Monday, March 21, 2016

Girl Scouts Honor Longtime Volunteer Helen Kattwinkel

Helen Kattwinkel with Girl Scout volunteer and
Gold Award Committee member Susan Ramsland,
who, along with GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller, presented
the legacy plaque to Helen during the reception.
Girl Scouts love to celebrate! This year as we observe the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scout Gold Award, we honor those in our Council who have helped girls reach that pinnacle. One very special volunteer deserving of recognition is Helen Kattwinkel. She has spent more than three decades serving on the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Gold Award Committee. Helen, who started in Girl Scouts in 1964 as a leader overseas in Turkey, has gone on to serve in many roles – leader, cookie chair, trainer, delegate and others. But she says serving as one of the leads on the Gold Award Committee has been the most satisfying.

“Earning the Gold Award is hard work,” Helen said. “Girls come with great ideas but don’t always know the depth of the work it takes. It’s our job to help them through the process. It’s rewarding to see them complete their projects and the confidence they have gained along the way.”

A celebration reception was held in Helen’s honor on March 20 at Wycliffe Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, the church Helen attends regularly. Girl Scout friends who have known Helen over the years attended and paid tribute to her. A plaque was presented to her and will find a place in the church’s exhibit case alongside a plaque that was presented to Helen’s late husband, Frank.

Girl Scout Alumna Amy Godby and Helen Kattwinkel
Among the guests was Amy Godby, the volunteer coordinator for alumnae relations for GSCCC. Amy earned her Girl Scout Gold Award seven years ago while living in Surry County.

“Earning the Gold Award meant more to me than earning my college degree,” Amy said. “I ended up doing a project that was close to my heart. My project focused on domestic violence and I spent time helping a shelter and doing advocacy work to educate others on the subject. My mother is a survivor of domestic violence, so I know the impact it has on a woman and the family. I’m passionate about Girl Scouts. It has done so much for me. Being part of the alumnae group is giving me an opportunity to connect with others who earned their Gold Award. It’s fascinating to hear their stories and share them with today’s girls. I am so proud to be part of an alumnae group that includes passionate women like Helen.”

Amy along with other guests chose to donate at the celebration to the Helen Kattwinkel Endowment Fund, which when fully funded, will support awarding Gold Awardees with lifetime memberships. As a lifetime member, young women who have earned the prestigious award will receive a welcome letter and lifetime member certificate signed by the chair of the GSUSA National Board of Directors, a lifetime membership card, Girl Scouts bimonthly alumnae e-newsletter, lifetime membership pin and additional benefits, such as invitations to events. More important, they will remain connected and continue to be a cherished part of the Girl Scout family.

Please consider making a donation and support Girl Scout Gold Awardees!