NEW ORLEANS – The Board of Directors of Girl Scouts Louisiana East on June 21 approved a new Strategic Property Plan that will focus GSLE’s resources on creating outstanding Girl Scout experiences, embody the four pillars of Girl Scouts, and support the growth of current and future members. “The Board is very excited about the Council’s future direction and the opportunities created by executing the property plan,” Lyndia Jones, GSLE Board Chair, said.
The first element of the plan reimagines GSLE’s Service Centers and how they can best serve GSLE members and the community. As a result of their review and analysis, GSLE will sell its two existing Service Centers in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and invest in a new centrally located Experience Center in a high-traffic retail area.
The new Experience Center concept is intended to raise the Council’s visibility in the community, create an immersive shopping experience for current and future members, and provide spaces for STEM events, Day Camps, and other Girl Scout activities and programming. The Experience Center will also include a modern and flexible workspace for GSLE staff.
“We are excited about this new concept and how it will help grow and retain members, support efficiency and financial stability, and elevate the Council’s brand and image in the Southeast Louisiana region,” Rebecca Pennington, GSLE’s Chief Executive Officer, said. In addition to the new Experience Center, GSLE’s mobile shop will provide service to all 23 parishes delivering uniforms, badges, supplies and other branded Girl Scouts merchandise.
The second element of the Strategic Property Plan addresses the future of Camp Whispering Pines located outside of Independence in Tangipahoa Parish. Due to the current condition of the lake and spillway on the property, it would be cost-prohibitive for GSLE to repair, replace or rebuild the spillway infrastructure.
“It is a safety issue and a liability for the Council. Additionally, the camp needs many other costly improvements to make it competitive with other camps in the area,” Pennington said. As a result, GSLE’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to exit CWP and use the proceeds from its sale to invest in the new Experience Center and the Council’s other two camps; Camp Marydale located outside of St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish and Camp Covington located outside of Covington in St. Tammany Parish.
Improvements at Camp Covington include a climate-controlled activity center and a state-of-the-art STEM Center and activity center for younger girls. The improvements at Camp Marydale include building a zero-entry pool to replace the existing pool, expanding the footprint of Lake Warriner, addressing deferred maintenance required for existing structures and upgrade some units to be climate-controlled, converting the dining hall to a climate-controlled facility that can be used year-round during inclement weather and expanding the equestrian center to include updated climate-controlled facilities. “We are very exciting about these improvements and the future of the Council,” Pennington said.
For inquiries regarding the Strategic Property Plan, please contact Madeleine Briscoe at 504-733-8220 ext 2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.