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GSSJC celebrates dedication of Houston-area volunteers


Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) recently honored volunteers for believing in the power of G.I.R.L (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)TM during the Council’s annual adult recognition event hosted at Camp Agnes Arnold in Conroe, Texas.

The following volunteers received the highest Girl Scout recognitions for a volunteer:

Thanks Badge:

  • Dean Eicher
  • Judy Harris
  • Pamela Lippert
  • Hattie Saulsberry

The Thanks Badge is given to a candidate who has provided outstanding service that benefits the total Council or entire Girl Scout Movement.

For more than 20 years, Dean Eicher has been involved with Girl Scouts. He began his journey as a volunteer for his daughter’s troop but quickly expanded his efforts. For the last 15 years, he has been an integral part of GSSJC’s Cookie Program, providing leadership support as the community cookie manager for Bending Bayous Community and a member of the Product Sales operations team. In addition, Eicher is also a member of GSSJC’s campership committee and has served as a Girl Scouts of the USA national delegate.


For more than 10 years, the kitchen has been the center of Pamela Lippert’s Girl Scout volunteer experience. She’s cooked for numerous Council events and facilitated most of GSSJC’s camp kitchen certification, enlisting dozens of new Council cooks. Most recently, Lippert authored the new camp kitchen certification training manual.

Hattie Saulsberry's roles have included troop leader, cookie manager, event director, consultant, trainer, IT Committee member, Promise Project team lead, delegate-at-large and national delegate, just to name a few! She was also one of the founding members to start the Gold Award Ceremony in South Bridge Community which is now in its 15th year and has seen more than 100 girls become Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Thanks Badge II

  • BJ Bonner
  • Portia Cook
  • Patti Stefek

The Thanks Badge is given to a candidate who has provided outstanding service that benefits the total Council or entire Girl Scout Movement.

BJ Bonner has spent a lifetime in Girl Scouts and earned numerous recognitions for her commitment to its mission. She has served on GSSJC’s board of directors and as a member of the volunteer committee, co-chair of the Council’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center, secretary of The Emerald Circle and served three terms on the adult recognitions committee to distinguish volunteers for their commitment to Girl Scouts. Many of the positions Bonner held had term limits, so she recently returned to her roots and applied her knowledge and skills to support the Colony Creek Community. She is currently on the community leadership team, a mentor to new volunteers and also has her own troop.

Portia Cook has been a valuable and passionate volunteer for Girl Scouts for over 20 years.  Like many, Portia started out as a troop leader, volunteering her way up the ladder to become a member of the Service Team and eventually onto many council committees and the Board of Directors. Portia has served on an alphabet soup of Council-wide committees—ARC, ARE, OC, VRC, ETC and PP—encompassing adult recognitions, operations, volunteer relations, training and special projects as well as long-standing involvement with the History Committee and Emerald Circle. 

Since 1990, Patti Stefek has trained hundreds of adults on introducing girls to the outdoors through camping. As a professional trainer dedicated to making sure the resources volunteers use are up-to-date and easily accessible, Stefek digitized a 200-page manual, revised volunteer safety guidelines and created a website so outdoor facilitators could download these resources as needed.

Continuing Service Award

  • Leda Kliesing

The Continuing Service Award is given to a candidate who has provided outstanding serve that benefits the total Council or entire Girl Scout Movement.

Honoring the commitment of Girl Scout volunteers is a passion of Leda Kliesing, who has been a part of the Council’s adult recognition committee since 1992. She also served as chair of the committee five times. She proudly shares her love of Girl Scouting with her family and serves as a volunteer for her granddaughter’s troop when requested.

Congratulations to these GSSJC volunteers on their awards!

To learn more about volunteering in Girl Scouts, visit