Long Range Property Plan Updates - March 25th
GSNWGL exists exist is to meet the needs of girls, today and into the future. The reason we have programs, properties and Service Centers is to deliver on our promise to girls and to support the work of the volunteers working with girls. Through the Strategic Learning process, we identified that our Winning Proposition, or our key to success, is "to deliver a fun, multi-faceted Leadership Experience that empowers & connects girls."
The LRPP Study originated to ensure that we develop and operate facilities that support the Girl Scout Leadership Experience within our council's ability to fund and maintain them. We began by learning everything we could about our current situation: our members' wants and needs, the wants and needs of the girls we're NOT yet serving, the competition that exists for our customers' time and resources, what barriers to participation are perceived by families, etc.
And what the data has shown us is that...
- Girls' needs & wants changed since properties attained.
- Our properties do not currently meet girls' needs & expectations.
- We need premier facilities to be competitive.
The Market Takeaways from this process are:
- 84% of our membership is K-5
- Our racial diversity matches the general population in our area
- Population is declining in most areas of our jurisdiction
- Our membership has declined over the past 3 years
- Our Council jurisdiction is very rural (60% of current members live in rural areas)
- And our highest concentration of potential girl members, our growth potential, is in large cities
- That GIRLS:
- are interested in everything!
- want to sleep on bunks in lodges
- want comfort-related amenities (showers, flush toilets...)
- didn't participate in camp because
- "didn't know about our programs"
- "too busy"
- And that ADULTS:
- want everything close to home
- want amenities that focus on safety
- want assistance delivering programs ie: pre-packaged programming
- listed cost, distance & "too busy" as barriers
From these takeaways comes our MARKET VISION:
- We will be flexible in order to respond to the ever-changing needs & interests of girls
- We will move at the speed of girls: reacting and providing quality programming to meet their changing interests
The Program Takeaways garnered are that:
- Program attendance is best when close to girls - Girls are participating primarily through service Area events and portable programs (ie things they can do close to home)
- Adults need to like and feel good about programs the girls attend
Our goal is to strategically align our properties to support volunteers and our programs/Pathways for girls, while ensuring our financial viability. So from these takeaways comes our PROGRAM VISION:
For girls in grades K-5, we must:
- Support Service Area events
- Develop more portable programs
- Use community collaborations to offer more Council-Wide events
For girls in grades 6-12, we must:
- Expand travel programs/opportunities
- Use National curriculum to develop & deliver more Council-Wide events and more leadership training opportunities
And with regard to Outdoor/Camp programming, we must:
- Offer outdoor/camp adventures ALL year!
- Support SA Events to deliver Junior overnight outdoor adventure
- Offer self-guided programs & program assistance for troop weekend property rentals
- Expand our support of volunteer-led day camps in more locations
- Enhance resident camp features & program
- Offer troop camp opportunities in summer
What we've learned about our Properties (6 Service Centers and 10 camp properties) is that:
- All of our properties, both Service Centers and camps, are largely underutilized.
- Our Temporarily Restricted Fund for Property Maintenance Expenses is dwindling – and at the current rate will be depleted within 2 years.
- The cost to bring all properties up to acceptable standards is prohibitive, so properties cannot currently be adapted to meet the changing needs & interests of girls.
The PROPERTY VISION that has emerged is:
- Facilities must be FLEXIBLE to meet the ever-changing needs and wants of girls.
- We need large indoor program space for year-round capability
- Participants want quality, on-site "life-changing experiences" – so we can provide high level Leadership and teambuilding skills with topic-specific equipment.
- GSNWGL must remain committed to Troop, Day AND Resident Camp Programs
- We must provide enhanced mobility – ie vehicles to transport both girls and equipment
- We must focus on safety-related amenities and on comfort-related amenities
- Program features must support traditional and contemporary Environmental Education
The reason we exist is to meet the needs of girls, today and into the future. Girls today are telling us what they want, need and expect from us. They're also telling us that we're not there yet.
Our Strategic Learning process has been an in-depth, widespread analysis, and the data shows that girls' needs & wants have changed since our properties were attained - our properties are becoming obsolete and outdated. And premier facilities are critical in order for GSNWGL to compete for girls' time. Girls are at the heart of everything we do, and will continue to drive our strategic decisions and direction.