Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest post: The Promise Project - A Look at the Future

By Elena McCreery
Promise Project Steering Committee Chair
GSSJC Volunteer

The Promise Project* work teams have begun the journey that will change the Service Delivery Structure (SDS) for Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. The SDS is not about cookie deliveries or how we reach out through our website — but is about how we serve the thousands of girls in our Council and support the adults who work with them.

Currently our SDS consists of 141 Service Units with almost 20 percent being managed by council staff due to lack of volunteers. Did you know that we have service units with fewer than 100 girls and others with over 1,000 girls and everything in between? And the functionality and success of these service units is as varied as the membership numbers. The Promise Project will create a new structure that will allow us to reach more girls, for a longer duration, while allowing for both girls and volunteers to participate in flexible ways that best meets their needs. 

June 11th was the first meeting for The Promise Project Leadership Team. It was exciting to be in the company of so many GSSJC volunteers and staff that believe in this transformational work and have agreed to spend the time it takes to do this right. While many people are relaxing at the beach or pool this summer, our Promise Project Leadership Team and members of our 13 work teams will be laboring to ensure that GSSJC not only survives but thrives in the second century of Girl Scouting. I am enormously grateful for their dedication to the girls and adults of GSSJC. 

The work of The Promise Project teams will be based on the recommendations of a task force that has been discussing the future of our council for the past two years, so we are well prepared to move forward.  There are 160 volunteers who have self-nominated or been identified as potential members who are being asked to join one or more of our 13 work teams. Most full-time staff members have also been assigned to a team. These 300+ work team members will soon be immersed in the effort that will redefine our SDS and move our council in a new direction that will be in place for our 2013-2014 membership year. 

Over the next six to eight months, some of our work team members will be traveling throughout our Council to get your input and ensure we get it right as we build our new communities and regions. Others will focus on creating a communication and meeting structure that will offer meaningful support to our volunteers. And many will be defining the roles and responsibilities of adults who will recruit, train, and support the volunteers that will in turn recruit and provide the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to our girls.

John F. Kennedy said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” It is time for our council to look to the future.  I sincerely hope you will join me in embracing the work of The Promise Project and our promise to the girls of GSSJC.

*For information about the Promise Project, see the announcement from the Council meeting and the handouts from Conversations That Matter 5.

Elena McCreery is a member of The Promise Project Steering Committee and a long time volunteer with GSSJC. She believes in the Girl Scout mission and in the opportunity for all girls to have courage, confidence and character so the world will be a better place.