Volunteer Experience, Volunteers

Volunteer Appreciation Month: 8 Ways to Recognize Dedicated Volunteers

Today’s girls need inspiration. They need role models and mentors. They need a sounding board for their innovative ideas, and the knowledge that they’ll have help bouncing back if their plans don’t work out. Girl Scouts can provide all these things and more thanks to the incredible volunteers at the heart of our movement!

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s volunteers work hard each day to provide quality programming and support to girls of all ages across our communities. Each spring, we recognize their outstanding work at special awards ceremonies throughout our service areas. These recognition events, which honor both national (GSUSA) and council (GSWO) award recipients, are designed to focus on what matters most in Girl Scouting—the girls! It’s an honor for volunteers to be recognized for their leadership and dedication to Girl Scouts, and to receive one of the awards granted through the endorsement process.

In addition to honoring recipients of formal awards, GSWO’s Volunteer Appreciation events also recognize troop leaders who work with girls of all ages.

All award endorsements (apart from the Volunteer of Excellence Award) are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of volunteers from across the council. They only know what is presented in the award endorsement, which is why nominating your fellow volunteers is so vital to the process!

Perhaps you’ve nominated one of your peers for an award, or maybe you’d like to join in on the celebration by attending a spring event. Continue reading to learn more about the recognitions that will be awarded to GSWO volunteers throughout April and May.

1. The Green Badge of Courage recognizes a volunteer who has performed a courageous act or met a challenge in a creative way within their role as a Girl Scout volunteer.

2. The Service Team Star award recognizes a current or former service unit team member or appointed administrative volunteer who has gone above and beyond in their appointed role to help a service unit achieve one of their core responsibilities: recruit and retain members, direct support to leaders & girls, educate the community about Girl Scouting, act as a communication center for Girl Scout volunteers, provide activities that reflect the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and provide ongoing coaching and education to volunteers.

3. The Volunteer of Excellence award is given for outstanding service while partnering directly with girls to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) through the use of Girl Scout Journeys, the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting, The Volunteer Toolkit, or any other GSUSA resource.

4. The Appreciation Pin is awarded to a volunteer for outstanding service to one service unit or geographic area.

5. The Honor Pin is awarded to a volunteer for outstanding service to two or more service units or geographic areas.

6. The Thanks Badge is given to recognize a volunteer for outstanding service that has benefited the entire council or Girl Scout Movement.

7. Thanks Badge II is given to a volunteer who has already received the Thanks Badge, but has continued to provide outstanding service that has benefited the entire council or movement.

8. A Membership Year Pin indicates the total number of years committed to Girl Scouts as a registered member, including both girl and adult years. The pin is awarded in 5-year intervals: 5 years of service, 10 years, 15 years, etc.

While April is officially Volunteer Appreciation Month, we are honored and grateful to our volunteers for their strength and tenacity in representing the Girl Scout Movement every single day.

How do we recognize volunteers year-round? Each month, one volunteer from each of our service areas is honored as a Volunteer of the Month! Nominations are open throughout the year and are open to any current GSWO volunteer who makes a difference. Visit our website to nominate an outstanding volunteer today!

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