Tag Archives: Volunteer News

Volunteer View: November 2017

Grow your troop and you could win sweet prizes! Help us unleash the power in more G.I.R.L.s by pledging to add one or more new girls to your troop by March 1, 2018. Pledge takers who share how their troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda will be entered to win prizes, including the chance to be featured on GSUSA’s Facebook page!

The pledge closes November 15, 2017, so don’t wait!

Take the pledge

Camp sessions go live on Dec. 1

Get ready for another fun summer at Girl Scout Camp! Sessions go live on December 1, and camp registration opens on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.

Can’t wait for summer? Check out events coming up through the winter and spring at our camp properties »

New activities in the Volunteer Toolkit

Troops can use the Volunteer Toolkit to plan out their whole year and have a roster of all troop member information, accessible via computer or mobile device, as well as tools to facilitate communication between parents and troop leaders. VTK now allows you to access 18 activities, including a Get Outside option.

For Daisy, Brownie, and Junior troops, VTK comes with pre-populated plans for every meeting. All new STEM and outdoor program content is available!

For Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador troops, a fully customized year is available, allowing older girls to take charge of the planning, along with program curriculum under the Resources tab.

Learn more

Get ready for cookie season

Thank you for an amazing fall product program! Girls should deliver fall product items this week, and rewards will be delivered to service units during the week of November 27.

Is your troop ready for the 2018 Cookie Program? Make sure you have a completed ACH and a troop cookie manager with a signed TCM Agreement. New TCMs should start their background check process as soon as possible as they can take up to four weeks to finalize.

Troops that sold at least $350 in online sales during the Fall Product Program will be eligible to join the S’mores Club and can earn Pandora™ bracelets if they have a selling girl average of 300 packages during the cookie program.

New! Conflict Fluency training

Want to feel confident about handling conflict situations in your troop? Log on to our e-learning site to access our Conflict Fluency training. The class offers guided instruction on managing and resolving disagreements, and will equip you with how to handle issues as they arise.

Go to e-learning »

Get outdoors with OAC this winter

The Outdoor Adventure Club has two events opening up to single-event registration this month:

Sign up to be notified when single-event registrations open for OAC Explorers or OAC Trailblazers.

Upcoming Events

Nov. 18: Packing for Impact with Project C.U.R.E.
Girls will fill Kits for Kids, engage in fun activities with medical personnel and other Girl Scouts, and learn about children around the world that they will be helping.

Dec. 2: Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey
Everyone is encouraged a bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to toss on the ice when Metro State makes their first goal. Bears will be donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Denver and Aurora.

Dec. 3: Sky High Ranch Tree Lighting Ceremony & Brunch
Come to Sky High Ranch to help us celebrate our annual Tree Lighting. We’ll have a buffet, family photo ops, crafts, ornaments, hot drinks, and of course, goodies!

Dec. 10: Tomahawk Brunch at the Barnyard with Santa
Join us for brunch with Santa and meet his furry barnyard friends. Eat a delicious brunch buffet, savor sweets and lollies aplenty, take photos with Santa, and warm up fireside with hot cocoa and cider.

Want event details delivered to your inbox weekly? Sign up for the Events email at gscoblog.org.

Volunteers needed: Parade of Lights

The 9NEWS Parade of Lights, Colorado’s largest holiday parade, is in Downtown Denver on December 1 and 2, 2017. We are currently looking for volunteers to participate as costumed characters, banner elves, and grandstand ambassadors. These volunteers (12-years-old and older) will be assigned to a unit and specific costume and face paint. The volunteers will march the two-mile parade route (under the supervision of a unit captain) in character while waiving at the thousands of locals who come to watch the parade each year.

Persons interested in participating in this year’s parade should go to www.denverparadeoflights.com and fill out an application as soon as possible. Positions are filling up quickly!

Recruit parents to help your Girl Scout troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

You know those parents who always step up, lend a hand, and bring the fun to your Girl Scout troop? Wouldn’t it be amazing if more followed their lead and signed up to volunteer? 

Girl Scout troop leader Richel Newborg is never short on volunteers, but not because she’s lucky—she puts in the effort to bring them into the fold. After reading her tried-and-true tips on Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog, The Trailhead, we knew we had to spread her wisdom throughout the Movement. Check out Richel’s advice in her own words below, follow her lead, and watch as your troop gets all the support you could ever need!

1. Set an expectation that everyone volunteers and we are in this together.

My first opportunity to let parents know I need their help is when new members join the group. We always welcome each new member and their family at the girls’ first troop meeting. I introduce key members of our troop leadership and I let parents know that they will be asked to volunteer for at least one thing. Usually I list in writing which things I know I’ll need help with and a brief description of what duties are involved. This way parents are free to select what interests them. 

Some of these jobs might be helping pack for the camping trip, cookie mom, bringing snacks, or cutting out pieces for SWAPS. Your troop will have different positions depending on how you expect your year to unfold, so customize your own list according to your needs. Let everyone know that by pitching in and helping even with a small task means no one is responsible for all the work and it balances out across the board. It’s an important lesson for the girls to learn too. 

A few jobs you might need filled in your troop are: 

  • troop treasurer
  • cookie volunteer
  • initial cookie check-out assistant
  • snack planning
  • carpool drivers
  • camping lead
  • SWAPS volunteer
  • recruitment supporter
  • community outreach
  • event planning (bridging ceremonies, holiday parties, Court of Awards, etc.) 
2. Use a family talent survey and require every family to fill one out.

This is a survey where parents are asked about their own Girl Scout background as well as what talents and tasks they may be able to help with. From this you can learn a lot about who’s on your team! When my girls’ parents completed their surveys, I quickly discovered we had tons of parents with camping gear and the skills to go with it. We also learned 10 parents were CPR certified and two worked in the medical field. Go through your roster and make sure every parent has responded, and remind non-responders that this is one way you can get to know them and learn how they all can support the troop. 

3. Plan a family event and then fit the job to the personality.

When you host a fun family event, you’ll quickly learn a lot about the parents in your troop. It’s true that some folks love to be in front of kids, some have great teaching skills, while others are terrified, and don’t know what to do. At our family events we make sure to have a mix of activities, games and team building-type activities that everyone participates in with their girls. 

This gives everyone an opportunity to have fun together and you’ll quickly know everyone’s personalities from how they participate. 

4. Ask parents personally for their help.

In the age of social media and email, avoid the mistake of asking for volunteers by a broadcast email. That approach almost never works and will only cause you frustration. It’s also important that you refrain from complaining publicly about a lack of volunteers in your troop. Honestly, nothing scares off helpers faster than someone that’s complaining!

Instead address parents in a small group or in a one-on-one conversation. Make sure you speak with a positive tone and avoid being confrontational. Campouts, BBQs, and events that are geared to be “mixers” are a perfect time to ask, because parents tend to be relaxed and not stressed about their other obligations. Don’t feel like you have to fill every role by the end of your first month of meetings. Some people may need to get to know you and your group before they step up. 

5. Once someone says yes, follow up and set them up for success.

As soon as you can, you’ll also want to contact the volunteer to give them all the information they need to be successful. You’ll also need to let them know if there is any training specific to their position that they will need to attend or complete such as a council background check. 

For instance a dad that wants to take the lead on camping trips needs to not only register as an adult and get a background check, he’ll also need to take your council’s required training. A mom who said she wants to help with cookies might need to attend an online training or come to a service unit meeting to get information on how a Girl Scout Cookie Program works. Since some of these trainings can be done online and some must be done in person, it’s important to provide them with this information. Check with your council for the best online resources, and to find out about in person trainings. 

6. Recognize the volunteer right away.

Once someone says they will help, make sure you thank them. I like to write a personal note and hand it to them at the next meeting. Also at the next troop meeting, in front of all the parents and girls, announce the new volunteer’s role. Then ask everyone to thank him or her for stepping up and helping support the troop. This makes the newcomer feel great about volunteering and makes it a bit tougher to back out! It also lets the girls know they have a team supporting their Girl Scout experience throughout the year! 

Follow these tips and keep a positive attitude and you’ll quickly learn that there are many parents that want to help!

Cookie University is coming

Girl Scouts of Colorado is excited to announce additional training for troop cookie managers for the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program. If you’re planning to serve as a TCM this year, THANK YOU! We understand the time, commitment, and heart this volunteer role requires and we truly appreciate it. We will host a variety of Cookie University training sessions throughout the state.

Cookie University is an excellent opportunity for you to spend time with other troop cookie managers, get your required basic cookie training, and most importantly, ensure your troop’s Starting Inventory Order is well thought-out and meets the needs of your girl and troop. You can also participate in some exciting enrichment sessions, including Inventory Management, Digital Cookie, eBudde, and Sale Etiquette.

You can register for Cookie University by going to the Events page (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events/training-events.html) on the Girl Scouts of Colorado website. If you can’t attend the training session in your area, feel free to attend one in another area.

2018 Cookie University Flyer

Take the G.I.R.L. Agenda Pledge to grow your troop


From Girl Scouts of the USA

Calling all troop leaders! Through your dedication to the girls you serve every day, you’ve already shown us that you believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) to stand up, speak out, and accomplish amazing things. Help us unleash that power in even more girls today by pledging to add one or more girls to your troop by March 1, 2018—and you’ll qualify to win some fantastic prizes!

Take the pledge between November 1 and November 15, 2017, and tell us how your troop is working to advance the G.I.R.L. Agenda in your community. The agenda is our nationwide initiative to elevate every voice in the advancement of girls’ leadership and status in the world. By pledging to add at least one new girl to your troop, you’ll help even more girls spark positive change through civic action!

Taking the pledge is easy:

  Upload an image of your trailblazing troop.

 Take the pledge.

 Share how your troop is advancing the G.I.R.L. Agenda.

 Start recruiting girls for your troop.


What Your Troop Can Win

Once the pledge closes, 600 prize winners will be randomly selected to receive a FREE limited-edition G.I.R.L. Agenda patch for their troop. In addition, four grand prize winners will be randomly selected to have GSUSA share their story on Facebook (on Thanksgiving!), as well as receive the patch for their troop. SWEET!

Pledges must be submitted by November 15, 2017 by an adult 18 or over. One entry per troop. See the official rules for full details.

Need Help Recruiting Girls for Your Troop?

Don’t sweat it—we’ll give you the tools to make it happen. Once you complete the pledge, check your email inbox for some articles and resources you can share with your friends and family to introduce them to the power of Girl Scouting, and spread the word that you’re looking for more girls to join your troop!

Still have questions? Review our FAQ for more information.

Simple tips to grow your troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

What’s even more fun than a new year of Girl Scouts? Welcoming new girls to your troop! After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!

Though you may already be a few months into the new school year, it’s still the perfect time to get more girls involved in your troop’s adventures. Get ready to recruit some fresh faces with these tried-and-true tips from Marissa Vessels, who writes for Girl Scouts of Northern California’s blog The Trailhead

1. Host a Bring-a-Friend meeting.

It’s common that your girls might want to invite their friends to troop meetings to see what Girl Scouts is all about! So lean into your girls’ natural desire to be social and host a special “Bring-a-Friend” meeting for your troop (or just designate certain meetings throughout the year as being open for friends).

When hosting a Bring-a-Friend meeting, it’s important that the meeting is authentic to your troop’s Girl Scout experience. If your troop is full of outdoor adventurers, a meeting filled with crafts and games may not be the best way to attract the girls that are right for your group. And if your girls are a little more on the low-key side, your troop trip to a theme park might not be the right event for potential new Girl Scouts to experience. Instead, plan a meeting that will allow for lots of interaction between the girls, down time for you to talk to the potential new parents, and a fun activity that is true to your troop’s interests.

2. Add your troop to the Opportunity Catalog.

Did you know that there are thousands of girls all over the country waiting to find the perfect troop, and likely hundreds right in your area? We need to do our part to help these girls find their homes in Girl Scouts! Many councils have a troop Opportunity Catalog—an online listing that provides detailed information about the troops in your area that have open spots available. The troop catalog is the perfect opportunity to tell new members about what your troop likes to do and what makes you, you. You’ll fill in all of the details about the age levels of your girls, when you meet, and what kinds of activities you enjoy, which will help new Girl Scouts and volunteers find their perfect match. Check with your council on how to make sure you’re there.

3. Have your girls rock their Girl Scout swag on meeting days (and share their Girl Scout story).

No matter how old your girls are, wearing their uniforms or other Girl Scout logo merchandise out and about is a powerful way to recruit new members for your troop. Not only are these items symbols of pride, they tell a story of girls’ unique experiences—the skills they’ve learned, the adventures they’ve gone on—and it’s hard for friends not to ask about it. Encourage your girls to don their Girl Scout duds at school, back-to-school night, and out in the community on days that they have Girl Scout events to attend, and you’re sure to pique interest.

4. Invite your friends and their girls to attend Service Unit or Council events with you.

There’s something magical about the Girl Scout sisterhood, isn’t there? So what better way to recruit new members than to invite your friends and their girls to join along for a service unit or council event to get a taste of the wider Girl Scout community! From building robots to singing songs around the campfire, there are opportunities for every girl in Girl Scouts, no matter what her interests are. 

Whether we’re environmental champions, budding entrepreneurs, or passionate about changing the world, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. So round up your favorite friends and invite them to see why Girl Scouts is the best place for their girls to grow into the confident, courageous, and strong women of tomorrow, today. (Seriously, what parent can say no to that?)

5. Hand out physical invitations for girls to share with their friends.

Your girls are by far your best recruiters. Make it easy for their friends to join in on the fun by giving out a handful of physical invitations for your girls to pass out at school, in the community, clubs, church, sports practice, dance classes, back-to-school night, student government meetings, and, well, you get the idea!

Your invitation should include space for your girl to write her name, her friend’s name, meeting details (date, time, and location), and your troop leader’s contact information.

Volunteer View: October 2017

We’ve got lots of exciting events coming up at our properties! Play games in your favorite costume, trick-or-treat, or light up the tree with GSCO at one of our fun parties. Sign up for our Halloween parties, and see the full list of upcoming events on the blog.

More events: http://gscoblog.org/2017/08/outdoor-programs-save-the-date-2017-2018/

Mark your calendars

  • Destinations round one applications are due Nov. 10 to Anna Danila.
  • Camp registration launches Jan. 19 at 9 a.m.

 

Help plan the older girl Journey weekend

Girl Scouts of Colorado is seeking girls currently in grades 6-11 to join a planning board for the next Older Girl Journey Weekend. This weekend retreat will take place at Sky High Ranch on Sept. 21-23, 2018. This girl planning board will plan every aspect of the retreat, including choosing the Journey and planning the activities.

An informational webinar will be held on Nov. 15 from 6-7 p.m. for any interested girls. Use this link to join online. Contact Katie Singleton with questions.

Work with the Membership Connection Committee

The MCC is collecting information about the service unit experience across Colorado. Make your voice heard by taking this five-minute survey.

Want to be part of the MCC? They’re seeking new members, particularly from the areas of Denver metro and northern Colorado.

Learn more: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/membership-connection-committee.html

Start earning your Gold Award now

Any girl who is a senior in high school and thinking about her Gold Award needs to start now!

 The Gold Award has a suggested minimum of 80 hours and last year, girls spent an average of 146 hours earning their Gold Award. With the March 1 deadline for Highest Awards celebrations less than six months away and final cutoff for seniors less than a year away, seniors in high school should not be waiting to start their Gold Award.

Questions about Highest Awards? Email our Highest Awards manager.

Upcoming events

Oct. 20: Girl Scout Night with CMU Women’s Soccer, Grand Junction
Come early and meet the team! No pre-registration required. Tickets can be purchased for family members at the gate.

Oct. 28: Girl Scout Day and Cheer Clinic with UNC Bears Football, Greeley
Girl Scouts are invited to Cheer Clinic hosted by UNC’s Division I Cheer Team. Girls will perform during the game and get a special cheer patch.

Nov. 4: Junior Animal Habitat Badge Workshop with Pueblo Zoo, Pueblo
Complete badge requirements for this fun Junior badge by learning about the animals at the zoo.

Nov. 5: Day of Dance with the Colorado Ballet, Denver
Come learn dances and techniques for Ballet, Brazilian, and Creative Modern Dance. Brownies can earn requirements towards the Dance Badge. All program levels welcome.

Nov. 11: Daisy and Brownie Day at the Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster
Brownies earn requirements towards the Bug Badge and Daisies will earn requirements towards the Rosie petal.

Want event details delivered to your inbox weekly? Sign up for the Events email at gscoblog.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Fuller, MCC member

I joined Girl Scouts as a snaggle-toothed second grade Brownie (which was the age at which Girl Scouting began, back in the olden days of the early ‘60’s).  I’m not aware of any burning desire to be a Girl Scout.  At the time, there were few after-school activities and perhaps, my mother was glad to have me participate in one of them.  But, oh what a difference it made in my life!  Girl Scouting provided consistency and a safe place from a chaotic home life.  We moved a fair amount and I could always count on Girl Scouts to provide me an opportunity for new friends and adventures.  And soon after I relocated to Colorado with my husband and children, signing up as a Girl Scout allowed me to make friends quickly.  After nearly 30 years in Colorado, my friends are mostly Girl Scouts, with whom I gather, meet and greet, and travel.  Retiring from the staff of the former Mile Hi Legacy Council ten years ago, I continue to lunch with my former colleagues.  Now, who else can claim such a long-lived, inspiring network of former co-workers as friends?

I was retired, however, not willing to be left out of the loop of Girl Scout doings, hence my interest in the Membership Connection Committee (MCC).  What’s kept me involved with the MCC for the last 10 years?  Kept in the loop, indeed, with an understanding of the current direction and efforts of Girl Scouts in Colorado.  Able to make a small contribution on matters of governance and membership.  Meeting other Girl Scouts, girls and adults, with a responsibility to inspire, educate, and support.  My term will soon come to an end and I hope I’ll be welcomed back after the required hiatus.

I’ve served as a troop leader, trainer, service unit manager, event organizer, and now board member in my nearly 50 years of Girl Scouting.  I’m a Lifetime Member of GSUSA.  I currently support two troops and continue to train in leadership and outdoor skills.  Serving as an MCC member gives me a great deal of satisfaction since it allows me to share my skills and opinions in ways that influence the future of our organization and our members.  I have two sons [“huge, handsome and handy”, former Boy Scouts and “Girl Scout boys (until they became too distracting at Girl Scout events)”] and had, at one time, 26,000 ‘daughters’.  A terrific experience that enriched my world, provided me with adventures (around the state, the USA and the world) and made me a better person, trying to live by the Promise and Law.  Through my mentoring of young Girl Scouts, I know I’ve made a difference and that feels good.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is lucky to have a unique governance system with the Membership Connection Committee as the centerpiece of our democratic process and a way to give our members a strong voice in the issues they care most about. Would you like to be a voice for Girl Scouts of Colorado? Speak up and contribute our success together! To reach the MCC, e-mail GSCO.MCC@gscolorado.org

 

Qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity

Troop leaders, will your troop qualify for an early Cookie Booth selection opportunity?

The S’mores Club booth selection reward is back for the 2017-18 Girl Scout year and you don’t want to miss it!

To qualify for the S’mores Club, your troop must sell at least $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program. The in-person delivery portion of the program ends Oct. 15 and the online portion of the Fall Sale Program ends on Oct. 30.

If your  troop sells $350 or more online during the 2017 Fall Product Program, you will be notified in December via the email provided through the Troop Fall Sale Manager agreement and permitted to select one Cookie Booth in eBudde ahead of the council booth selection process.

If you have questions regarding the requirements or details for the booth selection opportunity, please reach out to your SUFSM or PSS. For full details on the S’mores Club Reward, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/smores

Three winning ways to welcome new girls to your troop

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Your troop may already be up and running, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to welcome new members! Adding new girls to your troop—even midyear—can help energize your group, showcase the Girl Scout spirit of sisterhood and inclusion, and demonstrate by example how Girl Scouts is the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Period.

After all, Girl Scouts is all about trying new things, building new skills, and getting to know new friends in a safe and supportive all-girl environment—with guidance from caring troop leaders like you, of course!

To smooth the transition for your newbies, incorporate these fun activities into your meetings, and new girls will feel at home in no time at all!

1. Set up a storytelling meet-and-greet!
One of the absolute best ways to connect with others is by swapping stories. Introduce newcomers at their first meeting, then have everyone else introduce themselves, covering the basics, like their first name, age, and years in Girl Scouts. Encourage your seasoned Girl Scouts to go a little more in-depth by sharing something about their families, pets, or interests. Maybe each girl can pick three things about herself she’d like her new Girl Scout sisters to know. Once all troop members have introduced themselves, ask new girls to share some of their own stories. 

Be sure to build in time for questions so the girls have even more opportunities to connect and share. Make it super interactive and fun by finishing up the meeting with a cool trivia game to see how much they remember about one another! 

2. Showcase what your troop loves to do most! 
At a new girl’s first or second meeting, work with the other girls to plan an activity around things the troop loves to do most, whether that be community service, outdoor adventure, photography, or science experiments. What better way to get a new Girl Scout’s experience off to an exciting and memorable start than to head straight into the action? 

At the beginning of the meeting, have a couple girls take the lead and explain the activity and why they love it so much. For subsequent meetings, give new girls the opportunity to choose activities they love most and help them plan something special to share with the troop! 

3. Encourage her to take the lead!

Girl Scouting is all about taking the lead and making things happen, so let newcomers do so early and often. You can start small, having them lead a simple activity, or go big by encouraging them to teach their Girl Scout sisters about an issue that really matters to them. You might also go around the room and have everyone share what taking the lead like a Girl Scout means to them, complete with real-life examples to help new girls really get a grasp of leadership and everything they have the power to accomplish as Girl Scouts. Allow them time to ask questions, too. Learning and leading, that’s how we Girl Scouts do it!