Council Service Fee
At the 52nd GSUSA National Council Session in November 2011, Girl Scout delegates from across the country overwhelmingly approved the voluntary implementation of a council service fee for each girl member that would be part of girls’ registration. Unlike membership dues, which go directly to GSUSA and are not disbursed to councils, the council service fee would stay right here in our communities. The maximum council service fee cannot exceed the GSUSA annual membership fee. After careful consideration of the needs of our membership and the need to have a strong and thriving council, GSCWM’s board of directors made a strategic decision to adopt a $10 annual council service fee. The membership fee for GSCWM girls in the 2013-14 membership year will be $25, with $15 going to GSUSA and $10 staying with GSCWM.
- The GSCWM girl membership fee for 2013-14 will be $25 effective in April 2013 with early bird registration.
- The GSCWM adult membership fee for 2013-14 will be $15 effective in April 2013 with early bird registration.
- All of the adult membership fee and $15 of the girl membership fee will go directly to GSUSA.
- The $10 council fee for girls will stay with GSCWM.
- No girl will be denied access to Girl Scouts because of an inability to pay the cost of membership. GSCWM will continue to make financial aid available.
No one is ever happy to see a fee increase and to go from $12 to $25 can be challenging. In truth, what seems like a big jump is a reflection of how long Girl Scouting has held off despite rising costs. Others may wonder, “What are girls getting for that additional $10”? If you’ve done the cost-benefit analysis of Girl Scouts as compared to other youth activities, then you know that Girl Scouting is a value leader, even when you factor in the cost of a starter kit or programs and events, which girls and troops can earn money to fund. Just compare …Cheerleading: $100 to $300 plus competition fees. Dance: $400 to $2,000/year plus costumes. 4-H club: $50 membership fee plus $25 to $150 in club program fees.
For an additional 83 cents per month our girl members are getting a council with a stronger foundation for impacting girls in our communities. We recognize that it’s our job to infuse the value of our Girl Scout mission in everything we do. The additional funds will support GSCWM in delivering that value in the following ways:
- Providing critical customer service, support and training to the volunteer partners who help GSCWM deliver the Girl Scout program to 12,000 girls
- Providing financial assistance for any girl or adult volunteer who cannot afford to pay.
- Subsidizing year-round outdoor experiences for girls
- Preserving the safety and condition of GSCWM’s camps and service centers for the use of our membership, including utilities, insurance, maintenance and capital expenses
- Advancing technology initiatives such as expanded online registration; maintenance of GSCWM’s websites; and enhanced communication and public engagement resources
- Protecting girls and adults by providing liability insurance coverage for all council approved events, activities and non-Girl Scout facility use
The council service fee, along with corporate and foundation support, proceeds from Girl Scout Product Programs, and gifts from families and friends will give us the combined resources needed to deliver Girl Scouts' premiere leadership program for girls.
We hope you understand and support our decision to implement the council service fee. We believe we owe our girls the opportunity to, in a safe, nurturing environment, learn new skills; make new friends; and develop courage, confidence and character so that they can make the world a better place. The council service fee provides a source of sustainable and renewable income that supports our Council in a way that ensures the Girl Scout program will remain strong and viable in our local community. We ask for your support in this effort to strengthen the capability of your Council. GSCWM Board of Directors and staff members are available to answer any questions you may have. Call us at 1-800-462-9100 and ask for Elizabeth Brooke Willbanks at extension 7125.