Girl Scouts, San Jacinto Council, Logo

GSSJC Holds Annual Adult Recognition Event

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) recently honored Girl Scout volunteers, families and service units for their service to the organization during the 2008-09 membership year. Honorees included over 50 individuals, including three families and four service units.

Membership Numerals

Membership Numerals are recognition for the adult who has been a registered member of Girl Scouts, given in increments of five years. Awards are received starting at 25 years and can be for time for girl and/or adult years of service.

50 Year Numeral

Sue Gray is dedicated to Girl Scouting. How dedicated? She postponed her own wedding just to make sure she could finish her commitment at summer camp as a counselor. That was many years ago, and since then Sue has served as a service unit administrator and treasurer, nominating committee chair to Goose Creek Service Unit and regularly volunteers on the Council Cookie Committee.

Friends say Peggy Allison lives by the Girl Scout motto, but puts her own twist on things. Instead of just being prepared, she is always prepared with a joke. Her peers on the history committee enjoy her sense of humor. As a member of the committee, Peggy has helped track down every recipient of the “Thanks Badge.” She has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from GSSJC.

Penny Harp has packed a lot of Girl Scouting into the last 50 years. She has held numerous positions on committees. Currently she is parliamentarian to the Council’s Board of Directors, Red Cross instructor, Urban Campout volunteer, a member of Emerald Circle and chair of the 52nd National Convention to be held in Houston November 2011. She also enjoys cooking at any of GSSJC’s 10 camps and has previously received the Thanks Badge II.

Beth Watkins became a member of Girl Scouts in second grade. She became a troop leader long before she had a daughter of her own and at GSSJC she has been a driving force behind the Council’s Take Note Choir. Through her leadership, members of the choir have performed for Astros fans, a former president and first lady and annually sing at Dickens on the Strand.

45 Year Numeral

As a member of Girl Scouts for 45 years, Olive Morelock has done almost every volunteer job including camp nurse. She is one of the longest serving service unit registrar’s. Olive has been a troop leader of not only her daughter’s troop, but also her granddaughter’s troop. During her 45 years, she has received numerous awards from GSSJC, including the continuing service award.

Like many volunteers, Jean Lieder’s Girl Scout career began when she attended a school rally because her daughter wanted to be a Brownie. She volunteered to be an outdoor chairman and has been with the Council ever since. During her 45 years of service, Jean has been a leader to all three of her daughter’s troops. She has held numerous positions at the service unit, district and Council levels, and in 2001 she received the Council’s highest award, the Lifetime Achievement.

If you want someone crafty to get the job done, look no further than Leda Kliesing. Leda began her Girl Scouting career as a troop leader and has since served on Recognition Committee in several positions. Last year, GSSJC recognized Leda with the Thanks Badge.

40 Year Numeral

Saundra Kuykendall serves as director of GSSJC’s Vintage Fashion Show. She has spent countless hours on the history committee. Saundra also serves on committees for Sing ‘n Celebrate, Juliette Low Tea Parties and GEMS. She has also received the Thanks Badge II.

Margaret Vaughn started her Girl Scout career in California as a girl. She rejoined the organization when she became a leader in 1977. Currently, she works in the Council’s accounting department. Margaret has held several volunteer positions, including neighborhood chairman for Happy Trails Service Unit.

Even though she lives in San Antonio, Hope Fletcher continues to be an important volunteer in GSSJC. She regularly returns to Houston to help with Urban Campout, Kaleidoscope Interest Project Weekend and Adult Recognition. Hope has served numerous service units in the Council and has also received the Thanks Badge.

35 Year Numeral

Michele Fletcher-Segura became a Girl Scout in 1975. She earned the Silver Award, First Class, and Gold Award during her 12 years as a girl member. After graduation Michele continued to be involved as a co-leader, troop cookie manager and volunteer at Catholic Girl Scout weekend events.

Jean Ann Bryant began her Girl Scout career 35 years ago as a leader. Since then she has become a membership manager with the Council and director of volunteer development. She has also developed several adult trainings for volunteers.

Carolyn Davidson began her Girl Scout career in central Texas. For the last 26 years, she has held numerous positions in Copper Corners Service Unit, District 5 and on the Council level. Carolyn served as Volunteer Development department’s coordinator for three years, is a member of the Operating Committee and is the Chair of the Building Infrastructure Pilot program. She is also a Master Trainer, leading Teen Advisor and Administrative trainings.

There is no event or committee in the Council that Marceline Lamb has not worked on. She is currently a Council trainer, dresser for the Vintage Fashion Show and is a member of the Product Sales Committee. Marceline is also a valued member of both the Adult Recognition Committee and Recognition Event Committee. In addition, Marceline is also a troop leader for her granddaughter’s troop.

Lo Blanton began volunteering for Girl Scouting 35 years ago. Since then she has become a valued member of the Sunshine Service Unit. Her nominators say she is the go-to person for organization, paperwork deadlines or just a great conversation about Girl Scouting.

30 Year Numeral

Nancye Gorman began her Girl Scout volunteer career as a leader of her daughter’s troop. She also served as a service unit administrator and cooks with the well-known Buffalo Cook Team.

From troop leader to numerous positions in Sweet Elm Service Unit to day camp, you will find Judy Smith making sure all girls have the opportunity to be in Girl Scouts. She believes that Girl Scouting can make a positive impact in the lives of young women. As a BLT facilitator, Judy is always willing to train new leaders, even doing one-on-one trainings in her living room. Sweet Elm has recognized her with the Outstanding Leader and Outstanding Volunteer awards and in 2001 GSSJC awarded her the Appreciation Pin.

In 1960 Jo Helton became a leader for two troops in Levelland, Texas. Since moving to GSSJC, she has served as a troop organizer, day camp staff, program organizer, and Cadette and Senior Girl Scout consultant. As a Girl Scout herself, Jo earned the First Class Rank, now known as the Gold Award. She also took one of the first integrated groups of Girl Scouts to Our Cabana in 1970.

25 Year Numeral

Richard Smith is the behind the scenes support team for his wife Judy and Sweet Elm Service Unit. Without Richard’s help, the girls and adults could not have experienced many of the activities they have enjoyed for 25 years. He has taught camping skills, been a chauffer, encouraged cookie sales and more.

Terri Modgling began her Girl Scout career as a troop leader 25 years ago. She has been an administrator in Bluebonnet Meadows Service Unit, chair of District 12, chair of the Girl Planning Board on many Cadette Events and has been a valued member of the Recognition Event committee. Terri was recognized with the Thanks Badge in 2009.

Ask Maria Roldan why she works for Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and she’ll tell you that the one year she was a girl member made a huge impression on her and she wants that experience for all girls. As a membership manager, she helps make Girl Scouting happen for many girls through her work with Scout Reach and other programs.

Sarah Rushing strongly believes in working directly with girls and has been a troop leader throughout her entire 25 years as Girl Scout volunteer. She still co-leads a Junior troop. In addition, Westmoreland Service Unit has benefited from Sarah’s expertise a service unit administrator and troop consultant. She became a Council trainer in 1994 and has logged more than 1,200 hours of training.

For 25 years Linda Hill-Smith has been a dedicated volunteer in Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. She is a Reserve Ranger and service unit manger for Tannybo Service Unit. Under Linda’s guidance the service unit made their membership goal in 2009 and was recognized earlier with the President’s Award. She says she’s most proud of her role as troop leader and takes pride in the accomplishments of the girls she has mentored through the years.

Girl Scouting can take you to faraway places. Like Houston. In Turi Odegard’s case, that’s exactly what happened. The Norway native, a Girl Scout herself for nine years, moved to Houston and became a leader for her daughter’s troop. Since becoming a member of GSSJC, Turi has served as assistant service unit manager, volunteers throughout the area and is always willing to share information, train others and help guide new leaders.

Susan Mehner was a Girl Scout herself, leader of her daughter’s troop and continues to volunteer with the Council even though her daughter is away at college. She serves as director of day and twilight camps and has brought the “Cool Science Investigation: CSI” program to girls in her service unit for several years. Peers say she is extremely creative and resourceful and that she goes above and beyond the call of duty in her volunteerism.

Appreciation Pin

The Appreciation Pin is a national recognition awarded to registered adults who have given outstanding service above the requirements of the position(s) they have held. They must have served at least one geographic service unit or program delivery audience.

Peers say Yvette Norwood began as a shy volunteer but has bloomed into a “take charge” full-fledged Girl Scout volunteer. She has held numerous volunteer positions and has been recognized with the Sunshine Service Unit’s Love Award, co-leader award, Outstanding Leader award, Service Team Member of the Year and Family of the Year Award.

Megan Hickel is one of GSSJC’s biggest cheerleaders. She has organized countless rallies and events, gone wherever needed to recruit new girls and adults, and worked with the other service units in the area on recruiting events. Her willingness to help whenever needed has aided Colony Creek in placing over 300 girls, forming 20 new troops and meeting their membership goal for the first time in three years.

Challenge Course facilitators are not easy to come by and are incredibly valuable volunteers in GSSJC. Mary Gedelian is one of those facilitators. She is always on the course during resident camp season and throughout the year. She is also a troop leader, active in her service unit, leads a day camp in Huntsville and co-leads Council trips to Switzerland.

Laura Lange is described by her peers as a perfect example of progressing through the ranks in Girl Scouting. From girl member to camp counselor, troop leader to volunteer positions at the Council level, Laura has served in a wide variety of roles. She is always willing to share her innovative ideas with other leaders and writes a monthly column on the Council website for leaders.

Candy Bourgeois has a knack for turning girls into leaders. Annually, she holds nine events for Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts, volunteers at twilight camps and puts an enormous amount of time and energy into everything she does.

Delta Polk recognizes the only way Girl Scouting can grow is by recruiting girls and adults. She is busy spreading the word about Girl Scouts any time and place she has the opportunity, and she is always full of innovative recruitment ideas. Delta has held many volunteer positions through the years. Currently she is a docent at the Goodykoontz Museum and is a member of the Product Sales committee.

Peers say Karen Matlock has a life energy that is like a force of nature that will not be stopped. As an outstandingly strong supporter of the Girl Scout program, Karen’s commitment and dedication to GSSJC activities makes it possible for Girl Scouting to be provided to every girl. She serves as a chairperson, fund raiser, and a valuable asset who works hard to ensure that details are covered and donations are secured.

Yellow Rose Service Unit counts themselves lucky to have Sophia Carmon as a volunteer – especially since she doesn’t have a daughter in Girl Scouts. She lends her expertise and enthusiasm to many positions, committees and events. Sophia brings those same qualities to the Council level as the Voice Coordinator, a position she’s held for the last two years. She is also Senior/Ambassador Recognition Event Chairman.

Honor Pin

The Honor Pin is a national award presented to registered adults who provide exceptional service through positive influence on the Council goals and activities of young women. Recipients of this award have served two or more geographic service units or program delivery audiences.

Since 2003, Donna Frenier has served as a service unit manager. She also fills various roles throughout the service unit as needed, inspires her volunteers and is always willing to get new troops up and running. For the last three years, Donna has been an area coordinator, Council trainer and is currently a membership coordinator.

Dean Eicher is a “Do-Dad” and Cookie Manager for his daughter’s troop. He has worked with Urban Campout, Engineering and Technology Day, the Quilt Festival, served as a Council Delegate and on the Campership Committee, but it is cookies that have his heart. Dean currently serves on the Council Product Sales Team. Peers say his enthusiasm, positive attitude, friendliness and patience are instrumental in supporting the Fall Product and Cookie Sales team.

Honornell Sandling is a member of the Adult Recognition Committee and leader for her daughter’s troop. Honornell has inspired many troop leaders who have watched her take her daughter’s troop all the way through the Girl Scout program. She has also served as a service unit administrator.

Julia Murphy is continually coming up with new ways to recruit girls. As a Council trainer she loves instructing leaders so they can enjoy and retain their girls. Her positive attitude and organizational skills shine through, say peers, as she serves as service unit and cookie manager. She also works with the Volunteer Development department as a member of the training level coordinators who work with Daisy, Brownie and Junior level trainers. Donna Bilger began her Girl Scout volunteer career in Utah where she was a troop committee member and a unit leader for twilight camp. GSSJC gained a valuable volunteer when she moved to our Council and became a troop leader. She’s served as fall product manager, cookie manager, BLT facilitator, teen advisor trainer, archery instructor, Red Cross trainer, Mariner coordinator, Challenge course facilitator aide and is a member of the training level coordinator committee.

Ellen Hughes organizational skills and commitment to excellence has served Yellow Rose Service Unit well. The service unit was recognized twice with the President’s Award during her four years as the service unit manager. Ellen enjoyed helping newly formed troops get up and running. She also put together a recruitment event for all of Fort Bend ISD in 2009.

JJ Clark is a big supporter of twilight camps. She has also served as a program partner for day camp, Area 8 advisor and participates in Council programs such as College Crawl, Midnight Madness and University Day Coordinator. She currently serves as assistant program coordinator for the Council and volunteers as a Council trainer.

Jo Blackburn is a blessing to work with, peers say, because she always remembers the mission of our organization and that our focus should be our girls. In addition to working on her service unit team, Jo volunteers as program department coordinator, Robotics coordinator, campership committee chairperson and puppetry coordinator. Debra Nowak has served Woodland Forest Service Unit for many years, continuing even after her daughter’s graduation. Debra’s positions include service unit, fall product manager and cookie manager. She has also been service unit registrar, a member of the strategic planning committee and a member of the nominating committee at the district level. In addition, Debra regularly participates in membership drives and rallies, day camp and Girl Scout events throughout the Council.

Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge is a national award presented to registered adults for extraordinary service benefiting the Council or Girl Scout Movement. A miniature trefoil pin is awarded to the spouse of the Thanks Badge recipient.

Fae Knight is a go-getter. For the last 22 years, she has been invaluable to GSSJC. She serves the Council as Red Cross instructor, leads many summer programs like day and twilight camps, serves as an archery instructor, summer carousel coordinator, Project Horizons coordinator and is a Council master trainer.

Mary McIntire began her Girl Scout career when asked to serve on GSSJC’s “Be Your Best Day” panel in 1995. Since then, she has become a member of the Emerald Circle, served on the Executive Committee from 1998 to 2000 and then became president of the board of directors. Her leadership has helped achieve record growth in membership and contributions. On the national level, Mary was selected by GSUSA to serve on the national Governance Task Force. She has also been honored as a Woman on the Move by Texas Executive Women in 1999 and as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Woman Magazine in 2008. GSSJC has also recognized her with the Appreciation Pin and the Honor Pin.

Continuing Service

The San Jacinto Council Continuing Service Award is presented to registered adults who have received the Thanks Badge and continue to give exceptional service. A “Thank You” grove of trees is maintained at Camp Agnes Arnold’s Training Complex as a visible reminder of their generous contributions.

Vicki Freeman has been a Girl Scout volunteer since she was a student at Wichita State University. She has been a troop volunteer, camp trained adult, troop leader, trainer, delegate, trip coordinator, international trainer, event chair, Board Nominating Committee chair, member of the Board, World Ambassador and more. She has served seven Councils and overseas. In addition, Vicki has been an asset to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) committee contributing not only ideas, but recruiting new volunteers and community partners.

Steve Freeman has been a Girl Scout volunteer since his daughter was a Junior. In his 26 years as a volunteer overseas and in five US Councils, he has been a troop volunteer, co-leader, trainer of girls and adults, trip coordinator, volunteer ranger and event chair. Steve has a love of the outdoors. He created an even for older girls at Camp Wind-a-Mere and has been a great asset to the STEM committee, Volunteer Development and to the Council properties.

Family Award

The Family Award recognizes adult family members who have contributed above and beyond the expectations of the positions they hold. Families awarded can be comprised of: husband and wife, mother and adult daughter(s), grandparent and adult daughter(s) or sisters (adults).

For 13 years, sisters Rachel Ozuna and Tina Garza have been volunteering for the Girl Scouts. Tina does not have a daughter, but her two sons know the Girl Scout Promise well. After the passing of Rachel’s daughter they continued as leaders for the troop. They have held many positions in Rose Garden, Elm Garden and currently in Meadowbrook Service Unit. Over time, their positions have included registrar, delegate, service unit manager, cookie manager, treasurer, fall products manager, press corp., recognitions coordinator, BLT facilitator, and event coordinator.

Girl Scouting is a family tradition in the Albrecht, Smith and Roesler families. Mother, Elaine Albrecht started as a troop leader in Minneapolis for her daughters, Pam Smith and Janette Roesler. The tradition has continued after relocating to Texas. Pam and Janette are now leaders for their daughters’ troops. Elaine has operated a Cookie Cupboard for the past three years. Pam has been a service unit cookie manager for the past four years and is also an assistant service unit manager. Janette began as a troop leader in 2006. This year she operated a Cookie Cupboard and was the Service Unit Cookie Manager, carrying on the family tradition.

Dianne and Jack Corn devote countless hours to Girl Scouting, always with smiles and cheerful dispositions. Dianne leads three troops in her service unit while Jack performs whatever physical task is required at the moment. Dianne always makes people laugh and helps new leaders feel welcome. Jack provides the behind the scene support. As a family they put their whole heart into every Girl Scout activity providing a positive influence for all involved.

President’s Award

The President’s Award is given to a service unit that demonstrates growth, leadership and overall excellence.

Bluebonnet Trails Service Unit exceeded their membership goal of 525 by 12 girls and retained more than 75% of their troops and troop leadership teams. They are very active in their community, promoting monthly service projects for their troops. In addition, the service unit tripled their participation in the Leadership for a Lifetime annual giving campaign in 2009.

Compass Rose Service Unit reached their membership goal of having 95% of their troops register during Early Bird registration. The service unit also held a Girl Scout Spirit Week to encourage awareness of Girl Scouting. They have also cultivated relationships and sponsors with many people in their community. Finally, the service unit has increased participation in Leadership for a Lifetime.

They might be a smaller service unit, but Meadowbrook is just as active. During the 2008-09 membership year, 13 of their 18 troops re-registered. They have a strong social media presence, utilizing Facebook to communicate events and activities for all troops. Meadowbrook also holds quarterly meetings for Juliette’s until they are placed in troops. The service unit is involved with the Humble Chamber of Commerce and has surpassed their Leadership for a Lifetime contribution goals.

Tannybo Service Unit makes Girl Scouting highly visible in Huntsville. During the 2008-09 membership year, they met their membership goal and through the local Home School Association’s fair were able to recruit new Girl Scouts at multiple levels. The service unit regularly works with Huntsville Memorial Hospital to provide a baby shower for the first girl born on Juliette Low’s birthday and troops plan parties year-round for children in a local shelter for battered women.

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award is unique to GSSJC and was instituted in 1997. Those who receive it have previously received the Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II, both given for exceptional volunteerism, and have continued to show a high level of commitment to the Council.

Sara Walker is known as GSSJC’s very own Juliette Gordon Low. For over 35 years she has given outstanding service to the girls and adults of GSSJC.

Sara began her Girl Scout career as a Brownie leader, leading the troop all the way through Seniors. She also held a number of neighborhood jobs such as vice chairman and chairman and been a member of a wide variety of committees throughout the Council. The cookie sale program has benefitted greatly from Sara’s work and leadership in Districts 5 and 12, as well as at the Council level where she served in many capacities including Chairman. Sara developed the banking system now used for all council product sales. She is known as one of the ‘Thanks Badge Detectives,’ who seek out those volunteers who go above and beyond and receive one of Girl Scouting’s most elusive adult awards, the Thanks Badge. She also volunteers with the history committee and is a museum docent, conducting tours for troops and presenting at Juliette Low Tea Parties each month. Perhaps the most notable contribution in this field is her work with the Emerald Circle where she is a Charter Member and has served in many capacities including president.

In addition, Sara has been a master trainer as well as member-at-large and recoding secretary on the GSSJC board of directors.

GSSJC | Communications Department
3110 Southwest Freeway  Houston, TX 77098