In 2008, we inherited a large collection of properties when seven Girl Scout councils came together to form one council serving 245 communities in 10 counties (six in Illinois and four in Indiana).
After the merger GCNWI had to face some tough decisions about those 12 camp and program-related properties, as well as numerous office spaces, including some that needed extraordinary amounts of TLC. We knew we needed to do something intentional and thoughtful to keep our focus on our mission and not on endless repairs and maintenance.
The GCNWI Long Range Property Planning Committee (LRPPC) was formed at the request of our board of directors to study all our properties and make recommendations for a plan.
The LRPPC was comprised of a phenomenal group of dedicated volunteers and professionals alike who devoted hundreds of volunteer hours each over the course of nearly two years to draft an initial master property plan that best reflected our focus on current and future generations of Girl Scouts.
The members of the LRPPC made on-site visits to get an intimate look at the current state of each property. They also reviewed each property’s potential to support future programming directions, the resources located near each property, and analyzed detailed documents filled with usage statistics, anticipated costs for repairs and ADA requirements, and many other relevant financials.
Then, in 2011, GCNWI took its first steps to bring the plan to life by identifying several properties that best matched our vision for girls and volunteers now and in the future. We knew that it would be best if we concentrated our resources and energy on enhancing those properties.
That also meant embracing a decision to retire and sell several properties, a difficult but necessary process that would allow us to move forward as a council.