BTEOTSPWBATWhat you will hear today and what you will not
Note on current reality: Not an indictment of GS volunteers past or present. Times have changed and as an organization we have failed to drive change that is at pace with the world around us. In the absence of specific direction, some volunteers created their own way and in some cases robust local areas boomed and best practices were established…. While others used the void to either accept responsibility for local area management or misused their power to create exclusive practices and hostile environments that scare away volunteers and girls… and we have everything in between.Let me be clear to acknowledge and express my gratitude to those of you, and your predecessors, who have achieved remarkable results in the name of Girl Scouting. We have traditions and practices to celebrate, that is for certain, but we also have very real challenges that are the unintended consequence of a variety of factors. What’s important now, is to consider that which we do well and that which we don’t… and get behind a plan that is designed to move us forward.
You’ve heard a lot in recent years about the National MembershipDecline, 12% from 2003 through 2010… which is a driving force behind some of the key changes and innovations coming out of GSUSA: realignment, new and redeveloped program resources, GSLE, etc.
Locally we’ve been hit hard by declining membership. We’re down 43% over the last 4 years. Right now, we’re currently down from where we were at this time last year. As a movement, we’re failing to grow. Chartering process?
2700 Troops and 124 service units2010 Girl Membership: 33,521 2010 Adult Membership: 15,499Retention Rate Girls: 50%Retention Rate Adults: 61%K-12 Market Potential for Girls: 336, 556No Evaluation SystemCurrent Market Share
Our current service delivery model is over 50 years and is a structure that was largely based on information dissemination in a time before fax machines, email, and smart phones. Council staff would push information to MS who hauled crates of information to SUMs who passed it on to leaders. Likewise, leaders experiences/questions/comments were filtered through SUMs to MS to appropriate council staff. This way of work in our current society creates barriers to communication and support.This model is not unique to GSSEM, councils all over the country and dealing with the same antiquated system
GSUSA, in recognition that all councils are struggling with challenges around structure, convened a pilot group of 16 councils to engage in a dialogue about this topic. For 8 months, GSSEM, was part of this coversation and helped create sample organization structures that were released to councils by GSUSA in summer 2010. Since that time, GSSEM has continued to receive support from GSUSA relative to this effort. GSUSA continues to advocate that councils update their volunteer structure…. By creating and adopting more effective structures and processes, we can address our declining membership.
As you know GSUSA went through a strategic learning process which is the framework for many of the national changes and we conducted our own Strategic Learning effort locally.
In order to create a new volunteer structure, it was critical that we involve you the volunteers. As a council we needed to hear from volunteers – we put out a call for volunteers to participate in a volunteer structure task force. We held a meeting in Nov 2010 and called for any interested participants to join. Now I want to address those of you who feel that your SU isn’t broken and that these challenges are happening elsewhere, but not in your area. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of our SU’s are experiencing membership decline and it is increasingly difficult to identify qualified people willing to assume a service team role, especially a SUM role. Furthermore, our current structure is not set up to embrace pathways. Our ability to have a strong consistent local support system for girls is impartive… and the struggles of other areas impact all of us. To say that your SU is fine and the problems exist elsewhere is like saying the majority of the houses on your block are on fire and because yours is not – everything is ok. If the SU’s around you are struggling, some are out right crumbling, then I humbly submit that we need to dig deep and be a sister to every girl scout and figure out how we can right the ship by creating consistent, high quality experiences for all girls.
After much consideration and input over the last 18 months, I am excited to share with you our new volunteer structureForget what you know about SU’s, this is something new.
We affectionately refer to this visual as “the Egg”. This model is designed with the girl at the center of everything we do. If we start at the lower left of the image you’ll see we have the girl in the trefoil, because a girl first joins the girl scout movement and them chooses the flexible ways she wants to participate via our Pathway model. As our largest Pathway, Troop needs specific and robust support for volunteers and girls involved in a troop experience. As a result we created a district structure at the troop level noted by the blue bubble over troop. Next, we created a community structure to support additional pathway participation including Travel, Series, Events, and Camp, noted by the light green oval beyond district. The community supports volunteers working with individual girls and troop affiliated girls. Beyond Community you see the darker blue oval for GSSEM which encompasses communities, districts, and all girls and pathways to provide support. Finally, you see the lime oval for GSUSA which encompasses everything we do at GSSEM. My favorite thing about this model is the ovals of support at each level – customized support.So lets take the layers one step at a time and discuss in more detail what they mean.
The girl is at the center of everything we do, and so we made her the heart of our structure. Everything we do in GS starts with the girls. She is our reason for being and we wanted to create a structure to ensure she has a high quality GS experience regardless of where she lives or how she chooses to participate
Using school districts as our smallest unit of organization, these districts roll up to create GS districts which are specific to Troop Support and involve a robust volunteer structure that focuses specifically on the troop experience. Most GS districts will probably consist of 4-5 school districts – with our less populated areas have more school districts and our more dense populated areas have fewer. In some cases where the school district itself is so large, it may be broken down into 2 or more districts.As I said, we are currently working with a demographer from Wayne State on the actual district map, but we anticipate that districts will generally serve between 400-700 girls and between 40-60 troops. We anticipate having approximately 50-60 districts.Districts are the customer support arm for our troop pathway. Local troop to troop experiences and troop planned events would happen at this level; but what was previously known as SU events would happen at the next level – the community level. Let’s look at the community level now…MISC:The districts do define the communityTroop to Troop activities – field trips/small parties. No budget, monies are handled at the troop level. Criteria:If budget and/or run through an SU account, than it is a community level event.
Districts roll up to communities and they have a robust volunteer structure that supports all girls and adults in all pathways with the exception of virtual as it hasn’t been developed. We anticipate communities to support 4-8 districts with a total of 12 communities.Communities have a strong emphasis on program delivery and the volunteer committees are responsible for offering GSLE events, series, travel, and camp experiences for all girls in the community including independent and troop affiliated girls. SU events now become community based experiences. The larger territories provide a wider audience for these experiences, ensuring all girls have the opportunity to enjoy a GSLE Event or GSLE encampment. It also allows girls to connect with other girls scouts outside of their immediate area and form wider friendships and bonds then just those they’ve formed locally.MISC: More girls to draw from for events. Being a sister to every girl scout – opportunities for neighboring troops. As membership dips, events have dipped – this help recapture some participation #’s.Re-visit what has been done – make it girl led. Engage girls who are not in troops and allow girls to meet others from different areas. Make friends – meet them at camp or other programs.
Communities of course roll up to GSSEM. Council staff will be responsible for working hand in hand with volunteers to ensure that a consistent, high quality experience is available to our girls and that volunteers receive world class support.
GSSEM of course roles up through GSUSA. As a chartered council we are required to adhere to standards and policies put forth by GSUSA. It is councils responsibility to ensure we are in step with national priorities and programs. Every x years, councils participate in a re-chartering process and GSSEM will be engaged with this activity later this year. One of the key measurements is a local councils ability to grow membership. If we are in fact a movement, than we need to demonstrate growth.
So with the girl at the center of our experience, let’s recap “the egg”.Districts: We’re looking at 50-60 districts with the explicit purpose of supporting the troop pathway. Each district will have approx 40-60 troops per district.Communities: We’re looking at 12 communities with the explicit purpose of supporting all pathways with a special emphasis on program delivery. Each district will have approx 4-8 districts per community.These levels of support working hand in hand with GSSEM and ultimately GSUSA to create a big bold sisterhood by delivering a nationally consistent leadership experience for girls K-12.Now that we’ve looked at the structural skeleton, let’s look at the operational volunteer roles that will support the new model. MISC: My favorite thing about this model is the ovals of support at each level – customized support.So lets take the layers one step at a time and discuss in more detail what they mean.
The functional area appears on the left – the corresponding staff dept on the right and then and an indication in the center about what functional support is needed at the district or community level. Let’s look specifically at volunteer roles:
Let’s start with the District Level. This functional area is unique in that it is the only cross functional group. You’ll see that at the district level we anticipate 6 roles:Troop Leader CoordinatorProduct Sales CoordinatorRecruitment CoordinatorRegistration CoordinatorGirl Placement CoordinatorFinance CoordinatorThese positions are accountable to the staff department on the right. You’ll notice, we no longer filter information and support through a funnel. Council staff will be overseeing operational volunteers in their respective functional area. Moving on to the Community level positions. You see 8 of the functional areas in dark green and next to them in the light green, is the list of anticipated volunteer roles. We envision chair people for key areas of interest. Again, in most cases, the chair would be supported by a subcommittee, ultimately with diverse representation from the districts and community at large.For example, there would be an Events Chair on the GSLE Committee who works with a subcommittee of volunteers to plan GSLE event opportunities for girls in their community. You’ll notice there is not a “manager” at the respective levels. There is not a volunteer role that selects or manages other volunteers at the operations level. Volunteers are selected and managed by the council department working with that functional area. In the case of the community, when the chairs need to coordinate or get together for a meeting, it is the responsibility of the Individual Girl Coordinator to do so. She is the manager of the group, but has the added responsibility of coordinating and scheduling meetings as needed. In the case of the district, I want to use an illustration:
Again, at the district level you’ll notice there isn’t a manager. There are 6 functional positions that roll up through the appropriate staff department. However, the Troop Leader Coordinator (TLC) is the clearing house for all troop related questions/support. While a troop leader may directly contact and work with any coordinator in their district, she can always start with the Troop Leader Coordinator. The Troop Leader Coordinator is responsible for scheduling meetings and coordinating efforts between all coordinators, but she is not selecting or managing her fellow coordinators. She is not managing product sales, she is not managing spring registration, she is not auditing troop accounts… she is hosting round tables and attending troop meetings and promoting Journeys. She is providing the mentoring needed to address our 60% retention rate relative to volunteers. In short, the TLC has a laser focus on supporting and mentoring her leaders. Just as our troops are girl led, our districts should be leader led. What kind of support/questions/problems does this particular group or sub group of leaders have and how can they be addressed?MISC:Before we supported 124 SU’s and service teams, Still need volunteer supports – lots of rolesGround up process, support girls, support troop leaders, support for the independent girls6 positions per district
Recap blah blah
GSSEM Volunteer Structure Townhalls Presentation - April 2011
Group Agreement</li></li></ul><li>Girl Scout Promise<br />On my honor, I will try: <br />To Serve God and my county, <br />to help people at all times <br />and to live by the Girl Scout Law.<br />
Girl Scout Law<br />I will do my best to be <br />honest and fair, <br />friendly and helpful, <br />considerate and caring, <br />courageous and strong, <br />and responsible for what I say and do,<br />and to <br />respect myself and others, <br />respect authority, <br />use resources wisely, <br />make the world a better place, <br />and be a sister to every Girl Scout.<br />
Mission<br />Girls lead with<br /> courage, confidence, <br />and character <br />to make the world <br />a better place.<br />
GSSEM Service Area<br /><ul><li>Five Service Centers
1 of 16 Pilot Councils: October 2009 – June 2010
GSUSA developed sample Service Deliver Concept Designs</li></li></ul><li>Strategic Learning<br />
Key Priorities<br />Live within our means while better allocating and diversifying our resources.<br />Immediately implement GSLE and its Pathways.<br />3. Create a comprehensive Volunteer Management System including the Single Entry System.<br />4. Develop an integrated and functional communications plan.<br />
Strategic Learning<br />The work itself:<br /><ul><li>October 2009 – February 2010
30 People: Staff, Volunteers, Community Members, Girls
Multiple recommendations</li></li></ul><li>Structure Task Force <br />Decisions<br /> Final report on March 28. <br /> Staff worked to synthesize the recommendations, along with several other data points, including:<br /><ul><li>Input from Volunteers: Strategic Learning, Think Tanks, Task Force
Demographic data including current girl members and potential girl members
Donation to Family Partnership to assist local troops</li></ul>Unacceptable uses<br /><ul><li>Visa gift cards or cash for girls or adults
Spending it carelessly</li></li></ul><li>Community Standards<br />Need to support the Girl Scout leadership Experience via the National Program Portfolio materials<br />Communities are an extension of council and are responsible for embracing and enforcing GSSEM and GSUSA policies and procedures.<br />
Community Standards<br />Requirements:<br /><ul><li>Incorporate Journeys and outcomes