October General Assembly 2011 - Corey Ringle Speech
This is the speech that Corey Ann Ringle was prepared to present to the General Assembly at the 2011 annual meeting in support of the first real estate resolution. However, Chairman Dan Bragg announced that delegates would only be allowed to speak for one minute. This was challenged by Roberta Riordan, but left unclear. Just as Corey Ann - as the first speaker - was getting ready to go to the mike, Mr Bragg repeated his directive to limit speeches to one minute. IN attempting to comply, Corey Ann cut the majority and sped through the rest.
If you are a mom ( or dad) you know that there are times when you must protect your child.
Sometimes you must protect them from physical danger. Sometimes you must protect them from bureaucracy. Sometimes the authorities of schools, or hospitals can make mistakes. And when your child will be affected by those mistakes, it is your responsibility to stand up to the experts and speak out for your child's well-being.
We are facing a similar situation today. We must protect our council, our girls, and the girls of the future.
Our experts, our leadership, as good as they are, and as much as we appreciate the volunteer time that our board gives to this organization ; we have to acknowledge that there have been some mistakes
As we have seen recently, the board themselves recognized that their plan to sell five camps did not leave us with enough capacity at the remaining two. We were very happy to hear that camp sugarbush has been allowed to stay.
Another area of concern is the cost of camp repairs. We were told in April that it would cost 30 million dollars to fix the camps. This was repeated on NPR on Wednesday. But this is a misrepresentation. [ pass out charts] As you can see on these handouts -
The vision 2012 committee, using information provided by the council office, reported that correcting all the major deferred maintenance issues would cost about 2 million dollars. The 30 million is what it would take to turn all 7 camps into PLCs and as you can see, it is a very rough plan that doesn't individualize for difference as each camp.
It is very clear from these, and many other indicators, that our property plan needs another review. When one branch of our Girl Scout council family makes a mistake, the other branches have a responsibility to act for the protection of our council now & for the future.
Now many of us want to be done with evaluations and to be content with what the board has decided. But because of the way the decision was made, the credibility of our council has been thrown into question. The loss of any more camps is likely to be accompanied by a loss of membership and a loss of community support. We are already seeing the latter in letters such as the one from Guy Renkert in Canton whose family donated the land for Camp Great Trail. This successful businessman is withdrawing support and urging his contacts at various foundations and boards to do likewise. We are facing financial loss in the south region because of this.
Many of us ( myself included ) would like to keep all seven camps that we have left . We have already lost 6 camps .( seven. If you count Intergrove Cabin) We would like to move forward with developing program & and improving our camp infrastructures. We are excited about the possibilities.
But between these two visions ; the only real compromise is to continue the evaluation process. There is no need to rush into selling camps now. We need to review our data, involve the membership, and keep lines of communication open.
The resolution to cease and desist from selling the camps now is to give the process more time. The criteria for knowing when an adequate evaluation has been done is that the members have been given complete information. And at least half of the members as represented by the assembly approve of of any relinquishment plans. For a 2/3 approval from the general assembly, the board needs to gain approval from only half of the delegates.
We need to decide on more than just the ideal number of camps we need to decide what are the priorities of our council
If the priorities are filling in gaps left by public education, then that will be where our money will be spent. If the priorities are fancy buildings for employees, then that will be where the money is spent. If the priorities are programs for girls, financial aid for girls to participate, efforts to increase membership, etc. You get the idea. Of course, any of these combinations may work as well. If the membership feels strongly that more money should be spent on camps, then that is is where the priorities should be. So much of running an organization is like life - you have to reach a balance.
Let us find our balance by establishing a new collaborative model between board and members. I urge to face the future with courage and vote for the first two resolutions.