GOFFSTOWN, NH | Some people seem to be born with the gift of organization, and Heather Coldwell of Goffstown, formerly of Manchester, is blessed not just with that gift, but also with the commitment to volunteering and helping girls become young women of courage, confidence, and character through Girl Scouting. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud to name Coldwell Volunteer of the Month for October.
Leading one Girl Scout troop and helping with others, Coldwell is involved with Manchester Girl Scout troops from the youngest to the oldest levels. She leads Daisy Troop 10920 at Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester, and helps with Brownie Troop 10405, Junior Troop 12263, Cadette Troop 10720, and Senior/Ambassador Troop 10753 there. As if that’s not enough, her daughter is in Girl Scout Senior Troop 10417 at First Congregational Church in Manchester, so she assists the fourth- and fifth-graders in Junior Troop 10032 there, too.
Daisies are girls in kindergarten and first grade, Brownies are in second and third grades, Juniors in fourth and fifth grades, Cadettes in sixth through eighth grades, Seniors in ninth and 10th grades, and Ambassadors are in 11th and 12th grades.
“Heather is always ready to step up and help with any needs,” said Kim Lemear, the volunteer service coordinator for Coldwell’s Girl Scout Service Unit.
Along with leading Daisy troops in Manchester for the past 10 years, Coldwell was recognized with the council’s Honor Pin this year, for performing beyond the expectations of her position and supporting the council’s goals in two or more geographic area. She was also awarded the Volunteer of Excellence in October 2015. She’s been a valuable member of the Farnsworth Weekend committee, a yearly camping event for Girl Scout alums; and helped the council with producing Girl Scout Cookie PSAs and with publicity photos and radio appearances.
Making it all work is about organization, but she relies on a network of helpers, too.
“I know for fact that I can’t do the amount of stuff that I do without the help that I get,” Coldwell said. “I think if everybody does a little bit, it makes it easier. We come up with a plan of what we need to have done, then we say we’re looking for help with XYZ, and hope someone will step up.”
Coldwell keeps traditions going in her Girl Scout troops, including an opening ceremony for all the Girl Scouts that meet at the church before breaking off into their own groups; participating in the Manchester city parades, including the Veterans Day parade, Memorial Day parade, and St. Patrick’s Day parade; putting on World Thinking Day events or camporees; and even taking the youngest girls to Camp Farnsworth in Vermont for their first camping weekend.
It was while taking basic outdoor living skills training that Coldwell got involved with Farnsworth Weekend, a camping and workshop event for Girl Scout alums and volunteers. For nine years now, Coldwell has done the event packets and registrations, while reconnecting with old friends.
“I think it’s just being able to be with other leaders who are interested in the same things, learning new things as an adult,” she said of the weekend. “Just being able to be outside and not worry about your littles running around! It’s a nice break.”
Deb Drake, who has worked with Coldwell on the weekend for years, counts on her to help. “Over the years, she has become a key member of the committee and my right hand, handling the check-in of all participants at registration for the weekend,” she said. “She keenly recognizes first-timers and provides them with helpful hints and guidance for the weekend to help them have an enjoyable experience. I know that if Heather has signed up and committed to a task, it will get done! She is integral to making the weekend a success.”
Volunteers are the lifeblood of organizations like Girl Scouts. She encourages others to consider volunteering.
“It warms my heart, really!” she said. “I like to volunteer - it doesn’t matter what it’s for. I want to teach my kids the same thing. You give of your time, and that’s the way we are. I think everybody should give it a go.”
Heather Coldwell embodies the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ philosophy and promotes it with the Girl Scouts and adult volunteers she works with. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud to have such a dedicated and skilled volunteer on our team, and to name her our Volunteer of the Month for October.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.