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Virtual Volunteer Conference

2018 BIG Volunteer Conference

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Join us online

From the comfort of your own home

Did you know that play is how we adapt, learn through trial and error, innovate, connect, and stay healthy in body and mind? Now is the time to play with Girl Scouts Heart of Central California at the third annual Big Volunteer Conference – from the comfort of your own home! Share in this inspiring day of engaging speakers, enlightening breakout sessions and energizing networking opportunities.  Spend Saturday, August 1 learning, leading and coming together as Girl Scout volunteers – or if you’re unable to join us virtually that day, all sessions will be recorded. The Big Volunteer Conference is a flexible way to expand your personal development and improve your Girl Scout expertise. Your registration gives you access to all content on demand. 

Make sure to check back for the newest workshop information as we continue working on this year’s exciting event.

Join our keynote speaker Dr. Shimi Kang to learn about the power of play! 

Dr. Shimi Kang profile

An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on the neuroscience of innovation, leadership, and motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang provides science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home. With 20 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind optimizing human intelligence, Kang provides practical tools to cultivate the key 21st century skills of resilience, connection, creativity, and more.

General Schedule and Pricing

Saturday, August 1, 2020

  • 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Lobby opens
  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 am. Welcome & Keynote
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Workshop 1
  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch & Networking
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Workshop 2
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Networking

Register now and get access to the live event and networking opportunities on August 1, as well as recordings of the keynote speech and all workshops, available exclusively to registered conference participants in gsLearn, after the event.  Buy a VIP ticket by the end of June, and receive a copy of the keynote speaker’s book, before the conference. 

*Please be aware, as a participant, that this event is being recorded. 

  • VIP ticket price: $20 (available through June 30)
  • Regular ticket price: $15 (available through July 27)
  • This is an adult-only event. All attendees must be registered Girl Scout members.


Breakout Sessions - updated 7/27

This section is still under construction, as we are working with our workshop facilitators to transition from an in-person event, to virtual workshop delivery. More to come later! Conference attendees will receive full workshop information, prior to the event, to help you prepare. Pick your workshops live, on August 1, as you attend the event! The other really exciting feature this year is that all workshops will be recorded.  This content will be available in gsLearn exclusively to all registered conference participants after the event.

Developing Innovation, Connection, and Wellness Through Play – Dr. Shimi Kang, Keynote

In this fun, interactive workshop, you will get a chance to play! Dr. Kang will guide you through specific play activities involving imaginary, social, and object play. These powerful neuroscience-based practices are proven to foster enhanced wellness, connection, and innovation! Bring a play mindset and your curiosity too as there will be plenty of time for questions and answers in this one hour workshop.

Adapting Badges: Creating Your Own Badge Blueprint – Alicia Altman, GSHCC staff

As Girl Scouts, we are flexible and learn to adapt. Now is your chance to learn how you can tailor badges for your troop. This workshop is designed to give you the tools and confidence to plan the badge steps in a customized way that will fully engage your Girl Scouts! Spend an hour learning about the tips and tricks, the must do’s, the places for creativity, and ways to adapt the content virtually when planning your next badge. This workshop is recommended for leaders of all levels, and those interested in learning how to adapt badges to complete with their girls.

Continuing the Girl Scout Legacy – Domenica Escatel, GSHCC staff

From the very beginning, Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low saw Girl Scouting as a movement which would inspire girls to make a difference in their world. Girl Scouts has always promoted values which are foundational to leadership development. This workshop will re-inspire you to leave your own personal legacy that will make a difference to the girls you work with and help our communities shine. You will learn to define your personal “why” and develop your mission statement to inspire you to have a stronger foundation in your troop. Additionally, you will learn tips and tricks that will keep you motivated to pass on the flame of leadership. This workshop is recommended for volunteers of all experience levels and those looking to be re-inspired in their role.

Hey, We Need to Talk – Alicia Altman, GSHCC staff

Starting a conversation in the face of conflict can be intimidating or scary. Sometimes we can let fear create a roadblock in finding a way to a solution. In this workshop, we will work on building skills for taking the first steps to engage in “difficult” conversations, emotional and mental awareness of our reactions, and tools for active listening. This workshop is recommended for volunteers of all experience levels and those desiring to enhance their communication skills.

Hidden Gems of the Volunteer Tool Kit: Discover the Benefits for Troop Leaders and Girls- Kelly Marshall, GSHCC staff

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is your official source for delivering easy, fun troop meetings year-round! This digital planning tool provides you with Girl Scout program content, award requirements, and other resources. Girls have more fun when they can shape their own experience, do hands-on activities, and work together as a team. In this workshop, we will share the benefits to using the Volunteer Toolkit for troop leaders and girls. You will discover the hidden resources and learn how to take the guesswork out of planning so that you can spend more time exploring with your girls! This workshop is recommended for leaders of all experiences levels, Juliette parents, service team members, and those looking to refresh their knowledge of the VTK.

Swaps, Songs, and Knots – Julie Weng-Gutirrez, SU 121

Girl Scouts have always had special traditions and skills that are integral to being a Girl Scout. Join this workshop for some hands-on fun as you learn about SWAPs, test out your singing voice with some Campfire Songs, and try your hand at tying a few knots. This workshop is recommended for new leaders and everyone interested in discovering a few new activities to share with their troop. Check back later for the materials list. 

Time Management: Frazzled to Fun, Getting It All Done: Time Management Tips for Girl Scout Leaders – Jennifer Jepson, SU 110 

Do you sometimes struggle with how to incorporate the many aspects of Girl Scouts into your year plan? Are you searching for better ways to manage your time? Join us and discover some useful ways to plan a full year of badges, journeys, fun events, and product sales, while still cultivating a girl-led experience. This workshop is recommended for new leaders and anyone looking to improve their time management skills. 

GSHCC Tech Connect – Panel

Kick-off this next Girl Scout year by learning how to navigate three new resources. Discover new tools and helpful tips that will propel your Girl Scout experience to the next level! Learn how to expand your knowledge in gsLearn (available now), an online learning platform complete with self-paced trainings and live interactive webinars. Discover a new way to connect with Rallyhood (coming this fall), an all-in-one social platform that allows groups to communicate, coordinate, share, and much more! Finally, dive into upcoming enhancements of Volunteer Systems 2.0 (coming this winter) and hear how our current membership and event registration systems are evolving. This workshop is recommended for volunteers of all levels who want to learn more about platforms that will enhance the volunteer experience.

Supporting Girls with Special Needs – Karyn Terra, GSHCC staff

Girl Scouts is a leadership experience for all girls! As troop leaders, you work with girls of varying needs. This workshop will help leaders and helpers of troops with girls who have special needs feel more confident in being able to serve all girls in their troop. This workshop is recommended for volunteers who serve girls with special needs and those looking to learn more about how they can.

The Power of Experiences – Madison Shepard, GSHCC staff

Plato said, "You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a lifetime of conversation." Join GSHCC’s Director of Girl Experience, Madison Shepard, for interactive learning and discussion about making transformative experiences for girls. Discover the latest research from GSUSA, learn where to find helpful resources, share best practices for making activities girl-led, and discuss tips and tricks for facilitating virtual experiences. This workshop is recommended for volunteers of all levels, and those seeking to learn how to create transformative experiences for girls.


Building Resilience: Bouncing Forward During Times of Change – Kori Czasnojc, GSHCC Staff

During challenging times of change, building our personal resilience is one thing in our life that we can control, even though at times it may feel elusive. The more you build your resilience particularly when it’s hardest, the more available these behaviors become to you when faced with new challenges. This experiential workshop will jump start your resilience practices and provide opportunity for self-reflection and hands-on practice. Key focus areas include the roles appreciation and gratitude, mindfulness, and emotional management play in contributing to our overall sense of well-being and resilience. You will leave with tools you can share with your Girl Scout Troop and your family.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this one-hour session, you will be able to:

  • Identify sources of resilience
  • Practice key focus areas, such as mindfulness, appreciation and gratitude, and emotional awareness
  • Create a plan to exercise daily resilience habits

Facilitating Journeys – Minel Tobertga, GSHCC staff  

What is a Girl Scout Journey? During this workshop, we will review the differences between badges and Journeys. We will discuss Journey themes, steps for how to begin a Journey, and the advantages of collaborating on the Journey with your girls. Volunteers will have opportunities to chat with council staff and ask questions related to the overall Journey experience. This workshop is recommended for volunteers looking to expand their knowledge of Journeys, and those interested in gaining practical tips for leading girls through them. 

How to Facilitate a Webinar for Girls – Liz Lunderman, GSHCC staff 

Stepping into the virtual world can be nerve-racking. There may be many questions racing through your head. Is Zoom the best platform? How do I make sure everyone’s muted? How do I keep girls engaged? If this sounds like you, you are not alone!  

In this workshop, we will explore: 

  • Ways to keep girls engaged during an online troop meeting 
  • How to use all the Zoom features
  • How to facilitate a meeting
  • Why online troop meetings and programs are important for your girls right now
  • And much more!

This workshop is recommended for leaders looking to expand their knowledge and skills on how to facilitate a virtual troop meeting, as well as those with questions on topics such as safety, cyberbullying, and what outcomes GSHCC has seen with virtual programming. 

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience Training – Liz Lunderman, GSHCC staff 

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) is the core of Girl Scouts. When we develop meetings, activities, how we talk to girls, how we interact with girls, the GSLE should always be in the back of our minds. 

In this workshop we will go over: 

  • What is the GSLE 
  • The girl brain, the social struggles of the modern day girl and how to facilitate programs especially for them 
  • How to evaluate your facilitation with girls 

This workshop is recommended for all leaders who are interested in expanding their understanding of the GSLE, and those looking to refresh their knowledge by discussing helpful tips and tricks with other leaders.

Leading Girls: From the Perspective of Veteran Troop Leaders – Panel

As Girl Scouts, we know there is so much more that goes into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience than earning badges and selling cookies. Leading girls and incorporating all that Girl Scouts has to offer is not always an easy feat. During this session, hear from veteran troop leaders as they share their experiences, tips, and tricks for leading girls to be women of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. This workshop is recommended for leaders of all levels, looking to engage with and learn from experienced troop leaders.  


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Shimi Kang
Award-Winning Harvard-Trained Physician | Bestselling Author | Global Social Entrepreneur

An award-winning Harvard-trained medical doctor, researcher, and neuroscience expert, Dr. Shimi Kang provides practical, science-based tools for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home.

Dr. Kang is a thought leader whose articles have been featured around the world including, The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. She is a TEDx speaker with millions of views & an expert for major media outlets such as NPR, CBC, and BBC World News.

She is the author of The Self-Motivated Kid and The Dolphin Parent: this critically acclaimed book became a #1National Bestseller and won the 2015 US News International Book Award. Her upcoming book, The Tech Solution, provides neuroscience-based strategies to optimize technology’s incredible benefits while minimizing its many drawbacks.

Dr. Kang has made promoting health, connection, and innovation a priority. She is the founder of Dolphin KIDS: Future-ready Leaders, CEO of Spark Mindset, and Host of Mental Wealth with Dr. Shimi Kang on Youtube. These are all positive mindset, social, emotional, & life skills programs for children, teens, and adults around the world. 

Dr. Kang is most proud of receiving the Diamond Jubilee Medal for her years of outstanding community service and being a mother of three “awesome but exhausting” children!

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re working on FAQs as this year’s event comes together. Please see below for some basic FAQs, but rest assured more information will be added as needed. If you have questions that cannot be answered by using the Frequently Asked Questions, please contact Customer Care at

What is the Big Volunteer Conference?
The 2020 Big Volunteer Conference is planned just for YOU – our dedicated volunteers! Spend a day learning, leading, and coming together as volunteers for Girl Scout at our third annual Big Volunteer Conference. The conference will feature inspiring speakers, breakout sessions with opportunities to expand your personal development and your Girl Scout expertise, as well as networking opportunities with your peers. 

When and where is the Big Volunteer Conference? 
The 2020 Big Volunteer Conference will be on Saturday, August 1, 2020 and will be hosted online. We’ll be using a custom online event space. 

How will a virtual Big Volunteer Conference work?
You will receive an email from by July 30, with a link to our virtual conference center. That one link will get you access to our keynote speaker, your workshops, and networking opportunities. You won’t need a separate link for each event you’re participating in. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 1. Come familiarize yourself with our virtual conference space and check out the workshop schedule, before the welcome and keynote begin at 10:00.  We will host two workshop sessions, beginning at 11:15 and 1:30.  There will be networking opportunities at 12:45 and 2:30. Check out this video for an overall orientation! Learn more about how to access workshops, do some 1:1 video networking, after lunch, or join our networking lounges at the end of the day. Breaks are built into the day, to give you the chance to stretch your legs, take a needed bio break, prepare your lunch, etc. We are recording the keynote and all of the workshops. That way if something comes up in the middle of your day, and you need to step away from your computer, you can find the content on-demand in gsLearn and catch up later. 

What do I need in order to participate in a virtual Big Volunteer Conference?
If you want to attend live, you will need access to a high speed internet connection and an internet-enabled device with a camera, microphone, speakers and keyboard. While you can access the event via a mobile phone or tablet, you will have the best experience when you use a desktop computer or laptop.  

If you cannot attend live, you will need access to a high speed internet connection and an internet-enabled device with speakers, in order to view the recorded content on demand in gsLearn.  We expect, similar to the way the Volunteer Toolkit works, that come August, volunteers will need to be renewed for 2021, in order to have access to gsLearn.  

What if I cannot attend on Saturday, August 1?
No problem! We are recording the welcome, keynote and all workshops. Those recordings will be available in gsLearn exclusively to all registered conference participants after the event.  You will see the same chat log that other participants engaged in live, and you will have access to any files that were shared. Networking spaces will not be recorded – that feature is only available to live participants. We expect, similar to the way the Volunteer Toolkit works, that come August, volunteers will need to be renewed for 2021, in order to have access to gsLearn.

How long do I have access to the recordings in gsLearn?
The keynote will be available to you until February 1, 2021 and all workshop recordings will be available until July 31, 2021.

Who is invited to attend?
The 2020 Volunteer Conference is for Girl Scout adult member volunteers. Content is focused on those who provide direct support to girls and/or adult volunteers (i.e. leaders, other troop volunteers, Service Unit Team members, Trainers, episodic volunteers, etc.). If you have volunteered in another capacity with Girl Scouts but are not a registered member, you can become a member here.

Is financial assistance available?
Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. If you request financial assistance, please respond to our requests for additional information.  If we do not hear back from you in a timely manner, your registration may be canceled. 

Are refunds available?
No, no refunds are available for this event.  Even if you can’t attend live, by registering you get access to the recorded content for one year.  

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