2013-08-01 / Viewpoint

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan doing fine financially

Recent stories in the national and local media about changes at Girl Scouts of the USA take a broad-brush approach which has left many volunteers and loyal supporters of Girl Scout councils throughout the United States questioning the organization’s future.

As Board Chair of the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Board of Trustees, I want to reiterate to our girls, supporters and volunteers that we are financially healthy and have no plans to close our camps. In fact, we are operating resident camp this year at our two camps located in the northernmost part of our 34-county service area to better serve our girls who live there. These camps had been operating as troop and family camps only. We are also in the midst of seeking out funding and volunteers to help us implement improvements to all of our properties.

The end goal of GSUSA’s transformational efforts is to help it better align its resources to its national strategic priorities and enable the national movement to be more agile and customer-focused.

While the news stories provide accurate descriptions about changes at the national level, they fail to capture the ongoing success stories at local councils including Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. I want to assure you that Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan’s financial position remains strong as does our physical presence in the communities our girls call home.

Our camps have experienced an increase of 36.5 percent in the number of total participants this year compared to the same time last year. Our resident camps are up eight percent; our Troop/Family program increased 37.5 percent; and attendance at our Day Camps is up 94 percent.

We are 86 percent of the way to achieving our girl membership goal and our adult membership goal is at 90 percent.

Additionally, we have reached 93.5 percent of our goal for cookie sales.

Clearly, events at our national organization are not affecting our continued growth in key areas like camp, membership and cookie sales.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has a great deal to be proud of. The programming and services we provide are positioning our girls to take on leadership roles in all areas of their lives.

I invite you to join with us as we enter our second century of building girls of courage, confidence and character who will make the world a better place.

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