My troop meets Upper Management tomorrow

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
My troop meets Upper Management tomorrow
8
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 12:00am

Well, tomorrow might be my last day as GS leader? It's been suggested by others that once you get a red "X" on your forehead that your days are numbered???

Anyway, my troop of juniors has been following the GS model of discover, connect, take action and they've been doing it "at the speed of a girl" in learning about our council's merger and the property study and the camp closings. I feel it's important for them to know about the organization they belong to. So, at a meeting not too long ago we invited a reporter for a local paper and talked about what we knew and also earned part of our communications junior badge by finding out about his job. He wrote a story that appeared in the newspaper the following day saying "Local Girl Scouts Fight to Save Camp" and we've had tons of positive feedback from people we know and people we don't. The only ones I have heard about who aren't happy are the GSWPA upper management. I had a call that next day telling me to expect a call from them. Well, my local person called and said I should read page 120 in the volunteers essentials manual about media and such... which I already had and deemed that it didn't apply to what we did. Then I got a call from another and she was told to ask if she could set up a time where they could come to one of our GS meetings... they meaning the CEO, the head of the property study committee, a board member, the head of membership, and 2 local paid staff... talk about intimidating for the girls. Well, I accepted and that meeting is now tomorrow.

I feel honored that my girls will be able to present their side to the upper management. I have also been warned to expect many other possibilities. I feel extremely anxious about tomorrow, but also proud that I've been the leader for these girls and I've shown them how to peacefully get across their own thoughts and desires and that I've paved the way for them to be educated, and confident, and brave and caring, and all the other things in the GS Law.

Please keep these young ladies in your thoughts tomorrow as they attempt to do something that I don't believe has ever been done before... so they will not be intimidated and so they speak clearly and effectively.

I'll update late tomorrow night... so until then...
Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 8:25am

I wish I could come and offer physical, moral support.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2004
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 12:29pm

Jen - I tried posting yesterday and couldn't get it to take.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010
Fri, 05-14-2010 - 4:21pm

I'm just reading this now & I hope it went ok. I can imagine a few scenarios of what they want to talk about, but I'd be really surprised if they didn't want you to be a leader. If only for the reason that it's not easy to get volunteers to be leaders. And if they did that, I'd be talking to that reporter again, if it was me.

They are probably like any other corporation and they want to do what they want to do and just want to give you & the girls a snowjob about what they are doing etc.

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 4:39pm

My birthday and some other things I volunteered for got in the way of me having time to post about how it went, so here goes:

After school, the girls gathered and had time to have a snack and collect their thoughts. They also surprised me with a stem of daisy's from each girl and cupcakes with green sprinkles for my birthday! I think they are the best bunch of girls ever. And even the ones who haven't come recently due to soccer came for this meeting!

About 30 minutes later, the CEO and the lowest ranking local paid staff person (the one who actually supports what I was doing) showed up. They never invited the man from the property study and had no idea where the membership person was and the other person was at another meeting and the board member didn't show up either. So, we sat down and did introductions. The girls did a wonderful job of presenting their side and their arguments in a confident manner. They asked thoughtful questions and really tried hard to grasp all of the new information they had to assimilate. Both of our guests were shocked by how well informed the girls were and really had to be on their toes to keep up with their responses. Many parents showed up as well and also asked great questions. The CEO was pretty much just answering with pacifying responses and made it very clear that they did not want to keep the camp and that no matter what, it would be closed in Oct. 2011. They would not put any restrictions in the contract that it should be kept as a camp and they want the money from the sale (even though it was given to GS for $1) they would not consider returning it for a small sum. She made it very clear that GS is out to make a profit and that the bottom line is money. Even when we brought up how cold and sterile the main office has become and how people are afraid to do anything or talk and how that's not good for a women's organization, she didn't seem to think that was a problem. So, the bottom line is that we got some of the answers to questions we had, but I still think our local council is heading in the wrong direction and they won't really take any of our comments beyond that meeting.

The best part was when they went to leave, they were parked in at the church parking lot and had to wait 40 minutes until mass was over! They got to sit and think about this meeting before running off to the next one.

The local staff person said that she didn't think my volunteer position was in jeopardy, but she was told to "watch" me... but since she is basically the one who oversees the firing of troop leaders, she would not do so unless it involved stealing troop money or putting girls at risk...

A couple of things I'd like to tell my local GS people- they are creating some type of a camp patch with segments for each of the big camps they are keeping; they are scheduling a memorial service for each camp they are closing (and I think that's creepy- they should have a final fling or something, rather than a memorial service); and Elliott will be open on weekends for troop camping during the resident camp season. Also, if you have a girl who really wants to do a camp or something and is a year too young, call and ask if she would be allowed in... they may say yes... also the local staff person told me that I could do the cadette journey with all my girls next year even though a few will still be juniors- she is doing one of them with her outreach girls who span a lot of years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 4:43pm

Thanks for the support! I knew that everyone I've connected with in GSWPA would be routing for me and the girls. It's amazing how many friends I now have locally! I hope that I have spoken well to represent you and the others who have had concerns that fell on deaf ears. I feel very honored that my girls were able to make such a wave that the CEO came to us. I just really don't think that they care, and that's very unfortunate when dealing with girls and women.

Thanks again,
Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2003
Sat, 05-15-2010 - 9:00pm
You did the right thing! I don't think your girls will soon forget what they've learned from this process. That is what it is all about.
sooooobig
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2004
Sun, 05-16-2010 - 6:46am

Jen - I'm sad that your troop wasn't able to make a difference when it came to saving the camp, but I think

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2002
Sun, 05-16-2010 - 8:43pm

Well, we still have hope for saving the camp... just not with GS. I know a local woman "wished out loud" that her church had the money to buy it and use it as a outdoor praise center... this is the same church that charters the cub scout pack that my son belongs to and who has always given space for girl scout events and meetings in their buildings for free. I know that we are not allowed to fundraise for another organization, but we can work to help them and I know of people who wanted to donate to us as girl scouts to help save the camp so now I can hopefully connect the right people and make things work out in our favor still... that's my hope anyway. Our GS council just doesn't know what they are losing!

-Jen

PS- Today I did nothing scouting except check in here!!! I'm so proud of myself!