CEO update on property decisions
I’d like to address some of the concerns I am hearing around the state about the future of Girl Scouts of Colorado’s properties. I know how much every one of our camps are loved by our members – camp is where memories are created that shape our lives. We are presently compiling data on usage, demand, program costs maintenance/upkeep costs and customer market research to analyze how much camp property our council can maintain and support on a lean budget. While we have already undertaken some creative solutions to try to increase our property revenue by extending property rentals to Girl Scout family, friends and other groups, this takes time. Girl Scouts of Colorado’s camps are our most highly subsidized programs, with camper fees covering less than 50 percent of the program and property expenses. No decisions have been made on the future of our camp properties at this time, but we do know that we own more property than our membership uses and our property maintenance and upkeep costs are exorbitant, especially considering the low percentage of our membership who use them. We know we need to devote less resources to property and more resources to serving our members in the ways that they are participating in Girl Scouting.
As for our offices, Girl Scouts of Colorado staff increasingly work directly with girls and volunteers in the communities they serve rather than in the office. GSCO is conducting a thorough analysis of all of our office and camp properties to reduce costs while still providing the tools staff need to effectively deliver on our mission and provide a quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Our focus is on service to people, not buildings, therefore, we anticipate downsizing office space at all service centers, including the home office in Denver, over the next few years. Currently, the only office or camp property that is listed for sale is the Colorado Springs Service Center, and we are trying to sublease the Fort Collins Service Center. However, real estate agents and other property experts are visiting all of our properties to assess values and liabilities. Our goal is to be even more visible in the communities where our members live.
Property decisions are always very difficult; but please know that I am committed to keeping our membership updated as we carefully move through this process. If you have more questions or concerns, I’m here to listen. I thank you for everything you do for Girl Scouts. You are sincerely appreciated!