2014 Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana
Annual Meeting Award Recipients
Congratulations to the following volunteer award recipients!
Years of Membership Pins are awarded for combined girl and adult years of membership.
5 Years of Membership
10 Years of Membership Pin
15 Years of Membership
25 Years of Membership
30 Years of Membership
35 Years of Membership
40 Years of Membership
Years of Service Pins are awarded for total years of service as an adult volunteer.
5 Years of Service
10 Years of Service
15 Years of Service
20 Years of Service
25 Years of Service
Volunteer of Excellence
Brenda Lee Szakacs
Jennifer Butler- Jennifer stepped up this year to coordinate a large scale lock-in event at the Kroc Center in South Bend. This is a complicated event but Jennifer knew how much the girls enjoyed it in previous years so she rose up to take charge and make sure it was an awesome event. There were over a hundred people registered to attend. Unfortunately the event had to be canceled at the very last minute due to unforeseen circumstances at the event location. But Jennifer feeling bad for the event being canceled quickly started looking into other activities to take its place.
Michele Esparza - Michelle is appreciated for her help in making and distributing over a thousand recruitment fliers for 7 different recruitment events in her area. Because of her contribution the community almost doubled their girl and adult memberships.
Michelle also acts as co-product program coordinator. Besides ensuring the cupboard was stocked with cookies and leaders had what they needed, she also coordinated cookie booths that were not part of the SNAP lottery. She contacted local businesses about allowing cookie booths at their site, made up a schedule for troops to sign up, and then shared that schedule with the businesses. This eliminated any confusion as to who was covering the booths and when they would be there.
Michelle has also coordinated a community swim party and lock-in and is currently guiding her Junior troop in earning their Bronze Award.
Barb Grumme - Community 216 (Kosciusko County) nominated Barb Grumme for the Appreciation Pin by calling her a Girl Scout Treasure. Barb has been involved in Girl Scouts for 8 years and served as a troop leader, registrar, mentor, and recruiter. Currently Barb serves as a leader and cookie mom for a Junior troop, leader of a Cadette Troop, and cookie mom and mentor of a Daisy/Brownie troop. She also serves as community financial coordinator.
In addition Barb is always the first to step up to help with the planning and logistics of community activities. When a Brownie troop needed a second volunteer she stepped up and helped out until a permanent volunteer was found. Several times this past year when the cookie cupboard coordinator needed someone to cover the cupboard, Barb volunteered.
Barb is involved with Girl Scouts because she cares about the program and the girls. She teaches them to live by the Girl Scout Law now and throughout their lives.
Tammy Laisure - Community 229 out of Wells County nominated Tammy Laisure for the Appreciation Pin for her help in improving communications between council, volunteers and families of girls. Tammy set up two Facebook pages – one for communicating with volunteers and another one for sharing information with Girl Scout member families. She makes sure all upcoming events are posted and also emails the information to leaders. This communication link has allowed for easy sharing of upcoming activities and during this past cookie product program allowed for easy rescheduling if a troop needed to cancel their booth.
Tammy also acts as the community photographer capturing those moments that make memories.
Angela Meltinos - When Angela Meltinos took over this year as community coordinator for 202, she hit the ground running. Her current community is comprised of 4 former service units. Through her leadership Community 202 has become a more cohesive group that continues to grow. Volunteers are connecting and troops are beginning to travel outside their local areas to attend events, meetings and even council wide events.
Angela mentors new volunteers and offers open forums for both new and experienced volunteers to share their successes and concerns, allowing them to support one another. This level of sharing and relationship building has been great for their community.
Angela also assisted with organizing a skating recruitment party that was attended by approximately 35 girls. These girls were all placed in troops. She was the primary organizer for reinstating Angels in Disguise where troops sponsor needy families at Christmas time. She also increased Girl Scout visibility in the community by promoting Girl Scouts at their local Apple Festival Kids Day parade and face painting event. Besides all that she finds time to lead a troop of Girl Scout Juniors!
Sara Schnepp - Sara Schnepp is the Huntington County Day Camp guru. She has coordinated this annual Day Camp for over 12 years! She has a real talent for getting to know her volunteer staff, discovering their gifts and personalities and making the best leader teams for each grade level of girls. She spends times making sure the adult support team has appropriate training and the supplies required to put on the best possible program for the girls. Always, managing on a tight budget, Sara provides an open atmosphere for the girls and adults to encourage exploration, discovery and learning in the outdoors. She also always finds a way to any girl to attend who may not have the monetary means or parental support.
Tonya Young - Tonya Young is a great example of carrying on the tradition of Girl Scouts. She was a Girl Scout as a girl, was a PA within her community, helped out at Day Camp then continued on as a volunteer helping to start a Daisy troop at Huntington Catholic Church. Since then she has also taken on the roles of recruiter and with her troop alone increased for 11 girls to 34 girls.
Tonya has coordinated several My Promise/My Faith events. The first event was in collaboration with Huntington University and then she coordinated several on her own. She is now sharing her guidance and expertise with other communities as this event becomes popular.
Tonya has also taken on the role of council learning facilitator to mentor new leaders.
TaResa Brindel - Taresa volunteered to take over the community financial coordinator position with her Community because they desperately needed one. Little did they and the council know what a huge impact she would have on troop financial reporting procedures?
Over the last year and a half, TaResa Brindel has developed a system to make it an easy and quick process to get through all the financial reports of her very large community. She developed a worksheet and letter for volunteers explain the process to make troop financial reporting easier.
She didn’t stop there. TaResa then shared her concerns with council staff that the financial reporting timeline didn’t match up with the troop year. Because of her efforts troop financial reporting timeline has change to better reflect the troop calendar.
After that she advocated for sharing financial best practices with others and helped develop a Short & Snappy learning op along with handouts to better prepare volunteers to handle their troop’s financial tracking. This information is also being used to train other community financial coordinators.
Besides all this she also leads a troop of 12 Girl Scout Juniors and helps carry out many community events Including the Girl Scout Way Day. Unfortunately TaResa is preparing to move and once again she is going above and beyond. She is already working to prepare her replacement.
Carol Butler - Carol has guided her troop from Brownies through Ambassadors and now spends most of her volunteer time ensuring older girls stay involved in Girl Scouts. She is involved with numerous community events, service projects and activities.
Carol from Community 229 is best known as the frontrunner for the Wells County Day Camp older girl unit. Every year Carol takes a week’s vacation and spends the entire week, day and night, at the camp serving the Cadette, Senior and Ambassador girls. Typically there are 30 – 40 older girls from 5 or more communities that are drawn to the camp because of Carol. She has also instilled her giving nature on to her former troop girls because they are carrying on the tradition by returning from college to be day camp unit leaders. The younger girls at camp can’t wait until they are old enough to be in her unit.
Carol doesn’t just volunteer during Day Camp season she also manages to include Girl Scouts in activities happening in the community. She has arranged for Girl Scouts to help out during mock hospital training disasters. She has organized use of the hospital parking lot for Girl Scouts to participate in the annual Street Fair. Carol also worked to secure a location for the community cookie cupboard.
This past year Carol has added community financial coordinator to her Girl Scout resume. In this position she has worked tirelessly to bring new organization the community accounts and implemented new systems for leaders to submit their financial information.
Sharing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience with every girl to help them build courage, confidence and character is very important to Carol. She has touched many lives through her service to Girl Scouts.
Charles Kummer – Charles began his service to Girl Scouts 40 years ago when he opened his home to store Girl Scout cookies for 8 troops in the Roanoke area and since then he has served communities in both the Southwest and East regions of our council as a cookie cupboard.
The dedication and appreciation of Charles Kummer’s service is evident by the letters that were submitted by his fellow Girl Scout volunteers. He is described as a very quiet man but his actions speak loudly. Charles runs a very efficient Cookie Cupboard that is within the Wabash and Huntington counties community 227 that serves surrounding areas also.
This is no ordinary cookie cupboard. This year he moved 4,564 cases of cookies. That’s unloading, constantly restacking and reloading almost 55,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies! Each year he has used his own personal resources and expertise to find better ways to get things done and serve his customers. He has figured out the best floor plans, made custom-built hand trucks and dollies for moving cookies, supplies non-slip gloves and informative signs for volunteers and also designed excel spreadsheets for keeping track of inventory besides using the Snap Cookie program.
Safety of his customers is top priority to Charles. This winter he kept his driveway and sidewalks clear of snow and ice, which that in itself was a challenging feat.
But most importantly, Charles strives to improve every volunteer, cookie parent and girl that walks in his door. Girls are given tasks to help at a level that is appropriate to their age, size and abilities. Volunteers and parents are given tips on planning for their product pickups to tracking their sales.
Charles Kummer exemplifies the ideals of Girl Scouting to all who encounter him through his selfless devotion and friendship.
Kathy Quinn – Kathy’s role in Girl Scouting includes Registrar, Event Program Coordinator, Coach Coordinator and Mentor, Recruiter, Troop Leader and according to the nomination letters – cook! That in its self seems like so much to take on, however, she is so much more than those titles suggest.
Kathy Quinn is first and foremost a Girl Scout Advocate for each girl who wants to be a Girl Scout. Kathy will find a troop for every single girl that wants to join, and in many cases will fill in as the leader of troops that are in need of a leader to get started. Then by doing so, Kathy is able to keep the girls’ interest in Girl Scouting and encourage the parents to get involved as well! Kathy has brought in many leaders by sparking the interest of parents being involved in their daughter’s Girl Scout experiences. Once a leader is identified, approved and trained, Kathy will stay on as mentor until the leader feels comfortable to take over on her own. Because of Kathy’s dedication, Community 205 is very successful in their girl & adult memberships.
Another way Kathy keeps Girl Scout interest alive in her area is through events. Kathy understands the importance of girl-led events and gearing events toward the girls’ interests. She has coordinated numerous events for both the 205 and 204 communities and also a council wide events and day camps. As Event Coordinator, she created a worksheet to keep track of every detail of an event from finances to flyers. These sheets can be referenced when similar events are coordinated. She makes herself available to every Event Chairperson so they feel supported in planning the event.
In her registrar position, Kathy makes a point of knowing all the Girl Scouts in her Community not just by name but also by face. It’s great when she works the registration table at events – she knows who is checking in before they say their names and you can see how happy that simple gesture makes a girl feel!
Beyond Community 205, Kathy can also be found helping her Sister Community 204 with numerous events also.
Trained Leader ID Pins
Billie Jo Watson
Agaves - Fort Wayne, IN
Akron Community Center - Akron, IN
Baroda Tire Center - Baroda, MI
Bi-County - Bluffton, IN
Big R - Rochester, IN
Bluffton Middle School - Bluffton, IN
Burnette Foods, Inc. - Hartford, MI
Cafe of Hope - Huntington, IN
Cedar Canyon Elem - Fort Wayne, IN
Clay Church, Firehouse Youth Ministry - South Bend, IN
Countryside Academy - Benton Harbor, MI
Decatur Park and Recreation - Decatur, IN
EP Clarke School - St Joseph, MI
Family Video - St Joseph, MI
Fulton County Historical Society - Rochester, IN
Grace United Methodist Church - Rochester, IN
Greater Niles Senior Center - Niles, MI
Harding's - Berrien Springs, MI
HFS Tractor - Baroda, MI
Hickory Center Elem School - Fort Wayne, IN
Huntertown United Methodist Church - Huntertown, IN
Huntington Catholic School - Huntington, IN
Ken Lozo - Huntertown, IN
Landes Auto Shop - Galveston, IN
Lowe's - Benton Harbor, IN
Lowe's - Bluffton, IN
New Haven Lodge #740 Free & Accepted Masons - New Haven, IN
New Haven Parks & Recreation - New Haven, IN
New Haven Primary School - New Haven, IN
North Webster Church of God - North Webster, IN
Nye's Apple Barn - St Joseph, MI
Ossian Elem School - Ossian, IN
Pater True Value - St Joseph, MI
Pike Lumber Company - Akron, IN
Rochester Church of Christ - Rochester, IN
Rochester Times Cinema - Rochester, IN
Roger's Foodland - St Joseph, MI
Sister Lakes Elem - Benton Harbor, MI
South Bend Parks Department - South Bend, IN
St Joesph Catholic Church - Rochester, IN
Syracuse Community Center - Syracuse, IN
The Cake Lady - Columbia City, IN
Trinity United Methodist Church - Rochester, IN