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March 16, 2013

I'm currently volunteering as a troop committee member and as a membership coordinator. I joined Girls Scouts with my daughter when she was in kindergarten, now she is in the fourth grade. We have made a lot of beautiful memories together during scouting activities. I'm disappointed that, as a charity, they only receive three stars. i would like to see them receive four again. I would like to see the CEO's salary tied to the President's salary. The President of the United States receives a salary of $400,000, and I think that ought to be enough for just about anyone. I don't mind that troops only get to keep 15% of what they charge for a box of cookies. I would like to know what percentage goes to council, national and the baker. It is the troop that ultimately delivers the program to the girl, but everyone plays a role, and it wouldn't be the Girl Scouts without everyone.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 19, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
March 19, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I think that Girl Scouts is incredibly top-heavy in terms of administration. I quit buying GS Cookies. The scouts are advised that they may not do any other fundraising if they do not participate in cookie sales. So these little girls trudge door to door, selling cookies for approx. $4 per box (their council decides how much - MT seems to be about there), and the girls make 10-20% of that, so .40 to .80 per box. If I buy 3 boxes, it costs me $12, and if I don't donate the boxes back to the Troop, it's not tax deductible. AND, they've only made between $1.20 to $2.40 for their trouble. Since I'm about to give away $12 anyway (and I really don't need the extra calories), I just donate $12 to the troop. It's as if that little girl sold me 8-10 boxes, and their troop gets to keep every penny - because I donate to the troop, not the organization. And I get a tax deduction.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
February 22, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

My troop gets $0.75/box of cookies sold. Could be better, could be worse. Our council has many, many, many programing opportunities that are very low cost. Our greatest costs are transportation and fees by groups outside of the organization. Changing to the new books was also a new but onetime cost to us. We received $350 as Financial Aid to support the costs of two of our troop members. While my local service unit isn't perfect (it's run by volunteers, like myself) it is supported by the council and my feeling is that you get out of GS what you put into it. I feel that both of my daughters and I have grown thanks to our involvement with the Girl Scouts and I appreciate it's inclusiveness and non-secular approach (although there are religious awards available to be earned).

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 17, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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February 17, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I would like to agree with islandicmay's review. I have heard that the troop only gets a few cents per box for the cookies. Yet, the CEO of this organization gets more than $549,000 plus other perks per year. That salary is completely out of touch with the spirit of volunteerism that the organization attempts to portray. I believe that if all the wonderful volunteers realized this, then there would be a rebellion!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 30, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 30, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

More funds need to be directed towards the troops and their activities. Fees, cookie money, and profits from required clothing/books mainly support the salaries and benefit packages of CEO and executives. I have worked for free as a cookie mom. Little girls have stood beside me in cold, dark and rainy conditions. Back then, I did not realize how little of the money actually helps the girls scout troop. I also worked (again for free of course) as a co-leader. I had my eyes opened to a unnecessarily highly bureaucratic structure. Now, I give directly to the troop leader to pay for gas, supplies, and fun events for the ACTUAL GIRLS THEMSELVES.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 19, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 19, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I am a former Girl Scout, the daughter of a Girl Scout, and the granddaughter of a Girl Scout. I am proud that both of my nieces are continuing the scouting tradition, and look forward to my own daughter joining in a few years. The Girl Scouts grow strong, confident women. I love the many areas of interest that girls can explore, the inclusiveness, and the diversity. Thank you, Girl Scouts, for helping build generations of inquisitive, compassionate, and community-minded women! Now bring on the cookies!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

July 8, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
July 8, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I have been actively involved in almost every aspect of Girl Scouts from program, to training, to awards, to troop leader, to service team registrar, recruiter, and advisor for the past six years and I must say, I am not sure where Mrs. Fordham finds her information exactly, but I am distressed to think with all the postive information, and role model opportunities, and leadership training, and fun activities that Girl Scouting provides, that she could only pick out negatives from her own personal experiences. As a leader, scouting is very much what the leader and the girls make of it. If you are looking for something negative and counter to your personal beliefs and controversial then I suppose if you dig enough or listen to enough anti this or that organizations they will supply you with some "dirt" to besmirch any organization.

The truth however is much more empowering. Girl Scouts, in my experience, helps build character and confidence in little girls. I have watched my girls go from shy scared little Daisies into beautiful competent, brave and confident young girls in 4th and 5th grade who can run programs for younger girls, who will encourage each other and support each other and who are learning the importance of standing up for their beliefs, being compassionate and caring to each other and other people in the peer group, who are countering bullying and peer pressure and striving to grow into wonderful and smart young women.

As for the whole girls only learn job related badges. It is laughable to think people can have such polar opposite experiences, this year my girls made chocolate, and learned to cook a gluten free meal as one of my girls has a gluten problem, they went to the zoo to learn about animals, they went zipling to learn about physics, they went to a play to learn about theater, they did a sing along training for fellow leaders to learn about sound waves and they sang baby bumblebee complete with the puking part (they love gross stuff they are kids) and we rewrote a version of Let it Be to be Have to Pee about one girls struggle to find an outhouse in the dark woods at night when she really has to go. It's funny and rather true and the girls love it. We also sang patriotic songs, my girls know about 6 different ones as a matter of fact. Additionally, my daughter found this great song by Rilee O'neill called Together we can Change the World which has become our troop mantra. The badges are changing this year but they still have childcare, photography, family history, exploring cemeteries, sports, fitness, jewelry making, and so forth. There are business oriented badges, especially for older girls, but there are plenty to choose from -- mind you choice is the big big thing in GS.

I love this organization, they serve girls from every ethnic background and provide financial assistance to help girls be involved regardless of their family income. They make the girls the number one priority in all things, making sure they get a voice. They live up to their motto -- Building girls of courage confidence and character who make the world a better place. I just can't imagine how people could or would want to find fault in that.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen girls grow from shy scared little ones who would not join circle time without their mothers, into young girls who can stand with a bull horn in hand and demand attention from a large group. Who can read a script, plan an event, come up with ideas and are growing each year into really amazing young women. I am consitently impressed by them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to see more journeys in more categories. I'd love to see one all about crafts and the history of folk art, and fine art and fun crafty art and recycled art. Or one about exploring the world and customs and people from other countries, Or one about our country, its history, its politics, its wonders from state to state and what makes all of them great. There are so many adventures. I'd just love to see more like that.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

A lot of program changes are received in a JIT presentation. Therefore, trainers get the information or the program the same time the leaders do, which means trainers have to create trainings for the new product after they are released, and the lack of training and advance information can create negative results or impressions by those trying it out seat of pants without knowing the materials. It would be great if advance copies could be done for all the councils and their training to staff so they can prepare trainings and run them a few months prior to store release of new products.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It has made me so happy to work with these young girls (my daughter included). I love it and I hope my love of the program is inspiring the girls love for it as well.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Joyous.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
June 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I have been a leader, cookie mom and service unit volunteer over the past 6 years. My older troop has learned a lot about managing money (more than most adults know), they can cook & sew, they have done many rewarding service projects and they have had frank discussions about the world around them. My younger troop is just beginning to make their way, but they are learning a lot an love doing patch/badge work (and they do more than is what is required to earn them as we push them.)

I have also been involved in helping my older daughter and her other Jewish Girl Scouts earn their Bat Or and Menorah Awards. My older daughter still loves Girl Scouting and has no intention of dropping just because she is older and it is not COOL to be a Girl Scout anymore.

The good thing about Girl Scouting is that they are inclusive and therefore my troops have a wide variety of girls in them - racially, religiously and economically - and they have learned to respect everyone that way. It is also providing my girls with a greater understanding of the world around them.

I understand that some people would like the girls to focus solely on moral issues and how to keep a home, but the reality is that the world around us id very different then the world they would like us to preach to the girls. Girl Scouts is preparing my duaghters for the real world and I am fully behind that.

I

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being a leader/volunteer

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue the mission of making Girl Scouts as inclusive as possible.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I would love more training

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Patience - there is nothing like trying to teach a new skill to 12 kindergarteners!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Appreciated

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 15, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
June 15, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

Unlike Mrs. Fordham, I believe Girl Scouts is a wonderful organization! Is it perfect? Of course not. There will never be a perfect group until we find some perfect people to be in it! The girls learn how to live in the world around them, and make both it and themselves better every day. GSUSA apparently agreed that the program materials need to change, which is why they are rolling out a completely new, simplified program for all age levels this fall. And one of the most important things we can teach girls, Mrs. Fordham, is to respect others, not expect them to be just like us. And to stick with something you commit to, not quit because it isn't perfect in your eyes. Don't like what's happening? Be a Girl Scout and change it!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my personal life and the lives of my 2 girls.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to recruit quality adult volunteers who exemplify the Girl Scout values AND enjoy working with the girls!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Train council personnel by requiring them to volunteer as troop leaders and service team members so they know what we need and don't need from them.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have made wonderful friends, become more outgoing, and learned more new skills than I can name. I spent this weekend whitewater rafting! What did you do??

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of the girls I work with. I am proud of them and I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

March 25, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
March 25, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

How can anyone say anything bad about the Girl Scouts? It's unAmerican. They keep their nose clean.

As a Girl Scout leader, I was appalled to see that the handbook for girls as young as 12 said that "you might be put in a situation where you need an abortion. Try to find a trusted adult
to talk to." So much for the values I had as a child. There are NONE in the system anymore.

All of the badges now are focused on drilling into the girls' heads that you are NOTHING without a career. So much for a husband and family, and motherhood is NOT a career. Homemaking, cooking, sewing, childcare -- are only in the frame of doing these things professionally. You must TALK to a professional in each of these areas to get the badge. You aren't really capable of raising your own children. You need to let a trained professional do it.

Beautiful songs like "He has the whole world in his hands?" Now the verses include "He has the sexy sexy Seniors in his hands." What a thing to aspire to! "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee" has verses about smashing it, eating it, throwing up, and eating it again. Lovely. And these are the words the leaders laugh as they sing it all together.

Locally, I love the leaders. But Girl Scouts used to be about values and morals, and personal growth. Now it is all political correctness. It is pretty clear that the leadership of this organization is right now in the toilet and your girls, your volunteer efforts, and your cookie money are better spent somewhere else.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

go back to the basic tenets and law on which Girl Scouts was founded. And put back the ten laws I grew up with, including "A Girl Scout is clean in thought, word and deed." This organization is morally filthy.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Teach virtue, morals, standards to the girls. Fire the Girl Scout leader convicted of embezzling from her employer instead of letting her continue to be the cookie chairman and handle money.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

no

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I loved working with the girls. The present program stinks, though.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

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