Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Robyn Metcalf in the Northern and 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 Robyn 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?
In the beginning, I became a volunteer so that my daughters would be able to participate in GS. When we first started about 15 years ago that was the only way to join a troop. I loved what the GS law could teach my girls and wanted them to have all those characteristics. As I continued in my GS journey, I volunteered more and more because I enjoyed spending time with and teaching all the girls. The bonds I made with girls, parents, and other leaders warmed my heart and taught me new things.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I first offered to be the troop cookie Mom for a troop in Colorado Springs just to get my oldest daughter into a troop. Then as I learned more about GS, I became more involved with the troop and the service unit there. When we moved to Loveland, I jumped right into a troop leadership role for my older daughter and helped lead cookies in my younger daughter’s troop. I ended up being the leader for both troops for several years. During this time, I was also very involved in a team to lead the Loveland service unit as well as helping Amber Book organize the Loveland day camp for about 6 years. As part of the service unit, I helped mentor new troops getting started and helped out with PA training. I was also very active in helping out with cookies sales in Loveland. I would go to local businesses and help set up cookie booths for all the Loveland troops.
Then we were introduced to the GECCCOs troop at the canoeing portion of day camp and I knew this was the troop we had to join. Jean, Connii, and their team of parent volunteers were full of adventure! I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could and then began to lead activities like Reach for the Peak, Happy Campers, the annual Holiday Tea, meals for the homeless, and canoeing. I was the treasurer of GECCCOs troop for about 6 years and then joined the troop leadership team for the past 4 years. I am now in the process of handing over my years of experience to the other leaders in our troop. I am so thankful to have been able to be involved in such an incredible troop and have made so many amazing adult friends as well. I look forward to seeing the troop continue to live on for many more years to come and continuing the friendships I have built!
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
My daughters and I immersed ourselves in the programming and loved it. I learned so much about outdoor adventure just by being with the girls and letting them lead. Now I love hiking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, biking, and anything to do with the outdoors.
I also learned to be more confident in myself. The girls look up to you as a leader. Sometimes, I had to push myself to make sure to keep up with them or learn new skills so I could help them be safe. Canoeing was not something I did prior to joining the troop but I am now a certified L1 trainer with the ACA and I am so proud to say I completed the Manitou Incline, hiked to the top of Bunderspitz to see a sunrise in Switzerland, got to chance to experience paragliding and even learned how to do a backflip from the water to get back into my canoe while in the BWCAW! All of this is because our girls had dreams and I wanted to make sure they could be successful.
Before GS I didn’t know that international travel was possible for me. When the girls in the troop started talking about their trip to Peru I knew this was another experience I had to have and wanted my daughters to get the travel bug. This was one of the harder lessons for me to learn. Being in another country and still letting the girls lead was a little nerve-racking. Letting failures happen was even harder. But I am so glad I did because it has been so much easier to work on planning our latest trip to Italy. The girls are so much more confident now and I get to sit back and watch.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope the girls I have worked with over the years have learned to believe in themselves more. I want them to reach for more, be successful, and preserver even if they endure a few hiccups along the way. I hope that they have learned to be more adventurous and have a special new bond with the outdoors. I want them to continue to be active and to teach others how amazing it is to explore nature. And above all else, I hope they know they are loved and can show the same kindness and compassion that I tried to show them. I want them to learn that the world needs them. They can always give back in some way. I have tried to show them how to live by the GS law and hope they continue to lead by example!
Nominate an exceptional volunteer for a Volunteer Award! Nominations are open April 1-June 30, 2022