April 2013 Archives



Thanks for all your hard work!

What would we do without you?   Well, the answer to that is you are integral to all we do.   You change the world through your gifts, time, and talents.   You are how the Girl Scout program stays alive!

One of the bonuses of our work is to have daily interaction with individuals who possess a giving heart, talented hands, energy and enthusiasm.   I have met troop leaders and parents with endless patience, unbelievable creativity, and a care and concern for girls that is simply amazing.   When others sit back and watch, they see that you are the lifeblood that makes our world a better place.   There are no spectators in our group of caring, giving, and generous volunteers!

All GSSA Leaders are invited to take advantage of a 20% discount off any one item in the shop (excluding uniform items)* until the end of April.  Remember, GSSA Leaders who have completed their Leader License also get a free gift in April.


*One discount per volunteer, ends April 30, and does not include uniforms, insignia/badges, and the GS Silver Dollar. If you are shopping online, enter your GSSA Troop # and request the 20% discount.  Your total would be reduced accordingly. 


Too many girls and not enough adults -- that is always our problem.   It's tough to find adults who are brave enough to step up and say they will lead girls.  Although parts of being a Girl Scout leader drive you crazy, the effort is certainly worth it.   How many people have the adulation of that many girls?   Each year we have hundreds of girls that we can't place in troops, so they don't have the opportunity to experience becoming a girl of courage, confidence, and character.

In the near future, our membership staff will be asking you two questions, because we are starting to plan for next year, even though we are only six months into the 2012-2013 membership year.   We will ask if you returning as a troop leader next year?   We do that so we know where we will have troops and where we need to focus.   The second question is whether you are willing to have more girls in your troop?   We have girls who want to be in troops, so, if you are able to accommodate more girls, please consider it.  

Please assist us as we try to provide a rich learning opportunity for all the girls in our 30- county area by helping us identify others who might serve as good troop leaders.   The best advertising for adults to step up are troop leaders who extol the virtues of what changing the world is really like through working with girls.   If you have friends who you believe would make good leaders, let your field executive know.

Hopefully, this time of year you are having some fun with your girls because that is what it is all about, shaping future leaders by having fun with them today.


At the end of a fun program, we all are ready to go home.  But there is one more important step.  We need to know: What did the girls learn?

For us to receive funding we have to prove that our programs actually meet outcomes metrics that we outline. Each of our many United Ways and United Funds want to know that the funds they invest in girls actually produce the outcomes we indicate we are working toward. The more we can prove that Girl Scouts is the premiere leadership organization for girls, the more likely we are to receive United Way funds and donors' funds. In today's world, there is accountability for investment dollars, so if you wonder what our COO and I do, we spend lots of time riding the United Way circuit addressing how GSSA fulfills the outcomes we indicate on our requests for funding.

Our program staff members work from a set of objectives for each program GSSA offers.   At the culmination of the program, or sometimes after the program, we ask you, the leader or parent, and the girls questions related to our outcomes.   Did the program actually achieve the program metrics desired?   Did the girls learn something?   What did the girls learn?   And most important, did the girls have fun?

When you are asked to complete a survey and discuss what the girls learned at the end of a program, please help us out.   This often translates into securing more funds for girls to be Girl Scouts and tomorrow's leaders.

Thanks for your help in this important effort.


Fund raising is taking on different forms than it once did, and social media provides all sorts of new opportunities for us to raise funds for our girls in southern Alabama.   Last week we rolled out a new opportunity to support GSSA through Socialvest, which is an online donation service.  The process is fairly simple -- you sign up online and then when you are shopping at one of its participating companies, the Socialvest icon actually shows up at the top of your browser to tell you what percentage of your purchase will be given back to GSSA.   This is a quick and easy way to raise more funds for girls and girl programs.

Girl Scouts, unlike the Boy Scouts, historically is not very effective raising funds.   Part of it is our reticence to ask.   Where more than 75 percent of our income comes from the cookie program, the Boy Scouts raise more than 75 percent of their income from fund raising.   Clearly, they can learn about how to sell products from us, and we can learn how to raise money from them.   One of the GSUSA fund development vice presidents notes that there is more money given to animals in this country than there is to girl leadership and development initiatives.   Don't get me wrong, I love my pets, but that is a staggering statistic to me and something we need to change.

You are able to raise funds for your troop by participating with those organizations that partner with non-profits, some of them are Ruby Tuesday, Yolo, Five Guys, Cheeburger Cheeburger, CiCi's Pizza, ChuckECheese and other family  friendly restaurants.  Occasionally, council-wide fundraising events with restaurants and other local businesses are scheduled, but if your troop is interested in a money-earning activity, consider taking advantage of this opportunity too.  Like other money-earning projects, simply submit a completed money-earning activity application at least two weeks in advance to fund development staff. 

For larger companies and organizations there are some limitations for sponsorship requests.  I used to work at a university and we found that when we coordinated our requests to companies more people benefitted.   Currently BASF is working on constructing a storage building at Camp Scoutshire Woods so we can get the storage out of the recreation hall and provide more room for girl usage.   We also have an agreement with Books-A-Million where a portion of all voucher sales on designated days will benefit GSSA.  This agreement applies to all stores in central and south Alabama.

All sponsors must be approved by fund development staff prior to signing an agreement or making a request.  Sometimes fund development staff needs to do research about whether GSSA has already made a request. 

At the recent GSUSA CEO work session, we discussed that we need to ask more of our alumni, but many women don't recognize that they are alumni.   If you were a Brownie or Daisy, you were a Girl Scout, too, and many women do not understand that.   We are working to find more ways to highlight being a Girl Scout and how it improved your life.   If you are having an event in your community and are involved with women who might have been Girl Scouts, let us know and we will send your troop the alumni information form so we can get them involved again

Thanks for all you do.   For questions concerning fund raising contact mstallworth@girlscoutssa.org if you are in the northern part of the council or vedington@girlscoutssa.org if you are in the southern part of the council.



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