Tag Archives: Western Slope

Volunteer Spotlight: Jenni Grossman

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jenni Grossman of Grand Junction in the Western Slope region started out as a troop support volunteer, but quickly took on more volunteer roles, including troop cookie manager. She is also a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jenni 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 first became a Girl Scout volunteer to allow my own girls to get involved in Girl Scouts. We were living in Denver and they needed another adult body to help the troop. I agreed and mostly observed. The girls liked the activities they were participating in and I liked the idea of girls becoming leaders. Then, we moved to Grand Junction. My two daughters wanted to continue Girl Scouts. So, we got them signed up to find out that they needed a leader for them to participate. I was hesitant to jump in, so I agreed to co-leading and have never looked back. I now have four girls participating in Girl Scouts (Daisies- Cadettes).  I lead the Cadettes group and have been the troop cookie manager for the last three years. I learn as much from the girls as I hope they learn from me. Girls need positive adults in their lives, especially as they get older and I want to give them one more adult they can trust, laugh with, talk to, and learn from. I never have a day where I don’t feel like going to our troop meetings- being met with hugs from the girls makes it all worth it.  I also get to spend time with my own girls, letting them blossom, and learn things in the Girl Scout program. 

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

Right now, I help with part of a constantly growing troop of 34 girls.  We have girls in our troop from the Daisy level through Cadette.  I currently am the Cadette leader.  This role has helped me turn things over to be girl-led. My Cadettes pick the badges they want to teach and they teach their sister scouts. It is incredible to watch them become teachers, gaining confidence, courage, and life skills along the way! 

I have lead at the Brownie and Junior levels as well. I also have been the troop cookie manager for the last three years. I have helped support some of our newer leaders and helped them become more comfortable at the Girl Scout level they are guiding. 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned that girls are powerful! They can do anything they put their minds out to accomplish. One of my proudest moments so far was seeing my oldest daughter earn her Bronze Award last year and I was one of the leaders who helped facilitate the girls pursuing the award. She earned that award and immediately thought of what she might like to do to earn her Silver Award. If we as leaders guide the girls into reaching and dreaming for their potential, we have accomplished so much. I have also learned that no matter where girls come from, even though some may come from hard places, if they have leaders cheering them on and supporting them, they will grow. 

My Brownie daughter did not enjoy selling cookies last year as she too was scared. This year, she lead the way to decorate the wagon for door-to-door sales, wore a cookie costume with excitement at booth sales, and sold cookies nightly at her own stand in front of our house.  Girl Scout volunteers help change lives for Girl Scouts!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls see that the world is a bigger place than just their family and their school. I am also a foster mom and I have brought this aspect of my life into Girl Scouts as well. We had a little boy with Autism come into our family and I shared Girl Scouts with him. He also helped teach our Girl Scouts about differences and disabilities. This experience made our Girl Scouts so much more patient, understanding, and opened their eyes to how they treat others. His brain did not work the same way and the girls learned so much from him.  We extended it and earned an Autism patch. The girls learned that just because others might act different, say things that might be unusual, or use their bodies differently, they are still humans just like the girls and need love and understanding. This lesson for Girl Scouts in my troop was powerful!  

I also hope the girls have gained confidence from being in my troop. My kindergarten Daisy daughter did not have positive experiences with adults. She went into cookie season terrified to talk to adults. Her sisters  challenged her to sell cookies and I encouraged her. We went to our school and she was supposed to go to every staff member in the building to sell cookies. She was terrified to do the first couple. She looked at the ground when she asked them to buy cookies. When she was asked how much cookies cost, she would shrug her shoulders. We practiced and role played at home. After a few more sales, she began to look customers in the eye, stood taller with confidence when she talked, and sold almost 100 packages of cookies. She learned to count on her fingers how much more than one package of cookies would cost. She learned to look others in the eyes and make eye contact when you talk instead of looking at the ground. She learned that adults do not have to be scary but can be your customers, and her self-confidence and positive self-image blossomed!

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

My Girl Scout Cadettes have challenged me recently. We have done a troop camp for a couple years. The girls said that this year, that is not good enough. They want to dig deeper into camping and hiking by going backpacking to earn their Trailblazer and Primitive Camper badges. This is totally out of my comfort zone. I am learning things about backpacking right alongside the girls and am taking a risk. I am fearful for this backpacking trip, but I told myself that I can’t expect the girls to try new things if I don’t expect the same of myself!

 

 

 

Courageous and strong women visit troop meeting

Submitted by Jenn Jurgens

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Our troop had a special treat. We had some volunteers including some moms who dressed up as courageous and strong women from history, including an active Marine mom come talk to our Daisy Girl Scouts about being courageous and strong and how these Daisy’s can grow up to also be courageous and strong too.

Our visitors were Temple Grandin, Rosie the Riviter, Jane Goodall, Emiline Pankhurst, Ruth Bater Ginsberg, Ruby Bridges and Major Ross from the Marine Corps.

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

Gunnison troop sends special thank you to cookie customers

Submitted by Sharalee Pederson

Western Slope

Gunnison

Troop 13461 of Gunnison with 14 girls is celebrating their amazing cookie season. This is the thank you they are sending out to their customers. They sold 11,609 packages of cookies!

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

Girl Scout Cookies delivered to Justice League of Hope

Submitted by Anna Campbell

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Troop 17108 from Grand Junction passed on their cookie donations to their hometown heroes, the Justice League of Hope. As a thank you, Kid Pool and Hershel the Hobo did a magic show and helped us celebrate Kayla’s sixth birthday. This was a great day for our troop and we all hope our cookie contribution helps the Justice League of Hope pass on some unbreakable smiles.

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

Best Cookie Dad contest: Cookie Dad is Cookie Man

Submitted by Kate Harvie

Western Slope

Montrose

This Cookie Dad isn’t even a dad! He doesn’t just help his soon-to-be stepdaughter and her troop leader mom, this super supportive Cookie Man took the day off work to drive 130 miles round trip just to get 100 cases of Thin Mints for the Montrose Cookie Cupboard! He saved the cookie booth weekend for all Girl Scouts in the area! In the photo above, he is loading 100 cases of cookies into his truck. He was so focused on “properly stacking the cases” he wouldn’t even look up. He’s slightly serious about those Thin Mints.

Brian Grasman can also be found delivering cookies to the troop at booths all over town, helping load and unload cookies from vehicles, and he’s even been known to serve as a “mystery shopper” during National Girl Scout Cookie weekend, handing out patches to girls with stellar customer service.

Troop 17122 and Service Unit 129 couldn’t have survived the 2018 cookie season without him!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.

2018 #BlingYourBooth Challenge: The winners are…

Thank you to all of the Girl Scouts who entered the 2018 #BlingYourBooth Challenge! We received dozens of entries from all across Colorado and are so impressed by your creativity and enthusiasm. Congratulations to the following winners!

Third Place: $50 in Cookie Credits

Troop 41660 consists of Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes from Ft. Carson in the Pikes Peak region. Many of the girls have been together for many years. They plan to use the Cookie Credits they won to buy new uniforms for the Girl Scouts bridging to the next level.

 Third Place: $50 in Cookie Credits 

Troop 62228 is a fourth grade Junior troop from the Denver Metro region. The girls love any activity or event that deals with food or the outdoors. They plan to use their Cookie Credits on a GSCO council-sponsored event in the future. They plan to choose that activity at their next meeting.

Second Place: $100 in Cookie Credits

Troop 76180 is made up of Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies. The girls will most likely use their Cookie Credits to purchase badges or visit the Denver Aquarium.

First Place: $100 in Cookie Credits

Troop 16232 is a new troop from Montrose. These 13 hard-working Girl Scouts surpassed their goals, but didn’t stop there. The girls are really looking forward to some overnight camping trips this summer.

 

Best Cookie Dad contest: Why my dad is the best cookie dad

Submitted by Maddie G.

Western Slope

Grand Junction

 

Our dad has four Girl Scouts this year: a Cadette, Junior, Brownie, and Daisy. He helped us walk through the neighborhood with our cookie powered wagon. He helped us at cookie booths, too. When we needed to make change for customers, he was patient while we did our math. Most dads can’t say they are the best cookie dad, but our dad is!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!

Best Cookie Dad contest: Troop Cookie Dad of the year

Submitted by Lauren and Taylor E.

Western Slope

Grand Junction

Lauren: This is my dad’s third year as my troop’s cookie manager. He’s also been our cookie coach every year! He helps my troop make sure we all have enough cookies to sell to reach our goals, helps shuttle cookies to all the booths, and makes sure we know what to say at the booths to our customers. He does a really good job and my troop leaders love him, too! He takes me to his morning networking meetings so I can do my cookie sales pitch and sell to all of his friends- that’s awesome because I’ve gotten to sell a lot of cookies that way! Our dad’s awesome!

Taylor: When I first started selling cookies, I was very quiet and not very sure of myself. My dad worked on my cookie sales pitch with me, practiced what to say if someone says no, and helped me build up my confidence. He’s funny and always knows how to help keep me going!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!

Best Cookie Dad contest: Super dads from Montrose

Submitted by Lyndi Schieldt

Western Slope

Montrose

Look at this booth and how awesome it is to see these two excited Girl Scout Daisies when you walk into the Montrose Walmart. But, it’s not just the cookies they are excited about, it’s the men who play an active roll in their Girl Scout experience, and support these future women to be outgoing, honest, fair, and kind. These men are patient as the girls are figuring out how much money the customer owes, and as the girls count the money back to them as well. If you notice one of the dads also has a three-month-old baby (future Girl Scout) strapped to his chest. These men do not let anything get in their way to be able to support their girls in reaching their cookie goals.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form and is part of the 2018 contest for Best Cookie Dad.  Is your Cookie Dad the best? Tell us about him and he’ll win a cool prize!

Creativity sells (and tastes pretty good)

Submitted by Victoria Gigoux

Western Slope

Grand Junction

It’s that time of year again. Cookies! We all know, for the most part, our beloved Girl Scout Cookies sell themselves. An adorable first grader in a little blue uniform simply bats her lashes and people are yelling “take my money!” But, as girls get older it seems to get more and more difficult to sell by traditional means. As a troop leader of Cadettes and Seniors, who have been selling for nearly 10 years, it’s also difficult to motivate when they know it isn’t going to be as easy for them now as it was before. But, I truly believe, there is ALWAYS a way.

Ironically, as it gets harder and harder for the girls to sell by traditional means, they are also trying to save for bigger and bigger things. Our troop has been saving for an international trip for a couple of years. I have three daughters selling, who are going on this trip. Older girls = more challenging plus the fact that I have three in my very own family. FUN….right?!? So, last year we sat down as a family to map out ways to increase our sales to help the girls pay off their trip, in addition to our already tapped out door-to-door, booth, and family-friends online “attacks.” Like my husband likes to say “we need death by a thousand paper cuts” (translation – hit them from every direction!)

The girls thought we should find ways to sell to local businesses in ways that were more than a package or two at a time. Who is going to need a whole package, or more, in one sitting? Immediately, restaurants came to the top of our list.

After verifying all rules we needed to adhere to through GSCO, the girls reached out to three, locally owned, businesses last year. We stayed local for many reasons, including no corporate red tape and the fact that it is easier to sit down with a decision maker. After the girls’ discussions, two businesses decided they could find ways to use Girl Scout Cookies in menu items during cookie season. One was so successful, this year we had an immediate multi-case order on day one.

The secret to this success…What isn’t to love about ice cream? Add in Girl Scout Cookies, and BAM! Our best, and now repeat, customer is Graff Dairy. Graff is a locally owned and operated, family friendly micro creamery. It has been an institution in the Grand Valley for many, many years and their product is divine. According to their website, Graff is “not just about the product. We are a place for families. A business that believes in our community and providing opportunities for our employees.” Making an impact on our local community is such a huge part of the fabric of our troop and of Girl Scouts in general. Shopping and engaging with local businesses is yet another way to make an impact.

While we have had a great success, it’s important to remember there is definitely work involved in creating partnerships like this. There is much more preparation and discussion needed, many more “selling skills” than just “would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” But, sitting down, face-to-face, with a decision maker also enhances the skills we are teaching our girls every time we discuss cookies or leadership, or courage and confidence.

Parents and leaders alike, I want to encourage you to sit down with your girls and make a plan. Get creative! Think of just ONE WAY, each year, that you can do something DIFFERENT in your sales plan and I can almost guarantee you can’t fail. What our family has learned is that you can’t always go with the flow. Most successes in life come from thinking outside the (cookie) box.

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