2017 GSUSA Adult Awards Recipients

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Girl Scout volunteers have the incredible responsibility of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. They instill values and decision-making skills. They are simply the best at creating future leaders.

Girl Scout volunteers deserve to hear “thank you” for all they do every day, but we know how rare it can be to hear those two little words that mean so much. Sometimes work is done behind the scenes, and it goes largely unnoticed how vital that work is to our Movement.

That is why we are honored each year to present the GSUSA Adult Awards. They are one way to formally recognize the contributions of volunteers whose service has been exemplary. Award recipients are nominated by their peers, reviewed and endorsed by a council committee of staff and volunteers, and approved by the GSSI Board of Directors.

On April 18, 2017, we were honored to present the following awards:

Volunteer of Excellence

The Volunteer of Excellence award recognizes volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls, or who have contributed outstanding service in support of the council’s mission delivery to girl and adult members.

Heather Barnett is a perfect example of a Volunteer of Excellence living the Girl Scout Law. Her hard work, generosity, and dedication are well-known at Holy Rosary where she has a very large, multi-level troop of over 50 girls that has earned Golden Honor Troop status multiple years. Thank you for your dedication and service to Girl Scouting.

Sarah Leinenbach is a Lifetime Member and longtime supporter of GSSI, who has served as an incredibly dedicated and organized cookie cupboard manager and cookie chair in Dubois County, even though she does not yet have a daughter in the program. Your selfless service is greatly appreciated.

Kim Mehringer is another Dubois County Lifetime Member, who instills the drive and innovative thinking she exhibited as a girl member in her troop members today. Kim goes above and beyond as a troop leader by helping her girls travel, plan events, and serve others. Thank you for sharing your passion for Girl Scouting with your girls, and with the council as a whole.

Melissa Ruschau continuously goes above and beyond the expectations of her role – as a troop leader, event planner, and day camp director. She is dedicated, resourceful, and passionate about Girl Scouting. Than you for sharing that passion with the girls and with the council.

Kaycie Bayer Oakley has greatly contributed to the Cookie Program in the Southwest Warrick Service Unit. Her passion and continual striving for improvement have ensured the success of that program and are apparent to anyone who has the pleasure of working with her. Thank you for all you do for our girls and volunteers.

Honor Pin

The Honor Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, with impact in one, or two or more, geographical areas.

Tim Jones has been the GSSI treasurer for two years, and his contributions to GSSI go far beyond an efficient and competent treasurer for the corporation. He was instrumental in the CEO search and in developing a long-term financial plan for GSSI. He has truly embraced our Movement and worked hard to develop processes, guidelines, and plans to ensure that we have a strong future. Thank you Tim.

Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge is among the highest awards available to adult Girl Scouts. It honors individuals whose ongoing commitment, leadership, and service have had an exceptional, measurable, impact on meeting the mission-delivery goals and priorities of the council or the entire movement.

Margaret Dennis has held several roles throughout the council, and she has approached each one with dedication, passion, and contagious enthusiasm. She has served as a troop leader, cluster chair, service unit chair, day camp director, and is now a staff member who is instrumental in supporting GSSI’s volunteers. Margaret has worked tirelessly to help girls and volunteers across our entire council, and we are thankful for her supportive and superior leadership.

Suzanne Hunter has been an exemplary Girl Scout volunteer for over a decade. She has consistently excelled, and has been recognized as an outstanding leader for her daughter’s troop. She has earned the Honor Pin for her impact on our Movement by organizing events, and now we are honored to recognize her continued service as a troop leader, event planner, and board member by presenting her with the Thanks Badge. It is because of generous volunteers like Suzanne that we can deliver a quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Thank you.

Susan M. Longest Leadership Award

Sometimes there are amazing people who go so far above and beyond in their leadership and performance that there are no existing awards that accurately represent their contributions. Thus, we present the Susan M. Longest Leadership Award, a brand new Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana Award.

Susan Longest is a Lifetime Member who has actively served our council for almost 20 years in many roles, including troop leader, service unit chair, event coordinator, and chair of the board of directors. The Susan M. Longest Leadership Award recognizes an active Girl Scout member for a minimum of five years who has received both the Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II. This award recognizes furtherance of the entire Girl Scout Movement through public and highly visible community involvement and visionary leadership. Susan’s work in creating greater possibilities for girls shows extraordinary results, and her contributions are significantly above expectations. Thank you Susan, and we look forward to honoring Girl Scout adults who have emulated your superior level of leadership with this award.

Congratulations to all award recipients. See a list of past recipients here.




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