “TP-ing” someone’s house!)  She also recalls her troop making signs recycled from used campaign signs (using resources wisely, of course) and hammered them on leader’s lawns. See photo below.

Below are a few treasured leaders thank you gifts. The Gold Oscar was a volunteer appreciation from Northern Colorado Girl Scouts. Creativity and crafty was the norm!

 

The Girl Scouts of Colorado History Center was started and still operated by dedicated volunteers (men and women).  Below is a photo of a few of them being honored for their efforts at the 2017 Women of Distinction (Thin Mint) Dinner in October 2017.

It is so important to thank, recognize, honor, and appreciate Girl Scout volunteers. Today, with the ease of searching on the internet there are many crafty creative ideas to do this. And there is always the good old fashion way to simply hand write a note of thanks.

Our committee of volunteers works hard to preserve and protect our Girl Scout history. Each year they volunteered between 1400 to 1800 hours at the History Center! They look forward to gathering again in person and sharing their passion for GS History with you and your girls. If you have Girl Scout special volunteer stories, gifts or memories, please share here as well.

​Email the GSCO History Center at gscohistory@gmail.com.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Hone Wiltgen


Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Katie Hone Wiltgen 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 Katie to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

Growing up in a small town in western Ohio, I was a Girl Scout from Kindergarten through high school (Girl Scouts of Appleseed Ridge), and my Girl Scout memories are some of my fondest from childhood.  Our troop loved to camp together, sleeping in covered wagons and old, drafty cabins at Camp Myeerah, learning to cook outdoors, exploring the ravines lined by slate rock creeks, singing and laughing around the campfire, and eating more red licorice than a person should consume in a lifetime. My mom (Carol Hone) and Donna Bidlack were our troop leaders, and I’m still so thankful that they made Girl Scouts possible for us, allowing the freedom and providing the support for us to develop our independence and confidence.  I wanted that same positive, supportive, growth-oriented Girl Scout experience for my daughter and the other fabulous girls in her grade. Becoming a Girl Scout volunteer allows me to give back and create those Girl Scout possibilities for them, just as Donna and my mom did for us. The group of girls who grew together as troop sisters during those formative years are all still friends today, and even though we’re now spread across the country, we keep in touch via social media and get together whenever we can, celebrating big life milestones, welcoming new babies into the fold, grieving together through tough times, and cherishing each other’s long-time love and support. 

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

I serve as co-leader of Troop 16190 in Basalt for our troop of fourth grade Juniors that formed when the girls were in first grade. We now have 12 girls in the troop, and we can’t wait to be back together in person when it’s safe to do so! As a former middle and high school choir and band director and now the Director of Education for the Aspen Music Festival and School, I love to plan curriculum and lead groups of kids, so I take care of the activities and meeting-leading for our troop, while my fantastic co-leader and troop volunteers handle our finances and cookie program management. I’ve also recently taken on the role of co-service unit manager for Service Unit 111 (Aspen, Basalt, and Carbondale).

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

First, I’ve learned to be even more thankful for my mom and Donna (my troop leaders from childhood), as it is SO much work to do this well, and they were masterful, making the Girl Scout leading process look totally enjoyable and effortless. Oh, if we only knew!  But more than that, even as an experienced educator, I’m thankful that the 12 girls in our troop have helped me reconnect with some of the most important elements of being a teacher-leader. I learn so much as a Girl Scout volunteer because our girls are constantly teaching me how to be a better educator, mom, and member of our community. I see their willingness to ask each other and me for help and support, and it reminds me that it’s okay to be vulnerable and reach out to others for assistance.  I see their enthusiasm and adorable naïveté, and it reminds me to seek the positivity and disregard the little negative voice in my head that tells me “it can’t be done.” I see their curiosity and bright-eyed wonder, and it reminds me of how important it is to find the child-like magic in everyday moments. I see their flexibility and openness, and it reminds me that sometimes it’s important to leave my curriculum plan behind and make time instead to just talk, bond, and allow everyone to be heard and feel understood. In my four years of working with these girls, they’ve already taught me so much, and they’re only 9 and 10-years-old! I can’t wait to see what comes next in our adventures together.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

Above all, I hope our girls have learned how important it is to be KIND to one another. In the 15 years that I’ve been teaching elementary, middle, and high school students, I too often see just how vicious girls can be to one another, and it breaks my heart. At our very first parent meeting when we were forming our new troop, I told the group of parents gathered there that my number one goal was to lead these girls to the realization that being benevolent and supportive was so much more powerful than tearing other girls down, and I design every single thing that we do with that mission in mind.  I hope our girls have learned that singing classic camp songs is one of the most fun, uplifting things we can do together (they love it!) and that the music we make together is more beautiful than what we could create alone. I hope they’ve discovered that they can tackle big projects and big problems, and that they have the power to do important things and produce meaningful change.  And finally, I hope they’ve learned that forming a sisterhood with each other is truly joyful and that those friendships are to be cherished, just as I still cherish my own Girl Scout sister relationships formed back in troop meetings and drafty cabins, through hikes and songs and laughter to last a lifetime, all those years ago.

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