Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland is currently engaged in its second cycle of the Strategic Learning process. This work will set the direction for the council for 2014-2017. Strategic Learning is a process that was developed by Willie Pietersen, Columbia University Business School, and adopted by Girl Scouts of the USA several years ago. The key to Strategic Learning is to help build adaptive organizations ready to meet the challenges facing them and prepared to achieve their mission.
The Council Strategy Team, comprised of operational volunteers, board members, community volunteers and council staff members, began their work in April 2013. They did intensive research to discover the “brutal truths” facing Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland and began to develop the strategy that will help the council move forward in achieving the Girl Scout mission. The work of the team was approved by the council board of directors in September 2013.
This work has produced five Strategic Priorities that will drive all of the efforts of GSMH during this upcoming three-year period. These priorities are:
- Recruit, develop, retain, recognize and inspire volunteers who are equipped to support the Girl Scout program.
- Develop and implement fun, quality, outcomes-based leadership experiences for girls.
- Create sufficient and sustainable council funding by developing the potential of all council revenue streams and increasing contributed income.
- Develop and implement flexible strategies to increase retention of girls in grades 1-7.
- Build upon Girl Scouts’ iconic brand to educate the public on the value of the Girl Scout program.
Staff Gap Teams are working now through early January 2014 to develop strategies to “close the gaps” we have identified and move the council toward the achievement of these Strategic Priorities. They are eager to have more input from the volunteers. Any input regarding these five priorities and strategies to achieve them can be emailed to the following addresses:
Volunteer Support Gap Team
Program Delivery Gap Team
Funding Gap Team
Girl Retention Gap Team
Perception and Awareness Gap Team
Anne Soots, Strategic Learning Project Manager
We asked for your feedback on the recommendation for GSMH program properties and we definitely received it. Many people expressed their love for the properties and asked for an opportunity to be able to retain them. As announced after the June 14 Board of Directors meeting, the Board voted to allow volunteer/community groups the opportunity to develop and submit sustainable, viable long-term plans for supporting Girl Scouting including retaining and maintaining all of the GSMH program properties that were recommended for divestment.
We know that many people are anxious to begin work on their plans. We will announce the criteria/expectations for those plans very soon. Therefore, we want to share some dates with you now. We will hold meetings in August to meet with volunteers/community members that will be involved in developing sustainable plans to retain properties to submit to the Board. We will provide information and answer questions about plan development. Each of these meetings will be from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and there is no registration required. The meetings will be held at the respective program properties, except the Sacajawea East meeting will be held at the Cape Girardeau Girl Scout service center. The schedule is:
Monday, August 5 – Latonka Program Center
Tuesday, August 6 – Sacajawea East at Cape Girardeau service center
Thursday, August 8 – Mintahama Program Center
Tuesday, August 13 – Sacajawea West Program Center
Wednesday, August 14 – Greenberry Acres Program Center
Anne Soots, GSMH CEO, and council Board member representatives will attend all of the meetings to give input into the discussion. We are looking forward to thoughtful, constructive dialogue about the future of Girl Scouting and program properties in GSMH.
GSMH is pleased to introduce the all new Online Registration system! Beginning in time for Early Bird, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland girls and adults will be able to renew, or create new, their memberships through the web.
ROSE is our new little owl friend who will be helping us roll out the Online Registration system. ROSE stands for Registration On-line Simple & Easy, and she’s coming soon to the GSMH website. When you see ROSE on the website click on her to take you to the Online Registration system.
Volunteers, this is a great opportunity to finally be done with all the hassle and paperwork that come with membership registrations! No more collecting and sending in forms. Encourage your girls’ parents and guardians to use the easy Online Registration system to renew their memberships beginning with Early Bird.
(Never fear: All completed Online Registrations still count toward Early Bird totals and patches. Additionally, girls who have their registrations completed online will receive a special Online Registration patch that features ROSE!)
Here are some of the reasons why you’ll want to have your parents and guardians completing Online Registration instead of you, the volunteer:
- They will be able to register from home, any time of day.
- Information at the council will be more accurate than ever as the parents and guardians themselves will be responsible for entering all information without it being copied and entered by someone else.
- Families will feel more involved in their daughter’s Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
- When a parent or guardian registers their girl, the leader does not have to collect and send any signatures to the council—it’s an entirely paperless system! (Alternatively, when a troop leader registers a girl, a paper registration and signature from that girl’s parent or guardian would still have to be collected and sent in to the council.)
- Volunteers will be free to spend more time working with girls instead of with membership registration.
- No backlog! Online Registration memberships are active and counted in the system immediately without the delays of passing the registration from person to person to council staff.
Of course, parents and guardians won’t have all the fun. Troop leaders (01s) will be able to use Online Registration to print troop rosters and manage multiple troops.
To experience Online Registration, simply go to www.girlscoutsmoheartland.org/rose beginning April 15, 2013. There you will also find guides, videos, and an FAQ to help you use the Online Registration system.
Horseback riding sessions will resume at the Sacajawea East Program Center on Monday March 11th. Registration required in advance. Submit a Horseback Riding Registration form or call 1-877-312-4764 ext. 1515 for placement and or registration questions.
Individual Girl/Troop-Group Horseback Riding Registration Form
Individual Girl/Troop-Group Program Registration Procedures
We offer Individual Girl session sign up every Monday through May; the advanced class runs from 4:00-5:30 and the beginner class runs from 6:00-7:30.
Troop or group sessions are available Tuesday –Thursday from 4:00-5:30 and 6:00-7:30. Saturday sessions are available on the first and third Saturday of each month through May. Session times are 9-10:30, 10:45-12:15, 1-2:30 and 2:45-4:15. Troop and group sessions have a five participant minimum for registration.
If you have additional questions please contact Leadership and Learning Specialist-Outdoor Program, Keely Elfrink at 1-877-312-4764 ext. 1515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Thinking Day is a day of friendship, advocacy and fundraising for 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world.
On 22 February each year, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world celebrate World Thinking Day by:
- Learning about their international sisters in designated focus countries for the year.
- Doing fun and educational activities based around an advocacy theme for the year.
- Fundraising for the World Thinking Day Fund.
- Earning the World Thinking Day badge.
Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been celebrating World Thinking Day since 1926.
How does your troop or group celebrate Thinking Day? Every year the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts chooses specific countries to represent each of the geographic regions of WAGGS. The 2013 countries are Ireland, Malawi, Venezuela.,
How does your uniform compare to the uniforms in Pakistan?
What about Malawi?
One of my first memories of being a Girl Scout was as a Brownie at our celebration on Thinking Day. The mother of my good friend Thao was at our party. This was unusual because Thao’s mother rarely came to anything. You see Thao was from Vietnam. As a child I did not know what that meant, all I knew was that Thao did not look like the rest of us and that when her mother was there, she spoke in words I did not understand.
Now here she was sitting in front of us as our leader was arranging us in a circle. It turned out that the words I did not understand were actually spoken in the language of another country! As a girl from a small town this was quite intriguing to me. Thao’s mother smiled at us and in halting English began to tell us stories from when she was a girl in Vietnam. I remember the fascination my entire troop had that day as our leader helped Mrs. Nguyen with her stories of what she wore, what she ate, where she lived and especially what she did for fun. We had so many questions for her!
I don’t know where Thao and her mother are today. I feel quite sure that had it not been for World Thinking Day it would have been some time before this small town girl learned that it is a large and fascinating world out there.
To Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland Girls, Parents and Volunteers:
We are very glad to have you involved in Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland. Providing an exciting Girl Scout program that gives girls opportunities to grow, learn and have fun is very important to us. And we need your help to make sure our council keeps up to date with what is important to our girls.
Over the next year our council will be going through a process called Strategic Learning. We will be using the proven best practices of Strategic Learning to gather and review a lot of information from girls and adults across our council. Girls and adults will have the opportunity to tell us what they like about Girl Scouts and what they would like to see happening in Girl Scouts. Girls, parents and volunteers are encouraged to complete the online surveys listed below. You may complete a survey in more than one of the categories if applicable. Please encourage any girls, Girl Scout parents or Girl Scout volunteers that you know to complete the survey on-line. The more people that participate, the richer the pool of data we will have to use in our Strategic Learning process.
Thank you for helping us with this very important project. Your information will help lead Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland into the future.
Anne Soots, Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland
There’s something new and exciting coming to Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland which will revolutionize membership registration and make registration faster, and everything more accurate! It’s called eBusiness, or “eBiz,” and it will make your life as a volunteer a lot easier–allowing you to spend more time providing a rewarding experience for your girls and less time doing paperwork!
In brief, “eBiz” is a collection of online tools that allows girls, guardians, and volunteers to take advantage of online registration via the web. When we release eBiz, it will include the following features:
- customer profile management
- membership renewals
- new member registration
- family giving donations
- self reporting
For troop leaders:
- troop maintenance
- troop rosters and email communications
Later in 2013, we will be implementing additional features which will allow:
- adult training registration
- program/event registration
- camp registration
- troop program registration
Imagine that! Parents able to register, re-register, pay for registration, all online! No more rushing and scrambling to collect registration forms, no more trying to read handwriting and figure out mistakes, no more hassle getting troop information changes made and rosters sent. With eBiz, parents and girls can be responsible for their own registrations, and you have more power as a leader to manage your troop’s information. It’s a win-win for everybody!
Unfortunately, something like this doesn’t just *poof* into existence overnight. It has taken a lot of work on the part of many individuals to bring online registration to our council, and the job isn’t done. We need our volunteers to help to make sure it is rolled out early this year with little trouble. Whenever possible, please make sure that you have collected the correct email addresses of everyone in your troop who has one, adult and girl alike, and send them to your membership marketing specialist. An email address is the key to accessing the online registration system! (Make sure to let your adults know that having their email address for eBiz is to allow them to use the upcoming online registration tool and not for marketing purposes.)
Keep an eye out for more information about online registration in the weeks to come, along with specific dates for its official release. There will be incentives to girls and troops to encourage online registration and re-registration for the 2014 membership year!
Anne Soots named CEO for Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland
I am excited to announce that Anne Soots, current Interim CEO/COO for GSMH, has been named Chief Executive Officer effective August 1. During a special meeting of the board of directors on July 19, the selection committee recommended that Anne be hired as the second CEO of Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland. This recommendation followed a rigorous six-month process in which Evergreen Executive Source, a national executive search firm which partners with Girl Scouts of the USA, received over 100 applications and recommended four individuals for the council’s search committee to interview.
Former board member and current board development committee member Vicki Myers led the candidate search for the position. Myers stated, “Anne Soots was the unanimous choice of the committee. Anne has a vision for the council which emphasizes the value of volunteers, the importance of meeting the needs of the girls so they can achieve their leadership potential and working with staff who are motivated and inspired to deliver extraordinary services.”
Anne has resided in southwest Missouri for 17 years and brings more than 30 years of Girl Scout experience to the position. Additionally, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Relations from High Point University in North Carolina, as well as certifications in Nonprofit Management from both Mandel School of Management-Case Western Reserve University and University of Missouri at St. Louis.
On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Anne for the outstanding work she has done as interim CEO. I look forward to partnering with her in the years ahead as the council provides progressive leadership experiences that prepare girls for a lifetime of limitless opportunities.
Thank you again for all you do for Girl Scouting.
Chair of the Board
It is important that all of our council resources are aligned toward helping Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland achieve the competitive focus and the five strategic priorities that emerged from our Strategic Learning process. One of our largest resources is our council staff. We needed to make some changes to our staff structure to better position us to achieve our competitive focus of building council capacity to provide quality service delivery to service units and troops. Our new staff structure will take effect on July 2.
In our new staff structure, we eliminated eleven positions and added twelve positions back. The positions we eliminated were Sr. Membership Manager, Sr. Leadership Program Manager, Sr. Volunteer Development Manager, Leadership Program Specialist (6), Volunteer Development Specialist and E-Media Specialist. We are taking a new approach to delivering membership, volunteerism and program (MVP) services to our membership. These services will now be delivered through three regional teams, one assigned to each of our three council regions. These teams will be led by the new position of regional manager, who will be responsible for ensuring quality service delivery in their regions. These regional managers will supervise teams of membership and marketing specialists (MMS) and leadership and learning specialists (LLS). There will be two LLS in each region – one specializing in the delivery of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and the other specializing in volunteer development. The three regional teams are:
Regional Manager – Carolyn Imhoff
Membership and Marketing Specialists – Angela Peth, Sarah Smith, Megan White and Sherrey Young
Leadership and Learning Specialist (GSLE) – Karen Lawrence
Leadership and Learning Specialist (Volunteerism) – Julie Wall
Regional Manager – Kara Glaus
Membership and Marketing Specialists – Casi Cameron, Alyx Chevalier, Amber Moyers and one position to be filled
Leadership and Learning Specialist (GSLE) – April Isbell
Leadership and Learning Specialist (Volunteerism – Shirley Stevens
Regional Manager – Anne Hyde
Membership and Marketing Specialists – Shandon Hill, Dawn Irvine, Becky Ledbetter, Melissa Stark, Candice Wolf and one position to be filled
Leadership and Learning Specialist (GSLE) – Stefanie McCall
Leadership and Learning Specialist (Volunteerism ) – Melody Hutchison
Three new positions have been included to provide better services for our membership:
- Leadership and Learning Specialist (Outdoor) – Keely Elfrink – responsible for resident camp management and providing increased outdoor opportunities across the council
- CES Manager/Website Administrator – Liam Watts – responsible for council data management and website administration
- PR/Digital Media Manager – Lori Enyart- responsible for social media and localized public relations efforts
Stop by one of our Early Bird events in June! Submit troop registrations, receive help with financial reports, and enjoy light refreshments and a few surprises!
Thursday June 28 – Open until 6:00 pm in Dexter, Joplin, and Springfield
And don’t forget: The retail shops are also open until 6pm! Stop in while you drop off your registrations, and see what’s new.