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From the Desk of Loretta Graham: Long Range Property Planning Update


Last night the Board of Directors approved two measures to strengthen, expand, and ensure the continued delivery of the Girl Scout Experience. 

First, the Board approved the sale and closing of all Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois owned and operated camps by December 31, 2020.  Currently, the camps owned by Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois have an estimated value of $3.7 million, but deliver a limited Girl Scout experience.  The Long Rang Property Planning Task Force, in its report, identified camps and other properties in each Service Area and throughout southern Illinois that provide a much broader array of experiences and activities.  Operating and maintaining the four Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois camps costs $375,000 annually (which does not include deferred maintenance costs), and the experiences provided are of the same types of experiences available at other locations throughout southern Illinois.  The point is, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois has camp assets with an estimated value of $3.7 million, which are costly to maintain, and deliver experiences similar to those available elsewhere throughout our Council.  After costs of closing and sales commissions, it is estimated that Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will net approximately $3.4 million in the sale of its camps.

The Board recognizes the need to preserve the financial value of camp properties while also ensuring the delivery of Girl Scout activities and experiences.  In selling the camp properties, the asset value of the camps will remain. Camp assets of the Council will be transformed into financial assets of the Council.  The Board has directed that all proceeds from the sale of the camps be deposited into the newly established Girl Scout Experience Fund.

Last night, the Board approved the creation of the Girl Scout Experience Fund (the “GSE Fund”).  The GSE Fund is to provide direct financial support for delivering the Girl Scout experience.  These funds will help underwrite the costs of girls to fulfill their own Girl Scout experience, whether that experience be camping, horseback riding, zip lining, STEM, robotics competitions, leadership training, and a broad array of other Girl Scout experiences.  An investment of $3.4 million from camp properties into the GSE Fund, at a return of 6%, would generate $200,000 annually to underwrite the costs of girls and their troops to have fulfilling Girl Scout experiences.  By preserving the principal of the investment, and spending only the generated income, GSofSI will ensure the value of the camp properties will be continued to generate Girl Scout experiences for generations to come.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the near future about both the GSE Fund and the sale of the camp properties.  I have never been more enthusiastic about the future of Girl Scouting in southern Illinois, and look forward to delivering the new and expanded experiences for our girl members.

Loretta Graham, CEO
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois