Membership and revenues are falling, there's a shortage of volunteers, a tension between leadership and grassroots members, and a pension plan with a $347 million deficit that are all plaguing the Girl Scouts of America.
But the Upper Peninsula Girl Scouts aren't feeling these shortfalls.
Girl Scout numbers may be declining by 0.5 percent nationally, but numbers are actually up seven percent in the U.P. Girl Scout leaders say that may be due to the uniqueness of the area and great volunteers.
"I think that may be the deciding factor is the volunteers. Those are things that are offered nationally, but our volunteers are amazing people. Everywhere I go, every community that I work in, the people who come to us to volunteer for Girl Scouting bring their professionalism," said Jill Rady, Community Development Coordinator for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes.
Girl Scout members say there is a lot to love about being a Girl Scout the U.P. because there is something new to do every day.
"I love outside and I love nature, and it's really fun, like going kayaking and swimming," said Hannah Bleckiner, a Girl Scout Brownie, Troop #5005.
"What I thought was so cool was the monarch butterflies. We watched a movie, and you could see it coming out of its chrysalis," said Addysen Anacito, Girl Scout Brownie, Troop #5175.
And that's not all. Leaders say U.P. troops are unique in that you don't have to be a Girl Scout all year long.
"Girls can be Girl Scout members even if they're not affiliated with the troop year-round. So, if summertime is the time to be a Girl Scout, we're still looking for membership throughout the summer, so I think maybe that's the reason," Rady said.
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