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Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast honors volunteers throughout the region

Contact: Lauren Sieben
Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast
MILWAUKEE—Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) honored volunteers in April for their exceptional service and commitment to building girls of courage, confidence and character in southeast Wisconsin. Volunteers from throughout the region were recognized at the GSWISE Annual Meeting on April 8.
Top honors included:
  • Marion Chester Read Award: Recognizing previous Thanks Badge of Thanks Badge II honorees who demonstrate noteworthy volunteerism, model the Girl Scout spirit and share their skills and talents. The award, named after Marion Chester Read, is a tribute to the legacy of the Chester Read Family and specifically Marion, who continues to inspire others by her support of Girl Scouting and the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast.
  • Thanks Badge II: Recognizing an adult member who has received the Thanks Badge and whose outstanding service resulted in outcomes that benefit the total council or the entire Girl Scout organization.
  • Thanks Badge: Awarded for service impacting the council or the Girl Scout movement as a whole.
  • Honor Pin: Recognizing outstanding service given to two or more geographic areas.
  • President’s Award: Honoring a service area, program delivery team or committee which has significantly contributed to one or more of the council goals.
Awardees by county:

Kenosha / Racine
  • Marion Chester Read Award: Carol Bell (Kenosha) has invested many hours over the past 20-plus years sharing her Girl Scout knowledge and experience for the betterment of girls and adults in the Kenosha area, where she has become a key cookie volunteer for the product sales team and currently does “all things cookies.” Carol saw the need for extra cookie trainings and trained over one hundred volunteers across service areas the past two years. Besides actively supporting the cookie program, she is an event coordinator for her service area.
  • Thanks Badge II: Pat Getschman (Kenosha) has been the strong lead on a new initiative in her service area to invigorate troops to not only engage more thoughtfully and fully with Journeys, but also to work together within the service area. Her super troop process, adopted over last summer, has activated both new and long standing Girl Scout volunteers to connect, discover and take action within their own troops and with one another. Last year Pat also took on being the cookie manager for four Community Learning Center after school troops and added a fifth this year.
  • Thanks Badge:
    • Abra Dexter (Waterford) plans, markets, recruits and coordinates day camp for over 150 girls, volunteers and teens from Kenosha and Racine counties. Her camp embraces girl-led, cooperative teams, and learning by doing in a fun and innovative way. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), girl leadership opportunities and creativity are also encouraged at camp. This past year Abra also served on a committee to revise our Council 101 training and helped to develop a very creative curriculum and set of training materials.
    • Sharyn Hock (Oak Creek) helped to create, pilot and execute a successful one day event last summer called “Sow What?” She and some of the girls from her troop worked with a Racine area community partner to develop a curriculum for southern region girls in grades nine and ten that enabled them to complete the Sow What? Journey. With Sharyn’s help there are now twenty-three girls closer to earning their Girl Scout Gold award. These girls will be taking this experience with them through the next two to three years of Girl Scouting and beyond.
  • Honor Pin: Lynn Michelau (Sturtevant) is an exciting and infectious adult learning facilitator. She shares her experiences and highlights the importance of the Girl Scout Journeys and the National Program Portfolio to volunteers throughout the southern region. Lynn continuously goes above and beyond as she inspires volunteers who struggle with the GSLE (Girl Scout Leadership Experience).
Milwaukee County
  • Marion Chester Read Award: Pat Hartz (Brown Deer) has earned over the years the reputation as the “go to” volunteer for program center events. This past year she taught girls to sew, helping them make sundresses to be sent to girls in need in Haiti. These dresses needed to be finished with neck and armhole binding so Pat took all 200 dresses home and finished them. She is also a Girl Scout Daisy adult learning facilitator and continues to be very active on the GSWISE Historical Committee.
  • Honor Pin:
    • Lisa Marshall’s (Oak Creek) commitment to the Girl Scout Cookie Program is energizing. She currently runs the large Oak Creek delivery site and cupboard, has hosted a cookie rally, conducted product sales trainings, ran enrichment sessions at kick off events, and spoke at Regional Conferences. Lisa still finds time to be a member of the cookie support team answering e-mail questions from volunteers.
    • Wendy Nielson (Franklin) runs the Franklin cookie delivery site, distributing thousands of cases of cookies and hundreds of cases of nuts and candy. She is a member of the cookie support team, answering hundreds of urgent e-mail questions from cookie captains. Wendy hosted a cookie rally this year and still finds time to count forms at cookie kickoffs and help with the yearly merchandise inventory at the resource centers.

Washington County
  • Honor Pin:
    • Susan Schiller (Hubertus) is always busy in her roles as day camp director and as a part of the cookie support team. She has shared ideas on how to save money and provide more programming at day camp and has created a money collection system that is now used by all nineteen day camps. Susan was also instrumental in helping to create the new Cookie Program Activity direct sale format and assisted with trainings.
    • Susan Wehber (Colgate) connected with a troop of high school girls to brainstorm, plan and lead day camp last summer and this summer. She has made it her mission as a day camp director to make sure her area’s day camp is a truly girl driven and girl led program. Sue has also been a part of the GSWISE cookie team since 2008, helping at delivery sites, assisting in trainings and helping to transition to a direct sale in 2013.

Waukesha County
  • Marion Chester Read Award: Margaret Sutton’s (Brookfield) amazing passion for Girl Scouting and her ability to pass it along to the new volunteers she trains is truly a gift. In this past year she has worked closely with two older girl troops in the Brookfield and New Berlin area, helped run Deer Trails volunteer led day camp, continued to be an adult learning facilitator for leaders, a mentor for girls working towards their Girl Scout Gold awards and worked on a task force for older girl retention. Margaret exemplifies the spirit of Girl Scouting with her can-do attitude.
  • Thanks Badge: Alan McGinty (New Berlin) completely transformed the way day camps process their registrations. In 2011, he wrote a computer program and other reports which he generously shared with other day camp directors. He continuously tweaks this program so systems will work together, allowing director reports to be streamlined while keeping information accessible yet confidential. He shares the program with each new director and gives them a personal step by step tutorial to help make their first year run smooth.
  • Honor Pin:
    • Brian Higgins (Brookfield) has been the Whispering Willows assistant day camp director for six plus years and is responsible for the development of the camp’s canoeing progression program, which he continues to teach. He also developed and became a coordinator for the L.O.S.T (Leadership in Outdoor Skills Training) program twelve years ago and shared it with eighteen other volunteer day camps.
    • Charlene Stumvoll (Oconomowoc) has been busy in her service area roles of troop leader, school organizer, event coordinator, and now communications coordinator. And yet she still has found time to help the New Berlin Resource Center for many years with major projects as well as cookie and nut deliveries. Charlene has also help lead the council’s very popular Journey Jump Start sessions.
  • President’s Award: Sun Lakes Volunteer Led Day Camp Team led by Beth Hahn (Muskego) with her team: Kris Gardipee (Big Bend), Cystal Bizzle (Muskego), Ann Kurtz (Muskego), Debbie Rapp (Muskego), Val Stenzel (Muskego) and Debbie Zwick (Muskego), coordinate the largest day camp of the nineteen volunteer led day camps with over 400 girls attending each summer. Girls and adults come back year after year because they learn new things and have fun doing it. Sun Lakes day camp provides the strongest robotics program and they have collaborated in the past with the USA Tennis Association to bring tennis activities to camp. One girl summed it up by saying, “Camp is great…ALL THE TIME!!!”