Trefoil Integrity wants to find solutions to the problems faced by our council.
Our organization of volunteers is eager to unite our council to the benefit of all Girl Scouts in the region.
Problems Faces by Girl Scouts of North East Ohio
The problems that face Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) go far beyond the decision by the board to sell the majority of camps. Some members of the board manipulated data, misrepresented facts, and disregarded the will of an overwhelming majority of the membership.
The board of directors says it cannot afford to support seven camps. We respectfully disagree.
Like every other for-profit or non-profit organization, GSNEO makes spending choices based on its priorities. Through product sales (mostly those scrumptious Girl Scout cookies) girl members contribute more than $8 million per year to the council's annual operating budget of $11 million.
50% of GSNEO girl members use our camps every year. Troop camping is by far the council's largest and most popular program. Yet the council spends less than $1 million per year on its camps. That's less than 10% of its budget on the camps.
If the council won't support the programs girls want, why would girls continue to support the council? If the council continues to lose credibility along with services, it will also continue to lose members.
The solution begins with honoring the resolution that was passed by the General Assembly at the October, 2011 GSNEO annual meeting. The board of directors took part in that vote, right along with the rest of the assembly. The resolution passed by 60%. It called for a halt to camp sales until the assembly approves.
Such approval would only be granted if the board presented a reasonable plan based on accurate data. The only way to obtain such data is to re-evaluate the property plans. This means re-open the camps, promote them equitably, use consistent methods for gathering campsite usage data, involve the membership in the decision, and consider camp usage in the context of GSNEO's entire range of programs and services.
The Pending Lawsuit
This lawsuit is based on whether GSNEO is obliged to follow its own principles of democratic governance. If the board is permitted to ignore the members and donors who fund, support, and sustain the organization, how long will Girl Scouting in North East Ohio last?
The History of Trefoil Integrity
Trefoil Integrity began as a Yahoo group in the legacy council, Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council (GSLEC). It was originally a delegates-only forum for resolving policy problems that existed in the council at that time. It was so effective in bringing delegates together that the membership was opened up to include all volunteers, and eventually GSLEC staff and board members.
The Trefoil Integrity Yahoo group became dormant with the merger of GSLEC into the new Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO), but it was revived with the first round of camp closures in 2009. After the GSNEO board announced that it was selling five camps to transfer the remaining two into "Premier Leadership Centers", the trefoilintegrity.org web site was created to publicize the issues surrounding the camp closures and GSNEO governance in general.