I spend my days working my way through an endless list of e-mails. Some of these messages are extremely important to the successful functioning of this business. Yes, operating a Girl Scout council is a business.
Actually, as you examine it, GSSA is considered a medium-sized business because of the number of employees and the size of the budget. Like any businesswoman, I always work to balance listening to the many voices of girls, volunteers, and staff with the BIG PICTURE. The BIG PICTURE involves moving GSSA forward and moving it away from an unhealthy reliance on the cookie program as our primary source of income.
More than 80 percent of GSSA's income is derived from the cookie program. We are written up each year in our audit management letter about this unhealthy sole revenue stream and the second largest source of income, United Way and United funds agencies. Our allocations are cut by these organizations each year by $30,000-$50,000. This is because of the difficult economy and declining gifts to them. >
GSSA is a very successful council. You and many others have increased our girl numbers by a modest amount the past four years. The cookie program has grown geometrically in relation to the increase in the number of girls. We do have girls in grant programs who participate in the cookie program. One of our girls was one of the top 10 Young Women of Distinction last year for her gold award project. GSSA was the recipient of a couple of GSUSA Department of Justice grants to work with girls whose mothers are incarcerated.
This is the time of year that I need to remind volunteers and parents of a few important things. It is important that you register. So far this year, our registrations are running 25 percent behind last year. If you and your troop aren't registered, you are not insured, so please register, because if something should happen, none of the Girl Scout insurance is in force.
We are always looking for adults. GSSA and other Girl Scout councils usually have more girls than they can accommodate, and it is the adults willing to take this responsibility on that we lack. If you know an adult, or a group of adults that are interested in being a troop leader, please let us know. At this point, we have more than 200 girls waiting for adults to be their troop leader. This is the hard part of what we do -- turn girls away because no one will step up and share their gifts
Being involved in Girl Scouting makes the world a better place. You are changing the world, one girl at a time. That is the part of the BIG PICTURE that really matters!