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 17, 2018, we were honored to present the following awards:
The Volunteer of Excellence award recognizes volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway to implements the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through use of the National Program portfolio OR who have contributed outstanding service in support of the council’s mission delivery to girl and adult members:
Christine Allen has been an active Girl Scout volunteer for over 20 years. She has led every level from Daisies to Ambassadors, has served as the Perry Service Unit Chair since 2014, and is the first to help new leaders get their troops organized. Last summer, Christine took on the added responsibility of running a grant-funded STEM troop for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors in Perry County. She ensured that her girls gained cross-functional experience dealing with science and engineering through a variety of activities, including interviews with two STEM professionals. Regardless of the task, Christine goes above and beyond to deliver a quality program to her girls and volunteers.
Kelly Burns strives to involve her girls in activities that enrich them both as Girl Scouts and as members of the community. Her Senior Girl Scouts have been a part of her troop since Daisies, which is a testament to her impact as a leader. As the current Gibson Service Unit Chair, Kelly has served as an event planner, cookie coach, and mentor to new leaders, never hesitating to share her experience or ideas. She continuously thinks outside the box to engage volunteers and create a fun atmosphere of inclusion for girls and adults alike.
Vicki Butler has devoted countless hours as a leader and Service Unit Chair for the North West Evansville area. Last year, Vicki had the special task of helping the North and West Service Units merge together. After consulting all volunteers, Vicki worked with her co-chair to create a new schedule of events for the combined service unit while preserving honored traditions held dear to both areas. She also played a personal role in organizing the majority of these events so that they were not discontinued. She has done an amazing job blending two unique groups of volunteers into one cohesive unit.
Trudy Day believes that it takes a village to provide the best Girl Scout Leadership Experience possible. One of her main goals is to ensure that every girl at St. John’s has a place in their Girl Scout program. To achieve this goal, she organizes school events and works with new and experienced leaders to keep troops running smoothly. Trudy is also the director for the Southwest Warrick Day-Camp. Her Awesome Aide programming for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors has tripled the number of older girls volunteering to help with camp. This year, Trudy co-created the Quad Squad, an innovative approach that bonded four CSA troops through community service, camping adventures, and other leadership experiences.
Georgianna Judy has dedicated numerous years to ensuring the Girl Scout program in South Dubois is the best it can be for girls and volunteers. Long after leading her own troop, Georgianna served as the South Dubois Service Unit Chair and currently serves as their Treasurer and Business Manager for Day Camp. Her wealth of knowledge regarding the Girl Scout Leadership Experience combined with her passion for Girl Scouts makes her a valuable asset for the South Dubois area. Her continued service and dedication is truly amazing and appreciated by all.
Shawn Layton has been an active Girl Scout volunteer for over eight years and has given her all to serve her troop and the South Dubois Service Unit. With a willingness to serve wherever she is needed, Shawn has taken on a long list of Girl Scout roles. She has served as a leader, troop cookie parent, service unit event planner, service unit secretary, and a delegate for the South Dubois area. Shawn models the Girl Scout Promise and Law in all that she does, and she is always ready to help any Girl Scout in need.
Katie Mayes is an inspiration to the girls in her troops. With every experience, Katie incorporates the three Girl Scout processes: girl-led, cooperative learning, and learning by doing. She ensures her girls have the tools needed to succeed and encourages them to challenge themselves through avenues that they enjoy. Katie has helped her girls strive for excellence through their completion of Summit Awards and most recently their Bronze Awards. Most importantly, her girls and troop volunteers know that she truly cares about them and the Girl Scout mission.
The Appreciation Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, with impact in one, or two or more geographic areas:
Christy Luebke has only been leading for three years, but she has made a huge impact to the girls and volunteers in the Gibson Service Unit. Her hectic work schedule makes it challenging to meet with her girls consistently, yet Christy always ensures they are her top priority. In her second year as a leader, Christy was determined to broaden her troop’s experience by attending troop, service unit, and council events with her girls. She is one of the few Gibson leaders to attend service unit meetings regularly and has even started organizing service unit events. Christy is truly dedicated to strengthening the Girl Scout program in Gibson County.
Tabitha Hart may not have a daughter in her troop, but she is dedicated to providing the best Girl Scout Leadership Experience possible for her girls. Tabitha works hard at both the troop and service unit levels, finding a way to contribute time and time again in spite of her challenging work schedule. She consistently gives her all whether she is creating special opportunities for her girls, planning a service unit event, or collaborating with other leaders. Her passion and determination is helping strengthen the Girl Scout program for everyone in her area.
Kristy Spindler has played a key role in the Gibson Service Unit’s success for many years. She has served as an on-going troop volunteer, Service Unit Secretary, Service Unit Treasurer, and Service Unit Cookie Chair. She single-handedly organized records for the service unit accounts and knows what funds are available at all times. As one of Gibson’s cookie chairs, Kristy worked diligently to provide smooth cookie pick-ups, volunteer assistance with the transition to SNAP, and outstanding communication between council and the Gibson leaders. With her years of generosity, it’s unbelievable that Kristy does not have a daughter of her own in Girl Scouts.
Penny Leffler has grown a troop of 6 girls to a troop of 48 over her time as a Girl Scout Leader. She leads the sole troop at Tecumseh-Harrison and welcomes all girls in grades K-12. Not a day goes by without Penny checking in on her girls or posting a new idea she found for the troop. This year, she started a special program called “Secret Angels” where she recruited individuals to support each girl in her troop through thoughtful letters and occasional gifts. She frequently organizes take action projects within the Knox community, as well, and encourages all troops to get involved in giving back. Even parents have commented that they can see the positive changes Penny has made in their girls.
Shirley Williams assists our Knox girls and volunteers in any way that she can. She is the first volunteer to jump in and makes sure that everyone has what they need to do their job. This past year, Shirley agreed to be the sole mentor for new leaders in Knox. Not only did she help on-board all of the new leaders, she followed up with them throughout the year and reported any troop issues immediately so that they could be resolved. When asked if she would continue in this role next year, she stated that she loved the experience and absolutely wanted to continue. Although she takes on a long list of responsibilities, she never complains and always has a positive attitude.