We would like to respond to the recent article in Wednesday Journal concerning the closing of Girl Scouts ?#34; Illinois Crossroads Council’s Oak Park Center. Illinois Crossroads is in excellent financial health; the sale of the Oak Park Center is not due to financial reasons. Girl membership has, in fact, increased, and has been doing so since the former Lone Tree Council and Illinois Crossroads combined six years ago. The sale is occurring primarily because the center is less frequented by girls and adult volunteers. Girls are being more conveniently served at sites provided by collaborators, and adults are being more conveniently served through technology.

These changing patterns of service portend that those activities that previously required a visit to our center can now be carried out and are done via computers: volunteer training, shopping and registration are all available on-line, and, in fact, we find that the majority of our volunteers utilize technology to carry out Girl Scout activities. In addition, we have seen fewer girls at Oak Park Center because service methodologies and collaboration agreements allow the council to provide Girl Scouting at other locations that are more convenient for our girls. Some of those programs were previously held at Oak Park Center.

In light of these facts (and contingent upon the completion of all financial transactions), Girl Scouts ?#34; Illinois Crossroads Council accepted an unsolicited offer from an Oak Park contractor to purchase the Oak Park facility. Volunteers will have usage of the building until May 26, and will continue to be served at a variety of sites and through varied communication methods. Costs formerly associated with operating the Oak Park Center will be reinvested in technology, training and other services for volunteers to continue to reach even more girls with the benefits of Girl Scouting. We remain deeply committed to the communities we serve, and will continue to respond to the needs of girls and volunteers with new and relevant options.

Stephanie Springs, chair
Reta Wilcox, CEO
Girl Scouts?#34;Illinois Crossroads Council

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