Are the Girl Scouts in Big Trouble?
Little girls are still pushing their cookies to hungry grown-ups, but are the Girl Scouts of the United States of America about to bite the dust? Just one year after celebrating its centennial, the organization is in big financial trouble, with declining memberships, camps for sale and a pension pan with a $347 million deficit.
The Associated Press reports that the Girl Scouts are facing layoffs and 325 employees have been invited to retire early. It doesn’t help that donations dropped $44 million in four years.
Congress has now gotten involved. The GSUSA has asked that Congress give councils more time to pay into pension plans. In an effort to relieve some financial pressure, several councils have opted to sell their camps. But those who want to preserve the Girl Scouts say the sales take away valuable opportunities as well as damage the legacy of an important organization. The GSUSA hope to raise $1 billion by 2017, in part by passing on the debt to troop members themselves:
The national headquarters’ operating budget relies heavily on efforts of the local councils, notably the $12 annual dues paid by individual Girl Scouts plus revenue from sales of uniforms and merchandise. The dues are scheduled to rise to $15 later this year.
But with enrollment dropping because of competition with sports and the idea that the Girl Scouts are just old-fashioned. Do you think the Girl Scouts can be saved?