CEO: February 2011 Archives

liz_brent.jpgDo you have events planned for the spring?  Are you looking for something fun and different for your girls to experience?

I check the council events calendar each month, looking at programs I would like to attend on the weekends. If you haven't checked this listing lately, I am happy to tell you we have many, many things for our girls to explore. In fact, we did a report to the GSSA board of directors on the number of programs offered, and they are up 55% from last year! 

As I peruse the choices, there are some weekends where there are simply too many fun options from which to choose.    Many of these programs are a tribute to the organizations who work with us.   There is a wonderful tree planting program in the Tuskegee National Forest.   There's a new organization, the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum, which is doing a program on oil and its impact.   America's Junior Miss has changed its name to Distinguished Young Women, and it is always amazing to see how the contestants in that scholarship program relate to the troops who adopt them for their two week stay in Alabama.   There's a new program in Eufaula, visiting the Shorter Museum and National Wildlife Refuge there.   And there is the always a huge turnout for the Montgomery Biscuits camp-in, which is earlier this year and hopefully cooler for sleeping on the outfield.   The Wiregrass area even is having a Cinderella Ball.   There are too many choices, but what a great dilemma to have!  I hope you are able to go to some of these wonderful opportunities to learn and share time with your girls.

liz_brent.jpgI was out with some Daisy Girl Scouts last weekend who were selling cookies.   They were squealing with delight, surrounded by a group of people eager to purchase cookies, while I spent some time chatting with the leader, discussing where our cookie funds go.  

 

As a reminder, your Girl Scout registration of $12 each year goes directly to GSUSA to fund their operations.   That means that almost all of our council's funds are derived from the cookie program, which accounts for 75% of our council budget.   It covers camp properties, staff salaries, utility bills, insurance and other operational expenses.   Approximately 23% of the council budget is derived from United Way agencies within our council boundaries.  

 

A Girl Scouts of the USA All Abouts cookie wit...

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So, as you are standing outside the Wal-Mart, wondering where the money goes, know that the cookie program funds most of what we do.   And it is making a difference.  For example, as we looked at the data, so far this year, the program team has provided 55% more council-wide programs than last year.   Hopefully, it all feels worthwhile as you watch girls learn to be entrepreneurs, which is what I saw a group of Daisy Girl Scouts do.   Thank you for your hard work.
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by Karlyn Edmonds

GSSA Chief Operating Officer

I happened to be in Auburn yesterday when I received a text message from my brother saying simply "the Toomer's trees have been poisoned and are probably going to die."  Sadness and anger hit me as I looked across College Street at the 130-year-old live oak trees, which are such important symbol for the Tiger family, of which I am a proud member.  I immediately started to ponder what sort of person does such a thing and why on earth would they take out their sports-related aggression on a tree.

As I was driving home last night, I thought about this incident and how I hope it can become a teachable moment for the girls we serve through Girl Scouts.  When Liz Brent, our CEO, and I speak to United Way's and other groups, we always tell people that we are in the business of changing lives; that the girls we serve will grow up to serve their communities well and, indeed, make the world a better place.  Our volunteers make certain Girl Scouts know right from wrong; that they understand the importance of volunteerism and always leaving a place better than they found it. It's the great thing about our program, and it serves girls throughout their lives.

Girl Scouts know that it's better to plant a tree than to destroy one. And I hope they know that, even in Alabama, football's not worth fighting over.  The important things are the way we treat each other and the world around us.  Girl Scouts know this is true, and I hope they will pass along to others.

And, of course, to all the Auburn fans reading this, WAR EAGLE!

liz_brent.jpgI was online with SNAP the other day, looking at the cookie sale thermometer, and it is looking very pretty.   You and your girls have done lots of work!  Today there were two tractor-trucks and a smaller truck at the Mobile office, unloading cookies.   We budget the cookie sale below that of the year before to be on the safe side.   So keep up the good work!   And make that cookie sale thermometer soar!

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