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Volunteer Celebration

Volunteer Celebration RGB
Saturday, Nov. 5
10 a.m.-noon
Academy of Our Lady of Peace
Registration coming soon

Volunteer Celebration is a chance to recognize all of the amazing Girl Scout volunteers in San Diego and Imperial counties. This year, to keep in line with COVID-19 safety precautions, our 2021 honorees and their nominators were invited to celebrate at an intimate ceremony outdoors near the Groce Family Treehouse.

Visit our Recognition FAQs page to learn more about each award. 

2021 Honorees

Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge recognizes adult members whose truly outstanding performance has benefited the entire council, and whose ongoing commitment, leadership and service have had an exceptional, measurable impact on meeting the mission-delivery goals and priorities of the entire council or the entire Girl Scout Movement.

Jamie Anderson, Oceanside Service Unit

Many of you might know Jamie through her outstanding creativity as a “S.W.A.P Professional.” Jamie is the artistic genius behind Oceanside Service Unit’s Volunteer Conference S.W.A.P.s each year. She has also extended her craftiness to troops and leaders to coordinate craft nights and teach girls how to make lifesaving paracord bracelets. We are ALL grateful for these creative contributions but we are truly THANKful for what she does for our Girl Scouts during cookie season.

Jamie runs her cookie cupboard for not one service unit, not two, not three, but for FOUR service units: Oceanside, Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad and Vista.

Throughout the pandemic she was one of the few cupboards that posted the most open hours for girls and families to pick up cookies. She ran her cupboard efficiently and stressed safety so all who came felt comfortable. Due to her availability and her selflessness, she enabled several hundred girls to participate in one of the most challenging cookie seasons in our history.

Thank you, Jamie! We are very grateful for you.

Rebekah Tyrell Hill, La Mesa Service Unit

Rebekah has dedicated the past 15 years to serving our Girl Scout community. She is the La Mesa Service Unit Manager and has served as the Service Unit Cookie Chair for four years. She continues to mentor new leaders, and is an incredible outdoor trainer.

Beyond that, Rebekah has created outstanding programs for her service unit including their Annual Service Awards, Adopt a Graduating Girl Scout, Spring Service Unit Photos, and the Cookie Booth Handoff Handshake photo contest. She has started a Youth Leadership Team, created the Beyond Juniors and Recruit and Retain events, and helped girls from disbanded troops and troops unable to launch find new homes.

As if that was not enough! Rebekah is a volunteer trainer and an outdoor program instructor, specializing in archery and backpacking. You have seen her commitment to this program and excellent presentation skills at Outdoor Skills Weekend and our Volunteer Conference. Not only is she a trainer but she is also a learner-for-life and continues to build her skills by taking courses from GSUSA and sister councils to share tips from San Diego and bring new ideas to our local Girl Scouts.

Thank YOU, Rebekah for keeping your Girl Scout promise, you are indeed making the world a better place! 

Kristin "Kris" Newman, San Marcos Service Unit 

Cookie season wouldn’t be the same without Kris. As the Cookie Cupboard Director for San Marcos, Escondido, Carlsbad, and Encinitas, she has been the go-to person to answer questions and give guidance, which she does with her signature smile, good nature, and infectious laugh.

With her support, girls do not just learn, but live the Girl Scout mission and earn several badges including Meet My Customers, Cookie CEO, and Business Owner. This year, 16 girls achieved their goals of selling over 1,000 cookie packages, 10 of whom achieved Elite Entrepreneur status by selling 2,021 or more… this was a new record for the San Marcos Service Unit! The girls could not have achieved their goals without Kris’ support. She is a shining example of a lifetime Girl Scout who just wants to help more girls grow and learn. But wait, there’s more!

Kris is one of our National Delegates representing Girl Scouts San Diego on important issues that affect our movement. She is also an advocate and promoter of our College Volunteer Leader Program. Through this program, she helps engage local college students and trains them to be Girl Scout troop leaders who bring Girl Scouting to underserved schools without a Girl Scout presence in San Marcos, Oceanside and Escondido. Prior to March 2020, she had helped 130 girls (that is 15 troops!) from five schools become enrolled in this extremely robust program.

And if that didn’t keep her busy enough! She took the lead to find several troops to welcome new girls who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouts. She is a role model for so many!

Wow! Thank you, Kris, for inspiring so many Girl Scouts! 

Sarah Woodruff, Imperial Valley Service Unit 

A few years ago, Sarah started attending Imperial Valley Service Unit meetings and Girl Scout events with her daughters, Rene and Becky. She quickly noticed the need for improved communications out to leaders and parents who were unable to attend the service unit’s meetings. Sarah happily volunteered to help fill this gap, thus the Service Unit Secretary position was created just for her!

Sarah’s responsibilities grew when she also accepted the role of Registrar when the position became vacant. She gladly completed the additional training and continued to dedicate herself to both roles of Secretary and Registrar.

In these roles, Sarah created innovative processes for the team to follow. She managed attendance at Service Unit meetings on her tablet, she converted all forms and documents into Google Docs, she created Google registrations for all the Service Unit events, and she went above and beyond by becoming the official Greeter and Check-In person by stationing herself at the door for meetings and events.

She remained constant in her goals to reach out to parents and the community to keep them connected and informed. She worked closely with Genie, their service unit manager, and assisted with all events by creating flyers, sending emails to all families, and posting registration and event information to Facebook.

To ease the burden on service unit members, Sarah would take the time and attend council trainings, roundtable calls, and webinars.  She attended most if not all, just so that she would be a second set of ears and could provide an update to the rest of the team.  Sarah attended just about everything and loved being a part of Girl Scouts. 

Sarah passed away unexpectedly this past June. We are glad to honor her memory and say, “Thank you.”

Thanks Badge II

The Thanks Badge II honors a previous Thanks Badge recipient who has continued to provide exemplary service in a leadership role, resulting in a measurable impact that benefits the entire Girl Scout movement. Since the inception of the Thanks Badge in 1917, there have only been 23 volunteers who have earned this award.

Jan Young, Blue Sky Service Unit

We can’t think of Girl Scout Cookies without thinking of Jan. Jan is indeed a Cookie Professional!

The 2020-2021 cookie season was a unique one to say the least! Jan remained informative, patient, calm, and positive throughout the entire cookie season. She kept everyone in-the-know about expectations, program changes, and tips on how to handle everything from on-hand cookies to the limited booth sites that were available.

Jan is very much appreciated for her vast knowledge of the cookie program her own cookie cupboard in Ramona, she is the Service Unit Cookie Coordinator for Blue Sky, and supports five service units as Regional Manager for both the Fall and Cookie Programs!

“Flexible” is Jan’s middle name! You have changes to your cookie pick up times; no problem! Jan goes out of her way to accommodate your schedule changes. You can’t log into ebudde to put in, change, or complete your transaction; no problem! Jan will log in to her computer right then and there to help you finish your transaction! You have extra cookies on hand; do not worry, Jan maintains an accurate spreadsheet to help troops move inventory and keep stress low!

Jan, we could not do cookies without you and we will never stop thanking you for your service to Girl Scouts!

Appreciation Pin

The Appreciation Pin recognizes adults who have delivered outstanding service to one or more service unit areas.

Sandra Banfield, Vista Service Unit

Katie Bell, Coronado Service Unit

Melissa Bennett, Coronado Service Unit

Alicia Bianchi, Rancho Foothills Service Unit

Michele Cambou, Blue Sky Service Unit

Cathy Ecija, Sunny Trails Service Unit

Andillon Hackney, Vista Service Unit

Veronica Hamby, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Celeste Jacob, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Patty Jenkins, Encinitas Service Unit

Megan Lin, Carmel Valley Service Unit

Amy Lovejoy, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Karen Rand, Rancho Foothills Service Unit

Amy Real, Vista Service Unit

Tammy Redka, Oceanside Service Unit

Susan Righthouse, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Wendy Romagnoli, Vista Service Unit

Hannah Santero, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Denise Santoro, Coronado Service Unit

Kelly Slater Ruff, Carmel Valley Service Unit

Melissa South, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Jen Straily, Rancho Foothills Service Unit

Tobey Tam, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Pauline Tetlow, Rancho Bernardo Service Unit

Marilou Thomas, Sunny Trails Service Unit

Linh Tsai, Carmel Valley Service Unit

Cookie Award

The Cookie Award recognizes a registered Girl Scout adult member’s notable work performance that went above and beyond the responsibilities of the position held during the cookie program. The candidate provided outstanding service related to the success of the cookie program by increasing sales and/or providing excellent customer service to girls and/or volunteers.

Stefanie Cease, Oceanside Service Unit

Cindy Dickerson, Lakeside Service Unit

Annie Gristina, Carmel Valley Service Unit

Stephanie Nurding, Coronado Service Unit

Scott Romagnoli, Vista Service Unit

Claudia Roth, Sunny Trails Service Unit

Bree Smith, Encinitas Service Unit

Shannon Thornton, Chaparral Service Unit

Fran Styles Lifetime Achievement Award

The Fran Styles Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes one Girl Scout volunteer each year who has given Girl Scouts San Diego above-and-beyond service for 25-plus adult years. 

Peggy Powell-Olson, Chula Vista Service Unit

Friendship Award

The Friendship Award recognizes individuals, groups, organizations, or businesses outside of Girl Scouts that have supported the mission of Girl Scouts San Diego by providing superior service to the entire council.

First Presbyterian Church, Oceanside Service Unit

Koki Machado, Wells Fargo

Ramona Parks and Recreation Association, Sunrise Valley Service Unit

Get Outdoors Award

The Get Outdoors Award recognizes adults who work beyond their own troops or service units to inspire a love for nature.

Anne Fege, Canyon Crest Service Unit

Ann Funk, Backpacking Group

Kevin Hill, Backpacking Group

Shawna Rosa, Mission Trails Service Unit

Honor Pin

The Honor Pin awards adults who deliver outstanding service to two or more service units. These honorees have a significant impact on girls and the organization as a whole.

Merrilee Alexander, Vista Service Unit

Victoria Calisch, Coronado Service Unit

Sheila Christine McQuaid-Moran, Vista Service Unit

Karen Schaffer, Carmel Valley Service Unit

Jessica Zamora, Vista Service Unit

Share Award

The Share Award recognizes service unit Share coordinators or other adults who have set, tracked, created, and followed a plan to build support got the Share program which helps keep Girl Scouting available and affordable for all.

Lynna Street, Vista Service Unit

Lily Valmidiano, Sunny Trails Service Unit

Volunteer of Excellence Award

The Volunteer of Excellence Award recognizes those volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through use of the national program portfolio or who have contributed outstanding service in support of the council’s mission delivery to girl and adult members.

Dee Dee Porter, Oceanside Service Unit

Priyanka Garg, San Marcos Service Unit

Anne Hill, Coronado Service Unit

Kathy Ling, Encinitas Service Unit

Carissa Stewart, Vista Service Unit

Rachel Zappulla, San Marcos Service Unit

Philanthropist Award

Qualcomm, Inc.

Swinerton Renewable Energy

President's Award

The President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service unit to enhance Girl Scouting in their community during the membership year. To achieve this award, service units must work together to meet or exceed goals in: girl programming, membership growth, volunteer training and support and team building. Service unit team members give their time and wisdom to help each troop shine in areas of financial stewardships, participation in product programs, girl-led events, and increasing membership. These high-functioning service units pull together to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to more girls and adults. 

Help us choose: To join the volunteers dedicated to reading through nominations and endorsements and selecting the Volunteer Celebration honorees, email to join the recognitions task group.