Category Archives: Volunteer News

Remembering the Legacy of Three Lifetime Girl Scout Alumnae

JANICE MAY USCHLBEC ERICKSON

Jan, age 73, died on August 19, 2021 at her home in Windsor, CO.  She struggled for over six years with non-smoker’s lung cancer, using the mantra “I am not my body” and maintaining a positive attitude through her various rounds of treatment.  She was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 16, 1947 and attended Fairview Park High School, The University of Toledo, and LaVerne College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology.

Jan married Stephen Flanders Erickson in June of 1967 and after Steve was commissioned as a US Navy officer, they traveled the world, living in 16 homes in 52 years.  Steve and Jan had two children, Kristy (1970) and Keith (1972).  They retired to Windsor, CO to be nearer to family.

Jan was a lifelong Girl Scout and an avid volunteer. She enjoyed nature, hiking, camping, and travel and sharing those passions with other Girl Scouts young and old. She held various roles over the years, as a scout, leader, and member of the Green Hat Society. She was a founding member of the Sierra Silver Streaks Chapter in NV and a member of the Plains to Peak Chapter in CO. Being a Girl Scout brought her friendships around the world. She travelled to England, Scotland, and Ireland with members of Tokyo Troop 113 in 1985 and to Switzerland with members of the Green Hat Society in September 2014. Her volunteer experiences always involved helping people, the most memorable being as her time as an EMT in South Carolina, an English conversation teacher during her years in Japan, and an educator at Elam Environmental Center at Camp Ken-Jockety near Columbus OH. Her last adventures took her on travels to Israel and Italy in 2019. A favorite quote of hers and one which inspired her to live ever day to the fullest – “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Jan’s commitment to Girl Scouting was indeed life-long.  She brought the Green Hat Society to Colorado, and encouraged involvement in various activities, groups and events around the state.  She was involved in the Songbirds Girl Scout Choir, attended Women’s Week at Meadow Mountain Ranch, and was of assistance with several International Festivals, highlighting her own experiences with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world.  Her camp name was “Lief,” reminiscent of her commitment to the out-of-doors as well as to her family’s heritage.

It’s easy to see Jan with her jaunty hat and ready smile, singing all the way, immersed in camp’s activities and encouraging others to immerse themselves into Girl Scouting all through their lives.  Jan, you are missed.

JOY CAROLYN LITTLE POHL

Joy died at age 96 on January 22, 2022.  She was born in 1925 in Miami, Fl., and attended Miami Beach Public Schools.  She was a member of the National Honor Society in high school, played the violin from age 3 and was active in dramatics, tennis and Girl Scouts.  She attended Florida State College For Women and graduated with a degree in Music and Psychology.

Joy joined the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State and her first assignment in the fall of 1948 was in Seoul, Korea.  She met Edward Pohl in Paris, France, where he served as a Courier, also with the Foreign Service.  They were subsequently transferred to Germany, Panama, Sicily, and Tunisia.  Continuing her Foreign Service as a Staff Officer and Executive Assistant to various Ambassadors, her posts included Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Switzerland and Niger.  They had two children, Lyn and John, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Joy was involved with Girl Scouts all over the world, through the Troops on Foreign Soil programs, serving as Leader and then Country Commissioner of North Germany.  She served in leadership positions in Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

After she and Ed retired and moved to Estes Park in 1982, Joy became active with the Girl Scouts-Mountain Prairie Council in Northern Colorado.  She was a troop leader as well as serving as First Vice President of the Board of Directors of MPGSC.  She enjoyed participation and involvement with the GSCO History Group and the Promise Partners GS Alumni group.  She was always eager to share her Girl Scouting travel experience with others through demonstrations, exhibits, trainings, talks and involvement with International Festivals.

“Always a Girl Scout” describes Joy perfectly.  She carried her “joy” and enthusiasm for the history and traditions of Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding all over the world, even after their retirement through travels throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.  A memorial bench will be constructed and installed at Meadow Mountain Ranch proudly displaying that theme, “Always A Girl Scout – in Memory of Joy Pohl.”  Joy, you are a true inspiration.

LILLIAN MAE BRAGGE ZIEBARTH

Lillian died on February 11, 2022 in Littleton, CO., at the age of 82.  She was born in Des Moines, IA. And grew up in Carlton, MN.  She graduated from Carlton High School and married her high school sweetheart, Harold (Zeke) Ziebarth.  They had 4 children and five grandchildren.

Lillian was an avid volunteer, often calling herself a “Professional Volunteer” when asked what she did for a living. She was an adult member of Girl Scouting for over 50 years and she was awarded one of the highest honors an adult member of Girl Scouts can receive – the Thanks Badge. She was a Girl Scout troop leader for all three of her daughters. She loved to sing and loved to teach large groups new songs. To this day there are many people who only knew her by her Girl Scout camp name, “Zing.”  I can hear her singing, “Zing, Zing together, merrily, merrily, merrily Zing.”  She was active in the Songbirds Girl Scout Choir, bringing along her 6-year-old granddaughter,  Sammi Corwin.  Sammi learned to play the guitar through the Songbirds and graduated from high school still singing along with “Zing.”  For many years she was also a member of the alumni group in the Denver area, previously begun under Mile Hi Council.

“Zing” provided us with many old and new Girl Scout songs, and every time we sing “Z-Y-X” (the alphabet backwards!) she will be fondly remembered.

Volunteer View: April 2022

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Volunteer Spotlight: Meleah Williams

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Meleah Williams in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Meleah 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 when my older daughter was in kindergarten. I was excited for her to be a Girl Scout, and when a Daisy troop was not available in my area, I decided to start my own troop. My mom was my troop leader, and I have so many great memories of my time with her as a Girl Scout. I wanted to share those experiences with my own girls.

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

I am a leader of two troops, a Junior/Cadette troop and a Daisy/Brownie troop and am the event coordinator for our Service Unit.  I also serve as the fall product manager for both troops. I feel that my main role is to make my girls’ wishes and hopes a reality and to help them develop their relationships with girls in their troop and in the Girl Scout community.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned so much from my time as a Girl Scout volunteer. My older troop has shown me how to be supportive while letting the girls take charge, and my younger troop has reminded how much fun Girl Scouts can be. My co-leaders have taught me how to be a better teammate so that we can provide our troops with fun new adventures and opportunities throughout their Girl Scout experience. Finally, I feel the most important thing I have learned is that Girl Scouts can accomplish amazing things with the help of volunteers who support them.  I feel truly privileged to be a part of my girls’ lives, and I love watching them learn, grow together, and gain confidence in themselves.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope my girls learn that that their voice matters, that they can accomplish any goal, and that they are capable of great things. Finally, I hope the girls learn that they are an important part of my life, and that they make my world a better place by being in it.

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Jen Rotar

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Jen Rotar in the Northern Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jen to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout Volunteer because my daughter wanted to camp and have exciting outdoor adventures. I quickly learned that the best way to introduce girls to these experiences was to volunteer to lead. I love the Girl-Led philosophy. I enjoy listening to what my troop wants to do, then giving them the guidance they need to make it happen. I’ve always been proud to represent Girl Scouts in our community and show the people of our town the amazing things that girls can do.  My Troop has taken me on amazing adventures and spending time with them brings me so much joy – that’s what keeps me going as a leader.

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

I started as a co-leader for two years, then formed a new troop, #70700. My Troop has been active for 7 years and we’ve never gone a month without a meeting or activity. I was the secretary of our very active Berthoud Service Unit for several years, organized many of our SU activities over the years, and now participate in SU meetings as often as I am able. My Troop has partnered with a team of adult volunteers to organize Core Camp at Meadow Mountain Ranch, and I am excited to be working with that team in marketing the camp, planning the activity stations with my Troop, and helping prepare the PA crew for camp.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Volunteering with Girl Scouts has taught me so much! I love working with diverse families, and especially teens, because they give me so many new perspectives to look at life. Each troop member, and each of their family members who have stepped up to help, have brought a unique personality and set of talents to our Troop. As my Troop has aged from 4th grade to High School, they have grown so much in their leadership skills, that I have had the privilege of stepping back and just going along for the ride on their Girl Scout journey. As a Troop, we have evolved in our planning skills, problem solving skills, and conflict management skills. And as a leader I have evolved in my ability to trust in their strengths and encourage their ideas.  I love the emphasis in Girl Scouts on setting and achieving goals. I’ve watched my Troop work and save for three years for an international trip (Belize in 2021) and share that experience with me. Being their leader has been inspiring in that I’ve seen what these incredible young people can accomplish when their minds are set on a goal.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

What I hope my Troop has learned from me, is that it takes dedication to achieve big things. I hope that my commitment as a leader has given them an example of how personal dedication to a cause or a group or a goal can lead to incredibly satisfying life experiences. I know that our time in Girl Scouts has taught them a huge range of skills, from how to build campfires and set up tents, plan a meeting agenda, speak to a group, to marketing a product or fundraising event.  I hope that I personally have set an example of kindness and inclusivity, and have taught them to embrace new experiences, and to welcome new people to the team. 

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Maggie Navarro-Bowring

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Maggie Navarro-Bowring in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Maggie 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 had signed my daughter up for Girl Scouts when she was in kindergarten and along the way I became a volunteer for her troop leaders.  I have always enjoyed helping others in different ways.  I hope that my volunteering will inspire my daughter to have a strong work ethic and show her that there are no obstacles that girls can’t overcome.

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

I began as a parent volunteer for my daughter’s troop.  I have worked since I was 16 which instilled a deep work ethic in me.  Helping has always been in my blood, seeing my own parents always work hard.  It is easy for me to jump into any situation and try to find solutions no matter how difficult they may seem.

I took over as our Troop Cookie Mom for a few years which I’ve always liked doing.  Our troop leader and I get along extremely well, so it was natural to then slip into the role of being Troop Co-Leader while still performing the role of our Troop’s Cookie Mom.

I have been with Girl Scouts for so long, it was a seamless transition for me to then add Service Unit Cookie Manager as an additional volunteer role.  I like working with people and helping out as much as I can–teaching new Cookie Moms what I have learned over the years about what has worked for me, to help make their job easier.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned that being a volunteer at times can be very difficult for any of us.  It can seem at times that our jobs are taken for granted and we take a lot of heat from those we help, especially considering that as a volunteer you are donating all your time and effort.  And while we all want that pat on the back as well as recognition for our time spent and to be shown gratitude, we don’t often receive it, beyond the reward we get and feel in the end which has so much more value than what we wish we had gotten.  The feeling of accomplishment and pride is something you will carry with you always.  Being selfless with your time has a level of value that will make you better.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

To always strive for more and that there is no limit to what is possible.  I want them to see that being compassionate, kind, helpful, open to change and new experiences will make us better and help us reach our dreams and goals.  I hope they learned from me to think outside the box while problem solving.  That no matter how difficult life can be, everything has a solution even if we don’t always see it immediately.  Failing means we are learning, improving.

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Audrianna Martinez

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Audrianna Martinez in the Pueblo and Southeast Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Audrianna 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?

When I was little my mom was my troop leader. So, when it came time for my own daughter to join I was thrilled to join as a volunteer! We were new to the area and it was a great way for the both of us to make new friends. 

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

I wear many different hats as a volunteer. I am a troop leader, fall producer manager, cookie manager, craft organizer, field trip planner, and event coordinator. Our troop of seven Daisies (Kindergartners) stays busy!

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned just how hard everyone works to make Girl Scouts happen. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on and I appreciate all of the GS staff immensely. Especially Desiree McBride (volunteer specialist)! I’m not sure I would have been able to get through this without her guidance. Being a volunteer has made me appreciate all of my former leaders so much more. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

Our troop consists of seven Daisies. Kindergarten is such a fun age! They are just starting school, making new friends, and learning how to navigate difficult situations. I’ve really enjoyed watching each of the girls problem solve, work together, and make lifelong friends. Each and every girl is blossoming into a confident and strong leader. I’m not sure this is something they have specifically learned from me, but I am thankful to hold space for them as they grow and learn.

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Sullivan

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Sue Sullivan in the Western Slope region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Sue 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 granddaughter came to me in kindergarten and wanted to join Girl Scouts.  As a Girl Scout myself and growing up in a scout (boy) scout family, I knew what a great opportunity this would be for her.  While attending her meetings I saw the leader could use an extra hand, so I volunteered to do her paperwork, I remember telling her “I didn’t want to get into planning a meeting every week”.  After a year my granddaughter and a few of my neighbors and their friends wanted to start a troop, so I started planning weekly meetings and I never looked back.

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

I have been a leader, service unit manager, a member of the President’s Cabinet (western slope), a trainer, a mentor for new leaders and a National Delegate for the 2020 National Convention. I and 4 others started the Western Slope Outdoor Explorers, we offered outdoor activities and camps for several years, and for the last 3 years I was the cookie cupboard manager for Mesa County. I am currently a member of the Membership Connection Committee and active with our service unit and a Lifetime member of Girl Scouts.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

How easy it was to make a difference in a young girl’s life no matter how big or small, you may not see it right away but it’s there and I tried to express that to new leaders. To see the look on their face when they try new things, some they liked, others they didn’t and at times I discovered new things, it’s a win-win situation.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

To be strong and not be afraid to try new things no matter how big or small. You may not like a new adventure you tried but that’s ok, you tried it maybe it will open a door to something else. Enjoy being a girl/woman you don’t have to be “one of the guys”. Look inside yourself and make the right decisions for you, don’t follow the crowd.

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Amberly Petty

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Amberly Petty in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Amberly 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 started begging to be a Girl Scout around the age of four. At that point, I’m pretty sure she was just in it for the cookies. Once she started kindergarten, I registered her and asked the local troop leader if she needed any help. Soon after, I was thrown unexpectedly into the world of Girl Scouts: camp outs, songs, field trips, badgework and the Promise and Law. What started as just wanting a bit of extra bonding time with my daughter turned into finding a community and an organization that truly aligns with my values and morals. While growing up I did not have the opportunity to be in this sisterhood, so now I am making up for lost time. I’m excited for the possibilities that await not only me, but my daughter and our troop. I want to not only be a living example of our Law and Promise, but also instill these values in all girls and help shape the leaders of tomorrow. 

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

I am currently serving as a leader for a troop in Colorado Springs. I have served as fall product program manager as well as cookie manager for several troops. I have previously been a service unit manager on the Western Slope and am currently working with the service unit leadership team here locally. I am excited to see where my journey will take me and I plan to continue to serve in different capacities. In time, I would love to one day help lead trainings for new leaders and host more region-wide events.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

Wow! I can’t possibly list all the things I’ve learned as we’d be here for hours… Some things that come to mind are patience and conflict resolution. Being a leader has been incredibly rewarding, but there have also been many challenges as well. Learning to work with so many people (girls and adults) has been difficult, intriguing, and fun. There are so many different leadership styles, skills sets, strengths, and weaknesses that it can be overwhelming at times. I’m learning to do many things differently than I may have planned or expected, which is truly rewarding and extremely worthwhile. One of the other most impactful things I’ve learned is that this really is a girl-led program: even our youngest girls can lead in huge ways. The girls surprise me at every meeting with something new to learn. These girls have and are still shaping me into things I never thought possible for myself. They helped me set large goals for this year’s cookie season that I thought were impossible. I watched them prove me wrong week after week. They pushed me outside of my own comfort zone to be a go-getting risk-taker, while innovating new ways to sell and have fun. The girls in my troop push me to be the best leader I can be. They ask intriguing questions, keep me on my toes, and allow me room to be myself and make mistakes at times, too. I’m forever grateful for the person they are molding me into and I can only hope I am impacting them half as much as they are impacting me.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

First and foremost, I hope the girls have learned I am their ally, partner, equal, and friend. I hope they see me as a safe person and resource for them to come to if they need help or have questions. I hope they view me as someone they can feel comfortable around. I hope they have learned that mistakes are okay and just the building blocks of larger successes. I hope they’ve learned that silliness is a large part of the recipe for happiness and fun. And, I hope they’ve learned that we are a team, a sisterhood, and will work together through fun times and challenging times.

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Jamie Schwarze

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Jamie Schwarze in the Pueblo and Southern Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jamie 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 leader to help form my daughters troop with her friends.

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

I have been a troop leader for 3 years now and the Service Unit Cookie Manager for 2 years. I was the Troop cookie manager for one year and the Fall Produce manager for one year. It’s all so much fun!! 

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I just love all of girls!! You definitely grow a very close relationship with them through Girl Scouts. I like that I can be a positive role model for them. I hope they feel the same way. 

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they learn to make themselves a priority. Take time for themselves, treat themselves, celebrate their accomplishments, and take time to relax and rejuvenate during hard times. You have to be your best self to give others the best version of you! But also, I learn so much from them. 

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html

Volunteer Spotlight: Chere Johnson

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Chere Johnson in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Chere 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 when my daughter decided to join Girl Scouts so she could try to sell cookies.  The troop was in need of help so I stepped up and helped where I could. 

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

I have now been helping for the last 9 years.  I have volunteered to be the Daisy leader, I am also part of the Cadette, Senior and Ambassador leadership team.  I am also the troop fall product and cookie manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

During my years of volunteering I have learned a few things, each girl is unique and special in their own way.  I love watching the girls learn new things they can do.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls learn from me to never be afraid to try something new.

Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022

https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/for-volunteers/volunteer-appreciation/adult-recognition-nominations.html