Important Council updates from the Girl Scouts NorCal CEO, Marina Park.
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November 7th, 2016

Dear Girl Scouts and Friends,
Our Board met this weekend at NASA Ames and joined over 1,100 girls and their families - plus hundreds of volunteers - at When I Grow Up, a hands-on STEM festival connecting the dots between STEM and cool careers. 
 
In addition to learning about what girls want from STEM experiences, the Board adopted the 2017-2021 Program and Property Plan. We are excited to focus on an even more positive camp experience, improve the condition of our most-used camps, invest in local program centers and develop new programs that reach girls in all areas of our council.
Thank you to the members who shared ideas at meetings and by email. This fall, we held 9 Town Halls and 2 girl-only Town Halls. Members of the Board and/or Property Task Group attended each Town Hall. We heard wide-spread support to focus our resources for today’s girls to improve our most-used camps and expand local program centers and programs that get more girls outside. We also heard sadness and concern about selling three properties.

Under the Board-approved plan, during the next 5 years we will invest $8.5 million in camps and outdoor experiences through:
  • Property Sales: We will sell three properties to raise an estimated $2.9 million (Deer Lake, Cordelia, and The Cove) and re-invest all proceeds in camps, program centers and outdoor experiences. We are negotiating the final terms of a sale of The Cove to Napa Open Space. Provided that Napa Open Space is able to raise funds within the next year, Girl Scouts will be able to continue to use The Cove four weekends a year, which matches current use. 
     
  • Fund-Raising:
     
    • Camp Campaign - We will raise $4.5 million to complete the $7.5 million Camp Campaign for our three most-used camps (Bothin, Butano Creek, Skylark Ranch);
       
    • Hidden Falls - We will raise $500,000 for Camp Hidden Falls Road Reserve Fund by August 1, 2017. If we are not able to raise the $500,000, we will need to sell Hidden Falls. To learn more about fund raising for Hidden Falls, please contact Stephanie Chew, Director, Major Gifts: schew@girlscoutsnorcal.org
       
  • Property Reserve Fund: We will continue to spend at a rate of about 4% per year from the Property Reserve Fund to support repairs at our three most used camps (estimated at $600,000 during the next 5 years).
The final 2017-2021 Plan includes several important refinements to the draft plan we shared with members in August:
  • Cordelia - We heard from the Solano community that they need a spot for campfires and do not have access to alternate sites in their community. We are exploring alternate locations (including through lands owned by Solano Land Trust) and are open to ear-marking some funds from the sale of Cordelia to help subsidize local alternatives.
     
  • Deer Lake - We heard from a small and committed group of Deer Lake campers who would like to explore ways to continue operation of Camp Deer Lake. We anticipate that it will take time to sell the camp. The Board has approved a volunteer-led effort to discover alternate operating models and raise funds, taking place at the same time as efforts to sell the camp, described in more detail here.
We will continue to involve members in our progress and investments in camp programs, program centers and properties. You can learn more at our Building our Future webpage. If you have questions or concerns, please email: propertytaskgroup@girlscoutsnorcal.org
 
Fund-raising is an important part of our Plan. I hope you will join our Camp Campaign. Donations of $20 and more you will receive this year’s Camp Campaign Patch celebrating the Hobbit Huts at Camp Skylark Ranch! You can donate, here.
Thank you for your ideas, time, input, and donations and for helping us deliver even more powerful camp experiences, and get more girls outside and engaged in Girl Scouts!
Yours in Girl Scouting,

Marina H. Park, CEO
Girl Scouts of Northern California
Our mailing address is:
Girl Scouts of Northern California
1650 Harbor Bay Parkway
Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94502

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