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13 Reviews
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August 11, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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August 11, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I was a Girl Scout in grades 1 - 9. I started volunteering when my daughter joined Girl Scouts, in 1999. When her troop dissolved in 2007 & she joined a different troop, I became Cookie Coordinator for my Service Unit. I started a new troop in 2009, and they are entering 5th grade.

Unfortunately, the national office does not appear to pay attention to its own research, but only to focus groups. The program was changed significantly when my daughter was a girl, and it has been completely changed since then. (10 years!) As a result, girls and leaders are unfamiliar with the program. I had to learn all new programming with my daughter, and I'm having to learn a 3rd program now.

Camps are being sold all over the country, which makes it difficult for troops to camp. Council stores are filled with high profit items, not camping or programming materials. Troops are encouraged to buy patches for every event. The cost of books and uniforms is becoming prohibitive. (Note: two girls in my troop are homeless, with their families couch surfing with friends and relatives.

Ways to make it better...

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

Girl Scouts needs to get back to the basics. Stop selling camps. Stop selling fluff. Concentrate on the outdoors. Stop making 180 turns every 10 years. Reconstitute almost all of the old badges. Reach out to alumnae. Hire alumnae.

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?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

August 11, 2014

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August 11, 2014

Volunteering with our GS council was literally the most horrible experience I have ever had as a volunteer in ANY organization. The staff were outrageously stupid and outright malevolent. In my four years of involvement, I only once heard one paid staff member ask about whether or not their actions would be beneficial for the girls involved.
GS has very obviously become a pyramid scheme for selling cookies but at least now they are partnering with such ethical powerhouses like Nestle and Barbie to make their money (insert sarcasm here). Perhaps someday the girls will be able to sell cookies and earn more than 50 CENTS a box again!!
GS is now about numbers only - the new girls they think are always coming into GS from kindergarten. They could not care less about the older girls in GS and offer them either no programming or completely vapid programming like paper plate crafts for 6th graders. Our council actively discourages use of its camps because they want to sell them to profit the top employees.

Ways to make it better...

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

Fire every single person in the organization and eliminate the entire, board of directors. Then I would carefully recruit former employees and volunteers to take a limited number of roles and I would give that staff no, "sales goals" or membership goals for at least five years.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

August 11, 2014

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August 11, 2014

As a Lifetime Girl Scout, 12 years as a girl, more than 50 as an adult, while I am disappointed in the current direction taken by the National Staff, I still believe in the program. As long as caring adult volunteers assist girls in directing their own programming, it will be a strong leadership program. Even our youngest Daisies are able to choose, stretch their abilities, learn, and share. If you don't like where the program is going, become a leader/advisor to a group of great girls and wtch your own life change for the better. I learned leadership, speaking skills, coaching and training skills as a girl that have carried throughout my life. I discovered my skills and abilities in science and math at a time when girls were actively discouraged from these fields. I met people who became lifelong friends, not because we think alike, but because we shared experiences at camp, on the trail, or a training sessions together.
But, and this is a big one, the program is only as strong as the troop leader. Troop leaders who are not supported by their councils/national through good local training, through collaboration and meetings with other leaders and girls, through great local events, can not deliver great program to their girls on a consistent basis.

Ways to make it better...

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

Require every national and council staff member to actively lead a troop for their entire tenure as a staff member. For every board member to visit at least one troop a month in their jurisdiction. And for each of them to have to go door to door with a dozen boxes of cookies during their areas cookie sale.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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

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