Important Council updates from the Girl Scouts NorCal CEO, Marina Park.
Marina's Member Update
February 1, 2017

Dear Members and Friends of Girl Scouts,
Today is a big day – February 1 is Go Day for cookies and summer camp registration is now open! Thank you to all of the volunteers, parents and girls who make cookies and camp possible!
Girls at the 2017 Cookie Rally
I am sometimes asked – actually, I am asked all the time – aren’t cookies and camp old-fashioned? My answer – they have been around for a long time because they work! Both are awesome, girls love them, and they are key tools in accomplishing our goals for girls. It has to be fun, and we know that girls love selling cookies and they love camping. We also know that when girls are together in girl-only spaces, they are more likely to seek challenges, and through seeking challenges, girls gain courage and confidence. I have met so many women who tell me that cookies and/or camp empowered them to believe in themselves and built confidence that has powered their success.

Our goal this year is to sell 4 million boxes of cookies! Last year we sold 4.13 million boxes. This is the 100th year of Girl Scouts selling Girl Scout cookies, and we have the new “S’mores” celebration cookie available in limited supply for troops that included S’mores in their initial orders. The S’mores cookie is getting rave reviews!
Girl Scout with Marina

Cookies and Controversy


We have heard from some troop leaders, parents and girls who are concerned that some members of the public will refuse to buy cookies this year to protest the decisions to allow Girl Scouts to march in uniform in the Inaugural Parade and at the Women’s Marches. There is a lot of passion in our communities on all sides. I hope adults will allow girls to enjoy the cookie sale and that we can separate the important conversations we all need to have about who Girl Scouts is, what we stand for, and how to ensure that all girls feel welcome and have a voice.

Our Board President and I are committed to creating a safe space for these conversations within GSNorCal – for girl and adult members – and hope to include a discussion at our April 22nd Annual Meeting. The Nation’s Capital Girl Scout Council, which had 64 Girl Scouts marching in the Inaugural Parade, posted this blog, with the voices of girls, about why they marched. It is one starting point for listening to each other.

Capitalk Blog—Hear Girls’ Voices: Why Girl Scouts Marched in the Inaugural Parade
Girl Scout at the Womens March

Property Plan Update

As reported last November, our Board approved a 5-year Program and Property Plan, designed to get more girls outside and enhance our camp properties.

Girl Scouts Having Fun Outdoors

We are making progress and will keep you informed along the way. Of note at this time:

Enhancements to Camp Properties

We are using proceeds from our Camp Investment Campaign and sales of three properties to invest in camp properties and outdoor experiences.

Projects slated for completion before 2017 summer resident camp:
  • Skylark Ranch: Replace platform tents in four Units
  • Sugar Pine: Replace a “pop up tent” unit, with covered wagons
  • Bothin (tentative): we hope to complete an all camp gathering area and fire circle before summer – or fall 2017 at the latest – donors have committed the funding for this project

Projects we are planning now for next fall / winter:

  • Bothin: Renovate and repair bathrooms at Manor Lyman
  • Butano Creek: Renovate and repair South Commons Shower House and restrooms

 

Camp Investment Campaign


Thanks to generous donations in support of our Camp Investment Campaign, including an anonymous $250,000 donation in November 2016, we have now raised $3.3 million (of a $7.5 million goal) for our three most-used camps. We also have volunteer groups raising funds for needed improvements at Twin Canyons, Arequipa and Hidden Falls. We have a deadline of August 1, 2017, to raise $500,000 for the road reserve fund for Hidden Falls – if you are interested keeping Hidden Falls and restoring it for troop camping, we need your engagement NOW! Please email Stephanie Chew, Director, Major Gifts, at: schew@girlscoutsnorcal.org.
 


Property Sales Update

  • The Cove: In late December we signed an agreement with Napa Open Space – they have one year to raise the funds to complete the purchase of The Cove. For now, The Cove still belongs to Girl Scouts of Northern California and is available to rent. When (as we hope) the sale goes through, GSNorCal members will have the right to rent The Cove from Napa Open Space four weekends / year at no cost, for 30 years. This is the same frequency as current Girl Scout use. Meanwhile, as “payment” for Napa Open Space’s 1 year option to purchase The Cove, our members now have the right to rent Camp Berryessa for a significant discount, up to 11 days/ year (for 10 years). GSNorCal is responsible for coordinating this use, and we will be working with members to develop our plan to ensure that the Camp Berryessa opportunity benefits as many girls as possible – stay tuned for that!
     
  • Cordelia: We have selected a broker and, if you drive by the property, you will see a "for sale" sign. Cordelia is still available for members to rent.

As always, I appreciate your comments, questions and suggestions.

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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