Tag Archives: Volunteer News

What does “girl-led” mean?








Submitted by GSCO Board Chair-Elect Rae Ann Dougherty

The 2017 Leadership Summits have begun! The first was in Colorado Springs and a wonderful opportunity to obtain training, updates, as well as build our Girl Scout networks.  All are important as we begin a new Girl Scout year.  While in training, I reflected on some of my past experiences as a Girl Scout Cadette troop leader…

Back in the 1980’s, I served as a Cadette troop leader.  While the traditions of Girl Scouts were the same then as they are today, as leaders we did not use the phrase “girl-led” as much as we do today.  None-the-less the way troops were run were similar and the results were similar.

One spring, although not asked, the girls in my troop announced they wanted to go on an overnight trip that was NOT camping.  Fine. As their leader, I immediately began to facilitate the process by asking the questions associated with planning such an event.  After discussion, we considered going to a theme park and staying in a hotel. That started the girl’s minds going. Lo and behold, while I had not suggested that they do any between-meeting research, the next meeting they came prepared!  Girls had, unbeknownst to me, obtained hotel options, knew ticket prices, knew the distance and how many cars/adults would be required, set up a budget, and more. Mind you as this was decades before the convenience of the internet, cell phones, Google maps, or other technology to which we have become accustomed.  As such, the research was significantly more involved than it would be today.  No worries, they quickly figured out how to use 1-800 phone numbers for the various hotel chains, how to read a map, etc.!  Needless to say I was blown away, but so proud of them!

We continued to plan and ultimately went on the trip.  Since they had lead the process so well, while at the theme park I followed their lead making sure that they were safe, but doing what they wanted and joining with them on the rides that they wanted to go on.  Since we were following their lead, my co-leaders and I did not pay much attention … until I ended up on one of those roller coasters that did TWO upside down loop-deloops!  (This is NOT the type of ride I seek.)  After I recovered from that experience, I continued to follow them, but suggested that I wait for them whenever they then decided to go on any more thrill rides.  I guess they were fine as long as I went with them.  Ultimately, they enjoyed the rest of the day without more thrill rides.  (I have yet to go on another roller coaster like that!)

Along the way we added a few activities so they were able to earn the “Travel” Interest Project as well.

The non-formal learning the Girl Scout program offers continues to impress me.  This was a memorable experience for me and one that I remain proud of all that those girls accomplished.  Although this was not intentionally a “girl-led” experience, it certainly became one.  Why?  Because that is the way Girl Scouts is, it just naturally flows for the girls to grow and develop their leadership.

Do you have a “girl-led” story to share?  Use the Share Your Stories form.

Leadership Summits are here and coming to your area in the coming weeks (Metro Denver, September 16, 2017; Northern Colorado, September 23; Grand Junction, September 20; Pueblo, October 14).  My experience at the Colorado Springs event on Saturday, August 26 was fabulous.  I was even asked for  feedback and insight to enhance the service unit experience. To register or find one in your area, use this link: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events/training-events.html



Announcing online payments for your troop

Did you raise your hand to collect payments for your troop? Hats off to you!

Girl Scouts of Colorado wants to make your life just a little bit easier. We’ve partnered with Cheddar Up to give troops all of the tools they need to create a payment collection page in minutes.

Creating a collection is easy. After you create your troop’s account at https://my.cheddarup.com/orgs/girlscoutsco/signup, you will have access to customized libraries created just for Girl Scouts of Colorado. You name it, you can collect for it: outing, event, dues, gear, fundraiser… the list goes on.

Even better? You can collect information as well. Have an event coming up and need to collect payments plus a waiver? Girl Scouts of Colorado has pre-loaded forms that you can add to your collection page.

Create an online collection for your troop and enjoy:

    Accept payments by credit card and cash or check. You’ll be able to track online and offline payments.
    Add form fields to your collection to eliminate paper and move all information-collecting online.
    Cheddar Up tracks all payments and information online. In one click, easily export to Excel.
    Securely transfer funds directly to your units bank account with an online record of all withdrawals.And, every volunteer’s dream:
    Replicate collections year after year—with saved history for always-there online records.

To see these features in action watch the quick video tutorial: https://vimeo.com/226958020/9e5c78607e

Sign up for free and get started: http://go.cheddarup.com/girlscoutsco.

Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Bissell, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout?

I have been a Girl Scout for 47 years.  Some of those were girl years, but most of them are adult years. I have  been a leader of every level except Girl Scout Daisies. My favorites were 30+ years as an older girl leader/advisor. Those were great years and I have kept in touch with many of “my girls.”  It is wonderful to see how they have changed from girl to woman.

How long have you been on MCC? 

This will be my second time to be on the MCC. My first time was in 2012 for two terms, I think.

What inspired you to join MCC? 

I love Girl Scouts and I want as many girls as possible to get to be a Girl Scout. My part of Colorado covers lots of miles and there are very few girls who participate in Girl Scouting in this area.  I want to make Girl Scouting available to girls in small towns.  I want to be able to help them achieve Highest Awards, travel abroad, and go on Destinations.  I also want to show girls and leaders that they can lead and that their dreams and goals can be met through Girl Scouting.  Lack of communication is a real problem here because so many do not have internet access and, since so much of Girls Scouting is now online, I would like to see more communications through other ways. I hope that progress can be made through MCC to help GSCO realize that there are big gaps in online communications that is not the girls’ faults.  There has to be another way to deliver program.

What have you learned through being part of this committee?

The more people work together to achieve a common goal, the better the experience and the outcome.  Working together is also a great example for girls to learn.  When they see what can happen with a group working together for a common goal, they will be more likely to use that in their lives, too.  Usually, the more people that share a goal and are willing to work for it, the better the committee will be in the future and the more likely that they will share their skills in team building with their troops who, in turn, will use it as they work for a girl-led troop and the more confidence that they will have to achieve it.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other volunteers?

I have noticed, when I do trainings, that most of the leaders have no idea as to how GSCO works, how decisions are made, and what it takes to make Girl Scouting possible.  MCC is a good way to “get your feet wet.”  It does a lot of it’s work by phone, isn’t so expensive that most people could handle it.  You don’t have to travel a long way several times a year. An MCC member gets to know a lot of people in her territory as she talks to them about various concerns. I like it because I get to talk face-to-face with them and can answer questions, and, most of all, establish and a network of people who want to help the troop and the girl and the adult succeed, a relationship that can lead to better understanding of how GSCO works and they have someone they have met who is an person who really cares about girls and the Girl Scout program.

Tell us about yourself.

I am 71-years-old and my husband, Wayne, and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary this summer.  I was born in Texas, went to school in Texas, married in Texas, lived for 2 1/2 years in Canada teaching in a coed boarding school while my husband was in Vietnam.  We have two children, a son, Terry (he and his wife Heather live in Broomfield) and a daughter, Beth (she and her husband Todd, live in Fort Worth and they have our three grandsons, Justyn, Jaxson, and Joshua.  Beth is a Gold Award recipient and Lifetime Girl Scout  and is the principal of an elementary school. Terry will be starting a new job in June.

Wayne and I love to travel.  We have been to almost all 50 states, all but two of the Canadian provinces, Europe, Africa, Ukraine, Vietnam, Ireland, and Central America.  Both of us are now retired and we were in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China in January and our anniversary gift to each other will be a trip to England and Scotland in August.

My Girl Scout experience began as a Brownie in Texas when cookies were around $1 a package.  I earned my First Class Award in high school.  I have been a day camp director, took girls to Macy Conference Center in New York, attended the WAGGGS international conference the year it was held at Macy. I was an alternate to the Vermont Round-Up and, as an adult was on the program staff twice  for a Wider Opportunity with 1,200 girls in   Tennessee. One year I was the music leader and another year I was the ceremonies director.  I was elected for two terms as the president of the Board of Directors for the Columbine Girl Scout  region here in southeastern Colorado.  I am currently a trainer, program resource person, on three different Gold Award Mentors committees right now, the GSCO History Committee,  GSCO Global Girl Scouting committee, and will begin my second time to be on MCC. I am also a Lifetime member of GSUSA and I am looking forward to 2020 to celebrate 50 years as a Girl Scout.  I was on the 100th GSUSA celebration state committee in 2012. I coordinated the library display here in Pueblo and did the Flat Juliette activities for the state event.  AND…I love being a Girl Scout!

I am the youth ministry leader at our church.  One of my duties with that is Vacation Bible School.  This is my  5th year to write my own curriculum and it’s a lot of fun!  I am responsible for the children’s classes at our church and I teach two classes every week.  I am retired from Dillards.  My favorite hobbies are reading and music.  I am currently trying to declutter our house and it should be finished some time in the next century! I love romance books and historical books and my favorite book is the Bible.  I have an Associate of Arts degree from Lubbock Christian University (College back then) and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Abilene Christian University (College back then).  I also did some post -graduate work at ACC, but, I never finished it.

I may have left something out, but, this is MORE than enough!

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

Creating a Family Agreement

Submitted by GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist Allison Ellington

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

We’ve all heard the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a mother and a part of the GSUSA sisterhood, I couldn’t agree more. I love the fact that our Girl Scouts are around so many positive influences. I’ve noticed the troops that seem to function the best are the ones that have many different family members involved in helping with the troop. There are so many ways to get involved, but we’ve heard troop volunteers say that it’s hard to ask for help and some don’t know what to ask for. On the flip side, we’ve heard families tell us they want to help, but leaders never ask for it or don’t have something for the adults to do when they do offer. GSCO recommends a family meeting to start the year off on the right foot. There are some great details on how to have one of these meetings, who to include, and what to cover in our newly released Volunteer Essentials. A parent/guardian/family meeting, or a meeting of your friends-and-family network (as encouraged in many of the leadership Journeys), is a chance for you to get to know the families of the girls in your group. This is also a time to get a Family Agreement in writing. Below is a great example of one you can use with your troop, but feel free to customize it to your needs. If you have any questions about the family involvement meeting or creating a group agreement, please reach out to your volunteer support specialist. Don’t know who that is? Email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

Group Agreement Example


Volunteer Spotlight: Victoria Gigoux, MCC member

How long have you been a Girl Scout volunteer?

Eight years

How long have you been a member of the MCC?

Three years

What inspired you to join MCC?

I was interested in staying connected and having a voice representing the Western Slope.

What have you learned through being a part of this committee?

I’ve learned that my voice does matter. I feel some of the things I have said and the subcommittees I have been a part of have helped shape the Girl Scout experience for both girls and volunteers.

Why would you recommend being a member of MCC to other GSCO volunteers?

It’s a fulfilling way to keep your finger on the pulse of where GSCO is going and have a voice that might impact that direction

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a full-time-working, mother of three girls; all Girl Scouts. I’ve been married to my husband, Gerald, since 2001.  We live in Grand Junction with our kids, dog, turtle, hamster, chickens, and turkeys and we also board two horses.  Outside of this craziness, I lead two multi-level Girl Scout troops, totaling around 50 girls each year from K-9th. I am a member of the Mesa County Service Unit leadership team and help with the President’s Council , in addition to being on the MCC and a rep to the board.  Outside of Girl Scouts, I volunteer for my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, as Finance Advisor for our collegiate chapter at CU and as a Province Chair supporting all alumnae chapters in five states, including Colorado.  In my “free” time, I love to read, cook and travel.

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

Volunteer View: August 2017

Leadership Summits set this fall

Connect with other volunteers at our upcoming Leadership Summits, and take a variety of leadership development and enrichment classes for new and experienced leaders, such as: Girl Scout History and Traditions Wide Game; Volunteer Toolkit – New Journeys and Badges; Global Girl Scouting; Clique-Proofing Your Troop, as well as essential Program level 101’s – Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Older Girls; and GS 201 – Take it to the Next Level – Girl Led!

Classes will also be offered for older girls – Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors – and leaders of older girl troops. Sessions include Gold Award, Highest Awards & Take Action, Extended Trips, Money-Earning Opportunities for Older Girls, and more. Connect with other Girl Scouts in grades 6-12 at these exciting events! Participants will enjoy a catered lunch with a chance to share ideas with fellow leaders.

Follow the registration links below to sign up for Leadership Summits now, and find out more about classes offered at each event. We can’t wait to see you there!

*(Note: this location was originally scheduled in Fort Collins but has moved to Longmont)

Fall Product Program Begins Sept. 23

The Girl Scouts Fall Product Program is a great way for troops to earn start-up money for the year. All troops receive 13% of their magazine orders as troop proceeds, plus $1/item for nuts and chocolates. Don’t forget your Troop ACH form must be filed to participate.  Fall Program materials will be shipped directly to troops and trainings for fall sale service unit managers will be in early September.

Learn more: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/cookies/fall-sale.html

S’mores Club is back

The S’mores Club is back for girls and troops that rock both the Fall Product and the Girl Scout Cookie programs.

If a girl sells 15 items online during the 2017 Fall Product Program and 300 packages during the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program she will receive an exclusive Girl Scout designed sterling silver PANDORA bracelet with uniquely created charms and a personalized S’mores Club Avatar Patch.

If a troop has $350 in online sales during the 2017 Fall Product Program, they will receive an exclusive booth selection during the 2018 Cookie Program. If they then also have a 300 package per girl selling average during the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program the troop fall sale manager and troop cookie manager will each receive an exclusive Girl Scout designed Sterling Silver PANDORA bracelet with uniquely created charms and a personalized S’mores Club Avatar Patch.

Get outdoors with GSCO

Outdoor Adventure Club single-event passes open 30 days prior to the event, if space is available. Register here: https://girlscoutsco.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App

Camp registration opens this upcoming year on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m., mark your calendar now!

Reserve properties up to 365 days in advance here. If your troop has not planned that far out, watch the GSCO Facebook page for last minute cancellations. Reserve a property herehttp://girlscoutsofcolorado.checkfront.com/reserve/

Equipment: You can also reserve limited equipment for your outing from the Denver office at this link: Reserve equipment: http://girlscoutsofcolorado.checkfront.com/reserve/


  • Girls bridging from Juniors to Cadettes or Cadettes to Seniors this summer have until Sept. 30 to submit online notification they have earned their Bronze or Silver Award.
  • Volunteer support specialists (VSS) are calling troop leaders through Sept. 15. VSS will be welcoming troops back for a new Girl Scout year. This is a wonderful time to update any troop information, ask questions, and get a lot of valuable information.
  • The Older Girl Advisory Board is recruiting new members (girls in grades 9-12 who provide feedback on projects including mentoring, program development, older girl engagement, and product sales). Applications are due Sept. 19. Apply today.
  • Find out more about travel with Girl Scouts and the Destinations program, attend this webinar.

Join Daisy’s Circle

Join Daisy’s Circle, Girl Scouts of Colorado’s monthly giving program, and get a $5 new member coupon to use at the Girl Scouts of Colorado Shop. Shop in person in Denver, by phone, or email.

Coupons are applied to in-stock merchandise only and cannot be transferred or copied.

This offer expires 10/15/2017, so join today!

It’s so easy to join! The bigger the circle, the bigger the impact!

Upcoming Events

Girl Scout Night with the Grand Junction Rockies
5 p.m. Aug. 27.  Girl Scouts in uniform get into the game free! Adults and other children can purchase tickets at the gate. Cheer on the Rockies as they take on the Orem Owlz. To help us set aside enough seats for our Girl Scout section, please let us know if you are interested here.

CU Football Scout Day – Boulder
12 p.m. Sept. 9.  Cost is $25/person. Girl Scouts get a special game patch. Cheer on the Buffs as they take on Texas State San Marcos. A portion of each ticket sold will be donated back to GSCO. Purchase tickets here and use promo code GIRLSCOUTS17.

Girl Scout Day with Colorado Rockies
6:10 p.m. Sept. 16. Tickets range from $16-$25. Come cheer on the Colorado Rockies as they take on the San Diego Padres! Girl Scouts get a fun event patch. A portion of each ticket sold through our GSCO promo code will be donated back to GSCO. The Rockies are having a great season, so tickets may go fast. Get yours today! Purchase tickets here and look for our GSCO promo code/link at the bottom of the page.

Advice for new leaders from seasoned leaders

Submitted by Allison Ellington, GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

Thoughts from some Western Slope volunteers

Why I volunteer:

• Because I was a Girl Scout and had great experiences

• To help teach girls and support their development in my community

• To make a difference and have fun

• It’s a great way to bond with my daughter and help develop confidence in young girls

• It’s important to role model volunteering and community involvement

• To keep me out of trouble, get new experiences and meet so many people

New skills developed as a Girl Scout volunteer:

• Patience, event planning, conflict resolution, getting on the girl’s level, and teaching the way they learn

• Camping and relating to girls

• Organizational skills

• The importance of delegating

• How to ask for help

• Dealing with diversity

• Learned to be a kid again

• Dealing with lots of different personalities with teenage girls. You can learn A LOT from these girls!

• Still learning

• Leadership and time management

• “I found a hidden confidence in myself that transferred to my job outside of Girl Scouts. I’m able to communicate better and multi-task better which earned me a promotion to a manager! 😊”

What advice would you give to a brand-new volunteer?

• It can be overwhelming at first. Breathe, relax, go at a pace you can handle, and use the help the staff provides. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help!

• Don’t stress about being perfect

• Go to the trainings before you start

• Get your training, ask for help, and network with other leaders

• Remember, these girls are here to have fun while learning

• Be open-minded and have fun

• Reach out to other leaders – they have been through the same things you are going through

• Ask for parent volunteers – even for the small things

• Tap into the other leaders for information

• Attend trainings and service unit meetings! Meet other leaders and network for collaboration and ideas.

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

Leadership Summit in Northern & Northeastern CO moved

The Girl Scouts of Colorado Leadership Summit in our Northern & Northeastern CO region on September 23, 2017 in Fort Collins has been moved to Longmont. It is now at Front Range Community College – Boulder County Campus (2190 Miller Dr, Longmont, CO 80501). To learn more or register, use this link: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2017/northern_colorado_le.html

We appreciate your patience and understanding!



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.