Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) is preparing to serve you, our members, better!
GSNI’s Board has approved a strategy to sell our 100% council-owned Service Centers and to move to smaller leased Resource Centers around our council. This strategy allows us to be more present in your community, makes it easier for you to pop in to purchase items or get your questions answered, while completing other errands in the neighborhood, and helps us be more visible to potential members who want to learn more about the leadership and friendship that comes from an all-girl environment in Girl Scouts.
What are Resource Centers?
Resource Centers will be friendly places that are welcoming to our current and potential members in the community.
Resource Centers will have:
1) A store where you can purchase Girl Scout core uniform pieces and program related materials, as well as all the sweatshirts, jewelry, and other fun items we know you all love
2) Work space for staff where they may work full or part-time, giving them the flexibility to meet with you in other locations in the community such as coffee shops
3) Small meeting space for one-on-one meetings, trainings and small service unit and/or troop meetings. The capacity would vary depending on the size and configuration of the leased space
4) Resources for our volunteers to check out such as Programs-in-a-Box, flags, cookie costumes, etc. Some items may need to be pre-arranged for pickup
5) Storage space will be limited because we don’t want to lease space to store a lot of old records or larger items that aren’t used on a regular basis. These items will be stored off site. Cookie storage locations will be in leased or found locations around our geography.
Resource Specialists will be present in each Resource Center and will not only sell GSUSA and GSNI merchandise in the store, but will be the go-to person, who will offer advice and knowledge about Girl Scout programs, membership and program opportunities. The Resource Specialists are part of the customer care team and are there to provide you with great customer service by answering your concerns and questions via email, phones and in-person and will do so with a smile.
Where will the Resource Centers be?
We have tried to keep members’ drive time to a Resource Center within 30-40 minutes or less. Our ideal locations will be in high visibility areas such as strip malls on main thoroughfares adjacent to other retail stores which would allow you to combine errands, and swing by the Girl Scout Store when you’re out and about.
The Resource Centers on the west side of the council will remain in Rockford, Rock Falls and Freeport, although we are seeking to sell the current Freeport Service Center and move into a commercial area of town. We will be re-designing the Rock Falls Resource Center to align with other new locations.
The property housing the Sugar Grove Resource Center is for sale. It is our intention to move to the Oswego area.
The property housing Elgin’s current Resource Center is already sold. We intend to move to South Elgin along Randall Road and are looking at a move date of April 2018.
The Barrington store location, currently a stand-alone store in the Icehouse Mall, will move to a commercial location in the Lake Zurich area. We are beginning the search for a suitable space to lease now.
Additionally, we are very pleased to announce we will be adding a seventh location in McHenry! We are looking forward to moving into this area as soon as possible and supporting our members and potential members in McHenry County and the ever-growing girl membership in this area. The area being considered will be around McHenry itself.
An exciting design partnership
We are also excited to announce a partnership with FGM Architects of Oak Brook, who will prepare prototypical designs of the interior space for the Resource Centers to give us flexible use of the space, thus making the best use of our investments, while highlighting the G.I.R.L brand. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader).
Additionally, we will be working with them to create opportunities for older girls who are interested in architecture and interior design as a career to be involved in the design process and to have job shadowing opportunities.
Stay tuned for further communications to keep everyone informed as more decisions are made and details are finalized.
We look forward to being more accessible to our members, and being a more visible part of the communities which we serve. And, we can’t wait to see you at one of our new Resource Centers once they’re ready to go!