Tag Archives: Volunteer Appreciation

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: Erin Wogaman

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Erin Wogaman of Canon City in the Pikes Peak 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 Erin 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 of my daughter. She is the youngest of three and has two older brothers. I still remember my time as a Brownie, with my mom as my troop leader, making place mats, sit-upons, camping, and so much more. I knew that I wanted my daughter to have those memories to cherish. I did end up bridging to Junior, but we had moved and it wasn’t the same without my mom being involved. I promised my daughter that for as long as she is a Girl Scout, I will be one as well…possibly longer.

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

After the role of parent to an amazing Cadette, I am a troop leader of a multi-level troop. I am in my 9th year as an adult volunteer and have started several troops in New Mexico and Colorado. My troop consists of nine Daisies, twelve Brownies, four Juniors, and five Cadettes. Next year, we will add Seniors to our troop family. I am a service unit manager and service unit product program manager. I love working with the other leaders in my service unit and we have become a second family. We have grown in the last year and have plans to continue that growth. I am also an adult advisory member for our older girl group called SPLAT. We are still in the beginning stages, as this is our first year. The SPLAT girls represent different troops in our service unit. The girls planned and led our Cookie Rally this year and will be planning summer and fall activities. I am a member of the Pikes Peak Region Cookie Committee, an adult trainer, and recruiter for my service unit.  

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Working with girls of different ages and with different abilities requires patience and the understanding that all girls can do anything they set their minds to. Every girl, in every troop, brings something new to the troop and they need the opportunity to shine and lead to their ability. I have learned that Daisies can start campfires, cook meals, participate in a flag ceremony, and so much more. I have the ability to give girls an amazing experience of leadership, courage, and learning life skills. I have learned that I must provide them with the opportunities to be the girl-led troop that they are.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I want them to learn to take risks, to challenge themselves, and to try out for that sport, solo, or part in the play. I want them to know that Girl Scouts is something they should be proud of. This is their experience and that they each have a voice. I hope they have learned that living the Girl Scout Law every day will take them far and they will make the world a better place.

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

Being a Girl Scout volunteer has pushed me to challenge myself to be a better person and to put others first more often. Getting up in front of strangers has never been something I enjoy, other than with girls. This year, I challenged myself to take on new roles and those roles require me to break those walls, to take risks, to lead with other adults, and to challenge our service unit to grow and offer the best experience for our girls. As a leader, I will never ask my girls to do something that I am not willing to do. I even challenged myself (after much coaxing) to walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge. I have always said that I would be the one crawling down the middle of the bridge. I won’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My heart was racing and my legs were shaking, but I did it. I want my girls to know that they have my support to try those scary things in life and I will be here to cheer them on.

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.

Four awesome ways to thank your Girl Scout volunteer

From Girl Scouts of the USA

April is National Volunteer Month! Celebrate your favorite Girl Scout volunteers with these thoughtful ideas! Whether you choose to do one activity or all, you’re sure to make the volunteers in your life feel loved and appreciated and remember all the reasons why they continue to give their time and hearts to the Girl Scout mission.

1. Send a personalized ecard! Who doesn’t love a fun ecard? This month, show the Girl Scout volunteer in your life—your Girl Scout VIP!—just how much they mean to you by choosing from one of four awesome predesigned ecard templates. Just fill in the blank to finish the sentence (keep it short and sweet, please!) and share your ecard with them on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email—SWEET! Get started.

2. Shout them out on social media! What better way to make your favorite Girl Scout volunteer feel special than to shout ‘em out for the world to know? They’re the best, and you’re proud to say it loud and clear: I love my Girl Scout volunteer!

During National Volunteer Week (April 15–21), head on over to your favorite social media pages and share why this volunteer (or volunteers!) is so special to you. Make sure to tag @girlscouts and include the hashtag #NVW2018 so we can follow the love.

3. Write them a handwritten letter! That’s right. Imagine their surprise when they open their mailbox and find an old-school letter from you. Need a little inspiration? Here are a few things you could include:

  • Why your favorite Girl Scout volunteer is so special?
  • An especially memorable time when you were happy to have their guidance and support/
  • How they have made a difference in your life?
  • Your three favorite things about them.

4. Buy them something special with this offer from the Girl Scout Shop! During April, use code VOLUNTEER18 for 15% off* one item from our online store, the Girl Scout Shop, and bring a smile to a volunteer’s face with a fun little token of your appreciation.

Know someone who isn’t a Girl Scout volunteer but would make a great one? Use one (or more!) of these thoughtful appreciation ideas to let them know how they could make a lasting difference in girls’ lives today!

*The code is active April 1 through April 30, 2018, for 15% off one item from a customer’s order. The 15% discount will be applied to the highest priced item in an order. If a customer buys two or more of the same item that the discount applies to, the 15% will only be taken off one item. The code is for one-time use per customer, online only at girlscoutshop.com.

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

Nancy Mucklow honored at bridging ceremony

Submitted by Cricket Hawkins

Mountain Communities

Steamboat Springs

On the last warm Sunday of the summer of 2017, Girl Scouts in Steamboat Springs presented Nancy Mucklow with the “Thanks” badge. Nominated by Girl Scouts of Colorado Board of Directors chair-elect Rae Ann Dougherty, Nancy did not expect the overwhelming number of endorsements that also supported the honor. Ms. Dougherty was unable to attend, but provided the following statement for the ceremony:

“Because of Nancy’s spirited devotion, Girl Scouts of Colorado is fortunate to have a strong and growing base of active Girl Scouts of all ages in Steamboat Springs, a key area of our Mountain Communities region! Not only does she share and invite girls from all over the state to participate in Steamboat events, her energy routinely spills out into other geographic areas throughout the state with a VERY positive impact. Without Nancy’s dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, and energy, I believe we would not have as strong, dynamic, and vibrant Girl Scout Program in Steamboat Springs. Even with her male dominated family, she shepherds many girls, as well as adult volunteers, through the program.”

You can read more about Nancy, this special honor, and her Girl Scout story in the Steamboat Pilot and Today.

Prior to the surprise presentation, many Girl Scouts bridged to Brownie through Ambassador level with a full rededication ceremony. Thank you everyone for a wonderful afternoon!

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

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Krska

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Katie Krska in the Pikes Peak region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO 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 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?

I grew up in San Diego where I was a Girl Scout for six years. My time in Girl Scouts as a child was both memorable and rewarding. One of the biggest reasons that I am a Girl Scout leader is that the adventurous and fun-loving Girl Scout in me is not ready to hang her vest up just yet. The opportunities for my current Girl Scouts are endless! I am forever seeking to find them the next exciting event that will excite them or teach them a great life lesson or skill. I am having just as much fun as they are! My favorite memory so far is canoeing at Camp Jackson last summer with my troop. Seeing the joy and excitement on the girls’ faces will forever remain in my heart. 

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

I have been Girl Scout Troop 41983’s troop manager for the past eight years. I am our troop’s “super organizer” and wear many different hats. I plan the majority of our troop events and activities; I function as our treasurer; I am responsible for ordering all badges and patches for our troop; I keep our calendar and troop website up to date; I am our troop’s first aider (nurse); and I am our troop’s historian. 

This year, I became Service Unit 412’s co-manager with one of my leaders, Tracey Ruzicka. I have been responsible for planning our annual service unit camp that we will attend this August. It should be a blast!

I also lead my Girl Scouts in their Catholic Committee on Scouting badge work. I will be leading kindergarten Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts at the annual retreat that will be held in October 2017. I also will be leading our Cadettes this year as their mentor in earning their Marian Medals.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a Girl Scout Leader, I have learned how important it is to empower young girls to be the best version of themselves. Every girl has a different personality and has different interests. It is fun to watch them come together with all of their wonderful differences to make a positive impact in each other’s lives and in the community. Each of them has something to say and something to bring to the table. It is our duty as leaders to make sure that all of their voices are heard, and everyone has a chance to shine in their own way. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

In my career as a Girl Scout leader, my hope is to instill in my Girl Scouts that the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law are not just for Girl Scout meetings or events, but they are guidelines on how to live 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: Nicole Niles

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Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Nicole Niles in the Pikes Peak region was recently recognized for her outstanding work as a GSCO 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 Nicole 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 of course! I didn’t get to go far on my Girl Scout journey due to an out-of-state move and family issues when I was young. When I became a mom to my beautiful girl, I knew I wanted to get her involved when she was old enough. 10 years later here I still am volunteering.

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

The many roles I play just like the most of us 🙂 I am a troop leader and fall and cookie sale manager. I serve on our service unit’s board as secretary and I am a GPS advisor. GPS is “girl planning system, ” a group of girls who help plan various events around the Pikes Peak region. I help on the cookie committee and most importantly, I am the mother of a Girl Scout, so helping her on her journey to achieve her goals is my biggest role.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

What have I learned ? Well, I have learned a lot. Peer pressure is a big issue these girls face, along with the image factor. I have seen a lot of girls quit Girl Scouts because friends did not think it was cool and these girls wanted to protect their image and not be associated with the group. I have also learned that aside from the girls who give up, there are also those that stand taller because of being a Girl Scout and they are not bothered with the image and they want to go farther in their journey and help fellow girls around them succeed and reach their goals.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

If the girls I encounter during Girl Scouts can take anything away from me, I hope that they take away the hard work and perseverance of their journey. I see and encounter such a strong group of girls, who aside from sports, school, work, social life, and family,  give just as much effort to Girl Scouts and I hope that they know how proud I am of their hard work and determination and know they will go far in life and can achieve anything they set their mind too!

What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

I have so many over the last years, but the one that touched me the most was during the cookie sale two years ago. My entire troop sold for each other. I know all leaders divide cookies differently and we all have our own way. The way my troop divides puts it as what you sell is what you earn to include booths. Two years ago not a single girl in my troop just sold for herself. One sold for so and so trying to get the Build-A-Bear experience.  One sold for a girl to go to a Top Seller event and on and on the cycle went. I spent cookie: season in tears, amazed at the lessons my troop/girls have learned: Be a sister to every Girl Scout, friendly, and helpful. That has to be my most memorable memory that touched me in my Girl Scout journey.

What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?

Reach out for help. Take advantage of the trainings offered both online and in office. Seek out help from your service unit. Don’t be afraid to ask even if you are asking a girl 🙂 There are several girls who actually seek out to help and mentor new troops. Girl Scouts is thousands strong. Use your resources and use them wisely!

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