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(The Daily Beast)   Girl Scouts USA defends the sale of dozens of historic Girl scout Camps to developers saying that girls just aren't interested in camping anymore. Besides, every minute those loafers spend lounging in a tent is a minute they aren't selling cookies   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 22
    More: Sad, General Services Administration, National Historic Landmark, CEO Diane Nelson, late-2000s recession, Adirondacks, loan sale, peaceful demonstrations, camping  
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3263 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jan 2014 at 4:10 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-01-15 04:29:32 PM  
2 votes:
I think Girl Scouts have a branding problem and they don't understand their constituency. They also face the problem that all organizations for kids are dealing with in that kids are spread incredibly thin.

Boy Scouts addressed this issue by essentially returning to very conservative traditional roots. They emphasize outdoor activities and conservative values and they have a solid constituency because of it. Sure, it creates more than its share of enemies, but those aren't they people that were joining the Boy Scouts anyway. If you join the Boy Scouts, you know what you're getting. You're out in the woods building fires and setting snares with a bit of service thrown in for good measure.

The Girl Scouts tacked the other way and attempted to adopt a very progressive, feminist slant to their activities. The problem was that the people that join organizations like the Girl Scouts aren't really the same people that support very progressive policies. You ended up having a progressive leadership and a more conservative membership and that always causes issues. It's hard for most people to actually identify with Girl Scouts as anything more than those kids that sell delicious cookies for way too much. As an organization, if you can't sell yourself as more than a cookie peddler and offer a tangible benefit derived from membership in your organization, you're going to lose out to dance, soccer, gymnastics, basketball and everything else on a young girl's plate.
2014-01-15 04:29:24 PM  
2 votes:
Wonder what part of "Scouts" the council "CEO" does not understand.

And another thing with non-profits, when did the operational leaders all become CEO's?  Really, you are running a program for the benefit of youth, community, etc but you feel the need to be CEO.  Bet they have all the nice furniture also
2014-01-15 04:21:53 PM  
2 votes:

KarmicDisaster: It's too bad, my wife keeps telling me about the awesome time that she had at GS camp back in the day, she still talks about it. It would be great if kids could still have that experience.


My daughter is in GS. Goes to campouts, does a lot of service projects, and really enjoys it. She actually switched troops to a much more active troop so she could do more stuff. The dads and I took them out for a father/daughter campout too, unassociated with scouts, and we had a blast fishing, hiking, and (short) cliff jumping.

The experience is there, you just need a parent to lead it. That's the bigger problem I'm finding: in our neighborhood, it's always the same handful of volunteers leading packs/troops, helping out at the schools, etc. We need more volunteers to really take some responsibility. There are lots of ways to direct that energy.

Screw monetary donations. Go volunteer. A bunch of childless folks here could even go mentor stuff like First Lego League.
2014-01-15 04:15:35 PM  
2 votes:
I wasn't interested in camping when I was a Girl Scout, either.  Until I went.  Then, it was awesome (except for the latrines.  I'd rather have just went in the woods).
2014-01-15 03:37:46 PM  
2 votes:
This is why I find it so difficult to give to charity. There are far too many crooked non profits out there that rake in millions, and funnel it all down from the top, the office people take in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, and only a small portion of the funds actually get used towards the stated purpose.

Normally I'm all for private charities helping people instead of more bloated government entitlement, but when the private companies waste just as much money as Uncle Sam, what difference does it really make?
2014-01-15 05:29:30 PM  
1 votes:
I loved to camp as a kid. I didn't belong to any scouts, I would just pack a tent and supplies then head out on my own.
2014-01-15 05:03:13 PM  
1 votes:
senoy:

The Girl Scouts tacked the other way and attempted to adopt a very progressive, feminist slant to their activities. The problem was that the people that join organizations like the Girl Scouts aren't really the same people that support very progressive policies. You ended up having a progressive leadership and a more conservative membership and that always causes issues. It's hard for most people to actually identify with Girl Scouts as anything more than those kids that sell delicious cookies for way too much. As an organization, if you can't sell yourself as more than a cookie peddler and offer a tangible benefit derived from membership in your organization, you're going to lose out to dance, soccer, gymnastics, basketball and everything else on a young girl's plate.

Sadly this is already happening.  Our 5 yr old is in her first year of GS (Daisy).  Hubby is the leader (so proud of him for taking this on) and he is learned a lot about GS and how they work.  There are only 5 girls in the troop from 2 elementary schools and hubby has a difficult time getting everyone scheduled for only 2x month 1hr meetings because of dance/soccer/math tutors/etc.  (or their siblings are involved in those activities).  No one wants to host in their homes and we are unable to find space that doesn't cost money.  Add in the whole working parents and there is no time just to get together for a standard meeting much less any kind of field trip.

Lets not forget the progressive/conservative drama mentioned above.  Our troop co-leader left because we didn't have enough Jebus and she also couldn't attend any meetings later than 4pm (because Jebus - not kidding).   Mind you this is a very multi-cultural area and (news flash) not everyone is into Jebus and kids don't get out of public school here until 3.

Yes the "management" really pushes the whole sale cookie thing.  They have called/emailed Hubby quite a few times pushing, "when are you going to start selling cookies?"  Hubby has left that to each member if they want to do it or not.  He really wants to do the whole outdoors/camping activities but I don't think its going to happen (not for the lack of him trying). This is not what we signed up our daughter for and the troop will probably disband by the end of the school year.
2014-01-15 04:35:29 PM  
1 votes:

Cheron: My wife was the town director for GS for three years.  The cookie thing is a racket.  You pay $4.00 for a box and the troop gets 75¢ or 85¢ if the girls opt out of awards.  But cookies are sold by the case and our counsel required each troop (each school grade had its own troop) to order separately.  So if little Sally sold 13 boxes of thin mints you had to buy 24 boxes and if you couldn't sell the difference it cam out of your 85¢.


I had 4 sisters, separated in age juust enough that they all belonged to separate GS troops.  My mom wisely decided to get all her mandatory volunteering done in one fell swoop each year and was Cookie mom for all four troops, which meant our house became a mint-scented warehouse for about 6 weeks every year and I became a cookie stevedore.  It really did suck that we could have literally thousands of boxes of Thin Mints in our house at any given time and nary a one was free, or even able to be written off as "breakage".   The case policy really does suck too (though mom cleverly was able to reduce that for the troops by combining orders)  and had led to stories of girl scout troops having to literally throw away hundreds of boxes of cookies (though in my area they seem to get donated to the local food bank-a far better outcome).  It bothers me that the regional councils take such a ruthless and mercenary tack with their individual troops
2014-01-15 04:35:04 PM  
1 votes:
Someone's getting paid. Simple as that.

Greenspan said companies were self regulating. But if you can run the company aground and get a once-in-a-lifetime payday out of it, so your grandkids don't have to work, that then is the rational choice for its leaders.

// Legal incentives all f••ked up.
2014-01-15 04:31:11 PM  
1 votes:

Fireproof: Far Cough: Boy Scouts: we hate gay people

They started allowing gay Scouts a few months ago, and it was a pretty big deal. Where the fark have you been?


Exactly my point, thank you!  I identified their "lasting legacy".  Perhaps you can re-read my earlier comment.
2014-01-15 04:29:16 PM  
1 votes:

Fireproof: Far Cough: Boy Scouts: we hate gay people

They started allowing gay Scouts a few months ago, and it was a pretty big deal. Where the fark have you been?


Just because they let them join doesn't mean they stopped hating them.
2014-01-15 04:28:23 PM  
1 votes:

manimal2878: Isn't that the whole point?  They aren't interested so you have these camps to take them and teach them about stuff and get them interested in it.


The problem is the kids aren't getting to the camps in the first place. Parents aren't making them spend that first night away from home. Other kids aren't peer pressuring them into going. Other camps are more interesting.

They aren't turning away hordes of girls that want to go to camp. They aren't getting enough girls to go to justify keeping the camps open. So the girls that do want to go will have to drive a little longer.
2014-01-15 04:26:46 PM  
1 votes:
My daughter was a GS in Minnesota up until about 2009, and then we moved to New Jersey a year later.  At the time the local councils had just merged and I never did hear what they did with all the camps.  My daughter attended camp at two of their locations West and North of the MSP area, and events at this little patch of woods in Fridley, just north of Minneapolis. I even went with her once or twice.   That place in Fridley was probably somewhat valuable riverfront real estate and worth selling since it wasn't really a campground.

But really, I think her GS experience was pretty good.  The local BSA was going through a lot of the same things and was planning to sell off one of their camps that was being surrounded by suburban sprawl.
2014-01-15 04:24:27 PM  
1 votes:
So now the Girl Scouts are basically coming out and admitting that they are a cookie based Amway-type pyramid scheme with an extremely wide sales base made up of pre-teen girls.
2014-01-15 04:24:19 PM  
1 votes:

Far Cough: Boy Scouts: we hate gay people


and atheists.
2014-01-15 04:23:29 PM  
1 votes:
Boy Scouts has the same issue. It's pretty simple really.  People give organizations land when what they need is money.  Land eats money. There are plenty of camps still around if the kid wants that experience.

and by the way...
2014-01-15 04:22:09 PM  
1 votes:
It's sad, that after a century or more, the lasting legacy of the two organizations is:

Girl Scouts: we sell stale cookies

Boy Scouts: we hate gay people

They could have been so much more, safe and nonsectarian clubs for outdoor adventure, learning, and socializing.  But they've become so insular, pseudo-religious, and quasi-military.

/webelo
2014-01-15 04:21:19 PM  
1 votes:
You figured they could have donated teh land to the park service or something. Would have looked much better in a PR sense.
2014-01-15 04:20:01 PM  
1 votes:
My wife was the town director for GS for three years.  The cookie thing is a racket.  You pay $4.00 for a box and the troop gets 75¢ or 85¢ if the girls opt out of awards.  But cookies are sold by the case and our counsel required each troop (each school grade had its own troop) to order separately.  So if little Sally sold 13 boxes of thin mints you had to buy 24 boxes and if you couldn't sell the difference it cam out of your 85¢.
2014-01-15 04:19:44 PM  
1 votes:
Isn't that the whole point?  They aren't interested so you have these camps to take them and teach them about stuff and get them interested in it.
2014-01-15 04:18:32 PM  
1 votes:
"MOAR cookies! less Camping!"

Way to help out with that childhood obesity epidemic GSA.


Time to burn the GSA and BSA to the ground and start over I think.   Neither is even a pale shadow of what they were when i was a kid.
2014-01-15 03:55:59 PM  
1 votes:
Fark them.
They have been riding the coattails for years.

I give to Campfire.
 
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